This Is a One-and-Done Way to Try This New-Old Gallery Wall Trend

published Sep 27, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
a forward shot of living room where theres white walls with a gold rod that has gold chains hanging down to hold a mirror and some picture frames, a grey couch with pillows and a blue and grey blanket on it, and a plant near one side of couch arm and a lamp on the other side
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Prop Styling: Thomas Hoerup & Vicky Wasik

If it feels like you’ve exhausted all of your options when it comes to changing up or creating a gallery wall from scratch, I hear you. Mixing types of art, varying frame finishes, adding non-art items into the arrangement, matting things in non-traditional ways — these are tried-and-true strategies, but at this point you’ve probably seen and heard them all and are looking for that elusive something else. That’s how I felt, anyway — that is, until I stumbled upon Pepe & Carols’ wall-mounted brass picture rail, which not only levels up a salon-style wall with its golden fittings, but also makes minimal holes in a wall and allows for endless easy art reconfiguring. 

As a brand that specializes in vintage-inspired hardware and lighting, Pepe & Carols is rooted in the past, but its brass picture rail system is a decidedly modern take on a picture rail that feels at once old and new. Instead of having built-in molding to hang your pictures from, as was customary since the 15th century, you attach what looks almost like a fancy curtain rod directly to your wall, and it comes with accompanying chains, hooks, and mounting fittings. The beauty, though, is that once you have this installed, you can use Pepe & Carols matching chains and S-hooks to suspend artwork from it without making a single additional hole in your wall. Sure, once you’ve cut your chains to size with wire cutters, you’re sort of locked into that amount of total surface area for hanging, but you can play around with displaying pieces at different heights and varied positions from the top to the bottom of each of the chains. You can also choose how many chains you’d like to use to create, in effect, a curtain-like gallery wall of artwork that, again, is almost endlessly repositionable in terms of its individual pieces and can be added to or subtracted from instantly.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Prop Styling: Thomas Hoerup & Vicky Wasik

We played around with the fairly easy-to-install system in our office to bring you these images here, but note that you could go smaller or even bigger with your rail for a more bespoke look. You can also add a mirror (and other accents to the mix), as we did, provided these items mount the same way art does. 

We tried this one-and-done solution over a sofa, but I’ve seen others use it above the headboard in a bedroom (namely content creator Mallory Fletchall of Reserve Home, who’s installation is embedded above). Designer Emily Henderson actually put one to work in her entryway above a bench, as seen below. Both of these applications feature a mix of modern and more traditional art, but this solution, although historic in its roots and appearance, can go full contemporary, too. 

While you could probably DIY something somewhat similar out of hardware store materials, Pepe & Carols has taken the guesswork out of doing this with their readymade rail offering. It’s not inexpensive — we’re dealing with solid brass here — and of course, the bigger and more statement-sized you go, the more it’ll cost (and adding additional chain and hooks is à la carte, too; check the product listing for what’s included). But once you’ve picked a size and set it up on a wall, you truly can go to town tinkering with pieces until you’ve created an arrangement you want to roll with forever — or just until you want to play around again. If you’re the type who likes to collect art or redecorate often, it’ll be totally worth the investment.