Style

I’ve Styled This $20 IKEA Decor Item in Almost Every Room of My Home, and You’ll (Probably) Never Guess What It Is

published Mar 24, 2023
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Ikea Mosslanda picture shelves hanging above sofa in living room with pictures on top.
Credit: Taryn Mohrman

Picture ledges are one of those decorating workhorses that don’t really get the appreciation they deserve. They’re essentially shallow floating shelves, sure, but they have the design capability to do so much good in so many different spaces. Thanks to a small structural lip on their fronts to keep contents secure, picture ledges can more reliably display art, books, and decorative dishware better than run-of-the-mill shelving — along with vases, statues, and other petite objects, too. Here’s how I make these items work for me.

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Plenty of shelves have made it in and out of my design plans over the years, but the IKEA MOSSLANDA picture ledge has stayed in my rotation since I first bought one back in 2012. When I first hung a gallery wall in my den, I wanted to pick out the elements in person so I could mix-and-match my way to the perfect configuration. I had seen picture ledges incorporated into gallery walls on my favorite design blogs and home magazines, and I couldn’t wait to try it out in my own space. I quickly chose two of the more compact shelves in a white finish and made my way home, not knowing, of course, that I’d soon be back to buy more.

Credit: Taryn Mohrman

These picture ledges were overshadowed by a sea of surrounding frames for years. So it wasn’t until I turned my den back into a bedroom for my growing family that I realized their full potential. As I unscrewed each picture ledge from the wall and inspected their like-new state, I knew I couldn’t get rid of something that was in such great condition and, moreover, so versatile. Instead of boxing them up with the frames, I temporarily rehomed the picture ledges on a painted radiator cover and my white desk in the next room. I placed books and art on top to make them feel purposeful until I could decide on their long-term home. They both ended up blending in so well that they stayed there for good. Before long, I was experimenting with new and unique ways to use picture ledges all around my home. 

Credit: Taryn Mohrman

Once I started to think beyond the walls, I discovered that some of my favorite places to put picture ledges are quite unexpected. In the bathroom, I’ve used a picture ledge to tidy toiletries. In the kitchen, they’re perfect for corralling cookbooks, cutting boards, candles, and more. I also love that they add some visual interest to the space between my counters and cabinets without damaging the backsplash. And lastly, they make a convenient drop spot on a dresser or desk for novels, notebooks, and devices in bedrooms or home offices.

Credit: Taryn Mohrman

When it’s resting on a tabletop surface, I prefer when the picture ledge looks built in, so I tend to choose the same finish as the furniture it rests on (IKEA has six finishes to choose from). White has been my go-to, as I have so much white woodwork in my house, but I just recently bought a few in black to hang on the wall above my desk and it provides a fun contrast. Ultimately, there’s truly no shortage of places to style these hardworking shelves, and it turns out I’m on a mission to prove that in every room.