Decorating a high ledge

joyce_6333February 27, 2011

In our new home, there will be a high ledge in the vaulted entry. The ledge is 9' off the floor, runs the length of the 12' entry, about 15" deep, and probably 2 feet high before it abuts the vault.

I'm am totally decorating-challenged, and would love to see how you've decorated your high ledges. Thanks for the feedback.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please don't think me brusque, but since this is a new home, can you eliminate the ledge? Truly, having worked in home decor for years and hanging around here, the ledges most often are nothing but odd spaces that really don't add a lot to the space, are a pain to decorate because of the proportion and how they are viewed, and are major cleaning headaches.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 3:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Having one of those ledges myself, I must agree with Les. If I had to do it over again, I would've figured out a way to eliminate it. Actually, I would have eliminated the whole two-story foyer. But that's jmho.

But, since you asked for ideas I can tell you what I have up there right now. There's an antique ladder with a quilt hanging on it, and an antique trunk with 2 more quilts folded on top. Come spring I will be putting my wedding dress back up (on a dress form) along with the trunk and some antique linens.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

in a previous home, we had a high ledge/alcove that you could see from the upstairs hallway and i would cringe everytime i saw an assortment of dead bugs or toys which had been errantly tossed and landed there!

and....they would stay there until i hauled out our tall ladder...but i think our area was probably closer to 12 feet high, so it was harder to get to--needed the tall (heavy!) ladder. you can get to 9 feet with a six foot ladder!

only time i really decorated it was during the holidays...(we were only in that house 2 1/2 years) i really liked small lighted trees up there! have an outlet installed if you can!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I googled "decorating ledges"...then hit images..

Here is a link that might be useful: Examples of great, eye pleasing...ledges!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 2:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a high ledge above my front door and I love it. I have a number of my antiques up there that I would not have a place for otherwise.
I decorate it for Christmas but not any other hoidays.

The spinning wheel, copper boiler, crocks, and other elements are antiques I have had for a very long time. Without the ledge, I would not have a place to display them.

I did not make the small quilt, but chose it for the space. Needless to say, the plants are silk!

My DH wants to downsize and move to a ranch style home, so I am looking for a model that still has the vaulted ceilings and a ledge for my treasures!

It does get dusty, but I clean it when I change the decor for Christmas and take it down again. Other than that, it is not close enough to see for the white glove test, so unless it gets a large cobweb, I don't stress over it.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 3:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone. I have to admit this ledge was not my choice, and the decision was made by the builder and DH while I was visiting DD. So ... I'm stuck with it, and need to make it work. I don't mind cleaning it. I'm very short and need to get the ladder out to clean the ceiling fans anyway.

Nicole, thanks for the link! Lots of good ideas.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Below is my ledge before the room was finished. The room is also vaulted but because of an archway close to the closet we had no choice but to put in a ledge, which I do like! I think it adds character to a room.

There's nothingon it now but I put garland on it at Christmas and I've had a spray of silk flowers hanging down from the ledge which I may do again come Spring/Summer.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My ledge is also in the entry - its probably only 10 ft tall and 5 feet long - its easy to clean since the stairway is behind it.
I have a large live palm and a large scale tang ceramic horse on mine. There is a smaller ledge below, I haven't put anything there, yet.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a ledge in my foyer, which I love. But it was easy for me to decorate because I lean toward Asian. I had an outlet put in during construction. The ledge holds a large Buddha and is uplit by rope lighting on a timer. It is the first thing I see when I walk in and is immediately very calming to me.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good post!

I enjoy seeing what others have done with this odd space. I have one too. It's been over 10 years now and I still have nothing on the ledge. (Except at Christmas. We had an outlet installed and put a tree up there that looks pretty from the outside.)

It is such a wide space, that I am afraid that anything I put there to "fill up" the space will just end up looking like dusty kitschy clutter. On the outside of the house, the overhang does allow the front door to be protected under the overhang. So that's a good thing. It's just that inside it is so peculiar.

So the conundrum continues...

And I still have nothing up there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was in a home years ago that had a ledge that looked out over their open concept living and dinning rooms. I suppose it was a closet that jutted into the room. It was a large space and they had their children's hand made cradle there. It was so heart warming. It was safe there as they waited for grand children and was a memory of wonderful times gone by. I wish I had a similar place for mine.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Count me as another one that has nothing up there. Never thought it as odd not to have something up there though. My dh climbs the ladder up at Christmas time to hang a 6 ft. round wreath and back up to take down and clean the large window. I would not want to have to climb up to dust everything up there and if the stuff didn't get dusted on a regular basis that would drive me more crazy than not having anything up there.JMHO My ledge is 12' up so a big ladder is needed to reach it. I didn't want to do away with the ledge because it's main purpose was to cover the front door from the outside.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think anything that does go up high IMHO should be large scale

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is tutorial on Accessorizing a ledge...

I have several ledges in my home. I LOVE the high ceilings. Architectual interest is a PLUS in a home.....not a hinderance.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nicole, thanks again for a great link. I've been keeping my eyes open as I shop, and have seen a few possibilities. I already have a few things that might be candidates, too. I actually bought a picture yesterday (only $50!) that will be a starting place. Wasn't sure that a picture was appropriate, but I think this one works. I tend to be a minimalist, so creating a vinette is difficult for me. I think I'm a minimalist because I'm so decorating-challenged. Afraid to put myself out there.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in the Midwest and went a house with a few ledges, decorated with pottery (probably Mexican rustic style) - the lady told me that they got this idea when they visited a house in Arizona and wanted to recreate the same look. The ledges looked great.
If your ledge is only 24" you can use some vases with hanging greenery - and if you are a âÂÂless is moreâ kind of person, I'd go with something like the ones in the link, but with vases and pottery, the possibilities are unlimited and you can add pieces as you go. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marthaelena: That gives me an idea. I have a few old, ugly vases that I could spruce up with a little paint. There are some great paint finishes out there now. And sometimes you'll see a vase at a discount store that would be pretty, if only it were a nicer color. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think a large interesting sculpture is what I will eventually put up on the ledge. I saw a really neat bronze contemporary statue of a swimmer in Vail. Something like that would be great. However, it's going to be a while til I find the right piece that speaks to me.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't have anything to show yet, but I'm currently shopping for things for my ledge also. I have seen pictures up there and think it looks good.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 6:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
who has grey kitchen cabinets?
would appreciate info from people who have grey cabinets...
House exterior - cedar siding alternative?
I love the look of horizontal cedar slats, and would...
SW Kilm Beige
If you have used this color, would you please tell...
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - I hate it!!
I'm painting a few pieces of furniture for my daughters...
Do you like decor on the coffee table?
This relates back to our 'magazine house' discussion....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™