Picture rails are a type of frieze that run horizontally across the walls of a room, and is leveled to match the height of the door-frame. These frames can be used to hang pictures instantly without having to make holes in the walls with nails. By using a metal accessory called the ‘picture rail-hook’, pictures can be hung instantly. While one arm hangs from above the rail, the other extends downwards to the front of the rail and has a hook attached to it to facilitate the process of hanging pictures.
The concept of picture rails originated as early as the fifteenth century, and gained much prominence during the Victorian Era(19th century) when the fashion was to hang knick-knacks and pictures on the walls. At this time, the picture rails would be hidden underneath the paintings and portraits. With the resurgent interest in periodic artwork in the 1990s, this product has been brought back into the limelight. In modern houses, picture rails are generally incorporated into the basic styling model to accentuate the chair rail and crown molding. They are no longer considered as simple functional fixtures.
Traditional picture rails are manufactured from wood, but cheaper and lighter acrylic castings have made their way into the market of late. Keeping in sync with the decor of your room, you can choose to paint or stain the rails and choose them from a variety of shapes and sizes. While picture rails of the nineteenth century were largely functional in purpose and protruded from the walls to allow plenty of room for the hooks, modern rails are strictly designed to serve a decorative purpose and are much thinner and inconspicuous in their final outlook.
Modern day picture rails have evolved beyond conventional frameworks molded from wood. While thick cork is used to design rails for bulletin boards for offices, magnetic rails are used in kitchens to hang knives, pots and pans. Users can also opt for wider versions of picture rails to place their frames above the structure, or hang them comfortably.
The versatility of the picture rail makes it an important element of decor in every house. A room having custom molding and picture rails will definitely wear a more classic and cohesive look. These are also light and inexpensive and can be easily installed. The only difficulty that remains is choosing the perfect design that would match your style.