For an art person, I built a 6-inch-deep ledge at a 30-inch height around the entire room to give interest to a boxy room and provide a display for the art collection.
On the main wall, the one opposite the entrance, illuminated by a long line of wall-washers, I used the ledge to display the owner's fabulous collection of original drawings. These are of varying sizes and shapes, but the ledge unifies them into a series, lessening the effect of the different shapes, sizes and frames.
On the window wall, I used the ledge to make a stopping-point for the windows -- a continuous sill to give an architectural finish to the insignificant windows, as well as a place for plants. White Roman shades soften the space, without distracting from the simplicity of the room.
The ledge of the window wall, slightly deeper than that on the long wall, also serves to conceal the two convectors. Grills in the top and air-intake at the base are energy efficient, and conceal the working parts. The same recessed base is used on the ledge on the other walls for a continuous line.
The ledge on the wall in the dining room area of this combination room makes a convenient spot for more art, illuminated with its own wall-washer as in the living room, and for a display of the handsome glasses and plates used daily for dining.
To provide design continuity, I used a modular seating system with a 30-inch back, neatly filling the space between ledge and floor and creating a built-in look. The seating stands clear of the wall to give continuity to the ledge line, and to keep seated people out of the glare of the wall-washer lighting.
I painted the ledge off-white, and matched the natural wood upholstery fabric to the color of the walls and shades covering the windows and the canvas of the dining chairs.
The ceiling is the same color as the ledge. I covered the walls in a pale taupe vinyl-suede for a soft look that blurs the sharp edges of the white ledge. The wall-to-wall carpet, stretching the space visually, is the same taupe background of the wall covering, with a tiny dot pattern in it to conceal wear and tear.
Simple accessories and many soft pillows in a taupe and off-white silk combine to provide the perfect background for art lovers.