Dare to Bare: 8 Rooms with Empty Walls (and Why They Work)

Dare to Bare: 8 Rooms with Empty Walls (and Why They Work)

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Nancy Mitchell
Feb 23, 2016

We've always said that art is one of the most important elements in a room, one of the things that helps it feel complete. But this, like a lot of other decorating mantras, is more of a suggestion than a commandment, and as with a lot of other rules there are plenty of exceptions. Case in point: these eight rooms with no art (or very minimal art) and almost completely bare walls. Instead of seeming boring or incomplete these rooms read as balanced and delightfully minimal. Here's why.

Above: The bare walled look is actually a great way to help a low-ceilinged room feel more spacious. Art can help to draw the eye up, emphasizing the vertical aspect of a room, but in this case the chandelier does that job. Plants and textured wooden pieces give the space vitality and life, even in the complete absence of wall-hung art.

(Image credit: A Love is Blind)

In this room from A Love is Blind, keeping the walls bare lets the space itself be the center of attention. With high ceilings, intricate moldings, and a beautiful parquet floor, there's still plenty to look at. The bare walls also mean that the eye is drawn towards the oversized piece in this next room, which creates a nice feeling of anticipation and helps to move you through the space.

(Image credit: My Domaine)

We see something quite similar in this room My Domaine — an artwork that draws your eye into the next room. In the living room, lots of contrasting pieces — the black chairs, the leather pouf, the plant, the gold lamp — help to keep things interesting even without any art.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

The bare walls in this space from Design Sponge are more about balance. Leaving the walls bare means there can be a lot of intricate, textured pieces in the room, like the rug and bookcase and table with mismatched chairs, but the space still reads quite minimal.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Roberts)

There's something so delightfully simple and yet still a little indulgent about this space from Elizabeth Roberts. The bare walls let the big players — the oversized mirror and delightfully low, lumpy, 70s-style couches — be just as big as they need to be. Imagine this room, if you will, with even one little painting hanging on the wall, and the effect is not quite the same.

(Image credit: Dimore Studio)

Another way to get away with leaving your walls bare? Paint them an interesting color — like the soft grey pictured here. The designers from Dimore Studio have also added plenty of interest in the form of a gorgeous velvet sofa, a Serge Mouille lamp, and a side table filled to capacity with what looks like an entire pottery collection.

(Image credit: Decor8)

This high-celinged space from Decor8 has just the kind of minimalism that you want in a bedroom. The intricate bedspread and unusually shaped chandelier are balanced by bright white walls and lots of light, giving this room an airy, instantly relaxing feel.

(Image credit: Jonna Timesgard)

This room from Jonna Timesgard is all about white — white bedding, white doors, white curtains, white everything. The effect is almost sculptural, concentrating your attention not on the furnishings but on the shape of the room itself. The one except is the mirror leaning in the corner, which provides just the right amount of contrast to all that white.

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