8 Fun, Unexpected Ways to Fill Bare Walls

published Jun 8, 2020
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For as gorgeous as gallery walls and salon-style displays can be, finding enough artwork to fill a wall can sometimes be tricky and expensive. So what do you do when faced with an empty wall and no artwork to hang—or when you just want something different to display? Well, your bare walls are still brimming with design opportunity. It just takes a little imagination and creativity to tap into that potential. From rugs to trinket trays and beyond, here’s how to fill your walls in more unexpected ways.

Cluster a bunch of baskets

A few good-looking baskets can add lots of texture and visual interest to an empty wall. Case in point: Bonny and Lou’s charming Portland, Oregon bedroom, where you’ll find a collection of beautiful wall-mounted woven baskets in lieu of framed artwork. What’s nice is that baskets can be mounted in so many different ways—even more so than art. You can even overlap pieces, and it’s also easy to mix and match different kinds of baskets. Like a gallery wall, you can plan out a configuration or just keep adding to your collection organically as you find baskets you love.

Show off your passion for fashion

Searching for a stylish way to fill a blank wall and create extra storage space at home? Look no further than Apartment Therapy editor Adrienne Breaux’s colorful New Orleans house. Right behind the bedroom door, she transformed an awkward area into a storage-savvy display by hanging an array of hats on the wall using regular nails as hooks. This spot gets a nice dose of color and shape in the process, making this decorating move a total win-win.

Repurpose a patterned hammock

If you thought hammocks were only good for lounging in, then you’d be mistaken. Believe it or not, the eye-catching textile we spotted in photographer Mackenzie Schieck’s bedroom is actually a patterned hammock. By removing the rope from the hammock, she was then able to hang it from a curtain rod above her bed, using it a striking wall textile. What a smart, easy hack!

Hang a cool rug

The only thing that might be better than a fabulous rug on a floor is one that’s hanging on a wall. Think about it—a prized rug will definitely get more attention mounted in a prominent place as opposed to unrolled underfoot. Flaunt a favorite by suspending it from a hanging rod or attaching it to your wall with heavy-duty Velcro tape. Either way, it’ll be an unexpectedly artful display, just as is the case in Caroline and Jayden’s texture-filled Los Angeles abode above.

Mount an assortment of trinket trays

Looking for a chic way to show off a super sleek collection of trinket and catchall trays? Consider displaying them salon-style on an empty wall with hanging hooks, which is what was done in this eclectic Los Angeles home. You can also do this kind of thing with a collection of patterned dessert, salad, or dinner plates.

Hang curtains

Here’s another bright idea on filling a wall in an unconventional way from photographer Mackenzie Schieck: curtains! Using a wall-mounted curtain rod, she turned a curtain she loved into a large-scale art piece for her Seattle home. Considering the ample sizes and range of prices for decorative drapery panels, this could be a very budget-friendly solution for filling a wall.

Try floating planters

You can always count on floating planters to forge a unique wall display in no time. Follow in Jessica Sirls’ footsteps and install a row or two of wall-mounted planters above your bed so you can show off some leafy green houseplants instead of splurging on pricey artwork. If you are worried about hanging something on the heavy side over your head, you can try this in another spot or use a fabric cloth planter instead.

Make some mirror magic

Never underestimate the impact of a good wall mirror. Whether you hang an oversized mirror above your living room sofa or mount smaller ones gallery-style on an accent wall, as seen in Maureen’s Austin abode, mirrors are a goof-proof way to open up a small space while creating a sophisticated scene in your home.