53 Wall Decor Ideas for Boosting Blah Spaces
Sometimes a blank wall can add visual balance to a busy room; and sometimes a blank wall is a décor missed opportunity. After all, a bare wall can serve as a the perfect canvas for telling your life stories, revealing something about who you are.
So how do you get started filling that canvas? Even with the best neutral or white paint colors, a blank wall can be intimidating. Thankfully, there’s no shortage from people who have handily solved this decorating challenge. An open mind helps. Remember, while posters, pictures, and artwork are great options, wall décor can go far beyond your basic gallery wall.
You don’t have to limit yourself to store-bought pieces, either. You can utilize textured fabric wall hangings or even paint on your own accent wall mural and skip hanging things altogether. The following ideas will help you take your boring, bare walls and turn them into charming galleries, pretty collections, and statement-making accents in your living room, above your bed and more.
1. String up some lights.
2. Go big with minimalist art.
Sometimes, less is more. That’s what we love about this Scandi-inspired Texas living room, which features just one oversized piece of art that pops against a black background.
3. Hang up your favorite sporting equipment.
This powder room in this Australian home manages to look both funky and upscale at the same time, incorporating vintage tennis rackets hung in a row on the wall.
4. Use room-specific art.
You don’t have to choose art that’s quite as tongue-in-cheek as this Ohio bathroom, but art that speaks to the particular room it’s hung in is always a fun option for wall decor.
5. Hang a rug.
Yes, rugs can go on walls too. This West Elm rug takes up almost a whole blank wall when hung like a tapestry. Problem solved.
6. Install a cork wall.
The bar-area wall in this London flat has been covered completely in cork to act as a bulletin board. You can do the same in your home and decorate it with anything that inspires you.
7. Create a gallery wall that spans the whole space.
These unique frames and décor elements cover an entire living room wall for a space that looks fully finished.
8. DIY a photo collage wall.
This memory wall is affordable to recreate and allows you to showcase all of your loved ones. Just print your photos and hang them in a tidy rectangle using thumbtacks.
9. More is more.
Between the picture wall and maximalist bookshelf, this room’s walls are covered.
10. Install all the shelving.
This living room has all the shelves. The hexagonal shaves add a unique touch while the open shelving offers a home for even more décor.
11. Go for an XXL shelving system.
This Buenos Aires dining room has a shelving system that covers almost an entire wall, offering plenty of room for décor accents.
12. Try a contrasting gallery wall.
For walls that already have some personality and color, choose items and frames that will pop against that backdrop, as is the case in this Philadelphia home. Black paint is the perfect background for incorporating things like neon colors and white frames.
13. Embrace macramé.
Macramé is back, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. This artsy craft form infuses plenty of texture and handmade charm into a space, whether you choose to incorporate a plant hanger or a wall hanging, like the one above the bed in this Los Angeles home.
14. Try temporary wallpaper.
There’s no better way to spice up a room in less than a few hours than temporary wallpaper. This New Jersey home shows how a mix of patterns and colors against a graphic but very neutral wallpaper can instantly make a room pop.
15. Mix and match.
Gallery walls aren’t limited to framed photos and prints. These Chicago homeowners used a pennant, fabric hangings, tassels, and other ephemera in the sweet, small composition on their pink living room wall. They even used a beaded curtain and twinkle lights to create a funky, fun backdrop for their television.
16. Pile on all the textures.
Dressing up your walls with items that coordinate with the rest of the decor in your room is a fool-proof way to embrace maximalism, as seen in this Virginia home. Colors and patterns found in wall art can play nicely off of things like throw pillows and rugs.
17. Hang potted wall plants.
18. Hang up your hat(s).
Storage hooks aren’t just for hanging umbrellas (or guitars, as seen above). A handful of wall hooks — self-adhesive hooks work great for renters—can turn an empty wall into a sophisticated way to store your hats, just like this wall of hats in the studio of textile artist Jane Denton on SF Girl by Bay.
19. Try mixed media wall art.
A mix of prints and sculptural wood pieces stand out against mint green paint in this colorful Florida home. The addition of a lamp, basket, and potted plant help to play up the bright hues in the artwork even more.
20. Hang picture ledges.
Searching for a stylish way to store (and show off) some of your most treasured objects? Pictures ledges are surprisingly affordable and instantly turn your beloved baubles (like this wall of cameras on Alt for Damerne) into works of art.
21. Install crates for days.
For as simple as they are, wooden crates can form an insanely chic wall display. Case in point: this wall of wooden storage crates in a Connecticut coffee shop featured on West Elm’s blog (which is no longer active), which offers plenty of storage opportunity (but still looks just as good when empty).
22. Try a calendar wall.
23. Make a statement ceiling.
While this is a post about wall decor, we implore you not to forget your ceiling and consider it an additional surface you can decorate. Oft overlooked but still oozing with design potential, statement ceilings are a stylish way to turn a ceiling into a room’s centerpiece. Fashion your own with paint or wallpaper (like we saw in this house tour in Limerick, Ireland) and make a big interior statement with your ceiling.
24. Hang one or more mirrors.
Minimalists and those occupying smaller spaces will appreciate how much a mirror can add to a bare wall, as exemplified in this pretty New York apartment. Mirrors really open up a room by creating the illusion of extra space—and add a nice shape to your walls while they’re at it.
25. Hand-paint a mural.
If the thought of smoothing out air bubbles from wallpaper makes you cringe, this fun Kentucky home provides the perfect example of how to stylishly avoid that: Paint a wall mural. Whether abstract or pictorial, murals are equally as gorgeous as any wallpaper and will give you plenty of creative freedom to decide what colors and shapes you want on your walls.
26. Map it out.
An oversize vintage map, like this one from Helen’s home tour, fills an oddly shaped wall with color and character in no time.
27. Put a mural on it.
28. Score some storage.
No room in your tiny kitchen to store all your pots and pans? Turn a sliver of a wall into a streamlined storage display with a few hanging rails, like these copper ones from Zan’s home tour.
29. Try a vertical garden.
Turn an empty wall into a full-blown vertical garden with this leather-and-wood trellis DIY courtesy of Vintage Revivals.
30. Consider a wall sconce.
Wall sconces are a fashionable way to brighten up a light-deprived area of your home. Mount a pair on either side of your bed in place of bulky table lamps, or employ a single swanky sconce (like this hanging one from a home tour of an airy home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles) for a sleek but functional reading light.
31. Go for faux brick.
Love the look of exposed brick but stuck working with drywall? Brick-inspired wallpaper, like we saw in Hetty’s home tour, is all over the web and looks just as good as the real deal.
32. Build a gallery wall.
A salon-style art display, like this eclectic gallery wall from a personality-filled Washington, DC home tour, is a space-savvy way to bring some color into your living room and instantly livens up a white room without overwhelming the rest of space.
33. Decorate your walls with plants.
You can work plants into your walls in unique ways with pocket, shelves, and wall-mount planters, as seen in this boho apartment. Wall planters are perfectly fine on their own, but feel free to jazz up your setup with items like frames and lights.
34. Go for bold and beautiful artwork.
Who needs a whole gallery wall when you can focus on just one big colorful work of art? A bold abstract piece, like this one we spotted on Style Curator, infuses a white wall with more than enough color and character.
35. Push the boundaries on how we do a gallery wall.
Gallery walls do not have to be a small collection of framed prints. Oh no, they can go far outside the box, like in this star’s Los Angeles home. Hang artwork from floor to ceiling, and incorporate unique pieces like wooden sculptures and vintage found objects.
36. Look to wall baskets.
Who knew wall baskets (you know, the hand-woven kind your grandmother used to buy at garage sales) could make such charming wall decor in modern-day interiors? Clearly Lita Lee and Mike Martin, who on their Apartment Therapy home tour showed us that a salon-style installation of wall baskets can look every bit as chic as traditional artwork.
37. Brighten the corners.
38. Pick a cool pair.
39. Make an entrance.
40. Black-and-white is always nice.
41. Pegboards, please.
42. Rethink your floor coverings.
This one is a bit unconventional, but smaller rugs (especially some that are vintage and maybe too delicate for floors) are a marvelous way to bring a large-scale focal point to a room. Here, in a bedroom by Emily Henderson, a rougher-textured round sisal rug totally works in contrast with the bright, clear colors surrounding it.
43. Go all natural.
A single tree branch, like this we saw on My Scandinavian Home, brings a touch of drama to a frameless bed without compromising the space’s Scandi-style scheme.
44. Try a style that’s simple but sophisticated.
45. Make a mini-nook.
Turn an awkward wall into a cozy nook by fashioning a small mood board above a comfy place to sit, like this pretty pink niche we spotted on SF Girl by Bay.
46. Go beyond a headboard.
47. Get creative with wall decals.
While you might not have looked at a wall decal since you were a child (anyone else remember those glow-in-the-dark stars?), they’ve come a long way. This Chicago apartment shows that things like washi tape and wall decals can actually look rather sleek and sophisticated if done right.
48. Wallpaper a wall niche.
Those odd divots or cut outs in your wall may not serve much of a purpose, but with a little wallpaper magic you can turn it into an accent wall. As seen in this Brooklyn apartment, a layer of wallpaper quickly turned an awkward area into an eye-catching part of the room.
49. Contrasting colors never fail.
A San Francisco apartment’s walls are a maximalist’s dream thanks to wild wallpaper and unique frames and objects. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to hanging up art and consider replacing a plain background with something a little more edgy.
50. Go for a mirror image.
Matchy-matchy decor can be a gorgeous way to decorate walls, and this Austin home’s take on it is especially unique. With two fairly similar frames opposite one another and identical chairs around the table, the space almost feels reflective, like a mirror.
51. Tie in like colors.
Even if your decor is different, a similar color palette can pull it all together, as exemplified by this country home. Here, a bright coral canvas, mirror frame, and wallpaper all fit well together because of their hue despite them being completely different styles.
52. Minimal can be bold.
While it can be fun to go all out with funky wall decor, this San Francisco apartment shows that less often is more. If you consider yourself to lean more towards minimalism, all it takes is one large statement piece of artwork to hugely influence the room.
53. Try the unfinished look.
Additional reporting by Carolin Lehmann