If you’re staring face-to-face with a blank wall, you know that deciding how to fill that stark space is no easy task. Think of all that undecorated surface area as a vertical blank canvas, providing you with ample opportunity to express yourself in endless ways. No matter your style, wall art makes a statement that has the power to bring your entire room to life. Best of all, you probably already have almost everything you need for DIY wall decor at your fingertips.
Take your book collection to the walls with floating shelves. Not only will you have more storage, but your favorite books are now part of your decor. Unique sculptural bookends will add visual interest and keep your reading material in place. If you have books with particularly beautiful covers that you wouldn’t mind showing off, rows of inexpensive spice racks can double up as forward-facing bookshelves.
Instead of simply hanging decorations on your walls, consider dressing up the walls themselves to create a bold focal point. An eye-catching color on one wall usually does the trick in an otherwise neutral space, but stylish and on-trend wallpaper makes even more of a statement. Choose the peel-and-stick variety for easy application and removal, as your tastes change and trends come and go over time.
Do you have a bunch of beautiful prints, sentimental photographs, and striking wall sculptures you love, but are not sure what to do with? A gallery wall allows you to work them into an elegant ensemble. Opt either for coordinating frames to tie mismatched pieces together, or deliberately mix it up for a carefree look. There are no rules, so play around with your pieces until you find a configuration you like.
Textiles add warmth and texture to stark walls and softness to any space. A tea towel you bought as a souvenir on vacation can double up as a one-of-a-kind fabric wall hanging. Breathe new life into pretty vintage scarves by displaying them in minimalist white frames. You also buy a length of fabric on Spoonflower or Etsy to hang as a modern tapestry. Even macrame is having a moment in ultra-minimalist spaces right now. The options are truly limitless.
If you've been blessed with artistic talents, consider using your gifts to add a uniquely personal touch to your space by painting a mural on one of your walls in lieu of framed artwork. Hand-painted murals look particularly eye-popping along stairwells and around fireplaces. If you’re like most people and aren't quite brave enough to decorate your own walls by hand, stenciling is a great alternative.
Commitment-phobes and renters alike might prefer removable decals that can be applied and removed without damaging surfaces. The more sophisticated ones go on seamlessly and can easily pass for hand-painted art.
Feeling guilty about keeping Grandma’s good china tucked away in a dusty cardboard box in the attic? Hanging it on the wall is a fresh way to let it see the light of day once more. You can find inexpensive wire plate hangers at the hardware store. Alternately, line them up along the mantle or on floating shelves, making sure you secure them in place with blue tack or museum putty.
No china on hand? Head to the thrift store or scour yard sales for an eclectic mishmash of dishware in various shapes and sizes.
Two coats of whiteboard or chalkboard paint can instantly transform any blank wall into a vertical canvas for notes, messages, drawings and more. The good news is, you’re no longer limited to just black or white these days. Chalkboard and whiteboard paint can be found in an endless variety of eye-popping colors, from turquoise to tomato red. If you're looking for something a little less permanent, an old-fashioned framed chalkboard adds a rustic accent to any unused wall space.
A map adds both personality and old-world charm to a blank wall in an instant. Choose a map of your favorite country or city, your hometown or home state, or the whole world. Travelers might want to personalize their maps by sticking pins in places they’ve visited, or plan to visit one day. For nostalgic vibes, consider an old school pull-down map that’ll take you right back to geography class. Make sure you go as large as possible for maximum impact.
Don’t hide your hobbies away at the end of the day—keep them on display! Set up a sleek wall-mounting system for your guitars, bikes, skis, postcard collection—or whatever else you’re into—and make it part of your decor. Not only will you free up more floor space and keep your hobbies easily accessible, but your walls will reflect who you are. Talk about putting the “fun” in functional!
If you’re looking for a way to literally bring your walls to life, consider bringing the outdoors indoors with a green or living wall. Wall-mounted vertical planters are a great way to display indoor plants and purify the air without cluttering up precious windowsill space. To keep your living wall thriving, make sure the room has plenty of windows, and choose hardy plants that can tolerate low light conditions.