15 Ways to Decorate a Blank Wall that Aren’t Paintings or Posters

Much like a blank sheet of paper when it’s time to write, a blank wall can be an intimidating thing to tackle when it comes to decorating a room. And, unless you’re working with an uber-modern, minimalist style of interior decor, a big expanse of plan wall can make a room feel cold or even unfinished. Breaking out the paint and making it an accent wall is always an option but it still needs something more — another layer of decor. The most common way to fill in wall space is with a painting or poster, but there are other ways to decorate a blank wall that are far more novel and interesting. Take a look at these 15 ways to transform a blank wall into a design feature.

Add Greenery

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There are plenty of reasons to add greenery to a room that range from better air quality to an improved mood, and now the choices are not limited to standard potted plants. As designers start to incorporate more natural green elements into decor, options like these modular wall plaques are expanding the possibilities. These ceramic elements by Pandemic Design Studio can be mixed, matched or used singly in any room of the home, including the bathroom. Each piece can be traditionally hung or attached to tile surfaces with velcro hangers. Whether you opt to go for an entire green wall installation or just a modest plant display, greenery has become a great wall decor option

Try a Statement Cabinet

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A statement cabinet is a fabulous way to make an expanse of blank wall more interesting, plus it adds storage to a space. This beautiful Tambour Bar cabinet from the Christina Grajales Gallery was crafted by Aaron Poritz from maple and leather. The magnificent wood grain on the exterior is a highlight and the enclosed bar adds functionality for entertaining without cluttering up the room, which is key if the space is of modest size. Of course, the cabinet does not have to be a bar and any type of tall piece for storing belongings will work.

Hang a Sculptural Mirror

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Granted, hanging a mirror on the wall is certainly nothing new, but going beyond the typical rounds, ovals and rectangles transforms the piece from just a mirror to an artful piece of wall decor. This mirror from the Tribute Collection by Mark Oliver is a great example. It can be hung over a console or credenza in more traditional styling but is bold enough to be a solo piece of art on a wall. Designers are creating mirrors of all statement mirrors of all styles so it’s possible to find something unique that fits any room’s decor.

Upgrade the Fireplace

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A fireplace is naturally the focal point in living room, but that vibe can be emphasized by upgrading the fireplace to something a little more out of the ordinary. In this case, the fireplace is a custom creation from design and build studio Chapter & Verse located in Brooklyn. The angular surround was then enhanced with an abstract design by artist Yolande Batteau from the Callidus Guild. This is a modern style of fireplace, but more traditional surrounds can also be upgraded with unexpected colors and designs.

Highlight a Collection

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A blank wall is a fabulous opportunity to highlight a collection, no matter what it is.  Here, a set of Campbell’s Grenades by artist Mr. Debonair is displayed in a focal arrangement but you can highlight literally anything on the wall: Plates, framed scarves, antique drawings, sports memorabilia, etc. Take whatever you like to collect and plan an arrangement that features the items in an artful display. If you have more than can fit on the wall that’s great because you can periodically swap out some of the elements to change up the decor.

Install Floating Shelves

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Thinking beyond the linear options for floating shelves is another great way to fill up a bank wall. This is also another way to add a little storage or display space to a room. The Wave Shelf by Tortuga Living of Brooklyn is more than just a shelf thanks to its unique design and ability to be installed with the wave facing up or down. The main body of the wood shelf is formed from round dowels, which also lends an airier and more artful appearance.

Put up a Wall Hanging, Tapestry or Rug

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Rug designs have become artful creations that offer possibilities of all styles and go far beyond oriental styles. Sure, you can have these on the floor but today’s rugs are so beautiful they can also be hung on the wall. This Madama Butterfly rug from Illulian is an artful design, but all types of rugs can be hung on the wall. If your style trends more toward the natural and neutral, lots of hand-loomed options are available that have a more casual vibe.  Also, wall hangings and tapestries can be used because they all have texture and color that will immediately liven up a blank space.

Showcase Antiques

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Hunting for great antiques is a passion for many people and if you’re one of them, then use your finds to style a blank wall. This stunning table and lights are rare pieces from Modernity Gallery, however, you can still use antiques to jazz up a blank wall even if you can’t afford important historical pieces. Find a way to feature the pieces that you have and love and this way, you’ll be able to enjoy them daily as will family and guests. Have smaller pieces?  Not a problem: Create a way to use them with a larger piece that may or may not be an antique, or display them as a collection or wall art.

Add a Wall Sculpture

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Mention wall art and most people thing about paintings, drawings and posters, but wall sculptures can add more than just color and interest to a wall. Because they are three-dimensional, wall sculptures add depth and dimension to the large, flat expanse. In fact, a large swath of blank wall is ideal for showcasing a wall sculpture because there is so much going on visually in a single work. If you have a smaller wall, then choose a work of a more modest size because proportion is important. This wall sculpture is by El Anatsui.

Prop a Ladder

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Not partial to art or lots of color?  Try propping a ladder — or three — against the wall. This is ideal in a rustic room with a very natural vibe. They don’t have to be tall but if using more than one it’s important to vary the size and height for interest.  Ladders are also a great option if you want to feature some soft textiles because they can be displayed on the ladder rungs. Ladders are also a good choice if you’re not entirely sure what you want to do with a wall because they are portable and can always be moved to another location. These ladders are featured at Hudson Home.

Cover the Wall With Texture

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For a big dose of drama, cover a blank wall with a textured material. There are countless options for doing this that range from sculpted tiles, metal wall panels, wooden planks, acoustic fabric panels — more types of materials than you can imagine. Go as glitzy, rustic or modern as you want and the wall will not require any other embellishment. Covering a wall in texture also immediately transforms it into a can’t-miss-it focal point.

Use a Natural Element for Decor

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Upgrading the design of the wall does not always have to be big-ticket project, especially if natural materials are the focus. Unique branches or other outdoor elements can be installed as wall decor.  There are plenty of ways to do this, and this wall system from Artefact Curator is one. The company’s unique and attractive wall mounts let you easily display branches, vessels, and other 3D elements on the wall. This is another way to add natural elements to decor if you don’t a green thumb or desire to care for green plants.

Try a Room Divider

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Room dividers have typically been used for just that: dividing a space. They are actually far more valuable elements of decor with great impact and versatility. One of the ways you might not have considered using them is to cover a blank wall. This room arrangement by Galerie BSL shows how a room divider can be an artful and dramatic backdrop that immediately takes care of the blank wall. This divider is the Dynamic Landscape by François Mascarello.

Install a Wall of Curtains

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Another dramatic way to transform a blank wall is with a full wall of curtains. This works well behind furniture and is great for masking a large wall that might be unsightly for any reason. In fact, this technique can also transform a wall that has an ill-placed small window or a window that faces a neighbor. If it’s a window you’ll never want to look out of, then covering it with a wall of curtains can be a dramatic improvement.  Of course, you can up the drama even more if you extend the curtains up the ceiling as this nursery does.

Opt for Bold Wallpaper

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Wallpaper has gone big and bold with all kinds of dramatic graphic and print choices. And, it doesn’t matter if the space is large or small, the scaled-up designs of today’s wallpapers are ideal for both, with all the old “rules” going by the wayside. In fact, you can pair a graphic with an existing tile pattern in a bathroom for a more up-to-date look. Big florals and wall murals are also options for punching up the look of a blank wall, even in a smaller bathroom like this one.