modern living room with orange sofa and colorful gallery wall prints

Photo: istockphoto.com

An empty wall is like a blank canvas, and how it’s decorated tells a story. Items hung on a wall can ground a space, open it up, add vibrancy, create a clean look, and invite guests to admire and discuss. These inspiring ideas will work with just about any style, space, and budget, and will help you put your own personal stamp on your living space.

1. Create a Gallery Wall

Etsy wall decor ideas gallery wall with black and white images in light wooden frams

Photo: GateofDesign via Etsy

A gallery wall is a coordinated arrangement of multiple pieces of art that makes a big impression. For a luxurious-meets-laid-back look, put together a selection of carefully curated prints in neutral tones. Choose prints of varying sizes, and for a cohesive display, mount them in identical frames. Opt for high-quality wood frames with simple, clean lines.

2. Pile On Plants

iStock-1138552930 wall decor ideas Stylish wooden shelves with green plants and black watering can

Photo: istockphoto.com

Turn a wall into living art. This idea features stylish wooden shelves that provide a neutral backdrop that lets vibrant, green plants flourish and stand out. Play with either a uniform look using matching pots or a dynamic mix of clay, baskets, and ceramics. You could even go with wood containers for an all-around earthy feel.

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Planters

3. Incorporate a Tapestry

Mountain Art Wall Hanging, Large Hand Dyed Tapestry, Bohemian Macrame Wall Art

Photo: Telesutomomn via Etsy

Wall decor ideas can be as simple as a large, whimsical wall hanging. Fabric wall hangings bring texture, color, and a bohemian flair to a room, and they’re ideal for a space that could use some grounding energy, like a bedroom.

4. Accent a Wall in a Contrasting Color

iStock-686988626 Wall Decor Ideas living room with orange accent wall and art hanging on wall

Photo: istockphoto.com

Set one wall in a room off by painting it a color that contrasts with the other three. Choose a bold hue to make the room pop. You can up the contrast even more by displaying abstract art on the accent wall for a layered look.

5. Apply Temporary Wallpaper or Decals

Wayfair wall decor ideas mercury row peel and stick wallpaper in room with lamp and table

Photo: Wayfair

Another way to achieve an accent wall is with peel-and-stick wallpaper or decals. This option for wall decor ideas is especially useful for renters. Create a midcentury vibe with the Mercury Row Reliford peel and stick wallpaper, which features semicircles in black, white, orange, and green hues, or go for a more classic motif.

RELATED: How to Install Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

6. Create Dimension With Molding

Overstock wall decor ideas moulding_wall_decor

Photo: Overstock.com

Combine traditional and contemporary design by installing molding. This is a pretty doable DIY project for newbies, particularly if you use Orac Decor’s flexible panel molding. Made of a polyurethane blend and formed in steel molds, these crisp moldings look like plaster but are easily placed with standard woodworking tools.

7. Affix Bunches of Baskets

Etsy Wall Decor Ideas baskets hanging over bed with green spread

Photo: AeteraHomee via Etsy

Skip the typical framed artwork and instead decorate walls with an assortment of baskets. Amp up the visual interest and energy by choosing baskets of various sizes, patterns, and materials, including rattan, bamboo, sedge fiber, and jute. A bouquet of baskets will add a burst of color and texture to any space.

8. Mount a Mirror (or Several)

West Elm Wall Decor Ideas open-box-peruvian-wall-mirrors-white-gold-xl

Photo: West Elm

There’s no easier way to add luxury to a home than to decorate with mirrors. Mounting just one, or even several, opens up the space visually while making a sophisticated statement. Mirrors are available in a range of styles, from traditional rectangular mirrors with opulent gold frames to sharp-edged modern geometric designs. To make the most of natural lighting, hang mirrors opposite the windows.

9. Hang a Bicycle

Etsy Wall Decor Ideas Wooden Bike Rack with Flowers on Top doubling as bookshelf

Photo: BOTLAmsterdamShop via Etsy

Whether you choose to hang an antique bicycle as a statement piece or need to hang one that sees regular use, bicycles offer a playful way to decorate the walls. To display a bike on a wall, use a strong yet attractive hanger like this wooden bike shelf from Etsy seller BOTLAmsterdamShop. Not only does it securely hold a bicycle, but it provides a handy shelf for a vase or other decorative item as well as a cubby for keys, books, or other household necessities.

RELATED: 15 Clever Bicycle Storage Ideas for Any Space

10. Install Floating Shelves

Room and Board Wall Decor Ideas Floating Shelves in Living Room

Photo: Room and Board

Floating shelves offer a minimalist design that looks clean on the wall. The quiet, austere lines of a floating shelf let the decorative pieces placed on it take center stage.

11. Paint a Mural

iStock-1147067734 Wall Decor Ideas

Photo: istockphoto.com

Take an artistic approach to wall decor and put those creative skills to use with a mural. For a stunning, one-of-a-kind display, choose a theme for your artwork that will generate lively discussion every time guests walk into the room.

12. Display Your Hat Collection

iStock-1302252845 wall decor ideas Hanging straw hats on white wall

Photo: istockphoto.com

Why not let the most stylish hats in your closet dress up a wall in the bedroom? Simply hang hats on nails in an attractive mix of sizes, colors, and textures. As another option, select a few large, decorative hats and space them out in a line along the wall.

RELATED: 17 Things You Won’t Believe People Actually Collect

13. Hang a Wall Clock

Rejuvenation wall decor ideas mr-clarke-wall-clock-xl

Photo: Rejuvenation

Clocks are a classic and practical way to decorate a wall. Whatever your decor, there’s a size and style of wall clock out there to suit it, from early American to cheerful retro to sleekly modern.

14. Show Off Your Vinyl

Amazon wall decor ideas albums hanging on living room wall.jpg

Photo: Amazon.com

If you’re a music fan with a great LP collection, pull out some of your favorite album covers to display. Pick up a few album frames, hang a selection of covers near the record player, then swap out covers when you’re ready to freshen up the gallery. Your good taste in music (or lack thereof) will make for a great conversation starter when guests visit.

15. Frame Concert or Movie Posters

Etsy Wall Decor Movie Posters Hanging on living room wall

Photo: Studio Print Artist via Etsy

Like framed records, live concert posters give you the opportunity to express your style and interests while also livening up your walls. If you’re a movie buff, hang posters of your favorite films instead.

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Poster Frames

16. Map It Out

Etsy Wall Decor Ideas Map on a gray brick wall

Photo: VintageMapOutlet via Etsy

Maps are a great way to bring wonder to bare walls. Commemorate the city streets where you and your partner first met, or pay homage to your hometown. You can also hang a world map, and even go a bit further and mark all the places you’ve traveled to—or dream of visiting in the future.

17. Display Your Child’s Art

Pottery Barn Kids Wall Decor Idea gallery-art-display-frames-xl

Photo: Pottery Barn Kids

Let your children help deck the walls by assembling a gallery of their artwork. Whether they’re budding painters, illustrators, or photographers, give them a chance to exhibit their creativity—and curate their own displays as new pieces come home from school.

18. Hang a Huge Calendar

Etsy wall decor ideas wall calendar

Photo: Girl Friday Acrylics via Etsy

If you’re trying to get organized, think about hanging an oversized dry erase calendar to keep track of school events, parties, practice schedules, and upcoming meetings and appointments. It’s easy to add and erase your plans, and you can even leave messages for family members. This is a particularly useful solution for bare walls in kitchens and home offices.

19. Exhibit a Rug

Etsy wall decor ideas rug hanging from wall

Photo: Mumotoronto via Etsy

Who says a cool rug needs to stay on the floor? Whether covered in an abstract design, stripes, or just a fun pattern you love, rugs are a great way to add design and texture to a bare wall. Try a small rug over a mantel or above a shelf, or hang a larger one if you have a lot of wall space to play with.

RELATED: 14 Types of Rugs Every DIY Decorator Should Know

20. Acknowledge Your Ancestors

Gallery wall of old family photos over a black piano

Photo: Printique

Looking for photo wall ideas that go beyond hanging your kids’ school photos? Antique family photos are a wonderful way to make use of bare walls. Whether it’s an oversize portrait of a great-grandparent or a collection of smaller photos of distant relatives, raiding old family albums for vintage photos equals free decor—and fun conversation starters. Add some photos of current family members into the mix, too, to see if there’s any resemblance.

21. Light It Up

modern channel lighting on a bedroom wall and ceiling

Photo: Kichler

Wall sconces and lights are efficient ways of adding a little extra light without taking up floor or table space, and the fixtures themselves can be sources of eye-catching design. Whether you’re hoping to cast a warm glow over a room, looking for additional light for reading, or simply trying to brighten up a dark room, you’re sure to find a wall light in a style to suit your needs and decor.

22. Display Dishes

ballard designs wall decor ideas plates_on_wall_9

Photo: Ballard Designs

Your favorite dishes don’t have to languish in cabinets and cupboards. Bring them out of those dark recesses and arrange them on your bare walls. A few wire plate hangers in a variety of sizes should do the trick for displaying plates and platters. Serious teacup collectors may want to consider investing in a wall-mounted display shelf.

23. Faux Taxidermy

Wall sculpture of a dog head wearing a hat, pipe and glasses

Photo: Eslentaworld via Etsy

No animals need be harmed in your quest to demonstrate your love of wildlife—or a favorite dog breed. Outfit your bare walls with faux taxidermy animal heads, which can be crafted from wood, wicker, resin or fabric. Choose plush “trophies” for your child’s bedroom wall, or realistic-looking renditions for a library or living room.

RELATED: 13 Things That Bring Good Fortune to Your Home

24. Chalk It Up

iStock-838169100 wall decor ideas chalboard with drawings in family kitchen

Photo: istockphoto.com

A chalkboard is perfect for a wall in a child’s playroom or home office, or any empty wall space in the kitchen. Whether you buy an oversize chalkboard or cover a wall in chalkboard paint, a chalkboard can have both artistic and organizational benefits. It gives children a chance to be creative, and it’s also great for helping grownups post schedules, make lists, and keep track of messages.

25. Put Yourself on Display

Etsy Wall Decor Ideas Guitars hanging on walls

Photo: Skull Creek Designs via Etsy

Unique wall decor isn’t limited to paintings, drawings, and photographs. Add character to a bare wall by hanging an antique storefront sign that reminds you of your childhood, or display old grain or potato sacks. Bring a little visual interest to a room by mounting an antique ceiling medallion on a wall instead. If you have a favorite poem, write or print it out beautifully, then frame it for display. Let your walls convey your passions, your dreams, and your personal quirks.

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