There’s a lot of pressure when you’re faced with a completely blank wall in your home. You know you want to give it your personal touch, but maybe you’re stumped on how to do so. Don’t stress too much. Choosing your wall décor should be a creative and fun process. Here are a few tips on how to approach it:
Begin with something you love. Sounds pretty obvious, but the point here is to give yourself some kind of starting point. Perhaps it’s a color (that you plan to paint the wall) or a throw pillow that you love. Maybe it’s a theme or guiding vibe you’re going for. Whatever it is, begin there and let your mind wander. That anchor—color, theme, or other—can establish the tie that binds your wall and other décor and really brings the room together from a visual standpoint.
Consider the room as a whole. How many walls are available for décor in the room? What else are you competing with on other walls (e.g. windows? A fireplace?) The answers to these questions might give you some guidance in terms of the size and “boldness” of the wall décor you choose. In a family room with a flat screen television and built-in shelving on one wall and a fireplace and mantel on another, perhaps you don’t want the one open wall to dominate with its décor. A collection of framed family photos clustered together might fit the space better than a huge piece of artwork.
It’s not just about art prints. Art prints are an obvious choice for decorating walls, and you have endless choices in terms of mediums, periods, and styles. However, there are plenty of other options if you want to branch out a bit from framed art prints or canvas art (replicas of famous paintings or drawings or original artwork). Consider framed photography (your family or professional photography), lighting (like wall sconces), mirrors, textured wallpaper, shiplap or beadboard, murals, and simple, wooden art for something different.
Buy the right size. Wall art and décor gives a home personality, but it’s very easy to buy the wrong size for your space or try to make a piece of a certain size fit in the wrong place. Not only does this look odd, but it can detract from the beauty of the piece you’re hanging. A general rule of thumb is that artwork should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of a wall if you’re going for a larger statement piece. If hanging over furniture or a mantel, make it around three-fourths of the width and with 6 to 12 inches of space from the top of the piece to the ceiling.
When you can’t decide on one, go with many. If you have a wall that feels like it needs more than one large painting or picture, go with several: a gallery wall. Gallery walls are perfect for wide hallways, but they work well just about anywhere. Group art of different sizes and orientations. Mix and match mediums—like photography, paintings, and mirrors. If you’re struggling with how to start, there are lots of free, downloadable gallery wall templates to give you some ideas.
As you can see, there are no hard-and-fast rules with selecting wall décor. It’s your home, so whatever you hang should reflect—and inspire—you. Also, your tastes will most certainly change over time, as will trends! Move your wall décor around. Try something to see if it enhances a room’s ambiance—a plate collection in the dining room or a group of favorite clocks in the den, for example—and then change it up when you feel like it. Embrace different colors of wall paint as a way to make your wall décor take on a totally new feel. Enjoy the process and have some fun!