A Dozen Creative Ideas For Decorating Blank Walls

When you have a big, blank wall to fill, your first thought may be a gallery wall. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it’s nice to break up all of that flat framed artwork with something different. Enter baskets, brackets, paint-dipped objects, wall sculptures, special paint effects and more. Check out these 12 ways to fill your walls with colour and creativity.

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1. Cluster colourful baskets.Why hang one or two baskets when you can hang a whole bunch? Collect decorative woven baskets in various sizes and colours, and play around with possible arrangements on the floor before hanging them. Can’t find colourful baskets? Create your own by painting the interior of plain baskets with craft paint.

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2. Layer giant letters.In this case two is definitely better than one — a pair of oversize letters, whether vintage or new, makes a big statement anywhere you put them. Slightly overlapping the letters creates an even stronger graphic statement than hanging them side by side.

3. Make a dip-painted wall sculpture.Yes, the piece shown here was created by an artist — but that doesn’t mean you can’t craft your own spin on it. Try dip-paining an old farm implement or wood-handled cooking tools in brightly coloured paint to give them a modern twist, then hang them on the wall.

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4. Tape off a graphic statement wall.Paint a base colour on your wall, then tape off sections (these will show through later) and paint the next coat in a contrasting hue. Vary the width of your taped-off stripes to create a random look similar to what is shown here. Hang pictures or just let the wall be a statement on its own.

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5. Use wall brackets to bring dimension to your art.Instead of just hanging art directly on the wall, why not try propping it up on decorative wall brackets? It would boost visual interest, and you can change things around whenever you feel like it — framed prints one day, bud vases the next.

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6. Hang your hats.Don’t let cool hats hide behind closed doors — show off your fedoras, trilbies, cloches and skimmers on hooks on the wall for a functional display. Unless you are going for a dorm room — bachelor pad vibe, I would avoid hanging baseball caps. No hats? Try the same thing with your statement necklaces for a similar effect.

7. Add oomph with framed paper. Lengths of wallpaper framed with basic wooden wall moulding beef up the headboards of a pair of four-posters in this bedroom. A gorgeous F. Schumacher paper was used here, but you could frame a really pretty gift wrap for a budget take on this look.

8. Track down a vintage sign. A massive vintage store sign, like this one that hangs in the Parker Palm Springs Hotel, is sure to become the focal point of the room — so choose one you really love.

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9. Go subtly sophisticated with wainscot paneling.Create architectural interest on a plain wall by using 4- to 6-inch-wide pieces of
MDFwainscot paneling applied in a grid pattern, then paint it all a superrich, dark hue.

10. Stick a message on the wall.Yes, I said
stick, not paint: This crafty renter used a projector to display the message across a door and wall, so she could trace it onto black contact paper. The contact paper can be peeled off, so this is a perfect project for renters … or if you want to test out an idea before committing to it with paint.

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11. Go retro with a metal wall sculpture.We can thank Jonathan Adler for creating a new wave of popularity for the midcentury metal wall sculptures of
C. Jere— these cool retro pieces make frequent appearances in Adler-designed spaces, and he has reissued several C. Jere designs, so it is now much easier to find them. Here interior designer Soledad Alzaga used a linen-covered canvas to frame the wall sculpture, giving it even more depth.

Don’t want to spend the bucks on a C. Jere original? There were many other makers of metal wall sculptures who produced work in a similar style during the same time period. Try using a phrase like “vintage metal wall sculpture” in your web search and you should be able to track down plenty of options at all price points.

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12. Hang something with an interesting pattern. Keep an open mind and you can find unique wall hangings just about anywhere: metal sheets used to cover radiators, garden fencing, punched tin doors, woven screens, baskets … the list is endless. Check your own garage, attic and storage shed, and keep an eye out for curbside freebies — you never know what you may find!

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