Empty walls in a new home can feel intimidating, but in reality, they're an opportunity for design. When you think of each blank wall as a canvas to express your style, suddenly each room opens up a world of possibilities. If you're leaning toward the maximalist side, you may find inspiration in completely-covered walls that burst with personality. Minimalists, on the other hand, often opt for smaller pieces or neutral color palettes that make a space feel clean and fresh. No matter your personal preferences, there's a type of décor for everyone—from designer wallpaper to large artwork, mirrors, woven hanging pieces, gallery walls, and more.
Read on for inspiration and wall decorating tips from the best, with designer ideas for every taste.
Reflect Through Large Mirrors
For an alternative to paintings, consider hanging a large mirror to create an interesting look that can completely change the appearance of a room. A single mirror can do wonders when it comes to making a small space feel larger, while multiple, smaller pieces arranged together can create an eye-catching effect. In this living room, an oversized round mirror framed in black complements the darker tones in the space to balance bold colors.
Get Artsy With Murals
For something that will truly command a room, opt for a patterned mural. Although this piece is large in scale, the soft pink patterns in muted tones don't overpower the rest of the bedroom. Blending neutral, extra-warm tones throughout the space makes the mural the focal point, while plenty of different textures create a maximalist vibe.
Go Bold With Large Artwork
Large artwork is the classic design trick for livening up bare spaces, and this piece is no exception. With neutral colors, the painting contrasts bold, dark hues on the cabinetry and lightens up the space. Paired with a natural wood bench and patterned curtains, the oversized art warms a cool-toned design while adding a statement to the corner of the room.
Keep it Minimal
Hanging one singular piece of art is a surefire way to make a statement (and a lasting impression on guests). For example, a minimal abstract painting with simplistic white, black, and gray tones complements this gray dining room by matching the feel of the décor. Small black accents throughout the room tie the space together, like a patterned vase, metal pendant light, wall sconce, and dark door frame.
Wallpaper Your Space
To decorate an entire wall, there are a variety of easy-to-use wallpaper options that even new DIY fans can embrace. Opt for a peel-and-stick option for rental spaces that are easy to remove, or go bold in your home with permanent designs meant to last for years to come. In this bedroom, the wallpaper is the star of the show, but a matching side table lamp and brightly-patterned bedding carry the patterns throughout the room. Minimal décor complements the wallpaper without overwhelming the space.
Glow in Neon
For a glowing statement, customize a neon wall sign or find a vintage piece that reflects your style. This piece is minimal while creating a maximal visual effect, with soft blue hues that shine along the wall. Paired with a darker blue couch, this room has a range of the hue with complementary colors styled in its décor. A polished glass table reflects the neon tones, adding a dynamic visual element that mirrors the focal point above.
Go Boho With Macrame
For a softer look, this macrame wall hanging gives the warm appearance of a handmade piece. Fringe and woven materials can fit into any bohemian space, but can also work in contrast to more traditional design styles. In this hallway, the simple macrame design is woven in a neutral color that blends into the walls of the room behind it, and a trio of monochromatic hats on wall hooks add a minimalist flair with a pop of color.
Keep it Monochromatic
To keep things looking sleek, consider a statement wall with two contrasting colors. Black shiplap installed along the fireplace wall adds plenty of texture, only superseded by a painting with a two-tone style. Warmer colors throughout the room keep the space from feeling too modern, while accents along the shelving add depth to the feature wall.
For a modern look, paint your fireplace trim the same color as the walls around it to blend the space together while highlighting texture.
Hang a Textured Rug
Allow the eclectic curator in you to get creative by hanging a unique piece of wall décor. This wall art wasn't intended to be displayed on the wall, but the creative use of a woven rug hanging above the plush bed brings warmth to a minimalist room with all-white walls. Unconventional items can stand out when styled on the wall—even if that might not be their intended purpose—with a bit of confidence and a taste for DIY.
Install Bold Shelving
One of the best ways to liven up a simple space is to install boldly-colored shelving inside a bare wall. In this living room, wooden ceiling beams on a black background create a striped effect, while a modern pendant light brings attention to the center of the room. Dark wall shelves add depth and vibrance with plenty of colors in their décor, paired with black chairs and colorful throw pillows to extend the vibe throughout the space.
Frame a Gallery
If one piece of statement art just doesn't do it for you, why not give the eternally-popular gallery wall a try? It's a great way to display a unique collection of artwork (and an excuse to evolve your artistic finds). Choose pieces of varying sizes with different frames and colors to evoke a maximalist vibe, or hang neutrally-colored artwork in similar frames to keep the space feeling natural.
When installing gallery walls, use a large sheet of butcher paper to organize your pieces just right. Trace where you want the frames to hang, then tape the paper on the wall to place nails in the correct spots.
Choose Unique Pieces
If your tastes are far from traditional, turn your attention to this multi-faceted mirror with a glamorous flair. Place it on the wall in a spot that allows for natural light to bounce off its many angles, which makes the room feel bigger in addition to brightening the space. Pair framed mirrors with other design elements in similar colors, like this gold-plated mirror styled next to a textured gold set of shelves.
The upper wall of a fireplace is usually staged with large artwork or mirrors, but we love this designer's approach: Mounted lighting. While there are infinite possibilities when it comes to installing lighting directly on your walls, keeping to the traditional style adds a classic element with a modern touch. These sconces are matched with a minimalist black picture frame and a black tiled fireplace to carry the accent color down the wall.
Build a Plant Wall
Plant parents, rejoice: There's a way to display your beauties without taking up every surface space in your home. Get creative by building a plant wall, either in one large planter like this design or by styling trailing plants along shelving. Another simple trick for plant walls is to display plant hangers at varying heights along the same wall—the more, the merrier.
Tile it Up
While tile is usually reserved for flooring, kitchens, and bathrooms, this designer took it a step further by extending the pattern to the dining room. If your walls are feeling particularly bare, a simple patterned tile can add texture to the space while keeping things sleek. Plus, in a dining room where plenty of different dishes make their way to the side counter, who could resist this easy clean-up solution?
Stick to Shapes
Basic shapes can create an interesting visual element when styled in patterns. This side-by-side artwork duo uses perhaps the simplest shape of all—the circle—in a repetitive design of varying colors. Décor in the room around the framed artwork brings out its accent colors, with warm hues and neutral tones that extend the softness of the wall art while adding a hint of color.
Hang a Curtain Wall
Curtain walls are becoming an increasingly-popular design trend, and for good reason. This simple-but-chic style adds texture to an entire wall (or room, in this case) while keeping the setup simple. These white curtains are styled with light pinks throughout the space for a warm, inviting touch, and complementary blue hues add dimension without overwhelming the room.
Make it Colorful
Who can resist a colorful abstract painting? Not us—and especially not in this room. Styled with a bright blue chair and minimal bold accents, this painting quickly becomes the focal point for all who enter. Framed on a white shiplap wall, this corner has plenty of texture while straying from maximalism with an abundance neutral tones.
Display Favorite Finds
If you've got a collection of your favorite design finds, style a couple of complementary elements on a bare wall as a statement piece. This room keeps things natural with woven textures and soft colors, creating the perfect backdrop for these hanging pendant décor pieces. Designed with white curtains and a storage basket, this corner feels as inviting as it does warm—and we could curl up with a good book here all afternoon.
Build in Texture
If you're looking to get the most out of your wall space, consider adding texture to the entire surface: Like in this living room bursting with personality and minimalism all the same. Shiplap adds a simple pattern to the walls, while warmer accents come out in the contrasting rustic wood shelving. Warm hardwood floors and simple décor bring plenty of personality to the space, while a simple two-toned painting brings a pop of color to the neutral background.