They say eyes are windows to the soul—and that walls are windows to an individual’s personal style. Okay, maybe no one actually says that second bit, but that doesn’t make it any less true. The walls of our homes are life-size canvases ripe for displaying the things that bring us joy. Family photos, original art pieces, sentimental objects … there’s almost nothing that’s not fair game.
To kickstart your design journey, we’ve rounded up 31 unique and creative wall decor ideas. Whether you’ve just moved or are itching to redecorate, there’s more than one option here to suit your needs.
Paint a Freehand Design
Wallpaper isn’t the only way to do an accent wall! If you’ve got an afternoon, a steady hand, and a vision, a freehand painted design can be a low-cost, high-impact way to add organic style to a room. The more straight-forward you keep the pattern, the less you’ll have to worry about making mistakes. But if you do “mess up,” don’t worry too much—inconsistency is part of the charm.
Show Off Your Shoe Collection
Hey, shoe fiends: you don’t have to be a pro athlete to put your kicks on full display. Rather than keeping your shoes all in their boxes, why not use them to lend a little color and texture to a bedroom or closet wall? Pro tip: select a shelf that blends with the wall color to let the many hues of your shoes shine.
Put Family Photos Front and Center
What is a home if not the place to collect memories? Track your favorite moments throughout the years with a gallery wall of the highlights. Opting for either black and white prints or coordinating frames will help bring consistency to the variety of images.
Go All In On One Art Piece
Showcase a piece that brings you happiness in a high-traffic area of your home, such as the foyer. For a more casual, contemporary spin on hanging a single, larger piece of art, ditch the frame and situate it lower than expected—perhaps over a bench—so that eye level hits the middle of the canvas.
Hang Up Your Hats
Wall decor that can do double-duty as storage is a smart decision for any small space. If your closet shelves don’t have enough space for hat boxes, consider creating a display of your favorite headgear nearby. They’ll be easy to grab on your way out the door and a wonderful daily reminder of your willingness to have fun with fashion.
Choose Unique Shelves
What you use to hold decor can also serve as decor itself! For a playful look that also adds dimension, forget straight lines and place small plants and mementos on shelving in unique shapes such as teardrops and triangles.
Commission an Original Installation
A freeform, three-dimensional art installation can bring a museum or gallery-like quality to a room or hallway, particularly if it has vast expanses of wall space. It’s also an excellent opportunity to commission work from and support a local artist.
Round Up Vintage Maps
Search thrift shops and antique malls for maps with patina, and choose the locales you display based on what best feeds your soul. Feeling homesick? Hang the places that have provided comfort throughout your life. Got an incurable case of wanderlust? Choose the destinations that have excited you most—or the ones you can’t wait to get to next.
Spring for a Wall Mural
An especially whimsical choice for a kid’s room, mural wallpaper (the design pictured is by Rebel Walls) can provide endless fodder for imaginative play. Growing minds will no doubt fill their imagination with stories of the scene they go to sleep to every night.
Do Shiplap Wainscoting
This more formal wall treatment feels instantly farmhouse when done in a casual shiplap style. Add an unexpected hue like hunter green and top with a playfully patterned wallpaper and you’ve got a personality-packed accent wall.
Hang a Basket Arrangement
Love neutrals, but don’t want your decor to feel boring? Tobacco baskets and other shallow woven receptacles add interest with texture and shape. Group several together in an organic arrangement for a boho-leaning look that can still blend well with more traditional furniture pieces.
Try a Skateboard
Skateboard decks (you know, the platform you place your feet on) are often covered in beautiful designs on the bottom side. Which means, without the trucks and wheels, they can make for unique and eye-catching wall decor—especially in a tall, skinny space. The one featured in this photo is by artist and professional skateboarder Jason Dill.
Pick Unexpected Mirror Shapes
Mirrors aren’t only for checking your outfit before you head out the door—they’re also an easy way to throw light around a room and make a space feel bigger. A pairing of curved oval mirrors, as seen here, accomplishes this mission while also serving as an unexpected style moment.
Plate It Up
Dishware doesn’t have to be confined to the kitchen and dining room! Use spring-style hangers to add plates to a wall with vintage or traditional flair, or opt for adhesive disks for a modern, floating look.
Have Fun With Fringe
The 70’s are back, baby! And while we hope wall-to-wall shag carpeting doesn’t surge in popularity anytime soon, fringe is one accent from the decade that’s remarkably versatile. Try it on a mirror or an art piece.
Add a Macrame Hanging
We love the laid-back, Cali-inspired vibe of macrame wall-hanging. Secured to a piece of found wood and done in neutral tones, this woven art adds texture to a blank wall without overwhelming the eyes—and looks great in a variety of sizes.
Say It with Neon
Whether it’s your go-to mantra or favorite song lyrics, the words you live by make perfect fodder for a custom neon light. Incorporate one into your bedroom design for a dose of inspiration right when you wake up in the morning.
Display Your Books
When arranged facing out in ombre order, a child’s favorite tomes add a playful punch of color to their private spaces. Added bonus: the books are easy to access come bedtime, and even easier to rotate out as their taste in reading material changes.
Go for a Grid
There’s power in numbers—and in repeating variations on a visual theme. For a more traditional take on the gallery wall, select a few pieces from the same series, choose a frame style, and hang them in neat and tidy rows. The resulting look will feel clean and classic.
Concentrate on a Corner
Put a dimensional twist on a gallery wall by concentrating a selection of artwork at the point where two walls meet. Add a comfy chair and small table underneath and you’ve got the perfect place to cozy up with a good book and a steaming mug of tea.
Cut It Out
This wall cut-out serves two purposes: It dresses up a shelving area with an additional design element, and diffuses natural light into the next room. For a lower-cost alternative, consider using a patterned mesh screen as a room divider.
The space above a window can be tricky to outfit, but a vintage-inspired felt flag pennant is often the perfect touch. Whether celebrating your alma mater or offering up an inspirational quote, this Americana-inspired design moment brings a dose of nostalgia to any interior.
Show Off Your Monogram
Does it get any more preppy than a monogram? That being said, initials can be configured in dozens of colors, styles, and typefaces, so those who wish to (literally) put their stamp on a space shouldn’t feel confined to the style.
Make a Statement with Sconces
When used strategically, sconces instantly dress up a space—a huge reason why lighting is often referred to as the jewelry of a room. Flank a piece of art with a matching set for a hint of Old World grandeur.
Add an Animal Head
Whether it’s a faux taxidermy deer—we all remember when those had their moment, right?—or something more playful, like the stuffed flamingo seen here, animal bust wall decor is a quick way to add whimsy to any space.
Paint a Scallop Half-Wall
This playful—and surprisingly subtle—paint choice is a great stand-in for a headboard in the bedroom, and also looks sweet in a little girl’s nursery. Stick with close-to-neutral shades to keep the design from looking too cutesy.
Do a Diptych
Historically speaking, a diptych was a painting done on two panels, usually for religious purposes, and connected by hinges. These days, the term is used to describe any piece that extends from one panel into two. The effect? An instant increase on the drama factor for any art installation.
Display Your Dishware
There’s no need for dishware to sit hidden in a china hut! Show off your prettiest pieces and prized collections directly in the dining room on a few open shelves, and they’ll instantly become part of the room decor. (They’ll also be easier to grab should unexpected guests arrive.)
Use Statement Wallpaper
You’ve seen this style trick used in powder rooms a thousand times over, but other small spaces—like the laundry room—are also fun to outfit with a boldly-patterned wallpaper. Reasons being: 1) You likely won’t be spending long amounts of time in here, so the design won’t distract from any tasks at hand, and 2) With less square footage to cover, you’ll save money.
Make a Fan Centerpiece
Like baskets, woven fans are a wonderful way to add a hint of natural texture to a blank wall space without breaking the bank. And there’s something especially satisfying about a symmetrical arrangement, as shown here. It brings a sense of order and calm to a bedroom, which should be a sanctuary of serenity.
Fake Frames With Washi Tape
Custom frames for a gallery wall can add up quickly. Want to keep costs down and add color to your walls? Attach prints with washi tape! No nail holes are required for this approach, which makes it especially great for renters.