March 17, 2018
You can upgrade any bare wall with an easy DIY display. A mix of family photos, eye-catching collections, or handmade art will help you add your personal style to every room in your home.
Our favorite ideas for wall displays are the ones that elevate a room’s layout. They don’t dominate the space, rather, they just add a little depth and personality to what’s already there. These types of home projects are great because adding wall art only requires a few tools. (Check out this How To video from Real Simple if you need a refresher, though). Once you’ve found your inspiration and gathered your materials, you can be done with your wall hangings in just an hour or two. Then you can stand back, admire your work, and maybe start plotting your next display. You’ve got plenty of walls, right?
We love seeing family portraits in living rooms, but really, any framed prints will do. These spaces are perfect for gallery walls. With the right creative eye, you can use different frames with varied shapes, sizes, or colors. It might feel kind of a free-for-all, but there’s definitely some method to the madness.
A lot of designers recommend mapping out your gallery wall before you start making nail holes. If you’re using a variety of frame styles, trace a copy of each shape on some brown craft paper (or traditional wrapping paper—this is a great way to use up an old roll you don’t like). That way, you can tape up the shapes on your wall until you find the right flow and balance for the overall design.
Not sure if you want to tackle a big picture puzzle on your wall? We’ve got a hack for that. Just use images that are the same size. A little measuring will help you line them up just-so for a sleek and streamlined display. You can also use identical frames and then mix up the prints for alternating vertical and horizontal. It’s enough of a change to still have the intrigue of a more varied gallery wall, but without the hassle. This Houzz article shows some great examples. (We especially like the first one!)
There are lots of fun styles to try in the kitchen, so it’s easy to be a little more playful with a wall display. Finding mix-matched plates with bright colors or pretty patterns can add a really charming display on an empty kitchen wall. Reference Martha Stewart for proper plate hanging with traditional plate hangers. (You can use adhesive hangers if you want the invisible look.) It’s similar to the gallery wall techniques, but obviously a little more delicate.
Some simpler kitchen decorations are to use mini clothes pins and line. Use thick ribbon, country-style twine, or metal wiring, depending on your personal style and hang across a wall for a string of pictures! This kind of display is super easy to swap out and super quick to set up. The wooden mounts on some of these picture line ideas give the images a nice backing. It’s still simple to do, but definitely help enhance the look and makes the pinned pictures feel like a more permanent wall piece.
Your master bedroom can look even grander with a well-balanced wall hanging. The right pattern will draw your eye up and make the whole room feel bigger. If you’re feeling artsy, grab a big canvas from the craft store. With a good brush and a little paint, you can write out a favorite quote in pretty cursive script to hang above you bed. (We suggest mapping it out lightly in pencil first, though.)
When you don’t want to make your own design, it’s easy to find inspiration from textiles. We think this hung quilt headboard would look great in a guest bedroom. For a more masculine feel, look for bold tribal patterns. Incorporating different textures and tapestries in your bedroom can add instant depth and interest to an otherwise subdued room. Heavier fabrics tend to give a more lux vibe over plain headboards, but there’s really no wrong way to pull of this look.
Wall decorations that offer both style and function are great options for your home office. One easy hanging idea is to use good ol’ fashioned clipboards. You can display more of your favorite pics, or keep them “strictly business” with printed articles to read, other reports, or as a place to keep bills and mail off your desk. We’ve also noticed these wall displays done with wooden coat hangers. Different look, but same idea.
Adding some pops of color in your home office can also help lighten the mood in an otherwise serious space. If you’re not sure what to hang, a series of maps could be a nice way to intentionally add color in a professional setting. For a little more whimsy, consider using shadow boxes. They’re a fun way to show off mini collections—anything from vacation souvenirs and shells to LEGO Minifigures are fair game. Because they’ll neatly displayed, you don’t have to worry about them gathering dust.
We hope we’ve got your wheels turning on some new wall displays you can do throughout your home! Once you’ve found some inspiration, you’ll find there’s a great design idea for just about any space. Happy decorating!