A narrow wall with two framed images mirrors the greenery outside the window. Image: Just Perfect Staging
This Mexican treehouse has a living room with worldly charm, distinguished most notably by a tapestry created from a traditional Bhutanese man’s robe and hung on the wall. The sofa and ottoman are by Ligne Roset, the Saarinen side table is by Knoll and the chairs are by Hans Wegner.
Perhaps one of the easiest ways of dressing up a blank wall is by propping a mirror up against it. Mirrors have the power to open up a space, and as shown in a guest room of Amanda Seyfried’s Catskills retreat, opting out of hanging it gives the room a relaxed feel. The walls here are painted in White Dove by Benjamin Moore.
A tall potted plant, as seen in this living room from Los Angeles-based interior designer Wendy Haworth, is one of the easiest ways to add interest to a wall area. Position your favorite type of greenery directly next to a piece of large-scale wall art for even more of an impact.
What if you’re hanging living room wall art over furniture like a sofa or sofa table? Hang the artwork so the bottom edge is 6-8 inches from where the table or sofa back ends.
In the bedroom of a Paris pied-à-terre, animal drawings cover the blank wall and include works by Paul Jouve, Georges Lucien Guyot and André Margat. The bed is a custom design, the rug is an antique Persian and the chandelier is by Baguès. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Wevet.
Andy Cohen’s Manhattan duplex doesn’t have many bare walls, but this one in his sitting room is dressed up with a statement-making fireplace. A Roy Lichtenstein lithograph hangs above the Chesney’s mantel in Nero Bilbao marble, which is a piece of art in its own right.
A painting of a 1970s plane split into three canvases makes a dramatic statement in retail guru Jeffrey Kalinsky’s minimalist New York apartment. The painting is from Wyeth and the walls are sheathed in Venetian plaster.
The homeowners hung a triptych made of small, dimensional objects to add some visual interest and texture to their beige walls. Image: Sean Michael Design
Last thing, choose art that is vibrant or graphic or powerful. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The selection of prints were thoughtfully chosen to work with the room’s color, while adding an additional green color for depth. Image: Orbit Homes
Small wall art boxes or mini square canvases are a great and flexible option for filling a big or oddly shaped wall. Image: Sean Gallagher
Inside a sophisticated New York apartment, a blank wall is given a museum-like quality with a bookshelf filled with reading material and collected treasures. Custom steel-and-oak stairs lead to the mini library.
A neutral room gets a striking piece of wall art that mirrors the soft colors but adds shades of complementary blue. Image: Christopher Magidson
Hang wall art in a diptych or triptych pattern, which is basically two, three or more panels of art that flow. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches between the pieces. You can do bigger spacing if you have a huge wall, just keep it consistent.
Use multiple panels of wall art to fill a larger wall. Image: GNE Architecture
Mix and match your favorite pieces of art, regardless of style or era, and display them using similarly gilded frames. In the master bedroom of a Los Angeles home, for example, the owners hung a wall of artworks from the couple’s collection above a decidedly feminine Italian giltwood settee.
A wall hanging brings relaxed, seaside charm to this guest bedroom in a Portuguese home. The beds are topped with crocheted-cotton coverlets from Bulgaria and the tile floor is original to the house.
Pick wall decor that’s the same length or smaller than the furniture piece it sits over. Image: 2LG Studio
For a rustic feel, take a cue from this historic Long Island farmhouse and hang up a few antique pieces that you adore, whether they match or not. These 19th-century mirrors were found in Antwerp and give the entryway an eclectic feel.
What if you have a gigantic wall? Large canvas wall art can be very expensive or hard to get into your apartment. Instead, choose smaller pieces that can be laid like a collage or gallery wall like the contemporary living room above.
The Art of Wall Art: Modern Wall Decor Ideas and How to Hang Pictures Like a Pro
One wall in this lively São Paulo duplex is covered with mirrors that reflect the room’s vibrant pieces. The artwork on the mirrors is by John Grant, the 1940s sofa is upholstered in a Rubelli velvet and the Louis XV-style armchairs are antique.
Instead of hanging a very large work of art, hang several images symmetrically for a clean, crisp look. Image: City Desk Studio
This bold, graphic canvas is hung at a good sight line height, even though the cabinet beneath it is low. Image: Works Photography
A successful wall featuring fun, vibrant art is hung at the right height and just smaller than the sofa table for the perfect scale. Image: IBB Designs
Contemporary wall art mirrors the contemporary furnishings of this loft. Image: More Design and Build
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In this airy California living room, an antique mirror from India hangs over the fireplace, catching light to expand the room and illuminate the relaxed modern decor.
Always leave at least 2 inches between your wall decor, or more if you have lots of wall area to fill. Image: Studio Kardum
A picture ledge is a simple—and inexpensive way—to display your art collection. Whether you opt for a single ledge or decide to group them, they’re the perfect solution to fill a blank space.
In Steven Gambrel’s Chicago apartment, a troika of framed artworks hang at varying lengths in a narrow wall niche, livening up the narrow recess between the chimney and the entrance.
Next, decide how high to hang your wall art. Wall art height is the concept that goes wrong the most. The general rule of thumb is to hang wall art at your sight line, so you don’t have to look up too high or too low at it. That means the center of your wall art area is about 60 inches from the ground.
In a San Francisco home with art gallery sensibilities, a moon-shaped sculpture by Manuel Neri brings pops of color to a blank, white wall. The kitchen’s cabinetry is by Henrybuilt, the countertops are PentalQuartz, the faucet is by Dornbracht and the stools are by Overgaard & Dyrman.
What if you are hanging wall art over a sofa, bed or table? Choose a piece of art (or a series) that is the same length as the furniture piece or smaller. Avoid wall decor that is wider than the furniture piece; it looks totally weird.
If you’re looking to create visual impact in a smaller room, look for funky patterned wall tiles. They give the illusion of a bigger space while adding an eye-catching detail to your home.
A painted breakfront topped with Spanish terra-cotta pots from the 1930s adds interest to the entry of the Bedford, New York, home owned by Eric Hadar, a Manhattan real estate executive.
In a serene Martha’s Vineyard vacation house, a ladder from Lostine propped up against a wall and paired with artwork bring instantly breezy personality to an otherwise drab wall. The dining table is a family heirloom, the chairs are by Arne Jacobsen and the stool is from 1stdibs.
Install simple, minimalist shelving and display a few of your favorite books and objects to maintain a modern look. This Central Park apartment made use of an empty wall in the dining area by adding shelves that perfectly match the white walls.
You don’t always have to center your wall art. Create a vignette instead. Image: Works Photography
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Hang artwork in your dining room that ties in the nearby furniture pieces, like this dining room featuring both orange wall art and black and white photography. Image: Diego Alejandro Design
You’re officially ready to choose and hang wall art like a pro. Turn those boring white or beige walls into a thing of beauty by choosing large, colorful or textural pieces that add life to your space.
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In the living room of Kris Ghesquière and Eva Claessens’s house in southeastern Uruguay, a symphony of corresponding art works with yellow lamb sculptures by William Sweetlove and paintings and a feather sculpture by Claessens.
An expansive wall got a treatment of metal butterflies hung in an airy, flowy pattern that looks like they’re flying right out the window. Image: West Chin Architects
This jewel-toned London townhouse turned blank walls into a cohesive gallery of artwork with numerous frames of the same size. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Borrowed Light and Elephant’s Breath, and the bronze lantern and marble floor are both original to the house.
If you’ve been struggling with how to transform a blank wall in your home, know that there are a slew of solutions beyond just painting it. We’ve got you (and your walls) covered, with these creative ways to inject more personality into your space.
In the living room of a PR maven’s maximalist New York City apartment, a blank space is brought to life with an extensive gallery wall. Divide your stark wall into sections, including a small collage of art and mirrors and an array of larger paintings. The portraits shown here are by Kimberly Brooks.
Six wood panels mounted on a black wall add dimension to the series. Image: Artistic Environments
First of all, take a look at the wall you’re going to fill to decide what size art you should pick. There are many ways to determine this and you’ll see different ideas throughout this post.
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A bamboo wall sculpture breaks up all the tailored lines in this master bedroom. Image: EDS Interiors
This piece of art is perfectly centered and highlighted with a spotlight. Image: Zephyr Interiors
Arrange a variety of sculptures on your wall for an artsy, three-dimensional effect. This French home belonging to a Middle Eastern princess showcases a series of sculptures by Romain Sarrot. The armchair is by Andrew Martin and is upholstered in a Beacon Hill fabric. The cocktail table is by Willy Daro and the 1950s lamp is by Marianna.
A contemporary living room gets organically shaped wood rings in a free flowing pattern to warm up and soften the room. Image: Marc Michaels Interior Design
These large, window-like mirrors will add depth to the living space, while reflecting off of bright, neutral walls for added light.
To choose a perfectly sized piece of art, measure the blank wall and deduct 12-24 inches. Image: Niche Interiors
Hang wall decor 6-8 inches above your furniture. Image: Taylor Smyth
Four perfectly hung art pieces add vibrant color to this modern dining room. Image: Marc Michaels Interior Design
Once you have an idea of a general spot, frame out the area with painter’s tape to visualize the spot. Stand back a few feet and see if you like where it sits on the wall. Get artsy with this; maybe you want to hang your wall art slightly off center because there’s a plant in the corner or a chair that will block some of it. Create a vignette, or setting, like the image above, where the art is part of the grouping and slightly off center.
Pull together the colors of the room and the accessories with the right wall art panels. Image: Mandeville Canyon Designs
A good rule of thumb is to choose wall art that takes up the width of the wall, minus 6-12 inches on each side, so it looks like it’s centered, like the image above. For example, you have a 36 inch wall. Leave about 6 inches on each side of the piece of art, which means you should choose something around 24 inches wide.
Designer Kathryn M. Ireland adds a vintage hanging textile to her massive white living room wall to balance out the vibrant space.
A painting nearly the length of the sofa is the right scale for this living room. Image: Daniel Paya Design
Designer Kimille Taylor’s Upper West Side dining room makes white walls look chic with a gorgeous painting by Allen Anthony Hansen, framed perfectly by silver sculptural sconces.
If you love the look of crisp white walls, consider adding a textural element to your space. This beautiful brick wall is a subtle pop, adding flair to the minimalist space.
Graphic yet tonal in black and white, the oversized wall panel is the focal point of the dining room. Image: D&D Interiors
In the dining room of a New York home filled with art, a piece of textured wall artwork is by Rudolf Stingel. The lacy look of the work harmonizes with the smooth backdrop, which has been painted in a dove gray shade that closely matches the piece.
Wall decor comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s traditional framed art, lightweight and unframed canvases, object collages, metal wall sculptures and more. Check out these great examples of wall decor ideas for inspiration:
Is your space all set up with the perfect furniture, but still feels kind of vanilla? Do you live in a modern tract home with big, impossible walls to fill? Are you having trouble deciding what size or type of wall decor to choose or how to hang pictures? These wall decor ideas and tips are going to help you conquer those problems.
Although the art is monochromatic like the rest of the room, it adds a finished look to the wall. Image: Horrigan Architects
There are also large format canvases or removable wallpaper murals you can use to create a big, dramatic focal point.
A diptych (two panels of art) flows from one canvas to the other to add a sophisticated touch to this living room. Image: Purdy Designs
Metallic branch sculptures are laid out over a platform bed for a monochromatic and textural effect. Image: Our Style Stories
Hang an array of antique plates on a blank wall for an unexpected collection for guests to admire. In a corner of a kitchen in a Connecticut country house, the walls are hung with Dutch plates purchased in Sri Lanka and turbans that the designer had made in India as gifts for friends.
There are many ways you can hang wall art and, depending on the weight of the art, you may be able to avoid putting holes in the walls by using adhesive removable mounting tabs.
Create artwork on your walls without hanging a single frame. This London townhouse’s library has plaster paneling in a custom design. The painted table is from the 1940s, the bench is by André Arbus and the vase is by Marianna Kennedy. The abaca rug is by Stark.