No one likes to be surrounded by a bunch of blank walls. Not only can empty walls start to make your home feel smaller, but you’ll have a harder time feeling connected to your living space without some personalization going on. Discover creative techniques to decorate an empty wall like a pro.

Hanging Mirrors

Every interior decorator knows the value of a good mirror. They’re not just incredibly practical—you can also use mirrors to play visual tricks with your decorating. For example, try positioning a mirror to reflect light from a window into the rest of your house. Even if a room lacks a window, you can still use reflective surfaces to increase the amount of light in a room.

Design Tip: Make Small Spaces Seem Bigger

One of the other decorating tricks you can achieve with mirrors is making a small room seem bigger. When we look into a mirror, our brain thinks we’re seeing more space, despite mirrors being flat objects. You can even double the illusion by placing mirrors across from each other.

Incorporating Shelves

Shelves are another decorating tool that provides both form and function. Most shelves come in one of two styles—either floating shelves that you anchor to the wall, or freestanding shelves, which can be much larger and support more weight.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves get their name because of the way they seem to float in the air without any supports. While you can hang a single floating shelf on an empty wall, it can be fun to try arrangements with multiple shelves. Try out a few different layouts on the floor to figure out what looks best on your wall before drilling any holes!

Be careful about weight restrictions when hanging a floating shelf. Depending on the material and what you plan on putting on top of the shelf, you may want to ensure there’s a stud to drill into for secure mounting. Otherwise, your new shelf could end up falling off the wall and even pulling some drywall with it.

Freestanding Shelves

You might think that most freestanding shelves are just bookcases, but there are many other types as well. Some popular alternatives to the bookshelf are ladders (both freestanding and wall-leaning) and cube shelves, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit your needs.

Design Tip: How To Fill a Shelf

An empty shelf is almost as sad to look at as a blank wall. Here’s a list of objects that look great on any type of shelf:

  • Oil and scent diffusers
  • Potted plants and terrariums
  • Books and magazines
  • Decorative bowls and vases
  • Framed photos or artwork
  • Travel souvenirs
  • Bookends
  • Candles and lanterns
  • Decorative tissue boxes
  • Small sculptures
  • Clocks
  • Baskets and fabric drawers

Wall Clocks

Wall clocks are a fantastic way to add visual interest to any room. Some of the most popular styles of wall clocks evoke the classic charm of a European train station or the vintage aesthetics of mid-century modern design. Both styles blend well with just about any home décor scheme and color palette.

Design Tip: Blending Strategies

Sure, you could hang up that wall clock by itself and call it a day, but have you ever tried blending wall decorations? Hang a wall clock above a floating shelf with coat hooks near your home entryway to keep everyone on time during their comings and goings. Or, you can make your clock part of a gallery wall (more on those below!) by hanging it inside a frame alongside prints and photos. The possibilities are endless!

Sculptural Pieces

This category includes things like metal sculptures, macrame wall hangings, and other decorative pieces that add three-dimensionality to a wall. Since most walls have minimal texture to start with, sculptures are a great way to break up visual monotony and give you something to look at from multiple angles.

Design Tip: Create Your Own Sculpture

There are no limits to what you can use as sculpture in your decorating! Vintage platters, woven baskets, driftwood, and even empty picture frames can become the building blocks for an amazing sculptural feature.

Gallery Walls

A gallery wall has to be the most versatile decorating technique in existence. If you can nail it or hang it against a flat surface, you can make it part of a gallery wall. Think of a gallery wall as your own personal museum where you showcase the colors and themes that make you feel most at home.

The key to a good gallery wall is keeping with the scale of decoration in your home. If you like a clean, relaxing atmosphere, a crowded gallery wall with tons of pieces can make your space feel hectic and cluttered. If you prefer a more eclectic feeling to your home, a gallery wall with too many matching pieces will seem stiff and artificial by contrast.

Plan Your Layout

While an unwanted nail hole isn’t terribly hard to fix, you can save yourself a lot of time by planning your gallery wall layout on the floor or a table before you start putting nails in the wall. Make sure to lay down a towel or blanket first to avoid scratches.

Avoid Perfect Symmetry

Very few things in nature are perfectly symmetrical, so maybe that’s why symmetry makes most people feel uneasy. Instead of aiming for symmetry in a gallery wall, shoot for balance, which means keeping visual elements in proportion even when they’re not the same on each side.

Design Tip: Creating Harmony

If you want to decorate your empty wall like a pro, you’ll need to create harmony between the different pieces in your gallery wall. Limiting the number of aesthetic features in your gallery wall will create harmony through repetition, even if the pieces aren’t the same kind.

To get started, select a handful of artistic traits from the list below, then be sure to choose pieces that have only those traits. For example, if you decide on warm wood tones, don’t include picture frames with white or black wood.

  • Wood tones
  • Metallics
  • Fine art style (illustration, photography, prints, sculpture, etc.)
  • Color palette
  • Shape
  • Subject (people, landscapes, etc.)

Personalizing Your Home

The best thing about decorating your home is that only you can decide what makes you feel comfortable. Don’t be tempted into thinking that you can’t experiment! The more design techniques you play around with, the easier it will be to recognize things you like or dislike.

If you need inspiration, check out Decocrated’s curated online shop for members to see how you can use design techniques in your home. You’ll be decorating like a pro in no time!


How To Decorate an Empty Wall Like a Pro