A big living room, large bedroom, or long hallway can add elbow room and a sense of space that make a home feel welcoming and expansive, as opposed to cramped and claustrophobic. But without the right finishing touches, long blank stretches of wall can create a sterile, unfinished feel that defeats the purpose of a large room’s appeal. Learn how to decorate large open wall spaces in your home.
It’s become a bit of a cliché in home décor, but gallery walls still have their place. Well-executed, they add structure and focus as decoration for large open wall spaces in your home.
Don’t think that you have to confine gallery wall treatments to hallways or staircases. Gallery walls can form the focal point of a room. A grid layout with nine to twelve framed black and white photos of the same size can create strong visual impact.
Hang Hats, Plates, or Baskets
Display your collection of decorative plates, snazzy hats, or handmade baskets by arranging the items on your wall. Whatever you collect, a blank wall is an excellent excuse to display your cherished items so they can be seen and enjoyed by family and guests.
Another way to turn a long, blank wall into a focal point is with one piece of oversized art. Abstract, landscape, pop art, or photorealism all show well in an oversized format. Center a large painting above your couch: the picture should be about three-quarters the length of the couch to leave some space at either end.
Large artworks can be expensive, but you can make them yourself with basic colors and geometric patterns. Don’t discount your own artistic instincts before you give it a try!
If buying or making your own art isn’t in the cards for you, try adding texture to your big blank wall. Hang a colorful rug, or add a three-dimensional touch with metal wall décor in geometric, sunburst, or floral shapes, or a wall hanging that combines metallic features with macramé textile art.
Another way to add texture to large blank spaces is to create a tableau of comfort using a bench topped with decorative pillows. Add a floor plant next to the bench and an artwork on the wall above, and you’ve defined a part of your space as a rest area for guests who need a break from conversation—or those who just want to sit and admire your décor.
Metal art is a bold statement that can dominate a large blank wall, turning the wall into another kind of gallery featuring a signature piece that expresses a modern or industrial ethos.
There are so many options for shelving to add interest to a blank wall. You can use bookcases across the entire wall to create a library-like appearance. Or, you can maintain a sense of lightness with “floating” shelves, artfully placed to display plants, books, photos, or seasonal décor pieces. Add a clock, a framed inspirational quote, or an elegant small vase to give your shelf several pieces to catch the eye.
Floating shelves can also take the role of a bar, with glass holders that hang below, and a few choice bottles arranged on the shelf above.
Play With Plants
A long wall that spans the length or width of a room cries out for some greenery. You could go all the way and transform the space into a living wall, with plant pots supported on a frame running the full length and height of the wall. Or you could break up the monotony of a long blank wall with potted and hanging plants of different heights and types. Another favorite solution is a philodendron plant, with long, vining tendrils stretching across bookshelves or climbing on a decorative ladder leaning against the wall.
The days of steaming wallpaper off walls are over. Enter peel-and-stick wallpaper that’s easy to apply and remove, all without damaging the surface of the wall beneath. Use a floral, geometric, or textured-look style to cover your one long wall, instantly turning into an accent wall. Then when the mood strikes you, replace the easily-removable wallpaper with a new design more compatible with the season. Wallpaper can create a mural effect, depending on the pattern you choose.
Lighting is an important part of any room. Wall sconces add discreet light to sections of a wall. Use several to form a pattern of light across the expanse of your long wall, or to cast light up toward the ceiling or down toward the floor. Use sconces to frame a mirror over the couch, in a corner to brighten a corner table beneath a mirror, or on either side of a tabletop plant.
Wainscotting, Shiplap, or Accent Paint
Texture doesn’t have to come in the form of textiles, like hanging rugs, beads, or macramé. You can create a textured, farmhouse feel with shiplap used as paneling on your one long wall. You can also use paneling with a square pattern to give the wall a three-dimensional quality.
Create a two-toned effect with wainscotting that reaches halfway up the wall, with paint in an accent color covering the wall from the top of the wainscotting to the ceiling.
Drapery running across a long wall creates a dramatic effect. Run drapes the length of the wall, with rods or pulls that allow you to open them to reveal doors or windows. Be mindful of fire hazards like hot radiators or TVs that need to vent heat into the air around them. Wall draperies work well in bedrooms to provide a sense of coziness and privacy.
A big blank wall looks like a challenge, but when you learn ways to decorate large open wall spaces in your home, you’ll learn to regard them as opportunities to try new design ideas that express your style and personality. Your big blank wall could become the genesis of conversation or a source of color, texture, and whimsy that gives your home that unique finishing touch.