Probably the most common question I see when doling out design advice is “what do I do with this empty wall?” and honestly, it really kind of is the eternal struggle. Lots of walls and lots of indecision means I still ask myself this question, and after filtering through Pinterest’s truly-questionable array of farmhouse decor for years, I’ve decided to revolt because shiplap is just not a vibe.
IMO, no one deserves to limit themselves to a Live. Laugh. Love. sign from Hobby Lobby, no matter how curly the calligraphy is. And if you were seriously contemplating this option because “I mean it’s not horrible” take this as a sign to please don’t do that. Like, I seriously promise that God is not gonna be standing at the pearly gates giving discounted entry fees for having his words printed in Comic Sans on your kitchen wall.
So, for all you heathens like me, here are some inexpensive ideas to spice up your empty wall, and all of them can be achieved while in quarantine.
a hat wall.
Obvi you need to be a hat person or a big advocate of sun safety for this to work, but let’s be real — if you have the level of confidence to wear hats to a bar at night, you need to put that shit on display. Let people KNOW who you are. All it takes is some nails and a hammer which you should probably have on hand (and if you don’t it’s worth investing in), and you’ll be set.
a bar cart or record player.
if your living room consists of a couch, a lamp or two, a coffee table and not a lot else, it can often feel sparse and you’ll constantly keep telling yourself it’s just missing something. Add some depth to your space by putting in a small credenza, bar cart, or record table on a wall that’s adjacent to your couch and you’ve now got another focal point for the entire room. Throw a plant on it and you’ve livened up the space even more.
a big ass piece of art.
plants hung & arranged at different heights.
I see this one less often, but when I see it, it’s usually on a plant person’s Instagram and it gives off a super fresh, retro vibe. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s great for those spaces that you might need a little pizazz but you don’t have a ton of space, like those weird corners of apartments next to a window. I like to buy hanging planters, plant stands, and baskets to put plants in and I definitely would invest in plants that are inherently hard to kill if you have a black thumb like me. If you can afford supporting small plant retailers who are shipping online, do so. If you’re ballin on a budget, Home Depot also ships.
a gallery wall (but with some pizzaz ya know).
you likely knew about this one already, but I mean is this even a good list if I don’t include it? The one thing I will say is that if you’re bored of gallery walls with only pictures, jazz it up and get creative. I’m a big fan of adding records, shadow boxes, antlers, oil paintings, neon signs, etc. Adding elements that are 3D will make it feel like très chic.
a DIY mini mural.
When people think of paint or wallpaper or a mural, they assume it has to be applied to a whole wall, but our fav gay uncles at www.probablythis.com prove that is def not the case. You can order paint samples online for super cheap and completely spice up that desk space or area of your living room that you just don’t know what to do with. PS. Note that hanging plant.
a bookcase or floating bookshelves.
if you have a kid’s room or a Harry Potter addiction, I’m a big fan of this. If you’re looking to add height, go with a tall bookshelf; if you’re just looking to add some color and visual interest, go with the floating shelves.
BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:
At the end of the day, we’re spending more time in our homes than LITERALLY ever before, which means it’s v important for our spaces give us fresh, creative energy. Being at home shoudn’t zap your energy but rather your space should reflect you and serve you well. Hopefully, some of these ideas can help you think of what’s possible in your place. Don’t settle and don’t resolve yourself to boring spaces. You got this!