Few decorating challenges are as hard as filling blank wall space. Many default to family photos or souvenir pictures from recent travel. But after a while, staring at wedding portraits or the kids when they were little isn’t that inspiring.
Break out of this rut! Plan a wall gallery in at least one room that’s different from all the rest.
Darla DeMorrow, author of “Organizing Your Home With SORT and SUCCEED,” urges her clients to look beyond straight, flat items and go for depth and meaning.
“Make the focal point something that’s three-dimensional or vintage or personal—or all three,” she suggests.
In fact, if you can hang it up, you can make a wall display that’s creative, colorful, or just plain fun.
For some inspiration, here are eight things you can mount and admire in your home that go beyond pictures and mirrors.
Sure, a huge photograph would be stylish—and expected—but a wall of cute planters is much more inviting.
“There are many manufacturers that sell small pots to hang on walls, so you can literally grow your own art,” suggests Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.
Keep in mind that not every pot needs to be dirt-filled. Faux plants are smart to mix into an interior green wall as they’re often brighter and can fill in gaps when live ones fail.
A fabulous kilim, batik, macrame, or other tapestry picked up from a long ago journey is an excellent addition to a front hall or bedroom wall. Or put up a family heirloom like a quilt your grandmother stitched or a rug that you don’t want trampled.
“Fabrics wrapped around a wooden frame or hung from a pole are inexpensive and create a great focal point, plus they’re lightweight and easy to transport if you rent an apartment or move frequently,” says Gray-Plaisted.
3. Empty frames
Truth: This one’s picture-adjacent, but hear us out. Blank frames, especially an eclectic collection, can make a standout gallery wall.
“I love the empty frame trend and want to bring it back, so grab frames in varying sizes from the attic and arrange them in an interesting pattern,” suggests Drew Henry of Design Dudes.
Henry likes to spray-paint a grouping like this and insert an accent piece into one or two frames, like a leaf or nest.
4. Platters and bowls
The kitchen and dining spaces cry out for a wall gallery that’s related to food or entertaining. To that end, comb through your collections of plates, platters, or bowls to determine the right kind of tableau.
You can order special wire hangers for each item to secure them to the wall, or put up a plate rack and slot your wares in.
5. Juju hats
Bedrooms, bathrooms, foyers, and more—you name it, and a juju hat collection has taken up residence in it. This darling of the design world is trending big-time, in part because of its unusual fluffy texture and cool backstory.
Crafted by artisans in Africa, juju hats symbolize wealth and prosperity and were worn by royalty.
No juju near you? Canvass your closets and coat racks for a motley collection of bowlers, baseball caps, fedoras, or cowboy hats. Nail ’em up—and voila!
6. Old shutters
Have some shutters in the garage or a backyard shed? You’ll add texture and color to your wall by hanging them.
Katie McCann, a home and office organizing professional at Haven, found this set at Marshalls.
“I use them to hang the cooking utensils I grab less frequently in the kitchen,” she says.
7. Clip art
Julie Coraccio likes to hang fishing wire and use clothespins to secure pieces.
“I particularly like this idea for kids’ art since you can clip all those projects they make in a fun, lighthearted way,” says Coraccio, author of “Got Clutter?”
Kids’ bedroom walls are also ideal for collections as wall art.
“Install a shelf and put displays there,” she adds, including soccer trophies, race cars, circus animals, dolls, or other figurines.
Baskets don’t last forever, especially when they’re not in use. They can get dried out and crumble, and end up looking like dusty junk. Fix this mess by mounting them on your wall.
“I scored many of these from consignment shops, thrift stores, Pier 1, and garage sales, and once I made my composition on the floor, I photographed it and meticulously tacked them to the wall,” says Ana Cummings of the eponymous design firm.