Last updated on September 20th, 2021
Ahh, the age-old problem of having large blank walls and no idea what to do with them!
In my opinion, the fastest way to fill large blank wall spaces is to add LARGE items that provide a lot of coverage.
Large scale pieces to hang on your walls do not have to come with a large price tag – there are plenty of ways to cost-effectively deck out your big @ss walls without breaking the bank.
I have spent more time than I like to admit just staring at the walls in my apartment, wondering what the HECK to put there.
I’ve been struggling with this problem ever since we moved into our new place, so I ended up doing a lot of research on ways to fill up a big wall and looking at large wall decor ideas that wouldn’t entail spending a ton of money.
Turns out it doesn’t matter how big your house is: whether you live in a 1 bedroom apartment or in a 5000 sqft home. Large blank walls are EVERYWHERE and always intimidating!!
Please don’t say “create a gallery wall”
When we’re faced with the task of filling up a blank space on the wall, often the first thought or suggestion is to create a gallery wall.
And they can look GREAT!
Like this one, which I love:
But here’s the thing: not everyone WANTS a gallery wall.
(If you do though, I have an article all about the mysteries and delights of gallery walls right HERE!)
Buying a lot of frames can get expensive. Plus you need things to put in all those frames. What if you don’t have those things? And what about the layout of all the frames? If you’re not doing a symmetrical gallery wall, then deciding the layout can be daunting and take DAYS.
My point being: gallery walls take a lot of time and resources to put together so that’s NOT what we’re going to be looking at today.
17 Of The Best Ways To Decorate Large Blank Walls
1. Paint your own art on large canvases
I promise you, this is so, so easy! You do NOT have to be an artist in order to create some beautiful custom artwork for your home.
QUICK TIP → Abstract minimalism is REALLY easy to paint! Added bonus: it’s very on trend right now. This style of art looks especially great in Scandinavian, mid century or boho themed rooms.
For a boatload of minimalist art inspiration, check out this gallery.
Start by choosing some inspiration images that you like (I save all of mine to this Pinterest board) and then narrow it down to a couple that are fairly simple in terms of shapes and color palette.
Having a simple color palette with just 2 or 3 colors will make it much easier to handle the project if you’ve never painted before.
Once you’ve decided what your inspiration paintings are going to be, it’s time to go shopping!
1. Grab a large pre-stretched blank canvas at your local art store or online. Get 2 if you have a lot of space to fill (this pack of two 24″ x 36″ canvases on Amazon is an amazing deal). For example, in my hallway, I hung two 30″ x 30″ canvases. I haven’t painted them yet, I hung them up blank! 😬
2. Based on your reference artwork, pick the paint colors you need; you should only need 2 or 3 different colors, plus you might want a tube of white. Buy student grade acrylic paints (they’re much cheaper than artist grade paints!). Stay away from oil and watercolor paints, as those are trickier.
Don’t forget a couple of largeish paintbrushes, you can go for the cheap synthetic ones, they work great with acrylic paints!
3. Whip out your reference art, and copy it as best you can on your large canvas. If you picked an easy subject, it shouldn’t take you more than a few hours.
If you make a mistake or you don’t like how a certain section turned out, let the paint dry and cover it up with white paint. Wait for it to dry, then start over.
4. Once you’re done, don’t forget to paint the edges of your canvas, especially if you’re hanging your piece without a frame! Or you can leave them white if you wish.
If you bought a pre-stretched canvas, there is nothing left for you to do but hang your art and admire your work!
The beauty of pre-stretched canvases is that you do not need to frame them, they can hang on the wall directly (which saves tons of money; big frames can get pricey!).
Watch me follow the steps above & paint DIY abstract art in this video:
2. Hang a quilt, blanket or tapestry
Hanging a beautiful blanket, quilt or tapestry can be a very effective and fast way of covering a large expanse on your wall.
It can be anything from a vintage patchwork quilt, to a highly textural woven blanket. Anything you like!
Bonus? If they’re thick enough, in addition to being a great wall covering, hanging up blankets and tapestries on the wall also help soundproof your rooms.
3. Hang a chic magazine holder
Got a magazine collection and some empty wall space? Excellent. Because hanging a neato magazine holder is perfect for a long, narrow empty space on your wall that is bugging you.
You can make your own quite easily; Design Sponge has a DIY tutorial that you can check out.
If you don’t want to make your own, you can get a lovely linen and cotton magazine holder from Amazon for very cheap as well! I love this one (it’s under $12!😮)
4. Create an accent wall with removable wallpaper
Who says you need to hang anything?! Make the whole darn wall a feature with some awesome removable wallpaper!
The insane amount of absolutely stunning patterns you can get these days is mindblowing. Just measure your wall, order your rolls and hang away!
Here are some great places to buy peel & stick and removable wallpaper online:
5. Hang floating shelves
Hanging up shelves is another quick, space-filling trick.
In the photo below, you can see what I decided to do with the awkward wall space above my toilet.
I love how it turned out! I got the diamond shelves on sale for just $16 at Homesense (our Canadian equivalent to TJ Maxx in the US) and I couldn’t be happier!
Amazon sells a similar shelf for about $36.
Watch my full DIY rental bathroom makeover!
6. Make a poster-size print of one of your own photographs
Do you have the perfect picture that you snapped on your last vacation just sitting on your phone or memory card? Well, why not print it so you can enjoy it every day?
Adding your own large scale photography to your space will really make your home feel personal.
Here are some great places to get your large photos printed at reasonable prices (frame not included in prices):
- STAPLES (max size 36″ x 48″ – $95.99)
- COSTCO (max size 20″ x 30″)
- FEDEX (max size 36″ x 48″ – $87)
- WALMART (max size 20″ x 30″ – $14.86)
- ARTIFACT UPRISING (max size 40″ x 60″ – $175)
- MEGA PRINT (max size 60″ x 120″ ← that’s freaking HUGE – $375) 😵
- LONDON DRUGS (Canada only – max size 44″ x 96″ – $149.99 CAD)
7. Install a display cabinet or bookshelf
Cabinets and bookshelves are fabulous pieces to place in empty areas of your room. And if they look like the gold cabinet pictured above, well what else do you even need in life?!
If you use cabinets, they don’t have to be on the floor: you can also use floating cabinets which can be purchased inexpensively from IKEA.
Cabinets can be closed off, or have glass panels to expose the contents inside.
Bookshelves come in a myriad of different styles, just pick one that fits yours!
8. Use neon signs
I have been noticing the trend of using neon signs in interior design over the past few years and I am 100% on board with it.
While I am not really a fan of hanging wordy art in the home (think “Gather“, or “Blessed” type signage), having a word or phrase scribbled in neon lights is a whole other game. It looks chic, contemporary and playful all at once and I am living for it.
9. Purchase printables & print yourself
If you don’t have any of your own photos that you’d like to print, then definitely consider buying printables!
I have heard a lot of people say they don’t “understand” printables. They think that it’s way too much trouble to buy a file, download it and then take care of getting it printed themselves.
All I can say is that the moment you are trying to cut costs on your decor, I guarantee you will rapidly begin to understand the benefits of printables! 😉
10. Create a wall of plants
So maybe your wall of plants doesn’t have to be quite as extensive as the one pictured above. You can definitely pull this off with fewer plants and still have it look amazing!
The key to nailing this look is to make sure all the pots are matching and evenly spaced.
Check out Wallygro for sustainable and simple vertical gardening solutions like the one pictured.
Oh, that incredible sofa? Yeah, it’s from Article.
The bar cart situation happening below is genius: neon lights + wall of greenery = love.
11. Paint a mural
Sounds pretty intimidating, right? I know! But it’s not!
In order to get this done easily (like, pretty much without needing any artistic skillZ whatsoever) all you really need is a projector (you can get one for $90 on Amazon). Then it’s just like painting by numbers… only that it’s huge, and there are no actual numbers.
You just project your image onto the wall and “trace” on where the paint goes.
I’ve painted large pieces with this method and it’s pretty difficult to mess it up since it’s just tracing. It just takes a LONG TIME due to the size.
If you don’t believe me, then you should go check out the mural that Ashley from the Gold Hive did for her One Room Challenge.
She will walk you through all the steps she took to create her mural, and then you can decide if you want to give it a shot too!
Here’s what her final mural looked like (amazing – also took her like 100 hours, just so you know what’s involved … ):
12. DIY some faux wallpaper
Alright, I admit I may have oversimplified the whole mural thing. i’M SORRY!
If the idea of hand painting a mural makes you want to run away and hide, it’s ok, there are other options! Step it down a notch in intensity and create some faux hand painted wallpaper instead!
This is SO easy and SO effective!
Here are a few examples of painted wallpaper that look amazing. And … NO FUSSY STENCILS ARE INVOLVED!
They are totally inspiring me to go for it as well!
A project such as handpainted faux wallpaper should only take you a few hours (depending on how big your wall is!) and will have a massive impact on your space.
Also, it costs about $10.
Loose, handpainted themes in simple lines, dots, dashes, herringbone, and chevron patterns lend themselves particularly well to this technique.
Audrey from The Black House on The Corner walks through her process of painting faux wallpaper in her 1900 home here.
And Jessica from @carcabaroad on Instagram has a saved stories highlight called “DIY Sponge Wall” which shows how she did an accent wall using the “edge of sponge” technique. For some reason it doesn’t work to link to it from here, so you’ll need to find it on your own on her page!
13. Hang baskets
Hanging baskets on the wall has definitely become a thing as of late.
Usually, this look works best if the baskets are round and fairly shallow (otherwise they would stick out from the wall too much).
You can create some really interesting installations using this method, and it works wonders to quickly fill up wall space. *And* it adds texture to your room at the same time.
Look for baskets at your local thrift store to keep the budget ultra-low.
14. Use mirrors
Hey now, let’s not forget about how awesome mirrors look pretty much anywhere.
If you’ve got an empty wall and it’s in a dark corner, using a mirror to brighten things up is the perfect solution. It will not only fill up that empty space, but it will also reflect more light into your room, making it appear brighter. Win/win.
Hanging up your mirrors is not the only way to go – you can also lean a large mirror directly against the wall and it will look ultra mega chic. Leaning a large mirror is also a good solution when your mirror is very heavy.
15. Create a wall collage
I used to do this ALL the time in my bedroom as a kid. I thought it looked awesome, and I always had a blast doing it. And it was so fun and easy to switch up when I got tired of it (which was pretty often).
I would pick out all my favorite images from a stack of magazines and simply tape them to my wall, to create a huge collage of inspiring imagery.
It’s easy to pick themes, if you want, as well! One time I did all black and white photos. Another time I did all female faces.
In addition to using magazine photos, you can also use old postcards and calendars, posters, tickets, photos and pretty patterned wrapping paper.
Attach everything with double-sided tape, or a loop or regular tape attached to the back of each corner.
Don’t feel like finding all the images yourself? Then get this collage kit for $89. It includes 150 8.5″ x 11″ curated prints that you can use to create your collage.
16. Paint color blocks
I love, LOVE the look of color blocks. You can let your imagination run wild with paint and it really won’t cost you much.
You can achieve such incredibly stunning results with just a couple of colors and some painters tape.
17. Hang a hat collection
Yes! Hanging your hat collection on the wall can look super cool!
It’s also a great way to free up some closet space if that is at a premium in your home.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy schmancy straw hats only. It can be baseball caps, fedoras, or whatever hats you happen to have in your collection!
And that’s IT! I’m thinking you should be able to swing a couple of these omg-that-wall-is-so-big-what-do-i-do? decor ideas in your home. I mean if *I* can do it, then you certainly can too!
Have you tried any of these techniques to cover up big walls in your home? Have I missed anything SUPER OBVIOUS? If so, yell at me!