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  • Writer's pictureBre Oriolo

3 Ways to Decorate Blank Walls, Part One: Wall Art

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

The #1 question I get as an interior decorator is "How do I fill all this blank wall space?" I have so many ideas for this topic, I had to break it into 3 parts: wall art, mirrors, and 3D art. In this first part of the mini series, I give you 5 ideas for hanging wall art.

How to Decorate Blank Wall Space...Above a Sofa

Large scale art work is your friend here; it also simplifies the process--you only need to find one large piece. The rule of thumb is that the art needs to be 2/3 the length of the sofa. This sofa is 120" long, so we need something approximately 80" or longer. Perfect, because this art work is 79.5" wide! Another tip to help you out: when hanging art above a sofa, aim for the bottom of the frame to be 6-8" above the sofa. This tip also applies to hanging art above your bed.

How to Decorate Blank Wall Space...Above a Console Table

For longer consoles, I like a longer/wider piece of art. Hang the art only a few, minimal inches above the console.

For more narrow consoles, choose taller, more narrow art work. Also, lean your wall art against the console and wall instead of hanging it. The most important thing with consoles, is layering the art with other decorative pieces. Add smaller art work, books, vases, candles, trays, bowls, lamps, or decorative boxes. The key to layering the decor is varying the heights. You can see with both images, I've created a vignette with tall, medium, and short heights.

How to Decorate Blank Wall Space...on a Big, Open Wall

Display a set of art or a collection of pieces that go together. Notice with both of these images, the art is not hung centered from the top to the bottom of the wall. Instead, imagine horizontal lines running across the walls to make sections of "one-thirds." I'd place the art on that top 1/3 line. Also, here's the thing: you can throw any art up on a blank wall. "Space fillers." But for it to speak to you? For it to mean something? That's special. I was drawn to both of these sets immediately when I first saw them. Optimism + Escapism serve as bold statements. The moths are larger than life (over 35" dimensions for each piece) and so...interesting! Weird even, which makes me love them even more! I heard once that you shouldn't just buy art because you like it, but rather because it intrigues you. Something else I want to point out here is that negative space (the empty space around the art) is just as important as "filling the space." Keep that in mind when you're decorating your walls, and don't over fill the space.

How to Decorate Blank Walls....for a Narrow, Vertical Wall

For narrow walls, I recommend smaller sets or collections of art. For these walls, use the Rule of 3, which just means that objects look better in groups of 3. We're also going to add as much impact and interest we can in these smaller spaces by displaying textured art. On the left is shaggy, wool fringe to give us texture. On the right, the pieces are power loomed and mimic the construction of rugs, so it's like rugs for your walls!

How to Decorate Blank Walls...Above a Mantel

Decorative objects are fun on a mantel, but there's something I just love about layering art work only instead. Here I'm breaking the Rule of 3 (and also the rule that says we should decorate in odd numbers). Four just looked right to me. You have to know the rules to break them! Notice how no two pieces are the same size--that's right, we're adding interest to the space by varying the sizes. The color palettes and subjects of the pieces tie them together into a collection of sorts.

After studying this image, it's apparent to me that I'm drawn to these pieces for their element of mystery. Two of these have no facial features, and the other two have a part of their faces covered. It's unexpected, and I'm left wondering why the artist chose to do this. I'm intrigued. I love this modern adaptation on what might otherwise be considered more traditional art.

I hope you've gained some new ideas for how you'll decorate your blank walls with wall art. And not just with "space fillers" but some really meaningful pieces. Stay tuned...Part 2: Mirrors is coming soon. I'll be giving you 3 ways to decorate your walls with mirrors! Did you see any pieces you liked in this blogpost?

You can shop " Wall Art" here.


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