DIY ways to dress up a wall

October 07, 2014

I think picking out wall art is hard, always have. Especially with our high board and batten, only certain configurations look good.

But in general I think filling wall space is a difficult aspect of decorating. That and accessorizing – both of those are things that hurt my head and once I figure them out I leave them forevaaaa. I’m always trying to think up ways of making the best use of wall space, sometimes without using actual art and always without breaking the bank. These are some of my favorite projects doing just that.

When I made over my son’s room years ago I had two large walls to figure out. On one side I framed out large art above his bed and on the other side I used trim and paint to make three frames make a bigger impact:

molding around framed photos

The three frames would have been fine for sure, but I wanted to take up a little more visual space. The molding and white trim do that for sure!

Years back I used some inexpensive canvases (use coupons or wait till they go on sale!) and covered them with wallpaper to fill the large wall over the bedroom fireplace:

inexpensive art with canvas and wallpaper

You can see how I made the texture of the wallpaper stand out even more in that post. If you have a huge wall you could go way bigger with your canvases! This is a great option for renters as well. (Fabric wrapped around a canvas works well too!)

Our staircase has HUGE, tall walls and I copied an idea I saw in the model home -- using molding of course:

molding boxes on wall

I think that was my first attempt at trim work ever – and you can totally tell when you get up close. ;) I used the decorative squares for the corners so I didn’t have to make any mitered cuts. I painted the insides of them a darker color for even more impact when I installed them all those years ago but lightened that up years back when we had these walls painted.

There are BIG plans cooking up in my head to change up that wall but for now I still love my squares.

I needed something large enough to fill those squares and my DIY wood shim mirrors fit nicely:

DIY startburst mirror

They are quite large and crazy cheap to do too.

If you have an odd wall in your house you can always make it more interesting with some chalkboard paint:

black chalkboard wall with frames

I have since taken those frames down and we just use it as a huge chalkboard now. I think every room needs some black in it and a chalkboard wall is a great way to incorporate that! Remember you can do almost any chalkboard color you want now too.

I’m still obsessed with our wood planked wall in the basement stairway too:

wood stained planked wall

It adds a slightly industrial touch and some warmth to the space as well – I LOVE it. And out of all of the things in our house that little wall is the one that gets the most compliments.

Now that I’ve used the underlayment for the new fireplace planked wall I am going to experiment with using stain on that – it would be even cheaper than the tongue and groove pine I used in the stairway!

If you have an IKEA nearby they have HUGE canvases that fill large wall space too. I had always loved this huge map and was excited that we had a perfect spot in the basement for it:

huge map art

Of course I had to add my own little touch with the frame that matches the wood wall in the background. :)

There you go – a few of my favorite ways to fill large walls. And you can’t find most of them in a store, which I love. Each one is unique to our home and the most expensive one is the store bought map. ;) The rest cost $50 and (way) under.

If you have an awkward wall in your house I think sometimes it’s better to do something dramatic to it instead of trying to make it disappear. Have you done anything different to decorate a wall in your home? If you have feel free to link to it in the comments!

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  1. Still love that first idea of using molding and paint to take up more spac, and your chalkboard is one of my favorites! - pk

  2. Happy Birthday! My birthday is today. Libras are awesome! I love your blog. Keep up the good work.

  3. Great ideas Sarah! I Have problems filling large walls up too! Cant wait to see what you come up with in the family room!

  4. You have come up with some great solutions for big walls. I still have a big wall above the stairs that lead to the basement, and I still don't know if I should put anything there. My other problem areas are some of the niches in my home. We have one in the basement that I turned into an instant chalkboard gallery wall. :-)

  5. Oh my gosh I love your house! seriously you got some great ideas :)

  6. So many good ideas all in one place! You amaze, sweet lady. These are are all awesome, and I love that they're all so affordable. :)

  7. Large maps are my favorite thing!

  8. Your plank wall is my favorite! I love coming up with ways to fill large blank walls. Sometimes my ideas don't translate but I made a timeline wall in my dining room that I absolutely love!

  9. Some great projects here! I totally pinned your son's room for my sons' room inspiration a while ago. Love. It. Molding just makes all the colors *pop!* That planked wall to the basement is one of my latest fave projects of yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Hi there, I love your plank wall. Did you stain the wood yourself? If so, what was the stain color that you used.


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