Affordable Decor Ideas for BIG, Empty Walls

January 15, 2024

How to decorate large, empty walls in your home! 

More than 25 beautiful ways to decorate large walls. 

I find big walls difficult to decorate -- and so many homes have them now! With the open floor plans and two-story rooms in newer houses, they are so much more common.

Now, I will say...sometimes I find it best to ignore a big wall, at least when it comes to two story, taller walls. 

The super high walls in our old house bugged me for years, and at first I went high with the art. I quickly learned they don't need to be's obvious it's a big wall. ;) So I started bringing things back to people level and it felt SO much better.

Sometimes we bring more attention to overwhelmingly large walls by adding art. 

BUT, there are many spaces with expansive walls that you just know need something. It's difficult to tread that line of getting too busy or not doing enough.

I'm sharing a few of my favorite ways to fill those biggies first, then keep reading for examples from a bunch of talented bloggers.

Board and batten trim

First up -- in our foyer I added some very simple trim to give the wall a board and batten look (and only spent $15!):
simple board and batten wall

You'll be surprised at what that little bit of dimension does for a space. Even without any art, trim on the walls makes a big difference. 

I added a simple board and batten treatment to a small wall under our stairs as well: 
art ledges on stair wall

I plan to do that same treatment on the other stair walls eventually!

Planked or shiplap walls

Another favorite to fill a large wall is shiplap. Or for those of us who have been doing this treatment forever, planked walls: 
Step by step shiplap tutorial

The subtle lines of planked walls give just enough interest, but they aren't overly busy. 

I love a stained planked wall too -- you can see how I did my stained shiplap wall on our stairs: 
wood stained planked wall

The wood and stain gives a space so much warmth and texture!

Wainscoting molding boxes

Adding some simple "box" trim to your walls gives them character:
dark gray wainscoting walls

dark blue wainscoting walls

This also makes a large wall not feel so vast, and creates a smaller spot on the wall for art or a mirror.

Wallpapered accents

I love using wallpaper to add color and interest to a room, like in our mud/laundry room combo: 
floral wallpaper in laundry room

Most of the time I find I don't need to add any art at all -- let the wallpaper be the star! 

Huge DIY artwork 

I also love a huge chalkboard or large upholstered bulletin board to fill up a big wall (and add some function!):
large DIY chalkboard on drywall

I incorporated my small office television into the middle of my massive bulletin board: 
huge fabric bulletin board
How to make a giant bulletin board.

I love that board! I use it so much, it's so nice to have a spot for fabric swatches, paint samples and inspiration pics. 

Gallery art walls

Of course there's always the old go-to -- an art gallery wall. Tread lightly with this one because it can get busy quick! But if done well I think they can really fill a wall up nicely. 

I did a simple design around our TV in the master
gallery wall around TV

And I did a symmetrical, stacked frame wall down our basement stairs: 
Gallery wall with photos down the stairs

If you can invest in some frames (I find them half off at Michael's all the time and IKEA has very inexpensive options), you can print out free art at home, like I did for the gallery wall in our old living room:
fill large wall with free printable art

If you're new here, I'm sure you can tell by now that I love symmetry. :)

You can create a different kind of gallery wall by building these easy DIY picture ledges in long lengths
easy DIY picture ledges

This is SUCH an easy project and these simple ledges and photos fill up a space beautifully. 

I've built more of those art ledges all over our home -- one of my favorite spots was this game storage wall in our basement
long game storage wall

I used eight foot pine boards to make these long art shelves. 

Now let's see some of the beautiful spaces I've gathered for you! I love all of these ideas -- you'll find projects that fit in easily with both modern and traditional design aesthetics. 

You know how much I'm loving wallpaper! I used peel and stick in our powder room and the real stuff in a hallway. I love this simple but modern removable option: 
wavy neutral removable wallpaper

You don't have to go crazy with it! One wall is plenty. 

This cool idea gives the look of wallpaper, but it's just vinyl cut outs: 
get look of wallpaper without wallpaper

Vinyl shapes on the wall make a big impact but they are very inexpensive and are easy to remove later.

This TV wall was inspired by our old planked fireplace wall:
breaking up TV wall with faux accent wall

I love how they brought the wall out a bit. It really makes the long wall much easier to deal with and creates a great focal point!

Look what you can do with wood, time and some patience!:
geometric accent wall with wood

I love it! Such a unique take on an accent wall. It makes that wall the star but doesn't overwhelm the room. 

If you love a shiplap wall but don't have the tools or know-how to hang it, you can try this faux shiplap look!:
faux shiplap tutorial

I LOVED this dog art but figured there was no way I could do something like this on my own...until I read her tutorial. What a cool project!:
DIY paint by numbers artwork

Now where am I going to hang giant art of our animals? :)

This is an idea I read about years back, and it has really taken off! Have you ever considered using a shower curtain as art?:
Create large art from shower curtain
The Aspiring Home

SO fun, right?

This one is brilliant -- did you know you can have any photo made into a shower curtain? And then make it into art?:
Photo on shower curtain to make large artwork

This is another pretty option -- you can get VERY large art out of something like this (and make your own simple canvas frame to hang it: 
DIY large art using shower curtain

And then there's the tried and true gallery wall...I loved all of these simple and classic looks. This one made with vintage paper and handwritten letters is lovely: 
Framing old letters gallery wall

This idea is a more organic design and you'll save on the frames! I love that it looks like wallpaper: 
Botanical gallery wall without frames

I love the look of the simple, square IKEA frames around the TV: 
Ideas for art around TV

Sticking with black and white architectural photos (that you could take yourself) adds a more modern look in a space: 
Modern black and white gallery wall

So many great ideas, right? Whether it be a long hallway, a big wall in the living room or a tall staircase, these are wonderful examples of how to fill those big spaces. 

Have you used any of these ideas in your home? 

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  1. On the other hand, why feel a need to fill spaces? After moving into a new home a few years ago as empty nesters, we found that we like the minimalist look. I have much fewer items on walls and shelves than in past homes, and my eyes are so much happier for it! I find having fewer items displayed is much more calming.

    1. Of course not every wall should be filled. :) There are some that feel "off" -- at least in our home -- if left empty.

  2. Thanks so much for including our botanical entry in here. It's a small space but the fern prints give it so much more personality.

  3. Thank you, thank you for sharing our littlest’s wallpapered nursery wall in your round-up! So much beautiful inspiration!

  4. Love these ideas!

  5. Thank you for this…it’s perfect timing as I am almost ready to tackle a large wall in our primary bedroom. It’s a challenge, but I plan to use my on photography.. just figuring out what format to print.

  6. What would you do with a foyer 36 ft long, 15 ft wide and two stories tall? Should I ignore the area above the door moulding over the dining room opening? And then there is the full height wall across from the dining room to consider. I’d love to send you photos to get your thoughts. I’ve been here 15 years and am baffled.

  7. Is it OK to add trim to walls that have an orange peel texture?

    1. Yes, but you'll need to use more caulk! I would try placing a piece against the wall first. Or you can attach something like thin backer board to the wall first, then install your trimwork.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!