Quality decorating isn’t just about furniture. Often, people spend so much time deciding on the perfect rug or sofa that they neglect some of the biggest spaces in their homes, namely the walls.
Wall décor is your chance to show off your creativity when it comes to decorating. Though furniture’s main purpose is to be functional or comfortable, wall decoration is your guest’s window into who you really are.
There are countless wall art ideas floating around the internet. Some are DIY projects that always look easier to do than they end up being, while others utilize objects you might never have considered using to decorate. Whatever style you prefer, this handy guide is here to help.
We’ve compiled the 17 most dynamic and interesting styles of wall art available. These styles are a compilation of classic glamor, bohemian chic, and everything in between.
With so many options, it will be impossible for you to not find something you love and use it to beautify your most cherished spaces.
1. Tapestries – Not Just for the 70’s
Tapestries are an excellent way to cover a large amount of wall space with minimal effort. Popularized in the 1970’s by members of the hippy movement and fans of the Beatles, wall tapestries often include vintage or ethnic motifs that work to add pops of color to otherwise bland spaces.
Today you can buy wall tapestries in a variety of styles, including some of the vintage favorites if you frequent second hand shops.
2. Lighten up – Wall Lanterns
Wall lanterns have been decorating staples for hundreds of years, as they used to be the only way to light homes prior to the invention of electricity. In the 21st century, you can use wall lanterns to add a dramatic flair to your living space.
There are many available for sale, but some DIY-ers are opting to create their own. The basic elements of wall lanterns are a hanging portion and a clear vessel for holding your light source. Some wall lanterns can be created using mason jars and asymmetrical planks of wood for a natural feel.
3. Art Collection – The Gallery Wall
Galley walls are incredibly popular as they can take up a great deal of wall space, and allow for maximum creativity. Though traditional gallery walls are made up of varying frames, some new styles include small hanging textiles, standout pieces of jewelry, or wood carvings in addition to the traditional frames.
Experiment with hanging styles by using paper cut outs to mark where each element of your gallery wall set up will go. There are countless layouts to choose from, and you may even stumble upon your own unique set up.
4. Oasis at Home – Nature Inspired Vignettes
Nothing warms up an ultra-modern living space more than adding elements from nature to your design. You can start by purchasing or crafting a uniquely shaped wooden shadowbox.
Then enjoy yourself in a natural space, looking around for interesting looking stones, branches, and other natural elements you think would look good in your space. Compile everything in your shadowbox and experiment with different ways of placing your items.
When your branches start to look too lifeless, treat yourself to another outdoor excursion to find new items and refresh your vignettes often.
5. Inspiration – Framed Quotes
Inspiring quotes are an excellent way to showcase your values and personality. There are many ways to display quotes. Whether you have them printed and framed, or use your excellent penmanship to craft a unique piece of chalkboard art.
Start by finding a few short quotes that speak to you then, after you’ve created your art pieces, place them in areas that you will see often so that the meaning behind the words can serve to inspire and encourage you daily.
6. Grow – Wall Planters
Wall planters are a different approach to bringing natural elements into your home. While nature inspired vignettes involve bringing curated items from the outdoors into your home, wall planters encourage you to care for living plants throughout your home.
Choosing the right plants for wall planters can be tricky based on the amount of light available in your home. It is best to choose plants which have been specifically cultivated to grow indoors and don’t require much natural light.
Additionally, choosing plants that don’t need to be watered often allows for a larger margin of error should you forget to water for a few days or weeks. Succulents and small cacti are excellent choices for wall planters because they can go for months without watering and are incredibly easy to care for.
7. Museum of Wonders – Shelving your Collection
Shelves are amazing things! Though they are usually relegated to storing books or other necessities, shelves can also be used to showcase your favorite treasures.
The hottest trends for shelving involve unique shapes or live edge wood pieces that add a rustic feel to even the most modern of settings. Whatever style of shelves you choose, be sure to use them to showcase only the most dynamic and unique items you can find.
Use multiple shelves in unusual arrangements to add drama to large blank walls, and small shelves to fill in spaces that just need a little something extra.
8. Friends with Benefits – Support your Artsy Friends
Having artistic friends is the easiest way to score a ton of great pieces for your bare walls. Of course even your friends are unlikely to give you pieces for free, but remind them that allowing you to showcase their work will only help to drum up business for their endeavors.
When you get a new place, think about throwing an art party where everyone brings a piece that reminds them of you. That way your new home will be filled with art that has a personal touch.
9. Stamp Collage – Make Stamps out of Anything
Stamps are a hot commodity in the design world, and better quality ones can go for quite a bit of money. However, many are unaware that stamps can be made out of an amazing number of household or commonly found items.
Did you ever make an apple stamp in elementary school? This simple technique of cutting an apple in half and dipping the cut side in paint doesn’t just work on apples. Most varieties of round fruits make great stamps.
For a summery feel, try cutting a lemon or orange in half and stamping an interesting pattern over a section of wall space. Using alternating colors is another great way to change up the feel of this design, and can provide depth and substance.
10. Graphic Wall – Minimalist Wall Murals
You may not be an artist, or maybe you are. Fortunately, minimalism is in! Simple geometric shapes and varying lines are all the rage as design elements, and even those who are not artistically inclined have found minimalist designs to be simple to create.
Black and white tend to be the go to palette for minimalism, but don’t be afraid to experiment with color. They key to minimalism is letting each line or shape represent itself, so start crafting shapes and then compliment them with other designs that feel right. T
he great thing about minimalist art is that even if you mess up, there isn’t much clean up involved.
11. Stick it – Wall Decals
Not everyone has the willingness or ability to paint their walls. Perhaps your design ideas involve images or other concepts that you couldn’t paint even if you tried.
Wall decals are an excellent choice in such situations because they can be made to look like virtually anything. Though there are an incredible number of wall decals available to purchase, some manufacturers of decals are more than willing to create custom designs.
This means you have the freedom to come up with any style you like and make it a reality. The application process usually takes only a few minutes, and can completely transform a living space.
12. News Prints – Graphic Stamps on old Newspaper
Newspaper provides a unique backdrop for silhouettes and other styles of graphic art. Using black frames is generally the way to go, because they make the newsprint text stand out.
Using framed art to fill wall space is one of the traditional methods of decorating. Combine this unique style of printmaking with a gallery wall layout to create dramatic and eye-catching looks your guests will love.
13. Citizen of the World – Ethnic Woodcrafts and Textiles
Ethnic art has been a decorating staple since ancient times, when empires stretched across entire continents and the wealthy showcased their riches by featuring art and folk items from conquered realms.
Though the days of empires are pretty much over, you can showcase your travels by using unique woodcrafts and textiles from abroad. Ethnic art provides the opportunity to experiment with different colors, shapes, and styles than you generally use.
These pieces also tend to generate a great deal of conversation, so be sure to have some stories ready to tell about your travels.
14. Display – Use Signature Jewelry Pieces as Décor
What’s the point of having an amazing jewelry collection if no one sees it? Jewelry and other accessories can easily double as home décor with the right displays.
Add a unique necklace to your gallery wall, or hang interesting hats over the mantle. Glass display cases have also been used a lot recently in decorating and are a great tool for showcasing pieces you don’t get to wear often, but still want to show off.
15. Huntsman Chic – Antlers as Art
Using antlers to decorate has been steadily gaining popularity for the last few years and the trend seems to only be getting stronger. Though the initial focus was on natural looking antlers that might have even just been picked up on the side of a hiking trail, the newest use of antlers seems to be focused around function.
Jewelry hangers, hat racks, and candle holders made from antlers are everywhere. These simple yet rustic decorative pieces provide a touch of masculine energy to any space and also help to add warmth to overly modern spaces.
16. Simple Messages – Use DIY Scrabble Tiles to Spread Love
Scrabble tiles are an adorable way to create simple messages and affirmations. There are two ways to use scrabble tiles in design.
You can use the actual small tiles to spell out words and glue them to various surfaces such as frames, books, or coffee tables. There is also the option to craft scrabble tiles out of any square pieces of wood you can find, no matter the size.
Use these large scrabble pieces to create messages of love or inspiration and place them in highly visible areas of your living space.
17. String Along –Wall Art using String
Who could have guessed that string might be the decorating trend of the decade? Wall art doesn’t just involve drawing or painting.
Some designers are crafting entire murals using a single, albeit quite long piece of string. This technique does require a fair bit of artistic skill, but the finished product is always stunning.
Use thick string in black, or a striking color to create skylines, maps, and other images that look like simple line drawings from a distance. During the holidays, or whenever you feel like, trace your string art with twinkle lights for a bright and charming addition to your home.
Have Fun Decorating Your Walls!
Always keep in mind that lists such as these are merely guides to show you what’s available. You certainly won’t want to use every design idea on this list, but we hope that it will inspire you to try out some new ideas, and perhaps even combine two or more styles you would never have considered before.
Whatever you decide to do, let your personality shine through and have fun!