Do you stare your blank walls wondering what to put there? What could possibly fill that big vertical void? When you move into a new place the blank walls almost seem to be caving in on you.
But what you hang on them has so much more importance than simply filling empty space. Your wall decor says something about who you are, what you value, and how you want your space to feel.
If simply filling the space was all you wanted, then any old piece from the local big box store would work. But we both know that doesn’t work.
How many times have you hung something on the wall, stepped back and frowned in disappointment? It’s not big enough. It doesn’t look right. Or you downright hate it.
You don’t want to just fill space. You want meaning, purpose, and personality on your walls.
Instead of thinking of your walls as an empty place to fill, you need to think of them as opportunities. A chance to set the tone for a space, to reflect who you are, or make a space look bigger.
To do that, there are two key shifts in perspective that will help you choose better wall decor:
1. Think of the big picture first.
Don’t start with the specific piece, start with the room as a whole. Work your way into the right wall decor by first considering it’s context in the room and how you want to feel in the space.
Then move in a little closer and consider how the wall decor will play with furniture and architectural elements in the room.
Then get right up in there and decide on the wall decor layout or arrangement. Do you envision a solo focal piece or a grouping of wall decor? How will this piece play off other wall decor in the room?
Only once you’ve considered the entire context around that wall can you decide specifically what should go on it.
2. Choose the right type of wall decor.
What type of wall decor is ideal for the particular wall in question? I classify wall decor into three main types; focal point, filler, and functional. It’s an important distinction to make.
Focal point wall decor is usually large, signature, eye-catching statement pieces, like a large piece over the mantel, a big floor mirror, or a large gallery wall.
Filler wall decor is secondary to your focal point. These pieces are usually smaller and less impactful visually.
Functional wall decor could be a focal point or a filler. Functional wall decor has a purpose or utility, like a mirror, shelves, a white board, or a clock. These pieces generally need to be accessible or unobstructed to be useful.
Are you dealing with a focal wall in the room or a secondary wall? Is the space you are working on prime real estate for functional decor or something aesthetic only?
When you start viewing your wall decor choices in the broader context of what your space needs to feel and function the way you want, then it’s easier to choose the right pieces.