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So you’ve just moved into your new place, or maybe you’ve actually been there for a while now, and there is that one wall that is just staring at you every day; blank, boring, screaming out for something different! Perhaps you are a little intimidated by the emptiness of it, you don’t want to do the wrong thing and be stuck with it. Does this sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve been there! We have you covered with some great ideas that will take your walls from bland and lifeless to bold and interesting!
Gallery walls are far easier to achieve than most people think and allow you to mix and match your styles. The key to a great gallery wall is a solid theme followed by a diversity of products and textures. When we say “theme” what do we mean? Well, it can be as simple as “orange stuff” where you can feature various different pictures with orange hues, orange fabric bunting, maybe some orange tiles, or some faux flowers. Or perhaps you want your place to feel beachy, then that would be your theme and you would gravitate toward nautical themed pieces, a dimensional Nautical Wood Map, textural rope knots, perhaps even some sculptural driftwood. Industrial? Mixed metal frames, old tin advertisements, wire baskets, even metal bike frame can look amazing as part of a gallery wall. Don’t be afraid to try things out, even if the intention of the product isn’t meant for a wall at all – there’s a raffia dining placemat taking pride of place on my wall right now because it fit the theme and provided great texture. A quick tip is to map your wall on the floor first, take pictures and measurements, then when it feels just right you can start hanging on the wall.
This might sound like a no-brainer and not at all alternative, but it’s how you use it that makes the difference! Paint is such a versatile way to take your plain wall to another dimension and really can be exciting and innovative. Whip out the painter’s tape and go wild! Horizontal stripes make a room feel longer, vertical can make ceilings feel higher. Try a chevron pattern, or maybe color-blocking. You can even ombré your wall by taking a damp sponge and blending painted stripes together! There are myriad stencils available now too that can give you the look and feel of a wallpaper at a fraction of the cost. You could do a full mural if you’re feeling brave (or have talented friends)! There’s so much more to do with paint than simply a solid accent wall, it is a wonderful and extremely cost-effective way to make a real splash in your room.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper
Speaking of wallpaper, it is HUGE right now. We are not talking about the faded yellow fruit and vegetable prints that are clinging to the walls of your grandparents’ kitchen, we are talking modern, bold-patterned, multi-dimensional, textured wonderfulness – oh yes, wallpaper nowadays can be utterly CHIC! They’ve even managed to modernize the toilet for goodness sake! What is even more fabulous about the wallpaper of this decade is that there are wonderful companies that offer DIY options that you simply peel and stick. This is a godsend for renters, who can make their house feel like a fabulous home and then simply peel it right off when they move out, leaving absolutely no damage or residue behind. It would take us a full year to round up all the wonderful options available, but a good rule of thumb with wallpaper (including the peel and stick kind) is to get as many samples of your faves as possible. Tape them on the wall, live with them for a few days, and then make your cuts, because inevitably what looks great in perfect light online may look very different in your own home.
Decor as Motivation
We all remember the poster of the kitten clinging to the branch in our guidance counselor’s office, imploring us to “hang in there!” That’s not exactly the kind of motivation we’re talking about! Grown-up, sophisticated, affirmative artwork looks more like this. Subtle reminders (or not so subtle if that’s your jam) for your everyday environment that starts to sink into your psyche and change your attitude toward your space and your life. Consider the positivity of art that combines inspirational quotations and vibrant imaging that can provide guidance and joy on a daily basis. If you’re looking to make an even bigger impact, framed wall pieces that feature a single inspirational quote are much more overt and direct in the messaging. Select the quote or words from wise men and women that can help to impact not only your outlook but the outlook of everyone who visits your home.
Using fabric and tapestries can be a really cost-effective way of making a big impact. Peruse your local fabric store or search online, you can buy fabric by the yard for a very reasonable price and it can cover a lot of real estates while being as colorful or neutral as you’d like. If you’re not looking to cover a whole wall, simply get a couple of yards and frame it – not only will it look super stylish, but it’ll add a great textural pop! If the repetitive nature of the most patterned fabric isn’t your thing, go for a tapestry or tarp instead. Available on most online retailers, tapestries often feature large scale imagery, motifs or text that, again, cover a decent amount of area without a lot of fuss – a tack in each corner and you’re pretty much set!
Don’t be afraid to combine several of these ideas! Paint then hang your gallery wall over the top! Include pieces with affirmations, an innovative timepiece, a square of your favorite fabric – so long as they’re things you love then space will not only feel like you but bring out the best in you too!
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