The Art of Filling Your Wall Space (and what not to do!)

One of the most-requested topics I write about when I asked on Instagram was what to do with your walls! I wrote a post about this last year, so I'm reworking it a bit and adding to it to share again with you today.
Your walls make up a ton of area space in your home, so it's no wonder it's a topic of conversation and a need for inspiration! First off, I want to tackle a few design tips, dilemmas a lot of people have, and even some myths.

- Every wall does NOT need to have something on it. You read that right! Sometimes people feel they need something on each and every wall in their home and that's just not true. That can feel very cluttered and unintentional, not letting the eye have a place to rest.
- Scale matters! Big wall = your art, frames, or whatever you put on the large wall also need to be large. When in doubt, go big!
too small
too small 
slightly too big (I actually really like this if the art was just a smidge smaller. Right now I feel it's dwarfing the dresser. I don't prefer when a piece of art overhangs the furniture under it.)
- The center of your wall art should be around 55-60" high off the floor, depending on your height (I try to land around 57"). I can't tell you how often I see art hung too high (most often!) or too low. If you're hanging a gallery wall, treat the entire grouping of frames as one big piece of art to help you find where to hang the pieces correctly.
too high
too high 
too low (I like this room too, I'd just notch the art up a little!)
- If you're hanging art above a console table or sofa, the art (or object) should be at least 1/2 the size of the furniture below it. 2/3 the size is even better! The reason for this is so that the art and the piece of furniture actually feel like one cohesive vignette and not like the art is floating in space.
- Avoid the urge to hang frames far away from each other. The goal is to create a cohesive design and one that feels like a grouping to promote unity in the room. Hanging things too far apart will not accomplish that, seen below:
too far apart
Alright, now that we've covered those things, here are my favorite ways to fill your walls!

1. Gallery Wall: this is the ever-popular collection of frames in a grouping. You can do this so many different way: same colored frames, different colored frames, all art, all photographs, a collection of mix matched photos, art, quotes, etc. I love gallery walls going up a stair case like below (notice the mix of wide and thin black frames to give it interest):

I also love gallery walls in living rooms. This one does a great job of maintaining balance, even though it is asymmetrical. You can also see here that there is an awkward window on the left side of the couch, so they probably hung these frames strategically on the right side to balance that out.

Then there are symmetrical gallery walls! These make my OCD heart really happy ;)

This last one combines gallery wall with shelving, our next way to fill up wall space! I'm loving the look!

2. Open Shelving: floating shelves are a great way to fill wall space, because they give you linear lines (which actually makes the room appear larger) and you can display things on the shelves. It's a win-win!


You can see here on either side of the fireplace that without these floating shelves, the space would have been really bare. These fill up the space, detract from the big black TV, and give the home owners more space to show off their unique finds, books and more.

3. Mirrors: One of the best ways to use mirrors is by hanging it on the opposite wall of a window, so that you're maximizing the natural light. The light will reflect off the mirror and bounce onto other walls. Mirrors also give a bit of a feminine touch (of course, depends on the actual look of the mirror!) and adds depth, as well as a touch of metallic to the room.

Hanging one in the entry is always a winning choice, because it's so convenient to look in the mirror before heading out! A round mirror is a perfect way to break up the boxy look of rooms. If a room has a lot of rectangular or square shapes, intentionally hang a round mirror to mix it up!

It's important, when considering a mirror, to think about the shape. Round, rectangular, square, floor length, arched. There are many options! I love the arch look for this space, because it makes the ceiling look even taller!

Floor length mirrors are large, so they make a big statement and take up a big chunk of wall space. If you have a tall blank wall, this is a great place for a floor length mirror! They are especially perfect for a bedroom. I also like them in the end of a hallway, especially if the hall isn't well lit. Again, mirrors reflect light and that would help bring a bit more light to a dark hallway. 

4. Artwork: The best way to infuse personality into your home is by hanging art! It sets a mood, tells of your interests, brings texture, color, pattern and LIFE to the room. I love to use Minted for artwork. It comes framed beautifully!

One of my favorite examples of beautiful art in one of my client's homes is this coastal family room. It also happens to be my parent's house :) They love a beach town in Northern California called Carmel, so the painting is of one of the beaches there.

Abstract art is great for a more modern, contemporary or mid century look. They typically play with texture, which is a needed element in every room!

Favorite Art Sources:
World Market
Ballard Designs
Etsy- House of Belonging and Between You and Me for wood signs
Feather & Birch for cut out wood words and art
Favorite Artists (love supporting artists first before big stores!): Chelsea Michal for incredible and colorful animals and florals (she's who painted the lion in the main image on this post!), Hollyhocks & Hydrangeas for farmhouse flowers, Wildfield Paper Co. for florals and nature watercolors, Simply Jessica Marie for pretty calligraphy prints and custom watercolor paintings,Bree Maden for beach photography, Lily & Val for chalkboard art prints, Rachel Wadlow Art for Abstract, Parima Studio for abstract, Emily Jeffords for landscapes.

5. Clocks, Signs, Vintage Finds: these are special elements that further personalize your space.

City Sign


Love how this clock is stacked over a rectangular planter to offer a different shape to the vignette:

6. Textured or patterned walls: Not only is a fun wallpaper a great way to make a big impact on your walls, but so are wall textures created with wood trim (called board and batten).



via (just a note, sometimes the art above the furniture size rule can be broken. For example, here the art is only 1/3 the size of the bed and the rule says it should be 1/2 or 2/3 the size of the furniture, but it works here because of the board and batten texture and because the art is dark, contrasting the white wall, therefore taking up more visual space.)

Wallpaper magic! I'm so excited to be installing some wallpaper in a current client's home. It's going to be so beautiful! We're doing it in the powder bath and the master bedroom.

Hope this gives you some inspiration!!
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