3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

Dang, that weekend went by way too fast! I can’t believe it’s already Monday, but here we are with a fresh new week staring us in the face. How was your weekend?? It was a busy one here–we took a little road trip to our hometown and spent the entire weekend doing wonderful things like antiquing and eating waaaaay too much food. I’m talking an insane amount of food. It always happens when we’re down there, it’s like I lose all sense of control and just eat, eat, eat. Especially when my mom makes fudge cake, which is the best thing in the entire world. I just can’t say no. I even brought some home because apparently I didn’t get my fill of sugar. Anyway, it was awesome. I can’t wait to show you what goodies I found, but today I want to start off the week with 3 simple tips for decorating any wall. I’ve been brainstorming this post for a while now and I think I have it narrowed down to a few key things that will greatly help with the tricky task of decorating any empty wall. I’m going to walk you through the steps I use and show you how it progresses from start to finish. But before I get into it, I want to remind you that these are simply my personal tips and suggestions. This is just how I do it and what I’ve learned from a lot of trial and error. These aren’t rules by any means and I’m not a professional interior designer, you guys know that. But this is what works for me and what I think will work for you too. Kapeesh? Ok, glad we’re all on the same page. Let’s get to it.

1. Little Wall = Little Piece, Big Wall = Big Piece

Ok,  the first thing you should think about when decorating any wall is how big the space is you’re working with. For example, if you’re working on a small area of wall, say less than 3 or 4 feet wide, you’re good to go with a smaller piece of decor. And you could definitely get by with just using a single item. However, if your wall space is larger, such as the wall behind your TV or above your sofa, you’ll want to use larger pieces or a cluster of items, which I’ll get into more in a bit. Let me show you in photos to help illustrate my point. Take this chalkboard for example.

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

Hanging in our breakfast nook, I think this chalkboard looks pretty darn good. It’s a small area of wall and this chalkboard works well here because there’s not a lot of empty wall space surrounding it. It’s just the right size–not too big, not too small. Just like Goldilocks said. Now let’s look at the same exact chalkboard on a larger area of wall space in the dining room.

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

See how it seems a bit out of place? It just doesn’t work quite as well as it did in the breakfast nook. It’s too small for the wall space and it’s almost like something is missing when I look at this photo. I notice this a lot with wall decor–items that are too small are hung directly in the middle of the wall, which just looks incomplete to me. If I really wanted to use the chalkboard in this particular spot, I’d definitely put it in a group of items, which is my next point. Otherwise I’d look for a larger item to hang in this spot instead.

2. Grouping Items

Ok, this one is a great trick if you’re working with a large area of wall like this one in our dining room. Taking our example from before, if you love this chalkboard and want to use it in this particular area, I’d recommend grouping it with a couple other times. Now, I don’t mean you should create an entire gallery wall. You can, of course, but it’s not necessary. You can pull this off by simply adding in a few other items to help fill up the wall space. I think it works best when you group things in 3’s, especially on a larger wall like this one. Here’s how it looks when I added two tobacco baskets to either side of the chalkboard.

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

Looks a little better, right? We haven’t covered up all of the empty wall space, but adding the tobacco baskets helps pull it together a bit and the 3 items balances it out. Plus I added some texture by layering the small wreaths on top of the baskets. I could totally leave this just like it is and be happy with it, or we can take it one step further by adding in something unexpected, which is my next point!

3. Add Something Interesting

This is a big one for me and something that I think often gets overlooked when it comes to wall decor. Don’t forget to add in something interesting! Especially when you’re grouping items together, think of ways you can mix it up by including at item or two that isn’t necessarily expected. Wall decor doesn’t have to be flat and boring. You can use wicker baskets, old windows, architectural pieces, mounted wire baskets that hold lots of fun things, even spindles. Get creative with it for heaven’s sake. Here’s how the wall looks with adding in an arch on top of the chalkboard:

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall 3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

This vintage inspired arch draws the eye upwards and gives a bit more character to this wall space. It’s different and unique, without overpowering the whole look. And while we haven’t quite created a full blown gallery wall, it’s a simple cluster of items that work pretty well together and fill up this big area in the dining room. I also added in a bit more decor on the dresser just to pull it all together and finish it off. Here’s the before shot again with the chalkboard by itself:

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

And the after with a bit of grouping and textural interest:

3 Simple Tips for Decorating Any Wall

See how the after shot just looks more pulled together and complete? It’s just a few simple changes, but it makes a big difference. And I think these tips work well on any wall. Start by looking at how much space you have to work with and how that area sizes up to the items you want to use, then go from there.

 Small wall = small item.  Big wall = big item or a cluster of items.

Let me also add that I don’t think an empty wall is a bad thing. In fact, it’s actually good to leave some blank walls so the eye can “rest”, if that makes any sense. You definitely don’t want every last wall in your house covered in stuff. It’s all about balance folks!

I hope this was helpful and gave you a few ideas for decorating any wall in your home. Like I said, these are just the check points I go through when I’m working on a wall space, but they’re definitely not rules. Above all, make your home what YOU want. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It’s more fun that way!

A few there posts you might enjoy:

Creative Ways to Decorate Above the Sofa

Farmhouse Style Gallery Wall

The Best Farmhouse Style Signs

Vintage Inspired Arches & Frames from Feather & Birch

3 simple tips for decorating an empty wall

Leave a Comment


  1. Marilyn Soto wrote:

    Love your easy to follow guides – your use of photos for every step is so helpful….. thanks for going the extra mile for your readers !

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Thank you Marilyn, you know how much I love to share lots of photos! 😉 Hope you have a great Monday.

      Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  2. Robin wrote:

    Very good lesson!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  3. Pat wrote:

    Thanks for these helpful tips! I”ve noticed you do rearrange your wall decor from time to time. Do you fill in and repaint the nail holes all the time or just rearrange using what will fit with the existing nail holes? We”ve just repainted our mainfloor and I”m afraid to hang anything in case it doesn’t look right and i’m left with nail holes everywhere!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Good morning Pat! That’s a good question. I always fill in the nail holes when I re-do wall decor. I just use a little nail hole filler like this one https://amzn.to/2pYnicm. Then paint over it. It usually doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to fill a bunch of little holes!

      Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Lisa wrote:

      Just a suggestion: place everything on the floor or on a bed first to see how it will look before you hang everything. You can rearrange as many times as you like and get it just right before you start hanging.

      Posted 5.10.17 Reply
  4. Vicki wrote:

    Your display above the chest of drawers looks great! I would like the add that the tobacco baskets would probably not have looked right if you didn’t have the chairs on each side of the chest, but because they add width below, they help balance out the baskets. It also really helped when you added the tiered basket on top of the chest to add some height and help tie in the surface decor items with the wall grouping. Your house is beautiful!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  5. Donna Bergthold wrote:

    Love all of this! Thanks for sharing your tips. I always feel when I decorate a wall I’m either adding too much or not enough. Love how you put the wall above the dresser together! Looks awesome! I do have a question regarding the dresser, did you paint that? I’m thinking of painting my bedroom furniture and I love how the dresser looks. Thank you for sharing your ideas and home with us.

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Donna, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post today and my tips! And about that dresser, I actually did paint it. You can see exactly how I did it in this post: https://sarahjoyblog.com/vintage-dresser-makeover/

      Posted 5.8.17 Reply
      • Donna Bergthold wrote:

        Thank you for the link Sarah! I actually remember looking at that post. I appreciate your response and your blog is one of my favorites to read! Thank you for all you do!

        Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  6. Julie Briones wrote:

    Really enjoyed your post today, Sarah. Love the architectural accent piece. I’ve been ‘crushing’ on those types of pieces lately. 🙂

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Aren’t those great!? Feather and Birch does an awesome job with those arches and vintage inspired windows.

      Posted 5.9.17 Reply
  7. laura wrote:

    Great tip!
    Where did you purchase the double wall hooks that the aprons are hanging on?

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Hi Laura! That’s actually from Magnolia Market. I got it when we visited in March!

      Posted 5.9.17 Reply
      • laura wrote:

        Thanks Sarah!
        Gotta go to Waco!!!

        Posted 5.11.17 Reply
  8. Brenda wrote:

    Great advice, you explained it so well! I have a hard time keeping a wall blank, but do try to keep things simple.
    My Monday has been busy playing with my back porch/deck and getting it set up for another summer. I use a lot more color out there, so it is fun. Have a fabulous week!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      Sounds like you had a great Monday, Brenda. I can’t wait to get some work done on our back patio. I actually just found a really great vintage table that I will convert into a potting bench, so I’m itching to get that done!

      Posted 5.9.17 Reply
  9. Debbie lins wrote:

    Where can I find an architectural piece similar

    Posted 6.8.17 Reply
    • Sarah wrote:

      I got it from Feather and Birch, which is a shop on Etsy. She has a ton of great pieces like that one! You can find it here: https://rstyle.me/n/cpaerfb6hgf

      Posted 6.8.17 Reply
  10. Wow, Sarah, these are excellent tips. I don’t have that good experience with walls lately. Lets see if it works with your small piece strategy. Thanks for writing.

    Posted 5.4.18 Reply
  11. Thanks for these tips for decorating a wall. I like the idea of grouping things together to create a better aesthetic. Maybe it could be good to try out different items to see what compliments each other.

    Posted 7.3.18 Reply

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