23 wall decor ideas to fill every blank canvas – with art or not

Fill up every blank space with wall decor ideas whether you're into art or not...

Wooden dining table and chairs in modern space with duo wall covering and decorative black sconces
(Image credit: @handsome.salt x Jenny Siegwart)

Blank walls can seem overwhelming – especially if they are painted white – but having an empty canvas that is open to wall decor ideas galore means that you can get really creative with art, paint and more to create a view you love. 

From choosing art to suit your space to putting up the perfect gallery wall or opting for a painted display instead of any art at all, there is so much you can do to decorate.

1. Poster art

Faux white shiplap wall in white kitchen with gold accents

Kitchen by DeVOL

(Image credit: DeVol Kitchens)

A planked shiplap wall (fake or not) is an everlasting love affair in the interior design world. Ideal to add more life to a white room with a modern finish, select a few canvas and poster prints also if you've an especially large amount of wall space to fill like in this open plan kitchen and enjoy the view.

2. Layer frames

Wooden dining table and chairs in modern space with duo wall covering and decorative black sconces

(Image credit: @handsome.salt x Jenny Siegwart)

You don't always need to hang pictures and artwork on the wall itself, sometimes leaning artwork against the blank wall space and overlapping frames can create the statement display you were hoping to achieve. Space created by Sara of @handsome.salt x photographer @jenny_siegwart.

3. Greenify

houseplant display in home

(Image credit: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

House plants jazz up most spaces and if you've a blank wall you can go to town with greenery. Hang them high, hang them low, install a grid to make your wall decor display even easier to create and edit as you/they grow.

4. Freestyle your wall decor

Fabric chairs in neutral colored dining space with hand painted mantle space and yellow ochre rug over dusk pink carpet

(Image credit: Carpetright)

Dab hand at painting walls or not, recreate cool wall decor ideas by using a thick paint brush and fluid stokes for an artistic finish that will add personality to your space. Perfect for modern homes in need of warming up and to make a neutral space feel even more cozy.

When it comes to filling up your walls without prints, Arianna Cesa, Color Marketing & Development Specialist at Benjamin Moore says that 'Paint is one of the easier and more cost-effective ways to refresh any space, and blank walls offer a canvas of possibilities. 

Using paint alone, there are many ways to decorate walls without framed artwork. We are seeing creative approaches to DIY designs and painting ideas – such as painted archways, stripes, and geometric patterns on the walls. You can go more subtle with a monochromatic color scheme for your design, using tints and shades with similar undertones. Or, use it as an opportunity to explore bright, saturated colors, like the ones found in the Benjamin Moore Color Preview Collection. Playing with different sheen levels is a great way to create visual interest in a room. Remember, the higher the gloss, the more light it will reflect in the space.'

5. The hat-trick

Decorative straw hats line a white hallway wall in contemporary entryway space

(Image credit: @handsome.salt x Jenny Siegwart)

If you're one for a straw hat then not only will this wall display add charisma and uniqueness to a blank wall in a hallway or lounge space but, it will also be really functional too. Space created by interior designer Sara of @handsome.salt x  photographer @jenny_siegwart

6. Curated artwork collection

Living room with blue velvet sofa, throw and colourful cushions. Concrete flooring with a rug and glass coffee table

(Image credit: Philip Lauterbach)

Michael Ayerst, Managing Director at Surface View on how to fill large free wall space in living rooms says 'You spend a lot of time in your living room; it’s the place to be with your family and friends and in many ways, it is where you should be at your happiest. This should be reflected in your living room décor – and especially on your walls!' Curate your art work as it suits you and your family. Even if it doesn't totally match your space, it will still add more character to your home.

7. Larger than life wall murals

Crane bedroom mural frames upholstered bed with hot pink bedding and yellow detail

(Image credit: @agi_at_59)

@agi_at_59 brushes off blank bedroom space with a wallpaper mural. 'A large, blank wall space can appear neglected and perhaps even a little boring. But sometimes filling this space can feel quite daunting. We love nothing more than a magnificent wallpaper mural to fill up a blank space! If this isn’t right for your living room, then how about a beautiful wall hanging or large canvas? Just remember that art is a reflection of one’s personality and uniqueness, so always pick artwork that truly speaks to you.' Adds Ayerst.

Floor to ceiling gallery wall

(Image credit: Photo by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash)

Annica Wallin, Executive Creative Director, Desenio says 'If you don’t have any furniture against the wall, you could go for one of the top trends right now - creating a floor-to-ceiling gallery wall. This is a great way to add a sense of height to your space. You could also choose one large framed print to make a striking statement. It all depends on your style and whether you like a clean, minimalistic look or something more personalised and expressive.'

9. One piece of art to frame the bed

Bedroom mirror used to make a space feel lighten and more open

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

In a cool minimal room you notice those finer details so don't go overboard with artwork. One contemporary piece center aligned with your bed frame will be enough to pull your design scheme together to break up any unwanted white wall space.

10. Make a statement in an entryway 

Marianne Cottrell house with gilded mirror and blue walls

(Image credit: Axminster)

Another great way to decorate your walls without artwork is by using mirrors. And, if you want a little added impact in your hallway, choose a statement piece like this ornate and grand design. 'Mirrors are a great way to create a sense of space and light, especially when used on walls that do not have prints on them. You could also experiment with framing family photos, collages, or even small mirrors to get a vintage or upcycle effect.' Adds Wallin.

11. Keep art in unexpected places 

Pink modern bathroom with white patterned floor and ceiling tiling and artistic shower curtain

(Image credit: @candycoloredhome)

Bring artwork into your bathroom to complete the look, and to have something to stare at when you are in the tub... Choose wall art ideas that reflect the shapes and lines you have going on in the rest of your space and achieve a natural finish worthy of the gram as Katie Mack of @mycandycoloredhome does so well here.

12. Max out on a variety of artwork

Gallery walls in eclectic living room with bright Berber style rug and cushions, blue arm chairs and contemporary cabinet and glass coffee table

(Image credit: Leeann Cline on Unsplash)

Nod a little to maximalism like LeeAnn Cline who has cleverly picked out colors in the rest of her space within one wall's artwork to create cohesion in a busy interior design scheme. Juxtaposed against the adjacent wall that's more toned down with one master piece of art on a dark painted background leaves food for thought.

13. Draw the eye up with miniatures

Painted floorboards in green room with wooden painted door, brick fireplace and small accent chair

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

A little blank space can still be effective if you want the color of your rooms to be the main event. If that is the case, use high rising wall trim as an opportunity to decorate. Add small photographs or any trinkets that will fit for a personalized view that isn't overly dramatic. Painted in Farrow & Ball.

14. Play with shape

Contrasting geometric wallpapers in dark hallway and lighter lounge, complete with vintage chest and large round mirror

(Image credit: @CarmeonHamilton x Hygge & West)

Cloakrooms, box rooms, home offices and hallways are the places to introduce bold patterns and complex wallpaper designs that really make you smile. Choose a geometric print that calls on the shapes present on the wall for a touch of fun.

15. Make sconces the feature

Blue bedroom with Berber style soft furnishings and wall art

(Image credit: @candycoloredhome)

Mack again here uses brightly colored round sconce lights with exposed bulbs on the wall as a cute design feature. Helping the rest of the eclectic accessories and Berber-esque decor pop, it makes for a perfect contrast.

16. Use your mantlepiece space

Decorated mantlepiece with dried flowers and candles against strawberry pink wall with trim

(Image credit: @houselust)

Amanda Cotton of @houselust uses her mantlepiece shelf space to fill those blank gaps with more color. And, Clotilde Passalacqua, Interior designer manager at IKEA adds how 'Shelving units and standing cabinets are great alternatives to art and prints for filling large areas of wall space.' Find your shelf space and let the magic happen.

17. Use art on and off the walls

Sponge painted pink and neutral wall with wooden mid century modern chest and eclectic art, accessories combination

(Image credit: @candycoloredhome)

Combining cool wall painting techniques with hung artwork and decorative pieces makes for a maximalist display that is sure to make you smile. Consider even displaying eclectic finds on stools near the wall to add more vibrancy and personality to your creation as Mack has done here.

18. Embrace color blocking

Colour blocking in a bedroom

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Cute color combinations will help adorn a blank canvas quickly and efficiently. Choose one dominant color then add in a contrast, brining it onto the furniture for more impact. Look created using Annie Sloane paint.

19. Textile wall art ideas

Dark navy painted wall with hanging plants in macramé and fabric canvas prints

(Image credit: Photo by Beazy on Unsplash)

From small macramé hanging planters to fabric canvas prints and more, adding different textures creates a soft finish on blank wall space and will make a living room feel even more personal to you – especially. if you've made any of the art yourself.

20. Framed arts and crafts

Peter Grech transformed his bathroom into a stylish sanctuary, and won our 2018 Real Homes award for best bathroom

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Framed doilies add character to free wall space above a painted mantlepiece in this award winning makeover. Making your blank space personal is what it's all about and the color co-ordination here with the mantlepiece creates a perfectly designed corner.

21. Color match one statement piece of art

Abstract wall art with wooden Mid-century style bench in hallway in front of kitchen spacee in kitchen-diner

(Image credit: Richard Gadsby)

If you love painted art try and select a piece where the dominating color transports you to the next room, and preferably to your favorite part of that space also. Note the teal from this abstract portrait nods to the colorful dining chairs in the next room. This level of attention to detail is what makes a home's interior design style stand out above the rest.

22. Mantlepiece wall space

Mantlepiece decor with board and printed signage

(Image credit: Photo by Jessica Johnston on Unsplash)

With that wall space behind a mantelpiece, you can go to town with decor for even more cozy vibes. Get yourself to a local flea market and see what you can find, you'll often be able to pick up a bargain trinket, heirloom or two also to fill up that blank space.

23. Mix modern art with organic textures

Mix of modern art on a gallery wall with hexagonal shelving and a wicker lined mirror

(Image credit: Next)

You can go contemporary without being harsh. Choose soft colors and play about with different shapes when decorating your walls for a balanced finish that's not OTT.

What blank space?

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!