Banishing Blank Walls

Ugh. Ughhhhh. If you’ve been home and staring at the walls—just know you’re not alone. However, if you’re home and staring at blank walls—well, that’s even worse. If you’re using your time at home to do a little painting, rearranging, or feng shui, here are some ideas from local designers about how to banish those barren walls that may be driving you absolutely bonkers.

1) Mirrors
“Mirrors bring light to a space and make it feel larger. Don’t just think small. Mirrors can be floor-to-ceiling or cabinet-to-ceiling,” says Kristen Ridler of Kristen Ridler Designs. “They can be trimmed in for a more transitional look or, for a modern feel, kept frameless. Since mirrors reflect what is in front of them, be mindful of what they are reflecting. Mirrors placed purposefully can reflect a dramatic chandelier or can create drama on their own by their size, scale, and placement.”

2) Fabric
“Fabric isn’t just for your window treatments. Why not soften up your space with fabric on your walls—whether it’s on panels, or a whole room! I love the idea of matching pillows or a sofa to the walls too,” says Jenny Manka of Manka Interiors. “And who needs artwork when you have walls with a saturation of color and pattern? It’s about the same price as wallcovering and the installation is easy. (Tip: think about it as you would changing out a seat cushion.) I recommend putting ½-inch batting behind for an even softer, more luxurious look, and covering buttons in the same and/or coordinating fabric, spaced evenly apart for a traditional feel. Who’s ready to get out their creativity—and, uh, staple gun?”

3) Wood/stone wall details
“A focal wall can be covered in a material such as stone, tile, or granite, or trimmed and painted. Trim and paint would be a more economical choice, but it can be as unique as the homeowner. When using granite, clients can select the slabs that have dramatic or subtle movement,” says Ridler. “When using a luxury material, think of an area the homeowner sees and enjoys on a daily basis, like an entry wall or above a fireplace in the great room or bedroom. Often these areas have a fireplace as well, and the wall material is highlighted by the warmth of the fireplace.”

4) 3D Wall Art/Sculptures
“If walls in a room already have art on them, think of ways to add interest to a wall without more art. Use a table or pedestal with a sculpture or place a large sculpture alone,” says Ridler. “Look for sculptural items to hang on a wall. Add impact by hanging them in multiples.”

5) Wallpaper
“Wallpaper has made a huge comeback recently. We are seeing it in large format patterns and texture. Geometric prints can an impact to a dining-room ceiling or powder-room walls. Don’t be afraid to go bold, wallpaper is much easier to remove than it used to be,” says Ridler.