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How to Choose Art: Your Need-to-Know Guide to Buying Art

When decorating your home, it’s safe to assume that the furniture and color scheme you choose will have the greatest impact on the design of your space. However, it’s the finishing touches like art and decor that really bring your space to life.

If you’re in the middle of designing your space from scratch or redesigning your home, you might be feeling fatigued by the time you get to choosing art for your walls. At this point, a lot of people either leave their walls blank until inspiration strikes, or they buy random artwork just to fill large blank walls. But art should never be an afterthought.

Art is such an important part of decorating. It helps bring your space to life, adds personality, creates focal points, and sets the mood for the space. But there are so many things to consider when choosing art. At Modsy, we actually get a surprisingly large number of questions about how to choose art for your home.

Because of this, we’re breaking down all the core considerations about how to choose art for your home and giving you tips on how to know what type of wall art is right for you.

Here’s a quick list of the considerations we’ll cover in detail:

  • Size
  • Shape and Orientation
  • Medium
  • Subject Matter

Read on to get the full scoop and become an expert at choosing art for your home!

Looking for help choosing other furniture and decor? Check out our Interior design buying guides for expert advice on finding the perfect pieces for your home. Or start a project to work one-on-one with a professional interior designer!

Blue dinging room with fireplace and abstract art

Consideration #1: Artwork Size

When it comes to wall art, size is incredibly important. Art pieces of different sizes will have completely different effects on your space. So, how do you decide what size of art to buy? This could be dictated by the size of your walls or the space you’re trying to fill—for example, a large blank wall might need a large piece of art.

If you’re shopping more generally for art rather than trying to fill an existing space, considering size also helps you understand the effect that various sizes of art will have on your room. Below, we’ll touch on the four basic sizes of wall art.

gray living room with butterflie wall art

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Small Art

Small art tends to be the most affordable. Similar to rug pricing, art typically goes up in price as the size goes up. Small art is also the most flexible, as you can hang these pieces almost anywhere.

Size: Small art typically includes pieces that are between 4 and 16 inches in length or width.

What it’s good for: Small art is perfect for creating small, intimate moments on your walls or tabletops, since you have to get up close to see them. This makes this size ideal for hanging in more intimate spaces.

Where to hang small art: These pieces are perfect as accent pieces above nightstands, propped on a shelf, or hung in the bathroom. They work great in gallery walls as well, as you can group small art together to create a larger wall of art.

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Medium Art

When you think of the “average” wall art size, this is it. You’ll find medium-sized art at a middle-of-the-road price range, where you can get a beautiful, impactful piece for a reasonable price.

Size: Medium-sized art is generally 25 to 32 inches in size.

What it’s good for: This is a great size for framed art prints and photography. It’s also a great size for pieces that are a little trendy and that you may not hang up forever. They aren’t a complete investment, but they’re large enough to make a visual impact.

Where to hang medium art: Wall art that’s medium-sized is perfect in hallways and over accent furniture. They’re also good for grouping with small art pieces for creating a focal point in an eclectic gallery wall.

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Large Art

Large art is the type of piece that makes a statement in a room. This is the typical size of art to choose when you want to hang or lean just one piece somewhere (rather than grouping it with other pieces). Large wall art tends to be more expensive due to the larger dimensions.

Size: Large art is typically 33 to 42 inches in size, whether in length or width.

What it’s good for: Large art is perfect for making a stand-alone statement. Anywhere a large piece of art is hung becomes a focal point!

Where to hang large art: You might see a large art piece hung over a fireplace, bed, or sofa, or on a large wall in a dining room or entryway.

white entryway with large abstract art

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Extra Large Art

Extra large art makes for a bold impact in your room! If you’re a fan of modern art, this is the scale you’ll find for a lot of original pieces. The idea is to almost overwhelm the viewer and create a striking impact.

Size: Extra large art is pieces that are 43 inches or larger in length or width.

What it’s good for: Extra large art is perfect for creating a dramatic focal point. It’s also a great size for custom art that you really want to show off!

Where to hang extra large art: Pieces of this magnitude usually hang alone on a wall, in a space with tall ceilings or lots of space like a foyer, stairwell, or large fireplace wall.

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white living room with landscape wall art over fireplace

Consideration #2: Shape and Orientation

Why think about shape and orientation when choosing wall art? Well, the configuration you choose will largely be based on the wall space you want to fill, and different shapes and orientations are better for different spaces.

In this section, we’ll unpack the four basic shapes and orientations of wall art.

blue green living room with animal art

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Square Art

Ok, we probably all know the math on this one—but for posterity’s sake we’ll spell it out: square art is pieces that are the exact same height and width. Because of the symmetrical nature of this shape, square art is very versatile and will look good in most spaces.

A square shape is best for… 

Smaller art, as stand-alone pieces or within a gallery wall. (Large square pieces can be difficult to fit on specific walls—though, that’s not always the case, as the room design above proves!)

white entryway with landscape art

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Landscape Rectangle Art

A piece of wall art that’s a landscape rectangle shape has a horizontal orientation—meaning it’s wider than it is tall. This is the shape and orientation you’ll typically find for landscape paintings (hence the name).

A landscape orientation is best for… 

Hanging over longer pieces of furniture, like a sofa, credenza, or bed. This shape also works well for pieces hung above fireplace mantles, if the space tends towards the wider side.

white entryway with coastal photo wall art

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Portrait Rectangle Art

Wall art that has a portrait rectangle shape is taller than it is wide. This orientation takes its name from classical art that featured portraits of people.

A portrait orientation is best for… 

Rooms with tall ceilings, as the orientation will draw the eye up. It’s also great for art hung in entryways and hallways for more of a visual impact in these pass-through spaces.

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Freeform or Round Art

Freeform art, as the name suggests, has no real form. Rather, it boasts a more organic shape. Because of its curves and more organic nature, we’re also grouping round art pieces with this category. Freeform art can be a multitude of shapes and can be hung individually for more of a statement or in a grouping of organically shaped pieces like in the room above.

Freeform or round art is best for… 

Larger, open swaths of wall where you want to make a statement or in small, awkward spaces where fitting a standard piece of art could be a challenge.

Consideration #3: The Medium

An art piece’s medium is what the piece of art is made of and/or the method used to make the art. This is the biggest factor in choosing art, as it has the greatest effect on what the art looks like and the mood it creates. You’ll likely find you gravitate toward certain mediums more than others.

Below, we’re breaking down the most common art mediums, general pricing considerations, and what design styles they work well with!

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Oil and Acrylic Painting

This is the medium that many famous, iconic paintings are made with. (Think: da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Monet’s Water Lilies.) Oil and acrylic paintings are perfect for creating a focal point due to their vibrant colors and ability to show incredible detail and beautiful brush stroke textures—so hang them where they will be seen, like in your living room, dining room, or bedroom.

General Price Point: These pieces tend to be more expensive due to the skill it takes to use this medium. This is especially true for one-of-a kind, original pieces. Love the look but not the price tag? You can find reproductions or digital prints that mimic the look and feel of a real painting but are much more affordable. (We’ll talk more about this later!)

Special Considerations: Be sure to position these paintings where they’re safe from UV rays and moisture, both of which can damage acrylic and oil paintings. So, no bathrooms, kitchens, or in front of large, sunny windows!

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Watercolor

Watercolor is a water-based paint that is applied to textured paper. Because of the way the water mixes with the paints, the colors featured in watercolor paintings are intrinsically less bold and more subdued. There’s less precision in watercolor paintings vs those made with oils or acrylics, giving this medium a more relaxed and casual vibe.

General Price Point: Watercolors are an easier paint to work with than oils or acrylics, so watercolor art is generally less expensive. However, as an original piece of art, This is a great option if you want an original work of art without the high price tag.

Special Considerations: These pieces are best hung in dry spaces like living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. That may seem strange, but watercolor paintings must be kept safe from moisture, as the paint can still bleed and smear if it gets wet.

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Photography

Photographic wall art is simply printed photos that were taken with a camera! Photos can be from a digital or film camera and come in either color or black and white. This medium can feel the most personal, as it features real life. Photography can commemorate or feature family members, life events, or travels. But it can also be professional shots of nature, people, objects, or events in history. This is a very versatile medium, and photography can go anywhere in a good frame—though photo prints will fade in direct sunlight, so be mindful of hanging photos in bright, sunny areas.

General Price Point: If you’re framing your own photos, this can be one of the most cost-effective ways to fill your walls with art. Professional photography will naturally be more expensive but still tends to be one of the more affordable mediums of original art.

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Printmaking

There are many different kinds of printing methods, which all create what are known as prints. Some of the popular methods include woodcuts, lithographs, engravings, etchings, and screen prints. As an art form, this is known as printmaking. This medium is not to be confused with digital art prints, which we’ll cover later.

General Price Point: The price point of these types of prints depends on the maker and if a work of art is mass-produced. Art prints are often produced in a larger batch, where one design can be printed infinite times once the original image template is created. However, some artists do limited runs or special-edition prints. So, they may only print 200 of a particular piece and never sell it again, making each print more rare and valuable. Ultimately, the number of prints available will contribute to the final cost. Regardless, prints tend to be more affordable than paintings, making them quality investments and a great way for a person to play around with their preferred art style.

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Drawings and Sketches

A drawing or sketch is another common form of original art, usually done on high-quality paper using materials like ink, graphite, or even pastels. This medium can be quite striking due to the monochrome coloring. Drawings and sketches make great accent pieces and art within gallery walls, as they tend to be created on smaller pieces of paper.

General Price Point: Similar to prints, drawings and sketches can be more affordable, since they typically take less time to create than paintings.

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Mixed Media and Collage

Art created from a multitude of different mediums is considered mixed-media or collage art. These pieces usually feature different paper cut-outs or found objects, grouped together into an artful arrangement. Because of the layering and mix of textures, we love the idea of hanging a collage somewhere where viewers can stand up close and get a good look at the intricate details.

General Price Point: The price point of a collage is completely dependent on the size of the piece, the artist creating it, and the materials used within the collage. Smaller colleges tend to be quite affordable.

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Digital Prints

All of the mediums above can be reproduced digitally for mass production and wider availability. Whereas an artist generally only makes one original painting, drawing, or collage, digital reproductions can be printed innumerable times. However, not all digital art is a reproduction of an original. These days, many artists only create digital artwork. Some modern artists start with a painting or drawing and digitally finish it, while others create artwork exclusively on their computer or tablet.

General Price Point: This is the most affordable way to build an art collection. While original artwork isn’t in the budget for many people, digital prints allow people to purchase art from specific artists or brands at a more approachable price point. You can get beautiful small and medium-sized prints for under $50.

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Textiles

Not all wall art is framable. Case in point: textile art. This medium uses plant-based or synthetic fibers that are woven into a decorative object. These pieces are traditionally woven by hand or on a loom and therefore have a handmade quality and uniqueness to them. Textile wall art—like woven wall baskets and tapestries—is a beautiful way to add color, texture, and patterns to your walls, plus introduce more freeform shapes to a room.

General Price Point: Handmade textile art tends to be around a medium price range because of the skill and time required to create each piece. However, today, some companies machine weave textile art, which makes it more affordable.

Consideration #4: The Subject Matter

A piece of art’s subject matter is simply what the piece portrays! This is another huge factor in determining which type of art you choose for your home. Do you like antique-inspired portraits of people? Abstract paintings? Drawings of animals? These are all different subject matters.

Below, we’re unpacking the most common subject matter categories and what styles they go best with!

green entryway with landscape wall art

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Landscapes

Landscape art showcases scenery from the world’s natural landscape. These pieces usually have a very serene vibe—nature tends to be quite relaxing and restorative, after all! The typical mediums for landscape art are paintings and photography, though you’ll definitely still see them in prints and drawings.

Everyone has a different idea of what types of landscapes speak to them and what they find most beautiful. So, consider choosing a landscape that depicts a place that is personal to you—something that reminds you of your favorite city, your childhood home, or a favorite vacation spot, perhaps?

Landscapes are a great choice for… 

Homes of almost all styles! However, they’re seen most often in rustic and traditional spaces. They’re also used widely in homes that practice feng shui design.

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Still Lifes

Still lifes (yes, that’s the plural form!) are a genre of art that depict a grouping of inanimate objects. A common motif for a still life is a table setting with food and tableware, flowers in a vase, or a bowl of fruit. Still lifes can be created in a variety of different mediums, and each one changes the look and feel of the still life. For example, an oil painting still life might feel super realistic and conjure up paintings you’ve seen in a classical museum, while a watercolor still life might feel more playful.

Still lifes are a great choice for… 

Traditional, rustic, and transitional styles. But if you have a different design style, you don’t have to miss out on this subject matter! Simply find one with a cute theme or humorous, playful slant—like a beachy still life for a coastal space or fast food and melted ice cream still lifes for an eclectic one!

dark blue dining room with abstract wall art

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Abstract

Abstract (or non-objective) art is a style of art that became popular in the 1900s, especially post-World War II. This is a very modern style that doesn’t showcase any object or attempt to portray a visual reality. (In stark contrast with representational art, like still lifes or landscapes, which represent real life.) Rather, you’ll see shapes, colors, lines, and movements that are intended to be an expression that evokes a feeling or revelation. Ultimately, this style is all about exploring forms and colors.

Abstract pieces are a great choice for… 

Contemporary and modern styles. You’ll often see large-scale abstract art in these styles! Typically colorful and full of movement, abstract expressionist pieces work well in a high-energy space of the home like the dining room or even kitchen, making for show-stopping focal points in those spaces.

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Portraits and Figures

Portraits and figure drawings are art pieces featuring people, where the intention is to represent a specific human subject. As a result, they tend to be very expressive and personal. You’ll find portraits of people both famous and unknown (in photos, drawings, and paintings). Whether super literal or slightly more abstract, these pieces always focus on the human figure. Because of the personal nature of this type of art, portraits tend to be hung up in more intimate spaces, like bathrooms, home offices, and bedrooms. But a small or medium portrait would be a great addition to an eclectic gallery wall!

Portraits and figure art is a great choice for… 

Almost any style. Historically, you’d see formal portraits in very classic and traditional spaces. However, today portraits and figure drawings are created in modern, humorous, and even super minimal styles. So, this is really a subject matter that spans across styles.

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Animals

Animal art is wall art that features animals. Sometimes it’s literal, in a more landscape approach like the painting above. Other times you’ll see a stunning black and white photograph of a single animal that shows off its beauty and majesty. And sometimes you’ll see animal art featuring animals dressed up in human clothing and accessories. Animal art really runs the style gamut. However the animals are portrayed, these subjects add a whimsical and more casual feel to a home. They work great in living rooms and other casual living spaces where you want to add a little life.

Animal art is a great choice for… 

Rustic spaces and kids rooms. Animal art is typically more rustic in style, but animals are seen a lot in traditional and classic art too. But on the more playful end of the animal art spectrum, you’ll find a lot of pieces that bring a whimsical quality to a kid’s room.

fireplace with still life wall art

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Botanicals

Botanical art features—you guessed it—botanicals! This can be anything from flowers (arranged or wild) to trees or plants. Similar to landscapes, botanical art has a very serene feel. Because flowers and plants are naturally colorful, botanical art is a great way to add color to any space.

Botanical art is a great choice for… 

Rustic, traditional, and classic spaces. Botanical art is most often rustic in style, but it can lean classic or modern, too, depending on the specific subject matter and medium used. These pieces can be used in virtually any room of the house, including bathrooms and kitchens.

light blue office with print wall art

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Maps and Posters

Not many of us use paper maps today as a form of navigation. We have phones, after all! However, in the past, printed maps helped people navigate during travels and exploration. Today, maps make for beautiful wall art when framed. You could hunt down a vintage map to give your space a more antique vibe. Or you can find a more modern interpretation that was never used as a literal map but is merely a nod to navigators from the past!

Maps and posters are a great choice for… 

Homes with an eclectic and collected worldly vibe. However, they can also look great in both traditional and modern spaces, depending on the style of the map.

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Architecture and Cityscapes

Architecture and cityscape wall art are pieces featuring buildings, cityscapes, and other architectural structures. This type of art is a great way to commemorate a favorite place you’ve visited or even the city you reside in. Often, they have a more graphic or vintage-inspired quality to them.

Architecture and cityscapes are a great choice for… 

Industrial and modern styles, as it’s a subject matter that’s a bit more utilitarian. Art like the pieces shown above can also be fun in a kid or teen bedroom!

slate blue living room with photo wall art

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Reproductions

Reproductions are just reprints or remakes of original pieces that are typically well known. Reproduction pieces have been made of many famous works of art throughout history. This simply makes iconic pieces more accessible to more people, since the originals are typically in private collections or museums. A true reproduction will be in the same medium as the original (vs. a digital print of the original).

Reproductions are a great choice for… 

Classic and mid-century styles, since a lot of reproductions will be more classical or mod in style. This is also a great option for those who love a specific classical or iconic art piece or who have a passion for certain historic artists.

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Other Considerations When Choosing Art

Your Budget

When starting or adding to your art collection, it’s important to determine how much you want to spend on art, first and foremost. Art, especially original pieces, can be quite expensive! But it’s also a great investment that you’ll have for years to come.

Replicas vs Original Works

We’ve already touched on this—but original works of art are one-of-a-kind, so you’ll get something way more unique than you could find at a big-box store or art retailer. But you will typically pay way more for it. Replicas and digital prints, on the other hand, are way more affordable. But these pieces are also more common, so they don’t hold their value in the same way as an original piece of art. What you choose simply depends on if price point or uniqueness is more important to you. There is no right or wrong answer here!

Color Scheme

Art and overall color scheme choices go hand-in-hand! Whether you opt for colors, black and white, or neutrals in your wall art drastically depends on the other colors in your space and the style you art you’re going for. You can revolve your whole design around a specific piece of art, or you can choose art as a finishing touch which reinforces the existing color scheme.

Frame Style

Frame styles can add another dimension to your art—so it’s important to carefully consider the color and style of your frame. A minimal wood frame will have a very different vibe from an ornate gold one!

Where You’ll Display Your Art

Where the art will be in your home is super important. This impacts the size and shape of art you choose. But you also have to consider the natural elements the art will endure in any given space, like heat, sunlight, and moisture. And, of course, you’ll want to think about how to hang your art. For large, heavy pieces, make sure you find a stud!

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Snooze in Style: Try These 13 Easy Bedroom Art Ideas

These days, staying at home more means we need to create spaces that comfort and inspire, from the dining room to the bedroom. One easy way to make rooms look and feel more welcoming is to hang up some art and stylish wall decor.

People usually think of the living room first when it comes to art, but don’t forget your bedroom! It’s the most intimate and personal space in the home, so make sure to give your bedroom some art love, whether it’s adding above bed decor like a mirror or arranging a gallery wall of black and white photographs. To inspire you, we’ve rounded up our favorite bedroom wall decor ideas to help you get started. Find out more below and get our decorating tips!

Need ideas for your bedroom furniture and layout? Check out our gallery bedroom design ideas for tips and inspiration!

Art Ideas for Main Bedrooms

above bed decor | bedroom art

Center A Round Mirror

An easy and elevated idea for above bed decor is to hang a stylish round mirror. It adds a 3D element to your wall and creates an instant focal point. It’s a trick that works in any style bedroom. If you’re designing a small bedroom, a mirror can help reflect light into the room and open up the space to make it feel larger. Just make sure your mirror is safely secured to the wall!

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Double Up On Mirrors

You can also take a bolder approach with mirrors by flanking your bed with two full-sized mirrors above your nightstands. By doing this, you’ll open up the room in a big way, whether you’re working with a small bedroom or a large space. It’s also a practical solution if you have nowhere else to put mirrors in your room. Not to mention, a pair of large mirrors also give your bedroom a bold contemporary look. Just remember that two big mirrors can easily feel visually overwhelming, so match them with a low bed or a simple streamlined headboard.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Arrange A Gallery Wall

When it comes to foolproof decorating ideas for bedroom art, try experimenting with gallery wall designs above your bed. This is especially great if you have high ceilings. No matter the arrangement, a gallery wall brings a simple and sophisticated touch and it adds visual interest that doesn’t overwhelm or look too cumbersome. You can line up a series of small photos and prints, or go with a few larger artworks—just be sure they’re proportionate to your bed size and not too big.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Frame Your Bed With Art

An alternative to above bed decor is to decorate the walls behind your nightstands. Hang mismatched art and different-size works above each of your nightstands, or lean into a more symmetrical look with a complementary set of prints or photos. It adds a formal touch and works great in long bedrooms or if you have a tall headboard and not a lot of room above your bed.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Pull In A Divider Screen

Classic and elegant, decorative room-divider screens are great stand-ins for a headboard if you don’t have one. It’s one of many unexpected and versatile bedroom decorating ideas that’s perfect for open bedroom spaces in a loft or apartment studio (also if you’re renting and don’t want to hang things on your walls). They’re also easy to move around when you feel like switching things up in your bedroom.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Show Off Baskets Art

Woven baskets make perfect above bed decor. They’re like wall sculpture. And because baskets are generally soft and lightweight, they’re safe and easy accents to hang over your bed. Play with baskets in different sizes, shapes, and patterns and group a few together into a unique display. They’ll bring depth and dimension and add a touch of fun texture to your walls.

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Art Ideas for Guest Bedrooms

above bed decor | bedroom art

Try A Triptych

With guest bedrooms, you can have a little more fun with color, patterns, and decor. Consider hanging a three-piece artwork above the bed for a focal point that’s unique but visually cohesive. This is an easy way to add a pop of color and a gallery-like effect without having to pair or mix different art together. It’s also a less expensive option than getting multiple artworks!

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Play Up Sconces

When it comes to small guest room ideas, it’s all about making the most of space-saving furniture and accents so that they also function as decor. One way is to install a pair of wall sconces above your guest bed or daybed. They’ll provide practical lighting and also serve as wall sculptures. Arrange them with a cool poster or colorful print to create a fun vignette.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Layer Tons Of Greenery

One of our favorite guest room ideas is to surround the bed with lots of plants and greenery, which instantly brings the space to life. There are endless decorating ideas with plants, but an easy one for the guest room is to hang greenery above the bed for a focal point and a lively touch of boho color and texture. And to keep things low maintenance, consider faux greenery!

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Art Ideas for Kids Bedrooms

above bed decor | bedroom art

Set Up Functional Shelving

A kids’ bedroom often needs to work extra hard, tripling as study and play spaces. Optimize the space above their bed by installing floating shelves that provide storage for books a well as give them a place to display art, trophies, mementos, and other objects. Let them come up with their own shelf decor ideas so that the space feels personal to them. Just be sure they’re not overloading the shelves with too many heavy items!

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above bed decor | bedroom art

String Up Some Lights

String lights are casual, fun, and practical additions to a kids’ and teen bedroom. Hang one or two strands of lights above their bed to add ambient lighting that also brings a bit of magic and wonder to the room. This is perfect in kids’ rooms where there isn’t room for floor or table lamps.

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Accent With Wallpaper

For major impact, transform the entire wall behind a kids’ bed with graphic wallpaper. By covering just one wall in wallpaper, it functions like a floor-to-ceiling artwork that also sets the mood and tone of the room. Try a black and white pattern for a neutral color scheme that works with a wide range of furniture and accents. Not ready for wallpaper? Consider a temporary peel and stick wallpaper that’s low commitment. Or see how you can swap it for other equally bold accent wall designs.

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above bed decor | bedroom art

Mix Different Wall Decor

The most important thing to remember as you’re considering kids bedroom design ideas is to keep the decor fun and colorful for them. Try mixing different art mediums all together on the wall above their bed without being too precious about it all. Pair a 3D stuffed animal wall sculpture with a colorful print and a confetti garland or whimsical sconce design. It’s all about adding bright and surprising elements.

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9 Out-of-the-Box Accent Wall Ideas To Give Dimension to Any Room

Thinking of designing an accent wall? Yay! We are big fans. Accent wall designs are a great way to personalize a space and create a focal point in any room. If you’re looking for accent wall ideas or have questions about what goes into an accent wall, you came to the right place!

accent wall ideasWhich wall should be an accent wall?

First things first: Which wall should you use? The short answer is that it’s totally up to you! You can have an accent wall behind the bed, create a wood accent wall in your office, design a wallpaper accent wall in the bathroom, make an accent wall behind a sofa…the sky’s the limit! When choosing where to put an accent wall, it’s also a good idea to consider architectural features—are there lots of windows or doors on the wall you plan to use? These obstacles can make it more difficult to paint/apply wallpaper, etc. so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

accent wall ideasShould accent walls be darker or lighter?

The color of your accent wall depends on what you like! Accent walls are meant to add contrast to a room, so if the room is light, consider going with dark accent wall ideas or more saturated colors. Likewise, if the room is dark already, go for accent wall ideas that add lightness.

accent wall ideasHow do you decorate an accent wall?

You can choose from a wide variety of ways to decorate an accent wall! You can paint your accent wall a solid color, opt for a wallpaper accent wall, come up with photo wall ideas for a gallery wall, add oversized art, or even fill a whole wall with bookcases for something functional and unexpected. Read on for our favorite out of the box accent wall ideas!

accent wall ideasPop of Pink!

This fabulous living room uses the entire end of the room as an accent wall to create a focal point for the space. The result is a totally gorgeous pop of pink that adds to the tropical design of the living area. Using the back wall helps add dimension—a great space-saving trick for small rooms!  And we love how accents like the green sofa and chairs, the pink pouf and pink pillows help pull the whole color scheme together.

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accent wall ideasBlissful Bedroom

A moody, saturated accent wall behind the bed is one of our favorite feature wall ideas. The dark color helps anchor the space and makes it extra cozy for sleeping. This is a great way to tone down the brightness of a naturally light-filled room! The dark wall adds contrast and depth and mutes the sunny vibes to create a space that’s both cheery and cozy. You can come up with fun gallery wall ideas for a saturated background wall like this, too!

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accent wall ideasA Touch of Teal

This accent wall adds an unexpected vibrance to an oddly shaped dining room! The bright electric teal color might overwhelm the room if you tried to use it for the whole space. But as an accent wall, it adds just the right pop of personality and color! Painting just a few walls adds visual intrigue and depth—and the remaining white walls and white and wood dining set helps create the perfect contrast!

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accent wall ideasPerfectly Peachy

Accent walls look great in kids’ rooms where you can have tons of fun with color! We got creative in this kids’ space with a bright peach accent wall. It helps anchor the bed against the solid, lively wall and creates lots of fun contrast that enlivens the space.

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accent wall ideasWallpaper Accents

We love how the wallpaper mural in this entryway zone helps define the space and create a stunning look. It’s perfect if you don’t have a proper entryway and want to visually define the space as a separate area. Adding bold artwork is one of our favorite wall decor ideas—it adds a dramatic dose of visual interest and the variety of patterns and textures make the space extra cozy and cool.

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accent wall ideasBold and Beautiful

A bold wallpaper accent wall like this one featuring tropical teal fish is a great way to add character and class to a room! Watch out though—wallpaper can get expensive fast! It’s often cheaper to just do an accent wall with paint, but we do love the effect of a stunning wallpaper pattern like this one.

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accent wall ideasShadowbox Nook

We love how this wallpaper accent wall creates a cute and cozy nook within the bedroom. The tucked-away architectural feature is further defined with the accent wall to create a lined, shadowbox effect—perfect for a home office nook!

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accent wall ideasMirror, Mirror Accent Wall

This mirror accent wall adds a bold, glamorous touch to the living room—it creates a “Hall of Mirrors” vibe at home! It’s a great look for a formal sitting room as it has a very luxurious, over-the-top vibe. The colorful rug and deep blue sofa definitely add to the effect!

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accent wall ideasWoodsy Feature Wall

If you love a woodsy, rustic look, go for accent wall ideas like this textured wood accent wall. The variety of wood grains and colors look great if you want a rustic, farmhouse look but don’t live in a cabin! And it offers lots of textural interest that instantly creates a cozy, cabin-like feel in the bedroom.

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Wall Decor Ideas: 16 Unique and Creative Ways to Fill Blank Walls

Have you been staring at blank walls for too long? Spending your time googling “wall decor ideas for a living room?” Not sure where to start when it comes to wall decor or how to make everything come together? Well, first, let us just say you aren’t alone. It’s all too common to settle for living with a big blank wall because you either don’t know what wall decor ideas to hang, can’t decide on an arrangement, or are simply afraid to commit to putting nails in the wall. Or maybe you just got busy! Whatever the reason that you haven’t decorated your walls, we’re here to help you take the first step. Honestly, with all the extra time at home right now, it’s the perfect time to finally tackle that blank wall and put some art on the walls!

But here’s the really fun part: you don’t have to stick with just framed art or photos for your design. You don’t even have to try to figure out how to put together one of those trendy, eclectic gallery wall designs! In fact, today we’re sharing a few of our favorite wall decor ideas that go beyond the expected traditional art hung on the wall.

So, keep reading for our best tips to help you decorate large blank walls! You can even mix and match these wall art ideas in your home for walls that are as unique as you are! It’s time to get creative with wall decor ideas—let’s dive in.

wall decor ideas

1. Hanging Plants

One of our favorite non-art wall decor ideas? Hanging plants. They add texture and depth to a room—not to mention a beautiful pop of natural green! You can layer several in tiers, or just opt for one against the wall. And the planter and type of hanger you choose can show off your personality and design style!

We recommend hanging plants not on the wall but in front of it—adding an almost 3D art effect to your space. (This can be achieved either through hanging it from a ceiling hook several inches from the wall, or by using a wall-mounted lantern hook, which comes further away from the wall than a typical wall hook.) Not great at keeping plants alive? No problem. There are plenty of beautiful faux plants out there! Real or faux, they both add a lively feel to your space.

Stylist Tip: Hanging plants are great decor ideas for a small space, where you want to include plants but don’t have the floor space to spare! So it’s a win-win—you get your plants and you eliminate that blank wall!

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wall decor ideas

2. Tapestries

Tapestries and woven wall hangings add beautiful warmth and texture to a space. They’re also quite versatile. A larger wall hanging can be hung on its own as a statement piece and focal point in a room—or you can opt for a slightly smaller one and mix it in with other wall art for a dynamic look! You can find tapestries in many different shapes, patterns, and color schemes.

Tapestries are great for nursery designs too! They can help buffer noise because of cloth material and give your baby something textural to look at. (And it’s something you won’t have to worry about them knocking off the wall and breaking as they get older!)

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wall decor ideas

3. Leaning Floor Art

Want to take a non-traditional approach to framed art? Think outside the “art on walls” box by leaning a large piece against the wall on the floor rather than hanging it up. While an unexpected approach, it ends up having a high-end “gallery” feel. This approach is great for one statement piece of large wall decor or for several pieces of varying sizes, arranged in layers. It has a sophisticated look and adds a dramatic feel to any space.

This isn’t the best approach for households with small kids, since art at floor-level seems to attract little hands! However, it’s a great option for renters who can’t put nail holes in their walls or for those who just want an easy way to display art without the hassle of assembling a gallery wall!

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4. Mirrors

Mirrors are a great, simple wall decor idea for your living room—or really, for any type of room. A larger mirror can be a visual anchor over furniture like a console or sofa, creating a focal point in your living room. And a smaller statement mirror could even hang as a piece in a gallery wall. Mirrors can also happily hang solo on a wall, without furniture beneath. Want to take up a larger chunk of wall space? Try leaning an oversized floor mirror against the wall.

But their versatility and statement-making style isn’t the only thing we love about using mirrors as wall decor! They also can help a small space appear larger by reflecting light. And they’re also very practical. They’re one of our favorite wall decor ideas for bedroom designs since they can fill that blank wall and help you pick out the perfect outfit. Having a mirror above the console in your entryway also creates another perfect opportunity for last-minute makeup touch-ups before heading out the door!

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wall decor ideas

5. Mixed Media Gallery Wall

Have a collection of wall art but want to create a more fun and interesting look in your space? Consider a mixed media gallery wall. This approach mixes framed art, mirrors, and sculptures and turns it into an eclectic gallery art wall! When you choose pieces in the same color scheme (like the neutrals and pastels, pictured above) it actually takes on a cohesive look.

This is a great approach if you have a variety of mixed media art and want to combine it all in one place. But it does require a bit more planning. You’ll have to play around with the layout a bit to avoid an overly crowded or busy look. And you’ll also want to mix pieces of different shapes and sizes. Striking visual balance is an absolute necessity with mixed media gallery walls. But it’s worth the work, because in the end you’ll have created a unique arrangement of art, resulting in a very striking display!

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wall decor ideas

6. Wallpaper

We’re wild about the design statement you can make with wallpaper. It adds a bold pop of personality to any room in your home, whether you wallpaper all four walls or just an accent wall. Plus, it gives a custom look to your space—and with highly patterned wallpaper like the one pictured above, you don’t need additional wall decor. It makes its own statement and is good on its own.

Of course, wallpaper is more work and investment—and certainly more permanent—than regular wall art. But it also has a larger impact and can transform a whole space. And there’s always the peel-and-stick wallpaper option if you love the idea but don’t want to fully commit. It can be easily removed or switched out, and there are so many great options out there today. Either way, wallpaper is a super fun and high-impact wall decor idea that we especially love in bedrooms and bathrooms.

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7. Sculptural Pendant Light

Another idea we love as a way to make a decor statement without wall art? Hanging sculptural pendant lights. This is a great option for spaces with overhead light, like a dining room, living room, or bedroom, as it adds drama to the whole space. (Though, of course, it’s an option better for homeowners than renters.) It’s also a great way to tie together colors or materials found in the rest of the space—like the way the pendant light ties in with the chairs in the design above. Sure, a sculptural light is more work to install than wall art. But it tends to have a bigger impact.

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8. Basket Wall

Looking for an alternative to regular old art for walls? Add texture and dimension to your wall decor with woven baskets! We love the colors and patterns baskets can add to your space—they make such visually interesting wall hangings. To achieve this look, you’ll need to find visual balance with three or more baskets in various sizes but in a cohesive color scheme.

This is a great option for eclectic, rustic and boho spaces—but it can truly be used in all room types as wall decor, adding a casual but global-inspired feel to your space. We particularly like using baskets as bedroom art, since they’re lightweight pieces that are perfect to hang over your bed!

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9. Grid Gallery Wall

Have a collection of wall art in similar styles or from the same artist? Consider a grid gallery wall. This is a popular style of gallery wall design and is easy to achieve. Going for the grid look is more formal, making it an especially great option for traditional and transitional styles.

This is a simple way to add an art wall without having to think too hard, and you can use frames or canvas art to form the grid. If you’re using canvas art, just make sure each piece is the same size, and if you’re using frames, make sure you get a set of frames that are all the same size, color, and material. And if you love this approach but don’t have a set of art prints or photos to use, you can buy art in sets, like the set of bird prints seen in this gallery wall grid!

Stylist Tip: Not confident in your ability to create a perfectly measured grid? Check out our guide on how to hang art.

Modern coastal bedroom with teal blue wall behind the bed

10. Accent Wall

Similar to a wallpapered wall, an accent wall can add the pop of visual interest you need to a blank wall. Accent wall designs are the perfect alternative to wallpaper for those who want to make a statement but don’t want a busy pattern in their space. All you have to do is pick a statement color and paint an accent wall to help ground that wall as the focal point of the space. Then, of course, you can always layer a statement piece of art over the paint—or just let the color speak for itself and use furniture pieces as contrast.

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shiplap entry way with natural wood console

11. Floating Shelf

We love hanging a floating shelf on a blank wall as a way to layer in both art and decor. This can work in any room—but we especially love it in dining rooms, above sofas, and in wide hallways.

To create this look, hang a long floating shelf, then layer framed art, sculptural vases, and decorative trinkets to help create definition and visual interest. It’s a great place to bring in small decorative objects and textural pieces, creating a very unique and layered look!

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natural wood console table with photo gallery wall

12. Photo Wall

If you like the look of framed wall art but want something a bit more personal and unique, fill your wall with a collection of curated photos! Print and frame photos of loved ones, favorite vacations, pets, or memorable moments. However, to keep the look more cohesive, we recommend using the same frame for all the photos, even if they’re different sizes. We also love the idea of printing all the photos in black and white to make them all feel like they’re part of the same collection.

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Green and white slatted wall behind a desk

13. Wall Texture + Patterns

Give your wall some texture and visual interest by hanging shiplap! Crisp white boards create a classic look that don’t require additional artwork. You can also take it one step further by creating a DIY geometric pattern using the shiplap. This does, however, require a bit of planning so that all your pieces are measured correctly. But it creates a high-impact look that’s worth the work if you’re willing to put in the time! Instead of hanging all your boards horizontally, you can install some at an angle for a textured, geometric look. You can paint a few boards a contrasting color for an even higher-impact look, like we did above.

You can also get a similar look without shiplap, using just paint and tape. Create a geometric pattern using painter’s tape, then let that guide where you paint. When you peel back the tape, you’ll have a visually stunning pattern painted on your wall!

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Botanical art gallery wall

14. Focal Sconce Above A Formal Grid

Take a formal grid up a notch by hanging a sconce above the collection of artwork. Adding a light source to your grid gallery wall will help give the area more focus and structure. And an added bonus? The light will help define the space—giving the art more command of the wall when the lights are turned on. The result is very similar to how art is lit in a museum or gallery!

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grey sectional sofa in light-filled living room

15. Layered Art + Decor on a Console

A similar idea to a floating shelf, we also love the look of layering lighting, wall art, and decor on a taller storage piece, like a console table. This can be a standalone piece in an entryway, or you can create additional visual layers in your space by placing the storage piece behind your sofa. Then, layer decorative objects of varying heights on the surface to create a diverse and interesting focal point for the room. This option also eliminates the need to hang anything, making it a great solution with tons of visual interest for renters.

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dark grey walls, eclectic gallery wall and velvet sofa

16. Room Screen

Create a multidimensional element to your space by adding a room screen to a big blank wall. Not only will it fill the space, but it will also offer a sculptural quality to the room. And, in the case of the room above, it adds some contrast and texture as well! An added bonus? Room screens are super easy to move and can be tucked away when you need more space!

Stylist Tip: Not sure what to do with the wall above your bed? Swap out your headboard for a room screen. With they’re height, they serve as both a headboard and wall art—giving you two functions in one!

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Not Sure What To Do With the Space Above Your Bed? No Problem.

bedroom wall decor

When it comes to affordable and stylish ideas for bedrooms, you can’t beat the colorful and instant impact of some thoughtfully curated wall art. We like to think of art, whether it’s above your bed frame or alongside it, as jewelry for the bedroom. It’s the decorative accessory that can truly brighten up your sleep space and add a pop of personality.

The big question with art, as with all home decor, is what should you hang in your bedroom? Are there art options other than paintings and photos that can work in the bedroom? And what’s the best way to fill an empty wall space?

To help you answer all those questions, we’ve rounded up 10 inspiring bedroom wall decor ideas that are stylish, budget-friendly, and easy to pull off. We’ve also included some quick tips for how to make wall art work in your space. Find it all below!

bedroom wall decor1. Hang A Statement Mirror

Among bedroom wall decor ideas, hanging an oversized mirror above your bed is guaranteed to add major bold appeal. It creates a dazzling focal point and it reflects light and will open up your space to make it feel larger and airier, no matter the style or size of your room.

We’re fans of this master bedroom that captures our idea of livable elegance, with its pops of pink and blue and it’s clean and cozy vibe. Try this light, pastel approach at home by keeping to a soft color palette and offsetting it with crisp whites.

Combine it all with a uniquely shaped mirror that’s visually interesting and has a bit of sculptural flair. It will serve as an eye-catching, functional piece of wall art that works nicely with the soft hues.

bedroom wall decor2. Show Off Your Collections

In small bedrooms where floor space is limited, think vertical. The wall area above and around your bed is the perfect spot for hanging art and a shelf that showcases your favorite objects, whether it’s a set of art prints or photographs and memorabilia from your travels.

Take a cue from this rustic-industrial modern bedroom, where wall shelving and matching mini gallery wall add function and warmth to the bed corner. It’s probably one of the coziest bedroom wall decor ideas we’ve seen. (Fair warning: It’s probably best for those of you who don’t live in earthquake zones!) It all goes perfectly with the room’s clean-lined yet earthy mid-century vibe.

If you’re looking to bring this look home, make sure to choose a streamlined shelving piece and keep to neutral art and warm wood tones that are in line with the modern look.

bedroom wall decor3. Get Bold With Color

Take an out-the-box approach to your bedroom wall decor by painting your walls a bold color to stand in as your main visual focus. Use negative space and captivating wall color to add impact and create a backdrop that lets your furniture pieces shine.

In this minimal-industrial master bedroom, the monochromatic blue walls give the room a bold and clean look. The color also helps set off the dark-metal canopy bed and sculptural light fixture, making them showpieces.

To reimagine this look in your own space, consider bold yet soothing wall colors, such as shades of green or neutrals, and pull in furnishings with strong lines that contrast with your walls. It’s a simple way to recreate this cool yet industrial look while still maintaining a cozy and comfy vibe.

bedroom wall decor4. Play Up A Decorative Headboard

Another way to work wall art into your bedroom without going the traditional route? Opt for a large, intricately designed headboard. It’s one of our favorite functional decor ideas for any bedrooms that have high ceilings and not that many wide empty walls for art. It’s also perfect if you want to make a statement without relying on tons of art and wall decor that could look visually cluttered in narrow wall spaces.

When it comes to bedroom ideas that involve headboards, you can go wrong with a decorative boho glam design. There are endless options, from carved styles to ones upholstered with bright global patterns. But all are guaranteed to add artful color and flair to any bedroom.

If you love this glam, boho look above, start by looking for a stylish headboard that has a global aesthetic to it and pair it with a similar palette of light blues, pinks, greens, and reds. Finish with some pretty art and textiles in the same palette, and you’re all set.

bedroom wall decor5. Build Up Bedside Art Moments

If you’re more of a contemporary minimalist but not one that’s all about spare, empty spaces, this one’s for you. Instead of going for big moments above your bed or painting your walls, turn your bedside tables into artful displays. Within our endless bedroom wall decor ideas list, this one is the most practical and affordable for any bedroom, as it makes the most of a space you’ll interact with on a daily basis.

Try hanging abstract art on both sides of your bed to create a symmetrical look and install matching wall lights to add further balance. Sconces can also relieve you from needing table lamps if you want more space on your nightstand to display art or use it to hold books, your phone, jewelry, and other small objects.

We love the clean-lined contemporary look of this bedroom, which is easy to translate into your own home. Just start with neutral pieces that have simple lines but are big on comfort, like a white tufted headboard or a black dresser with gold hardware. Then just layer on your bedside with art and accents that have aspects of those designs and details.

bedroom wall decor6. Make It Easy With a Decorative Tapestry

Among our designers’ favorite wall decor ideas for the bedroom is hanging a distinct textile hanging piece above the bed. This is an easy alternative to bedroom wall art that instantly gives a space a modern boho vibe.

Look for one with a geometric design and minimal colors if you’re going for a more casual but cozy feel, or take it all the way eclectic with a bright tapestry piece that adds impact with color. The idea here is to let your wall hanging be the main focus amid your other furnishings, so try to keep to neutral pieces and light wood tones.

Stylist tip: This is a great hack if your bed frame doesn’t have a headboard. Hanging an oversized tapestry in its place can help visually define the area and give your room a pop of personality!

bedroom wall decor7. Set A Scenic Backdrop

Wallpaper is, without a doubt, the most statement-making approach to wall art in the bedroom. It’s also one of those bedroom wall decor ideas that never goes out of style. If you’re ready to take a bold leap in the wallpaper direction, try starting with a nature-themed covering and using it on the wall behind your bed to create an accent wall that tells a visual story. We especially love it as a dramatic focal point in a small bedroom.

The key to making wallpaper work is lean into its style roots by going for a more eclectic and glam look with your furnishings. Think natural materials, like wood, brass, and marble, along with pieces that have bold dramatic silhouettes and details to them. Finish it all off with plants and greenery that tie back to your nature-themed wallpaper.

bedroom wall decor8. Frame Your Windows

If you have large windows in your bedroom, you might not even need wall art. Instead, place your bed in front of your windows and hang curtains behind to create an illuminated focal point. When it comes to unconventional bedroom wall decor ideas, this is by far our favorite since it’s simple but feels incredibly sophisticated and elevated.

With this layout, you’ll want to keep to a modern classic approach with furnishings, which means tried-and-true pieces that have clean lines and are which are functional, comfortable, and easy to mix-and-match. To really set off your windows, surround it with dark neutrals and earth tones, be it through curtains, an upholstered headboard, a pair of black nightstands, or a mix of dark and light-hued pillows.

9. Consider A Piece of Sculpture

For art that adds depth and shape to your bedroom, hang a big sculpture piece above your bed to make a true statement. It’s one of those bedroom wall decor ideas that’s often overlooked since many people tend to gravitate toward paintings and photographs by default. But an oversized sculpture is great if you’re looking to bring in an unexpected touch.

Look for a large sculptural piece with a captivating design that has bold lines, which will play up the organic modernist look we’ve been seeing all over and loving. But really there are no rules when it comes to picking a wall sculpture for your room, except that it should be big and eye-catching. The idea is that with one big sculptural piece, there’s no need to hang lots of other smaller art pieces.

bedroom wall decor10. Try a Simple Pair of Pendant Art Pieces

Simple and chic, you can’t beat the curated look of a set of art prints from one series. Hang a pair (or a trio or an entire collection of six or eight) over your bed to create a gallery wall focal point that draws attention no matter where you are in the room.

Among our favorite picks are a series of squiggly line drawings or abstract shapes in straightforward primary colors. They’re sure to add a mod and fresh look that’s impactful without overwhelming your space. Be sure you opt for matching frames for your pieces from the same art series. Simple black or wood frames will help continue the understated look. If you’re at a loss for bedroom wall decor ideas, this is one of the easiest ways to work art that looks stylish and purposeful into your space.

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Bedroom Design Inspiration: 6 Ideas for the Wall Above Your Bed

over the bed decorating ideas

As with any focal point, the wall above your bed is a intimidating design challenge, and it is one that many of our customers have been asking about. We hear you!

Between deciding what you want to put there and imagining if it will work with the rest of your room, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

To help, we are using a little Modsy 3D to “try on” 6 of our favorite over the bed decorating ideas.

1. Wall Hangings

over the bed decorating ideas

Get knotty and add some texture above your bed. We love how these woven wall hangings keep it neutral and lend our bedroom some eclectic vibes.

Snag yourself this wallet-friendly option, or upgrade to this hand-woven wooly statement piece.

2. Print Trio

over the bed decorating ideas

Add a little rhythm with a series of three hung above your bed. We love these quilt-inspired prints, which look great framed or hung with washi tape (a bonus if you live in an earthquake zone)!

3. Vignette Style

over the bed decorating ideas

A spin off the standard art above the bed, we love the idea of hanging two pendant pieces above your nightstands. This option works well if you have a tall headboard or if you crave a little negative space.

Get our bedside tour of Iceland here and here.

4. Go Mobile

over the bed decorating ideas

Not just for your nursery, we love the idea of adding a little kinetic energy to your bedroom. Mobiles bring a note of whimsy to any space and are a great option for keeping small spaces open and airy.

Watch this antique brass mobile spin in circles above your bed. Or, if you’re a purist, grace your bedroom with this Alexander Calder-inspired mobile.

5. Juju Hats

over the bed decorating ideas

These spectacular, eye-catching plumes are the feather headdresses traditionally worn by Bamileke chiefs of Cameroon and are symbols of prosperity.

While we loving showing our appreciation of another culture’s art, we think it’s worth considering the implications behind turning these ceremonial objects into decor or DIY projects.

Instead, get the scoop on this pendant pair of authentic Juju hats here.

6. Quilt to Last

over the bed decorating ideas

Got a large space to fill? Hang an oversized quilt above your bed. These also work well as stand-in headboards if you’re bed doesn’t have one.

Flip the script and make your grandmother’s handmade quilt the star above the bed, or get your hands on this graphic quilted number.

Want to save your walls (and your wallet)? Try on your favorite over the bed decorating ideas in 3D!