Wall Art Inspirations and the Do’s and Don’ts…


I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow painting (dreadful) and coming from an apartment that DID allow it, it’s rather depressing. In my last place I had a mulberry wall in my bedroom which has Moroccan elements and then a chocolate wall in my living room which has African Safari & animal print pieces. So to help all the other people out who have my dilemma or who simply want to spruce up their wall space without anything too permanent, here are some relatively inexpensive ideas to hopefully inspire you.

Depending on how it’s done, I love a collage of photos. The key is to have some consistency otherwise it will look dated and cluttered. You want to either A) use the same color frames. They can be different frames (actually I think the more styles the better) but when painted the same it works. B) The same color pictures. Whether you use pics with the same colors in it or all black & white or sepia toned, that allows for a cohesive look. C) same colored frame AND mat. When you use the same mat it really frames out the pictures quite nicely.  

La Dolce Vita

Placement of photos on walls are also important. Rule of thumb, unless you’re doing some sort of collage, never hang pix higher than the other. Make sure they’re at eye level (not too high or too low) Never put pictures over door frames. Maybe it’s a pet peeve of mine but I cannot stand it especially in a room where the ceilings are the normal 8 ft height. It just looks silly. I love when mirrors or art are aligned in 3s. It makes such a statement. Try putting them over a bed for a “headboard” feel.


Size of pictures is something one must consider when putting them over pieces of furniture. As with anything in your space, you want to make sure everything is to scale. There IS such thing as having too small of pictures for the space. Imagine bite size pictures over an oversized couch with really high ceilings. Yeah, it’s not a good look.

When doing family photos, try to think of different ways to display them. One big trend right now is frameless portraits and enlarged images. It’s still highlighting your loved ones but in more of a modern non stale way. By stale I mean…….well…..you’ve been to homes, particularly the elder generation where there’s family photos on the walls EVERYWHERE….in different frame styles, different color frames, different eras of photos, different colors, hung at different heights….just doing entirely way too much. Unless you’re displaying a collection of art as in an art wall and confining it to one wall or space, then I don’t cosign the above.

Click for more pics & inspirations…

beach bungalow8
Fabric is a great way to get inspirations from. You can pick bits and pieces from the colors and bring them in different areas of that space. One other usage for fabric? Art. Yep, you can frame it and create wall art unique to you.
You can also use starch to cover walls in fabric. It gives you the look of wallpaper without sacrificing the time to install & remove. Removal of fabric walls does not damage paint & your landlord or rental management would have no idea it was ever there upon your departure.
Wallpaper can have many other usages other than covering entire walls. Cut out desirable sizes and frame them. Viola. (If you DO own property, you can put the wallpaper on your walls and use molding to frame it and box it in)
my work for one of my 1st clients
Quotes. Something I read daily, something that will start my blog off daily & something I try to use in each of my client’s homes. Here are two of MY very own designs done while I was still in college. I used one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. They’re wall vinyl stickers and removable and best of all, they don’t scratch up paint so perfect for apartment dwellers.
part of a bedroom design I worked on

Another cheap way to put art on the walls is by framing your inspiration board. Cut outs from magazines, fabric swatches, notes, whatever it is, frame it and you could very well have something like this below.

kimhas7cats via Flickr

How about going to a flea market, goodwill or thrift store and rummaging thru various frames. Spray paint them all the same color and look what you can achieve.

Chalkboards are the IN thing right now especially for parents with small children. It’s the only way kids can actually write on the walls without getting in trouble. There’s all sort of fun ways you can use vinyl removable chalkboard. For the kitchen, write your menu’s on it, TO BUY lists, reminder notes.

Other fun ways to add interest to a wall that will be a lil more on the pricier side are taking room dividers and unhinging them and leaning them against the wall. Depending on how detailed the screens are will really amp up the texture in the room. 

the Green Girls

Here’s something I would have never thought of. Using bamboo placemats and tacting them to the wall to create a headboard or textured panels. How cool is that?



Let’s say you want a fireplace but your place doesn’t have one. No biggie, simply buy faux fireplace mantel. Add various sized candles in white or cream where the “fire” would be and adorn the top like you would if it were a real one. While we’re on faking it…….let’s say you have a one odd lonely window on the wall. Create symmetry by simply adding another rod & window treatment to the other side of the wall. If done correctly, no one will know. Hang the rod close to the ceiling w/longer curtain panels to give the illusion of a taller space/window.  Or do like the first photo of this entry & cover an entire wall with luxury drapery that puddles to the ground. Instant hollywood glam effect.

Incorporating any of these ideas can help you achieve a more visually interesting space, whether you’re a homeowner or renting. What are some ways in which you deck out your walls?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. nichole says:

    I Loved the bed frame in the second picture where did you find it??


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