How to Decorate Living Room Walls

A well-decorated living room can make you and your family feel comfortable together while presenting an appealing face to any guests you end up entertaining. Large amounts of empty wall space can make a living room seem bare, though, making wall decorations an important step in finalizing the look of your space. Traditional options, like paintings and shelves, work just as well as more artistic options, such as fabric and mirrors. Simply choose a look which appeals to your own sense of aesthetics.


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    Hang a painting. One of the simplest, most obvious options for living room wall décor is a wall painting. Depending on your budget, you can even consider asking an artistic friend to create something, commission an artist, or settle for a print of previously-created artwork.
    • If you have a young family, consider turning your living room into a kid-friendly space by featuring your kids' artwork on the walls. The pictures will likely add a bright splash of color and your kids will feel proud.
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    Add shelving. Shelves are a simple, inexpensive way to decorate your walls. You can place a variety of object on your shelves, from knick-knacks and photographs to lamps and mementos from family vacations. Line your shelves with objects that say something about your family to give your living room a warm, personal touch.
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    Display a favorite photograph. You can go a standard route by hanging small photographs of loved ones on your wall, or you can make a more dramatic statement by enlarging a single photograph and centering it above a sofa or other large piece of furniture.
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    Paint a glossy stripe along the perimeter of the room. If the walls of your living room are painted with a matte paint, adding a wide, horizontal stripe creates a subtle hint of texture. Choose a glossy paint color that closely matches the matte color already on your wall. Keep the stripe at eye level or higher to maximize the effect.
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    Hang a canvas. Use interior latex paint to paint the canvas a bright color. Select a single large canvas to cover a wide living room wall, or speckle the wall in multiple canvases of varying sizes.
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    Cover an accent wall with fabric. Fabric is a unique alternative to paint or wallpaper, and it gives a wall texture and design. Start by upholstering one wall with it, since covering your entire living room space in fabric may make your space look too busy.
    • Stick with lightweight fabrics, like cotton or linen, since thick fabrics may look too heavy and overbearing.
    • For a less dramatic approach, hang a framed square of fabric on your wall instead of upholstering the wall itself. This option is less expensive and easier to change out.
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    Reflect the light with mirrors. Select one wall, preferably one facing a window. Hang a variety of circular or rectangular mirrors on the wall to capture the light and send it bouncing around the rest of your living room. Your room will look brighter and more inviting, and by selecting mirrors in a variety of shapes and sizes, you can add more character to your wall.
    • Create a subdued version of this technique by hanging polished silver platters or trays on the wall. The silver will still reflect the light, but will not reflect images as well.
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    Transport yourself out of your living room by hanging clocks set to different time zones. If you have loved ones in other cities, or if you simply dream of visiting faraway places, incorporate the sentiment into your living room wall décor by hanging several simple analog clocks in a straight line above your sofa. Set the clocks to whatever time zone your dream destinations lie in, and place a small plaque beneath each clock to identify the city that each respective clock belongs to.
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    Hang plates. Select plates in varying hues, and made of differing materials, to cheaply add both color and texture to your wall. Place the most eye-catching plate in the center to act as a focal point.
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    Line the walls with books. Select sturdy shelves that can handle the weight of books. You can either line these shelves around the perimeter or focus them on a single wall. The books not only act as decoration, but as entertainment, making this an aesthetically-pleasing and practical option.
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    Use frames to add an artistic touch to otherwise ordinary objects. Select a poster, vintage landscape blueprint, fancy calendar, or a greeting card with a nice front design. Fix these objects to the back of the frame. For calendars, remove the front glass so that you can still access the pages.
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    Refurbish ordinary objects by hanging them in shadowboxes. Think along the lines of skeleton keys, plates, vinyl records, and vintage analog clocks. The more unique the object, the better conversation piece it makes to visiting guests.


  • Assess your budget. Some wall design ideas cost more than others. Plan out how much you can afford to spend, and then price your idea before you begin purchasing the pieces you need to make it a reality. This way, you can avoid any nasty budget-breaking surprises.


  • If you have small children, you may want to avoid hanging especially heavy or fragile objects on your living room walls. If you do hang these objects, place them high enough to keep them out of your kids’ reach.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintings
  • Shelves
  • Photographs
  • Paint
  • Canvas
  • Fabric
  • Mirrors
  • Silver platters
  • Clocks
  • Plates
  • Books
  • Frames
  • Shadowboxes

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating