When was the last time you switched up what’s hanging on your walls? If it took you a minute to answer that, you’re probably overdue for a refresh. Switching up your art is one of the easiest ways to refresh a room, and after spending so much time quarantining at home, it’s no wonder Etsy has seen searches for wall art climb 94 percent over the past three months. (Fitting, too, that they’re responding to that interest with the launch of augmented reality on the Etsy app, so you can see what something will look like before you click “add to cart.”)
To help you mix things up, we’ve turned to Etsy’s trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, as well as a handful of our favorite designers, for 21 wall art ideas that can liven up a bland room. Scroll through and prepare to get inspired.
The classic gallery wall isn’t going anywhere, but for a fresh take on the style, try positioning it in the corner of the room, so it spreads across two walls. It makes for an unconventional focal point, letting you experience your space from a whole new perspective.
Just don’t grab a hammer right away: “The biggest mistake people make when hanging art is putting nails in the wall without creating a plan or measuring,” says interior designer and author of the upcoming book, The Beauty of Home, Marie Flanigan. She recommends hiring a pro to ensure everything is hanged evenly. If you’d prefer to go the DIY route, try tracing the art on craft paper, cutting out the pieces and arranging them on the wall with painter’s tape until you get the layout you like. Not sure what we mean? Check out this video.
You can’t go wrong with an oversized piece of art spanning the wall, but that giant size can often come with a giant price tag. Not so with California-based designer Jasmine Roth’s wood transfer DIY. While it can be time consuming, it only cost $40 to create the beach scene above. Plus, you get the satisfaction of saying, “Hey, I made that.” Get her full tutorial here.
OK, this DIY project makes it easier than ever to change up the way your room looks. Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess lined the inside of vintage wooden hangers with shelf liner, so her prints wouldn’t slide around, then hung followed that classic design rule that things simply look better in odd numbers, hanging her arrangement in a cluster of five. Get the full tutorial here.
Another fun idea, courtesy of A Beautiful Mess: Give books you’re not planning to read again new life as an accent wall. Chapman used Command strips, a hammer and nails to hang up these old books in the Ravenclaw room
of a Harry Potter-inspired rental. She suggests working from the center outward to create your design. Get the full tutorial here.
When Etsy dug into its data, it soon found that searches for female form-inspired prints and illustrations were skyrocketing, up 178 percent in the last three months, compared to the same time last year. Sellers like Sundry Society offer a range of designs, which can be digitally downloaded and printed instantly, perfect for when you want to get your DIY on, like, yesterday.
Simple line drawings create visual interest in a room without overpowering the space, making it a perfect choice for people whose tastes skew more minimalist.
Bring a sense of the outdoors in, without the maintenance of having to keep anything alive. Plant Killers everywhere, this moss wall is for you.
Any collection can make for easy wall art—and convenient storage. With hats hanging on hooks, they’re always front of mind, so you might actually grab one as you head out the door.
An oversized map isn’t just for geography class—it can be a cool addition to a den or kids’ room. And hey, who knows, it may help you brush up on your capitals.
Dried flowers are an easy way to add a romantic touch to any room. If traditional blooms feel too dainty for your tastes, try pressed plants in glass frames, like these.
Early ‘90s sponge-painting this isn’t—but it is just as easy to tackle. Roth designed this ocean-inspired mural for a family on her HGTV show, Hidden Potential, creating a showstopping focal point to an otherwise neutral space. Get the tutorial here.
OK, maybe blending paint to mirror the waves feels a little too advanced for your DIY skills. That’s fair. You know what’s totally within reason to master, even if you’re a painting novice? Painting two-thirds of the wall in a bold, solid color for a graphic pop in the room. All you need is a little painter’s tape to keep those lines crisp. And if you’re really feeling bold, you can extend the color all the way across your floors, like designer Grace Mitchell did in her kids’ playroom.
Don’t limit yourself to prints, posters and accessories—if you love the look of something, consider hanging it up: “We recently installed two large wooden sound bowls as art in a client’s home. I absolutely love the warm, natural tones they bring to the room, and the organic shapes ground the design in nature,” Flanigan says.
If there’s a quote that’s been inspiring you or a mantra you want to keep top of mind as you power through the day, print it, frame it and hang it up. It can be a nice complement to a traditional gallery wall, especially if the color scheme matches a few other pieces in the mix.
Isom Johnson’s noticing a resurgence of stained glass art on Etsy, but these aren’t your church’s designs—many of the designs are simpler and more modern. Think mountain ranges, phases of the moon and vulvas.
The shelf itself is just phase one—the fun part is layering it with books, sculptural objects and art to create a vignette that reflects your personality…and creates a fun conversation piece for the background of your next Zoom call. (Psst: Here are 20 ideas for finding the right floating shelves for your space.)
Your wall art doesn’t actually have to be hanging up. Leaning it against the wall—particularly when layered with another, smaller piece—can create a more laid-back vibe.
Maybe you can’t afford to have a muralist come in and paint dozens of delicate flowers and birds all over your wall. Don’t let that hold you back. Many companies, like Art My Wall Co, are designing peel-and-stick wallpaper that looks just as lovely as a hand-painted—only at a fraction of the price. Some brands will even turn your art (or your kids’ creations) into wallpaper, creating a truly unique space.
Sure, a large mirror can make a room seem bigger and brighter (thanks to all that light it’s reflecting), but the frame can be just as important. Maximalists, take note: Gilded frames are back, and they really pop against darker walls. If the style above is a little too extra for your tastes, you could always ease into it with a thinner frame, like Anthropologie’s Primrose mirror.
You’ve put a lot of work into your home’s curb appeal, so you might as well immortalize it with a custom painting. All you have to do is submit a photo of your home—or any exterior you love—to Wild Strawberry Jam, and for $58 to $97 (depending on the size you want), you’ll get a custom watercolor delivered to your door.
Just because the last time you owned a tapestry was when you were in college doesn’t mean you can’t bring back the look with an updated spin. Pottery Barn, Anthropologie and Society6 all offer sophisticated takes on the style, like the floral design above. It’s an affordable way to cover that wide expanse over the sofa or above your bed, and if you want to retire the look for a bit, it takes up practically zero space in your closet.