Do you have a blank wall space in your house? While some people get really excited over the idea of filling a big blank canvas, others might be overwhelmed by the endless possibilities out there (yeah Pinterest, I’m talking about you). Here are some of my personal favorite fixes for big, blank walls that won’t break the bank.
1. Chalkboard Wall
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Chalkboard walls are very trendy right now, and it’s easy to see why. Chalkboard walls are very versatile and can be used functionally but also for decorative purposes. You can integrate them in every room of the house and even take them outdoors. Use them for writing messages on, notes, recipes, grocery lists, draw something beautiful on them or let the kids doodle and have fun with them. Wherever you decide to make this feature wall, be sure to properly sand the wall. Chalk will catch on every little bump and blemish on the wall so the smoother your wall, the better. It’s also a good idea to apply more than one coat of paint and allow the painted area to cure for three days before using it as a chalkboard. Then, prior to initial use, rub the entire surface with a piece of white chalk. To clean your chalkboard wall, simply wipe it clean as needed with a damp cloth.
2. Engineering Prints
There is no better way to personalize your home than decorating with photographs. Photographs are a beautiful way to display some of your favorite memories and cherish them every day. However, custom-framed prints can come with a high price tag. You can spruce up those bare walls without spending a fortune with black and white engineering prints. You’ll need to know that engineering prints are printed on regular paper (not photo paper) and will not have as high of a resolution as a professional print. However, they are a fantastic deal and look great. Prices range from $0.75/sf to $4.99 per print at places like FedEx Kinko's and Staples. Wrap your prints around a piece of insulation board or foam core for a finished look, or paint a permanent “frame” around it for the perfect pop of color.
In addition to picture and art galleries, try a clock gallery. Track the time and add functional decorative accents to any room with whimsical large clocks that hang on your wall in a variety of ways. If you have people you care about living far away, you can set the clocks to their time zones and think about them whenever you check the hour. You can also use the clocks to celebrate important moments. Set the clock hands to display the exact time of the births of each of your children or grandchildren. Depending on the type of clock you have, battery operated or mechanical, stopping the time is easily done by removing the battery or by not winding the clock.
4. Reclaimed Wood Wall
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Adding a wall of reclaimed wood can be a small investment that makes a big visual statement by adding warmth and texture into the space. Reclaimed wood can come from various sources such as shipping pallets, barns, sheds, mills, commercial structures and even your home if you’re remodeling. It’s possible to acquire a pile of reclaimed wood for free if you know where to look and can do the groundwork (If you’re from the Northeast, Craigslist is a great place to check for listings). In any reclaimed wood pile, there will be unusable scraps. The key is finding pieces in good condition that are not overly warped. In areas where reclaimed wood may be hard to come by, you can use new wood planks from your local hardware store and stain them to achieve a reclaimed look. Since reclaimed wood can vary in finish, keep color palette in mind to blend well with the rest of the space. When in doubt, clean white walls will always work with reclaimed wood.
This is a particularly great idea for a smaller space as mirrors will magnify light and appear to enhance a room's dimensions. Use one oversize mirror to make a bold statement or hang an eclectic assortment. The most crucial aspect is to bear in mind what the mirror will be reflecting. Check what will be reflected in the mirror by standing where it will hang and looking at the opposite wall.
If you've been looking for something new to hang on your walls, or you just moved into a new place and are starting from scratch, I hope this list has inspired you!
Have you recently transformed your blank wall? Comment below or tweet me @whalenkristin.