Let’s face it: bare walls can be a bit boring. Adding art brings life to your living room, but that doesn’t mean you have to hang the same old thing: paintings and photo galleries are classic, but they’re not the only way to spice up naked walls. From neon lights to living walls to suspended sculptures, we’ve rounded up some unexpected living room decor ideas to inspire you to amp up the style in your space.
Green Means Go
We’re always fans of plants in the living room (they bring a natural element to the space, while also helping to purify the air) so why not transform your favourite greenery into art for the wall? Try adding plants on shelves or go big and get creative with a living wall.
Ceramic Indoor/Outdoor Wallscape Planter, West Elm, $44.
Put it in Pieces
As gorgeous as boldly printed wallpaper can be, it’s not always the solution for your living room. Instead of papering the whole wall, try adding brightness and personality to your space by framing a collection of vibrant patterns and prints.
Time for Reflection
From an ornate antique to a sleek, ultra-modern shape, a big framed mirror adds a reflective element to your living room, as well as a touch of practicality.
Margot Floor Mirror, Anthropologie, $1,098.
A Clean Plate
If you love the look of a gallery wall, cook up a fresh take on that idea by creating a gallery of other unique objects — like a collection of colourful plates.
Artistic Wall Decorative Plate, The Apollo Box, $82.
Paint it Pretty
Who needs to hang paintings on a wall when you can just turn the wall itself into the art? This DIY accent wall uses trendy colours and fun shapes to create an easy, customized piece of wall art that you’ll cherish!
A Little Dimension
Who says sculptures always need to stand on their own? Hanging a piece of sculptural art adds texture and sophisticated dimension to a room — while simultaneously making a conversation-starting statement.
Geode Fibre Wall Art, West Elm, $749.
Does the word “poster” give you shuddering flashbacks to teenage bedrooms littered with crinkled magazine cutouts of pop stars? Fear not. For grown-up spaces, a tasteful, well-designed movie poster or simple typography prints in a sleek frame can add an incredibly affordable touch of whimsy and personality.
Digital Typography Prints, Design Cuts, $30.
Open the Door
We use them every day for function, but doors can be decor, too. From beautiful vintage barn doors to carved wooden gates, antique doors can be repurposed and affixed to the wall as bold declarations of interior style. In this Property Brothers design, a refinished barn door is used to cleverly conceal a plain white cabinet, adding a more unique vintage style to the room.
Use Your Letters
The pen is mightier than the sword and — sometimes — text-based art can make a bigger impact than images. Experiment with framed or wooden quotes or letters for living room wall art that truly (literally) makes a statement.
If abstract sculpture isn’t your thing, consider hanging recognizable objects and antiques or a DIY wall hanging as beautiful wall accents.
Don’t Take it Too Seriously
When it comes to living room wall art, try not to stress. Have fun with playful wall art pieces that reflect your personality — you can always switch things up.
Macrame Butterfly Wall Hanging Set, Urban Outfitters, $79.
Unique shapes, sizes and colours of shelving serve as wall art in and of themselves — while also doubling as the perfect place to display a curated collection of artistic objects.
Light-up signs (whether neon or the more affordable LED) will bring instant cool and an element of contemporary style to a living room. There are plenty of options to shop, or you can opt for a custom-made sign from Etsy or any number of other retailers.
Light-Up You Got This Sign, Pottery Barn, $141.
More Than a Hobby
If you want to show your personality in your living room, consider showcasing your passion. If you’re a winter-sport aficionado, try turning antique skis into wall art or if you love books, make pages into a spectacular sculpture.
Personalized Ski Wall Art, Uncommon Goods, $329.
It’s all about presentation. Another way to play with wall art in your living room is to experiment with the way you display your pieces. Instead of standard frames, try using unexpected vessels like clipboards as creative alternatives.
Block Medium Clipboard Frame, 313 Design Market, $33.
Art doesn’t have to be made of paper: try adding rich, boho-chic layers to your walls with tufted tapestries, punch needle, knit pieces and hanging fabric art.
Woman and Flowers Punch Needle Wall Decor, Etsy, $207.