gallery wall in living room

How to design a big blank wall

Household 3 min read

We all have them. That big blank wall that taunts you with its vast emptiness, just begging you to fill the void. It can be overwhelming to get started though, because what if you mess up? And what do you even put on it?

While daunting, an empty wall is also a blank canvas for you to let your creativity shine while creating something beautiful and unique for your home. Here are some ideas on how to design your big blank wall.

Statement art or mirror

If you’re hesitant to hang more than one thing on the wall then make sure the item you use is large enough for the space. It needs to make a statement on its own and look intentional. A large canvas, a meaningful map, or a large mirror are all great options. Anchor the piece by centering it over a piece of furniture like a console table, bar cart, or sofa, or align it with your dining room table.

Family photos

Print some of your favorite family photos in an assortment of sizes then go to the store and buy coordinated frames for them. The frames don’t need to match, but they do need to “go” together.

I recently used a variety of frames that were white, gold, and a light wood color and it made for a nice, light gallery wall of family photos. Fit them together like a puzzle and make sure to take into account the size and color of the frames as you work.

Plates or other collectables

Gather together some collectables that look good together that you may not typically think would go on a wall. I love blue and white, so in my last home I used my collection of blue and white plates to create a large freeform design in our dining room over an antique console table. If you don’t already have a collection of plates, it’s extremely easy to start a collection by simply going to an antique mall and buying random plates that are in the same color family.

Mix in any family heirlooms you may have (your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding china, for example) and you can create a wall that makes a statement and also has some sentimental value. Be sure to lay the plates out on a table or on the ground first so that you have a plan before you start putting holes in the wall. If plates aren’t your thing then think outside the box. I’ve even seen a wall full of handheld vanity mirrors and an entire room full of hundreds of spoons. The possibilities are endless!

Traditional gallery wall

The best gallery walls incorporate three-dimensional items as well as artwork. Consider adding a pretty piece of driftwood, faux taxidermy (stuffed animal-type, cardboard, plaster, and paper mache are all great options), a sign, letters, or even a wall-mounted flower vase.

There are no rules when it comes to gallery walls, just make sure you use pieces that create a cohesive look with colors that complement each other and be sure to have a plan before you get started! It’s totally fine for it to evolve as you start hanging, but it’s best to lay everything out beforehand so that you have a loose plan to go off of.

Picture ledges

If you want an eclectic look but don’t want to commit to a permanent fixture, consider going the picture ledge route. You can use multiple ledges on your wall and then simply place your art on the ledges. This is a great alternative if you want to switch things up from time to time.


If you’re short on storage space you can put your walls to work for you. Hang floating shelves or shelves with wall brackets and you’ll immediately have more places to put things. Use baskets and organizational bins to help corral your things.

Blank walls can be intimidating, but they’re also full of so much potential. Don’t be afraid to try something unique and have a little fun with it!

Whether you decide to spruce up your big blank wall with a gallery of photos or heirlooms, be sure to always keep your home protected with Progressive. To learn more about homeowners insurance, click here.

Was this article helpful?

5 min
4 min
4 min
3 min
2 min