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How to Make a Big Design Statement on Your Walls

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

While that geometric wallpaper and metallic paint finish are to die for, are they worth the risk? You could be making a costly mistake, and one you might not like once it’s up on your walls. The safe alternative is neutral paint, but that’s pretty boring. If you’re a bit skittish about infusing your home with color and pattern, take a hint from the pros and start small on the walls to build up your confidence.

Hang Wallpaper Where You’d Least Expect

This is the perfect way to test the waters. Buy a single roll and cover a small area like the back wall of a bookcase, the inside of a closet, or the back walls of glass front kitchen cabinets. It will provide a harmless pop of color and will give you a chance to get used to the print. Another option is to cover a nook or niche to add a cozy feel to a room.

Even small bits of wallpaper in nooks and crannies can expand the look of a focal wall.

Even small bits of wallpaper in nooks and crannies can expand the look of a focal wall.

Experiment with Color

If you are tired of a neutral palette and want to go a little bolder, test a few colors on your walls, choose your favorite, and start by painting a hallway or powder room in a dramatic color like charcoal or dark blue. If you want a bit more pizzazz, bring in fanciful throw pillows, art, and accessories. As you become accustomed to color you can add bright accent walls to coordinate with your furnishings.

A bold-hued wall gives the room a dramatic feel.

A bold-hued wall gives the room a dramatic feel.

Use Oversized Art

Dominate one wall with a huge piece of art. Here’s an opportunity to make a big statement in a living room without having to rely on extraneous paint or wallpaper. The key is this gorgeous oversize canvas of a blue agate stone. The extra large print livens up the space and keeps decorating costs down. Stunning blue plays against the neutral backdrop to strike the perfect balance between bold and serene.

Huge artwork on a wall expanse creates a big statement.

Huge artwork on a wall expanse creates a big statement.

Install Graphic Tile

Open almost any home decor magazine or tune in to shows like Fixer Upper and you'll probably see fabulous encaustic cement tiles. These handcrafted tiles were originally designed as flooring, but are now making their mark on walls from trendy bathrooms and dining rooms to kitchens and mudrooms across the country. Picture these graphic tiles installed as an eye-catching kitchen backsplash paired with crisp white cabinets and lime washed floors.

Black-and-white graphic tile gives the backsplash wall a visual pop.

Black-and-white graphic tile gives the backsplash wall a visual pop.

Stencil a Wall

To create a sophisticated wall all by yourself, find a large stencil or download a stencil design. To make your own stencil, get a large Mylar stencil sheet, trace the design, and cut out the motif.

Pick a coordinating background wall color and a contrasting paint. Either stipple with a stencil brush or make it fast and easy with a small foam roller. The overall design can be subdued by mixing glaze into the stencil paint or simply going with a strong, bold color.

Large stencils add visual movement to a space.

Large stencils add visual movement to a space.

Stripe with Tape

Start by painting a base color or simply use your original wall color to create a fun accent wall. Bring out washi tape to make stripes or geometrics. Create a large-scale pattern with metallic tape to span the entire wall for a high-end look. You can either hang art on the striped wall or let the stripes become an art statement of their own.

This creative technique gives the room a big punch by using a combination of wide and narrow vinyl tape. It’s an extremely unique design compared to painted stripes. If you get tired of the stripes, simply remove the tape and change the room's mood by using different tape color.

A washi taped wall can easily be removed and replaced with a different color or pattern.

A washi taped wall can easily be removed and replaced with a different color or pattern.

Hang Textiles

Oversized quilts, tapestries, and antique rugs add textural character to your walls. They're also great for sound insulation. If you’re in a condo or apartment, they will help mute the sounds from your adjacent neighbor. Use easy clip rings to secure the textile onto a curtain rod so it won't damage the fabric.

A wall hanging will create a stunning statement and visual interest in the space. To create a unified look, focus on the distinct colors within the weave. Make sure the colors within the fabric coordinate with your existing wall color, upholstery, flooring, and accessories.

A textile on the wall gives the room a softness and mutes sounds.

A textile on the wall gives the room a softness and mutes sounds.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on April 06, 2019:

Dianna, I hung wallpaper in a powder room a few years ago and it was extremely difficult. I would prefer stencils or installing tile!

Dianna Mendez on April 06, 2019:

These are such creative ideas and simple. The stencil idea is much preferred to wallpaper for me.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 13, 2019:

Liz,glad you liked this one. I guess I need to write another article because there are quite a few other ideas.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 13, 2019:

You have some great ideas here. The illustrations really help to visualise your ideas.