Cool walls: your essential guide | homify

Cool walls: your essential guide

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie Living room
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Walls constitute the largest open or unused space in home. That is, before anything has been done to decorate it. The knee-jerk reaction is painting, which is always a good place to start but by far not the limit of options when it comes to livening up walls. 

These days there are a multitude of ways in which walls can be decorated but choosing the solution just right for a specific space can feel like wading through a jungle. Not considering a certain wall design carefully can easily lead to disastrous results, which may be disheartening and also expensive to try and rectify. Fortunately, homify has some inspiration and advice on the topic—the essential guide to cool walls! In the mix of these ideas, anyone is sure to find something appropriate to their wall decorating needs. Let's take a look. 

Perfect prints

It seems a common mistake to choose prints for walls that turn out to look very different when it is mounted than in samples. Unrealistic and pixelated prints often result from hasty buys, but this does not have to be the case. If a high-quality and natural-looking print is chosen, it can look great. 

Prints can be a very cost-effective solution to create a big impression in any given space. It is important to find a trusted supplier who can show evidence of the quality of the product. A lot of thought must also go into which print is chosen—think of what kind of atmosphere is wanted for that specific room and consider many images which may contribute to this. 

Stick to good taste

Wall stickers is a very trendy solution to wall decoration needs. It is prevalent in magazines and DIY projects. Aptly so, since it is an inexpensive option to add life to bland walls. This is a medium that producers have taken advantage of though, and tacky or distasteful wall stickers might be more pervasive on the market than sophisticated ones. They are out there, though, so it's not hopeless. It is just a matter of finding a stylish design suited to personal taste, which is then considered in style, colour and dimensions for the specific wall space. 

If a great wall sticker design is found for a particular room, it should also not be too hard to find other small decorative items for the room that will complement the sticker design. The tip here is to stick to simple and stylistic designs—don't go into too much details or choose designs with too many colours. 

Colour blocking

As mentioned before, painting is probably the easiest and most popular way to decorate walls. It can easily become boring, though. Another threat can be attempts to get creative with painting colours and ending up with a rainbow-coloured mess. Simplicity is once again key, but simplicity does not necessarily imply tedium.

In a studio apartment, for example, a vivid colour can be employed to separate utility spaces from one another. When only one wall is painted a certain colour, it may section off this area as a specific ’room’. The colour may also attribute a particular character to the space to distinctly distinguish it from the rest of the apartment space. 

For more advice on how to effectively use painting as wall decoration, check out this Ideabook on creating feature walls with paint colours. 

Top shelf

A great way of decorating walls and adding a unique character, whilst also adding functionality, is artistic shelving. It is not strange to say that shelves are part of most houses in limitless shapes and size. There are a multitude of shelving products available to decorate unimaginative walls.

The right kind of shelving for wall decoration will have a distinct aesthetic value and will be able to stand alone as a piece of design. Of course we are looking for shelves that will be able to actually hold items and be useful, but the best option will be able to do all of the above. 


A simple, yet effective, way to make walls look much cooler, is with bespoke lighting combinations. Thinking of this from a practical point of view, lights will be unavoidably present in any room of any house, so why not make it work for wall decoration as well?

There are a multitude of professionals offering innovative wall-mounted lighting solutions, and specify these to the theme of a particular room or of an entire house. Although functionality is important when it comes to lighting, style must always be kept in mind when using lighting to beautify walls. The bonus of wall lighting is the possibility that the light can illuminate other wall art object where applicable. Now that's a multi-functional element at its best!

Hang ten

When it comes to wall hangings, it can be difficult to find just the right piece for a specific space. There are many choices—contemporary or timeless framed artwork, pictures and photographs, mirrors, decorative sculptures, etcetera. What to choose? Well, there is nothing stopping us from hanging all of them!

A series or collection of wall hangings can form a lovely ensemble if the individual pieces are chosen meticulously. This method is great for bringing in diversity whilst also creating some visual rhythm on the wall in question, especially if the individual elements are stylistically similar. Using the same colour frame for pieces of different mediums and sizes can still be a unifying factor. It is important to not go to small with the individual pieces, as this may create some visual confusion and result in the individual character of each piece to be lost.

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