Tips & Techniques

10 Ways to Decorate That Big Blank Wall You're Trying to Avoid

September 16, 2015

Inspired solutions (that don't involve matting and framing) for covering any big blank wall in your home. 

Last year, we launched our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Collection of home furnishings with Bloomingdales and we followed that with our first book about home decor. Which is all to say that we’ve done a lot of staring at the walls so you don’t have to. Here are some of our favorite tips from our upcoming book, Beekman 1802 Style: The Attraction of Opposites, on how to decorate a big blank wall—without resorting to a gallery-style cloud of pictures you printed from the internet. 

beekman boys  desk and pendant beekman boys

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1. Get off the grid (above left). You can create drama on a wall by hanging pieces of art asymetrically. Here, some string and some art clips are used to fashion a hanging apparatus that makes a few simple prints look like an art installation.

2. Chalk it up (above right). If your style changes by the minute, paint a full wall with chalkboard paint (which is available in many different colors besides black). Kids and guests can contribute to your decor, and it’s easy to change things up on a whim.


plates on the wall beekman boys  tapestry headboard

3. Add texture (above left). Think of a big blank wall as a 3-dimensional environment, kind of like a shadow box. Here, the light fixture and the plates are on different planes, which provides depth and increased visual interest

4. Don't restrict fabrics to furniture (above right). In our flagship store in Sharon Springs, we hang the rugs from our Heirloom Furniture and Linen Collection on the walls as works of art. It’s a twist on the Renaissance practice of hanging large textiles not only to protect them but to dampen sound and diminish drafts.


outdoor wall beekman boys  ceiling medallions beekman boys

5. Prepare for wear (above left). For a large outdoor wall, have your favorite photograph or Instagram printed on weather resistant vinyl—some retailers will even include the grommets for easy hanging.

6. Look up for inspiration (above right). This super-stylish wall was created using ceiling medallions from a big-box hardware store. They were installed in a single day using adhesive caulk and then the entire wall was painted a uniform color.


beekman boys  beekman boys

7. Use a wall to display a personal collection (above left). To keep things from looking too cluttered, try grouping your pieces by color.

8. Think of a large wall like a big blank canvas (above right). Sometimes you only need one item, and it works best when that one item is a conversation starter—like this vintage biology chart.


cross stitch beekman boys  plaid beekman boys

9. Use paint creatively (above left). For this wall design, we took an old cross stitch pattern to the local copy center and had it enlarged; it was then used as a pattern to paint directly onto the wall. From a distance, the image is apparent, but when up close it’s a very modern work of art

10. Don't forget about wallpaper (above right)! There are so many bold and artisanal wallpapers being created now. People often get scared or overwhelmed by the idea of going too extreme, but a dramatic paper choice used on just one wall of a room can create that “wow” moment that every room needs.

What are some other parts of the home that you find tricky to decorate? Let us know in the comments!

Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell are the Beekman Boys, whose new book Beekman 1802 Style: The Attraction of Opposites hit shelves just yesterday. 

Birds photo, collection photo, and plaid wall photo by José Picayo; plates on teal wall photo by Kate Mathis; tapestry photo by Max Kim-Bee; porch and chalkboard photos by Victoria Pearson; ceiling medallion photo by Miki Duisterhof; science poster photo by Jesse James and Philip Ficks; and crochet painting photo by Alec Hemer.

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The founders of Beekman 1802, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell just released a new book about home decor, Beekman 1802 Style: The Attraction of Opposites. / portrait by Daniel Puissant


Dee H. September 27, 2017
I'm having difficulty with the blank wall behind my TV, which I would like to try to hide or blend in somehow and a black wall won't work in my house. I thought a gallery wall would obscure it but afraid that may look too busy. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.
Pisanella October 19, 2015
I bet No. 6 looks ghastly up close...I like the cross stitch pattern idea.
Lynn October 18, 2015
Love something about each of these. I just cleared my house of a bunch of clutter and these ideas are so well-timed!
Chantell J. October 17, 2015
Inspiring, save a ton of money when using the imagination. Thanks for this useful article.
Ali S. September 16, 2015
Oh how I've needed this post.