Whether you live in a cozy studio or a spacious two-bedroom apartment, decorating the walls is a challenge for a lot of renters. Sure, you can hang photo frames, art prints, or tapestries, but if you want your apartment to look interesting and unique, there are plenty of other options. From unconventional materials to DIY wall art, here are seven fun and unexpected ways to fill your apartment’s bare walls.
1. Tile It
Tile isn’t just for shower walls and kitchen backsplashes. You can make a huge impact in any room by applying tile to a wall. Tile comes in various shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors, so you can get as creative as you want! You can do a small section of a large wall, turn a small wall into a focal point, or mount large tiles to cover a large space. The options are limitless.
Another alternative to traditional tile is to cover your walls with textured wall panels. They come in all sorts of patterns and textures, and you can leave them solid white or paint them to create an even more interesting look.
Photo: Pexels/Daria Shevtsova
2. Hang Baskets
With an assortment of shallow baskets, you can create a unique wall display that adds a touch of boho, natural style to any room. Look for baskets shaped like trays, not like deep storage containers. Then, mount the bottom of each basket to the wall so that the open part faces out. You can cluster them together in an organized fashion or scatter them around to create an organic pattern.
One of the best things about this technique is that most baskets are super lightweight, so you don’t even have to make holes in the wall to hang them. Most can be attached with a simple Command strip.
Photo: Pexels/Dominika Roseclay
3. Hang a Rug
Instead of hanging a traditional tapestry, hang a rug instead. You can hang a small rug on an accent wall or a large rug on a big empty wall, such as the one behind your couch or bed. This is a great way to cover bare walls, especially large ones, and it’s an easy project that only takes a few minutes to complete. The hardest part will be picking out a rug!
To make hanging easier, choose a lightweight rug that you can suspend with one or two simple hooks.
Photo: Pexels/Max Vakhtbovych
4. Mount Flowers in Vases
Looking for a fun DIY project that will also make a big impact in your home? With some wood slats and inexpensive vases, you can mount fresh flowers on the wall.
To build a floral wall display, mount a few wooden slats against the wall, attach bud vases or clear glass jars, then fill those vases or jars with fresh flowers.
You can add one or two vases to a small wall or create long rows with multiple vases across a large wall. What we love about this technique is that you can constantly change it up. As the seasons change, just insert new flowers in different colors to create a totally different look.
Prefer succulents and plants to fresh flowers? You can also create a wall display with tiny floating shelves and small terracotta pots. Fill each pot with a different succulent or plant to give your wall a one-of-a-kind look.
Photo: Pexels/Huy Phan
5. Create a Display With Yarn
You can get really creative with yarn, and you don’t even have to know how to crochet.
The simplest way to create a yarn display is to buy an inexpensive wooden rod and string different colored yarn from it. All you need to do is cut the yarn to the length you want and loop it around the rod to keep it in place. You can cut the yarn in different lengths, incorporate sections of different colors, or create a cool ombre effect.
If you do know how to crochet, you can create something really special. From fine, tight stitches to large, oversized knit patterns, you can weave your own wall tapestry in any way you like!
Photo: Pexels/ Anete Lusina
6. Display Empty Frames
There’s nothing unexpected about hanging frames filled with art or photos on the wall. But there is something fun and playful about hanging empty frames.
Instead of wondering what prints or pictures to display on your walls, don’t display any at all. Empty frames with nothing inside them can make a huge impact.
The best way to display empty frames is to mix and match ones in different sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and finishes. Cluster them together or display them in neat, organized patterns. Either way works!
One thing we love about this decorating technique is that it works for any style. If you have a modern, contemporary home, choose simple, geometric frames in silver, gold, and other metallic finishes. If you’re going for a farmhouse-chic look, opt for rustic frames in natural woods or with distressed details.
Photo: Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska
7. Hang a LOT of Mirrors
There’s nothing new about the idea of hanging a mirror on the wall. Almost everyone has at least one mirror already hanging in their home. But hanging a lot of mirrors can turn a bare wall into a unique display of personal style. The trick is to create a gallery wall full of mirrors.
Mix and match round, square, and rectangular mirrors of different shapes, sizes, and colors to create a one-of-a-kind look. If you only have a few mirrors to start with, that’s okay. You can always add to your display over time.
Just like displaying empty frames, this design technique works with any type of décor. Whether you choose mirrors that are vintage, rustic, industrial, or contemporary, a mirror wall is sure to attract lots of attention!
Photo: Pexels/Max Vakhtbovych
Tired of looking at bare walls? Sick of the photos and art prints currently hanging in your apartment? Switch things up by trying one of these design tricks:
- Add tiles or textured wall panels
- Hang baskets
- Hang a rug
- Mount flowers in vases
- Create a yarn display
- Hang empty frames
- Create a gallery wall of mirrors
Just do yourself a favor and be sure to ask your landlord if it’s okay to mount hardware or put holes in your wall. If you do so without permission, you might not get your security deposit back when you move out!
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Harmony 3900, a luxury apartment community in South Salt Lake, Utah.