A reader recently asked about what to do with a long, tall wall in her family room. Since many homes have these high ceilinged, big blank walls, I thought it would be a good idea to share some solutions to fill up all that space. She sent such a great classic photo of that typical space, that I’m going to use it as a base and photoshop in some options.
Tall, Long, Blank Walls
We’re often intimidated by oversize walls and either leave them blank because we don’t have huge art to fill them or fill them with random small bits and pieces that end up looking cluttered and usually too small. Here are a few ideas that might help you tackle a vaulted ceiling wall space.
Here’s the naked blank wall with a nice big sectional in the room. Now what?
My first observation is that the little side table and lamp are much too small and something larger is needed to “end” the sofa and hold its own against that bulk.
Replacing the tiny table with a chest to hold toys and room miscellaneous as well as a larger lamp are more in scale with the sofa. Placing an art piece that’s about 2/3 the width of that arm of the sofa is big enough to avoid the postage stamp look of too small art. It’s visual size is increased with the addition of a swirly piece of metal art that helps fill the height without adding bulk. Two companion prints are hung near the door to clearly establish their own grouping and finish that side of the wall. A mirror is added near the chest, hung low so it’s part of the furniture group and round so it introduces a different shape.
Warm up the scheme with the introduction of golds, oranges and rusts. All this art was found on World Market Cost Plus’ website (an affiliate) and works together to create a gallery wall collection instead of one single piece of art. To vary the textures in the space there is a long metal dimensional art piece next to the door (not from Cost Plus), then I incorporated the popular typography theme in the largest art piece. I paired it with stacked canvases in colors and themes that blend with the sign.
The final piece is a long narrow framed mirror for some dimension since none of the other pieces have frames – and it brings some reflection into the room. Over by the chest there’s a little wall saying hanging that carries the colors all the way across the wall and repeats the typography. The sofa is improved with the addition of pillows with higher contrast and adding much needed pattern.
In this scenario the use of bookshelf units helps bracket the space that needs to be filled and introduces some architectural interest. More dimension is added by the plate collection on a wire rack and if the collection isn’t quite large enough, it can be visually expanded by the addition of a couple of sconces. The lighter look of the shelf units is upheld by the lighter green pillows. The addition of a simple rub on stencil saying over the doorway is a whimsical addition. Furnishings are from Cost Plus and Pier One.
This last version introduces a bright spot of color with a red chest as the side table. Completing that corner is a lamp and clock. Over the sofa the picture system organizes a family photo display and to bring some dimension to the wall, a couple of display shelves are hung next to the doorway. If you have lots of accessories or love accessories, using those display shelves (available everywhere) is a great way to add interest, texture and dimension to the wall. Make sure the shelves are hung with some sort of order/structure rather than randomly so that they don’t appear too cluttered. All furnishings from Pottery Barn.
Wall Problem Solved
There are an infinite number of possibilities or combinations to fill the wall space. The general rule of thumb is to break it down and treat different segments of it differently by creating separate groupings – near the chest, over the sofa and by the door. Keep the elements cohesive through color, finish or texture so that there is a correlation between them, but don’t be a slave to buying things in matched sets – it’s much more fun to make your own!
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