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How to Decorate a Large Wall in a Living Room

Do you live a design challenge? I certainly do – and styling a large expanse of wall is ideal. Instead of being overwhelmed by a white space, see it as a blank canvas, an opportunity for self-expression, creativity, and fun.

There’s no right or wrong way to start, so be inspired by these ideas and tips for decorating a large living room wall.

To decorate a large wall in a living room, start by painting the wall, trim, and architectural features. Invest in a wood-paneled, upholstered, tiled, or wallpapered finish. Cover the wall with shelving or hang a gallery of paintings, photographs, sculptures, mirrors, or fiber art.

Whether you’re doing a major refurbishment or an update on a budget, there are plenty of gorgeous ways to decorate an empty wall. And what’s great is that you can style the decor differently each season if you follow some of my suggestions for decorating a large wall.

11 Creative Large Wall Decorating Ideas for a Living Room

Before you can decorate a large wall, make sure that you have “prepared the canvas”. In other words, consider your paint finish. If you’re going to cover the wall with artwork, it may seem simplest to paint the wall white.

However, an expanse of white wall can be stark and cold, so consider a warmer, earthier neutral: beige, buttery yellow, or taupe. Drench the wall, skirting boards, and trim in the same color.

#1. Dress the Wall With Macrame and Decorative Baskets

Macrame hanging on a wall.

Canvas is one of many fabrics appropriate for walls. In the past, walls were covered with tapestries for color and warmth. A framed collection of embroidery and needlepoint adds a feminine touch to a vintage or English country interior.

Woven fiber, felted, or macrame artwork is perfect for a Boho vibe, while vividly printed cloth works well with ethnic-inspired interiors.

Decorative baskets on a wall.

#2. Play With the Trim

Add subtle interest to a large wall expanse by highlighting the room’s architectural features. Choose decorative finishes for wall panels, ceiling molding, skirting boards, and window and door frames. Keep the look cohesive by repeating colors and finishes.

#3. Light Up With Mirrors

Decorative mirrors hanging on a wall.

Mirrors are a brilliant design and decor stalwart for decorating large walls. They’re functional, of course, for checking your hair or tie. They also reflect natural and artificial light, create the illusion of space, and are perfect for brightening up dimly lit rooms.

Here are some fabulous ways of using mirrors for a large wall:

  • Hang a collection of mirrors of different shapes and sizes like a gallery wall.
  • Antique mirrors have beautiful frames that suit vintage aesthetics.
  • Lean an oversized mirror against the wall rather than hanging it or perch mirrors on shelves.

#4. Add Color

Living room with terracotta accent wall.

Painting a single large wall in a rich, saturated color can transform the feel of a room. Create a single statement wall or infuse your room with a lush, saturated color. Trending colors have a muted, earthy touch: terracotta, slate, and sage make gorgeous anchors for a seasonal palette.

In light-starved rooms, combine light-reflecting yellow or cream with a high-gloss or lacquered finish. Burnishing the wall with a luxe touch of gold and silver leaf helps the room to glow, seeming brighter and warmer.

#5. Install Paneling

Living room with slated wood wall.

Create a feature of your large wall by installing on-trend wood paneling. Shiplap has been a popular option with the farmhouse and cottage-core aesthetics, but there are more creative possibilities.

For example, Victorian cornices are perfect in period homes. Consider Scandi-style cladding, using small wooden slats, or embrace sustainable reclaimed wood with its preloved character.

#6. Upholster the Wall

Red upholstered panels.

Upholstered walls are the ultimate luxury wall finishes, covering your interior with sumptuous fabric. This ancient process involves stretching fabric over battens attached to the wall, imbuing your interior with elegance, sophistication, and vintage charm.

While fabrics like silk and suede require expert installation, paper-backed fabric similar to wallpaper is also available.

#7. Stick Tiles

A room with decorative tiles.

We commonly use tiles for bathroom and kitchen walls, a wholly practical choice when humidity and steam are involved. However, when installed on a large wall, decorative tiles, including hand-painted and two-dimensional ones, make a dramatic impression.

#8. Cover the Wall With Wallpaper

Living room with wall papers and couch.

Covering an expansive wall with gorgeous wallpaper is an excellent option. For a maximalist approach, choose a flamboyant print, echoing the room’s color palette or even the upholstery fabric.

Another approach is to add texture with a metallic wall covering or a wallpaper that mimics embossed or woven fabric.

A wallpaper mural can make an impressive impact and be customed using a photograph or matching your interior. Wrap a single wall with a gorgeous image and cover the rest of the walls with toning paper.

#9. Use Shelves

Living room with shelf and couch.

A practical option for a large wall, especially if storage is at a premium, is to install or build shelves, cupboards, or room dividers. Fill the shelves with objects of your choice to create very different vibes.

If you’re bibliophiles like my family are, there’s never enough space for books. Cover the wall with shelving to hold your expanding collection. Sort them alphabetically by author or title or, if you’re a visual perfectionist, by color.

Curate your shelves with a beloved collection of similar items, or create a museum-like treasure trove of old, new, and delightfully random objects.

#1o. Make a Gallery Wall

Green and white living room with photo gallery and couch.

Creating a gallery wall is a popular option for decorating a large wall. To create a gallery wall, hang several pieces of artwork in single or multiple groups, forming a cohesive whole. Through trial and error, I’ve devised a few guidelines to avoid a disjointed, scattered, or overwhelming effect.

  • Divide the wall into thirds to maintain scale. A large painting can fill one-third of a wall, while a selection of pictures can fill two-thirds.
  • Allow enough negative space between the items to rest the eye and allow each to be appreciated individually: 3 to 6 inches is ample.
  • Group the items with the focal point at eye level, about 57 to 60 inches from the floor.
  • Place pieces 8 to 10 inches above the sofa to avoid bumping your head.
  • Swap pieces frequently to re-energize your space. Seasonal changes are fun and keep your family’s interest.

Your choice of artwork for the gallery will depend on your aesthetic. You could decide to keep your gallery wall harmonious by doing the following:

  • Select frames of the same size, shape, or color.
  • Hang images with the same theme, for instance, botanical prints, antique maps, or family photographs.
  • Style the gallery by color: hang black and white photographs, bright retro travel posters, or wintry watercolor landscapes.l

For a more eclectic look, mix photographs, paintings, and posters in different frames and with differing canvases and frames. Add souvenirs from family trips and quirky sculptural items.

#11. Make a Minimalist Impact

Living room with large painting.

Gallery walls are a fantastic design feature for large walls, but they only suit some aesthetics. If you prefer a modern, minimalist look or don’t like visual clutter, hang only one or two striking artworks.

Ensure that the paintings, photographs, or sculptural items are large enough to make an impact – remember the rule of thirds for decorating a wall. Instead, go outsized rather than too small.

Final Thoughts on Ideas for Decorating a Large Living Room Wall

Whether you’re on a budget or splashing out, there are many creative ways of decorating a large wall. Covering the wall with gorgeous paint, wood, tile, or textile finishes is one option, while inexpensive frames, artworks, and mirrors can create an eye-catching gallery wall.

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