What is it about a blank space that feels so overwhelming?  And no, when I say Blank Space, I’m not talking about the Taylor Swift song.  I’m talking about a blank wall.  And what can you do with it to make your space look finished and complete.  So listen in, or read on, to find out how to make that blank wall a possibility and NOT a problem. 

Listen to the Home and Nestorations Podcast

Why do blank spaces, or starting anything from scratch, feel so overwhelming? Well, our minds think it’s a lot of work to start something, especially something from scratch. And research has shown that it’s easier to start things when we feel there’s already progress made.  

I used to get overwhelmed writing podcast episodes or blog posts like this one.  But now, I start with an outline which makes things so much easier.  Here, I’ll give you an outline of what to do with a blank space so you don’t feel overwhelmed about it.

Idea #1: Add a Wood Focal Wall

A wood focal wall is a timeless and classic way to decorate and fill a blank wall.  The simplest would wall is a tongue and groove (T&G) wall, commonly called shiplap.  I prefer laying the boards vertically for an updated look rather than horizontally.  With horizontal planks dust can gather in the grooves.  Vertical boards also make it easier to hide or minimize seams.  

Grid focal wall
A square grid focal wall fills this blank space under the stairs

Above vertical tongue and groove (aka shiplap) adds detail to this built-in desk. 

Below is an example of a board and batten focal wall to help this foyer stand out and fill the blank wall. 

Other options for wood focal walls are panel molding, chevron, herringbone, asymmetrical modern.  There really are a ton of options to consider. I recommend looking on Pinterest for inspiration.  

If you aren’t handy and comfortable with tools you can add empty frames to your wall. See below for an example. It’s a really inexpensive way to fill a blank wall.  Depending on the frames you pick it can look more cottage-like or modern.  You can paint all the frames the same color or 

Image from Craft Warehouse

Idea #2 for a Blank Wall
Add Oversized Art

A blank wall can easily be filled with oversized art.  I prefer that art takes up about two-thirds of the space above a piece of furniture.  If one large piece fills too big for you or your space, you can add a pair or trio of art.  

Blank wall-large art-nestorations

Idea #3 for a Blank Wall
Create a Gallery Wall

If you can’t find a piece of oversized art for your wall, consider adding a gallery wall of art.  For your own home you can use a collection of family photos, but for your investment property you wouldn’t do that.  Instead embrace your rental property’s location and add a gallery wall of photos or art that showcases the location.  For a mountain home consider landscapes of the area or for a city location have a gallery wall of popular places in the city.  

Idea #4 for a Blank Wall
Add Furniture

A simple option to fill a blank wall is to add furniture.  Ask yourself, do I need something there? Is there a piece I can use that will serve a function?  It’s totally okay if it’s just decorative since the idea is the fill a blank wall. 

Idea #5
Add a Sculptural or Decorative Object

Add a sculpture or decorative object to a blank wall to fill the space.  Consider displaying a sculpture on a pedestal or add a ladder with throws hanging on it to keep blankets accessible and handy.  Or add something fun like skis or snowboards to a wall at a mountain home.  At a beach house or Airbnb add a surfboard or oars to the wall…heck you could even hang a canoe up.  If you have a city home or rental property, vintage street signs would work well.  Try using simple baskets as well for an interesting look.  The point is to have fun and be creative here.  

What to do with a blank wall

Idea #6 for a Blank Wall
Add Greenery or a Tree

Bring in a touch of nature and add greenery or a tree to a blank wall.  Buy wall-mounted vases that are flat on one side to hang on a wall or add a wood box with succulents in it.  A simple option is just to add a large pot or urn with a tree in front of a wall. Greenery softens our homes and brings a bit of nature inside.   

Add Greenery to a Wall

Bonus Idea to Fill a Blank Wall

And as promised, the last bonus idea is a wall mural or wallpaper. For a wall mural you can hire someone or paint it yourself.  If you choose wallpaper you have lots of options to add some texture and visual interest.  

I’d love to hear which idea is your favorite.  Leave a comment and let me know what idea you want to try. 

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Sally Soricelli