What To Do With a Big Empty Wall?

July 8, 2013

We have this wall…

What to do with a big empty wall?

It is a big, empty wall.

It’s a big, empty wall that will never have much in the way of furniture in front of it, and it looks kinda of bare.

But what do I do with my big, empty, kind of bare, wall?

What to do with a big empty wall?

Do I hang three huge canvases?
Could we paint them ourselves? I can’t see us being able to afford anything that big painted by a real artist, but I think DIY might look kinda crap?

What to do with a big empty wall?

Or should we go with lots of smaller frames?
Art work? Or photos?
Or a combination of both?
Do we go with a theme? black and white? All one colour frames?

We spent a long time working on making the additions to our house practical and functional, but now I am faced with making them ‘beautiful’ I’m kind of stumped. I really want our house to reflect us, our story, so I don’t care if it is ‘on trend’, but I am not good at decisions… especially decisions that will hang on our walls for everyone to see.

I guess we’ll stare at this big empty wall for a while longer… after all, we still haven’t painted the skirting boards yet!

What do you think I should do with our big empty wall?

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Marita July 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Annie has had a big empty wall in her bedroom for over a year now. We’ve been debating what to do. She has been working on it by herself, painting up different works of art that we are going to collage onto a big canvas to hang on the wall.

My sister in law has a big empty wall in her loungeroom that she has gotten black frames for… sort of like your last idea, and she framed a bunch of black and white photos. It looks good.

Personally I’d paint it with blackboard paint and let the kids go for it…. or can you still get magnetic paint? paint a play scene and get a bunch of magnets to add to it.

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katepickle July 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I’ve been pondering chalk board… but it is a REALLY big wall… with no clear boundaries and I am just not game to do the whole thing… maybe I just need to be more brave????

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Marita July 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Paint a frame and then put the chalkboard inside it?

Or put lots of frames on it?

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Marita July 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm
Melissa July 9, 2013 at 11:41 am

If you’re going to frame the chalkboard paint, you could find a cool big, fancy frame at a thrift store and paint it. Then paint the wall the right dimensions and hang the frame (no glass, of course) on top of it. If you do this with part of the space, you could put a grouping of photos, or something, on the other side…or around it.

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Deborah July 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I don’t think I would go with chalkboard paint unless you don’t mind chalk dust all over your floor and magnetic paint is tough to put on a wall of this size smoothly:)

You could consider empty painted frames with cork board backs so you can switch out the pictures or photos as you go along? I also really like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/161144492889461117/

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Jackie@My Little Bookcase July 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Oh the possibilities!!!!

It won’t come as a surprise to you that I think you should create a little library there using picture frame ledges to display the covers of your books.

We had a bare wall in our house for 3.5 years. I thought about all the questions you posed in your post. Eventually with Cammy started kinder and her bringing homes an endless amount of art, I promptly made my decision- it became her little art gallery. I think I wanted matching white frames but my budget was limited, so I scrounged frames we already had from around the home. I love it. It makes me smile every time I walk past.

Here is the link so you can see what we did with our blank wall. Is it wrong for me to leave a link? Delete if so.

http://www.mylittlebookcase.com.au/showcase/featured/a-family-art-gallery-displaying-childrens-book-inspired-artwork/

P.S. You’ll see an aluminum foil art piece on the bottom right shelf. Cam did that piece with me at home. It was inspired by one of your blog posts.

I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

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katepickle July 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Always fine to leave a (relevant) link :)

I am leaning towards a whole lot of frames with a combo of family and professional artwork.

Sadly we can’t have shelves, even small ones, on that wall as it is a busy thoroughfare and not wide enough for anything that sticks out or could be knocked off.

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Marita July 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Book display wall. LOVE that is a genius idea.

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Jackie@My Little Bookcase July 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Ours is also in a thoroughfare- we walk past it to get from the front entry to our open living family space. Our ledges are from Ikea and only stick 9cm out from the wall
So far it hasn’t been a problem but we’ll see what happens when Ike starts moving- he he! I am anticipating a problem for a short time.

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Chelsea July 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I love what you did with your wall, Jackie!

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Sam July 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

That is so cool! We love putting our kids’ artwork on the wall, too :) We have a nice little art series near our back door http://neenaballerina.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/arent-they-clever.html I’m a recent convert to huge canvas prints, I was too afraid to order at first… now I think I’m addicted!

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Jackie@My Little Bookcase July 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

P.S. I also like Marita’s suggestion of a blackboard wall or a changeable play scene.

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Kirsten McCulloch July 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm

We have a wall like that in our front entrance hall space. It is half open to the living room, with a door at the end to the family room/kitchen so a real walk through space. I don’t have pics, but I have put framed famliy photos up. Eclectic, not matching frames, so that I don’t have to worry about matching as I add to it. I like it :)

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Claudia July 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm

I like the idea of adding a dado rail, creating 2 separate spaces. We did this in our play room. On the bottom I glued felt to create a permanent felt board…..they never tire of it I promise! And up the top I was able to hang some framed works/pics. Live with it a whole and see what ‘space’ your missing then create it!

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Lauren Burke July 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Shelves/storage ?? With each cupboard door holding a pinboard/clip for each child’s artwork ?
Lauren

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Lauren Burke July 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Oh just read that shelves want fit ??? Hmmmmm
Lauren

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Alana July 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

I like the DIY canvas idea…we have a wall in our house with paintings on it and I love it!!

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Hannah July 8, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I’m a big fan of a mixture of frames myself. I’m looking at a big empty wall right now but I’m not ready to tackle it yet. Looking forward to seeing what you do. Whatever you decide on, I’m sure you’ll make it look awesome!

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Denyse July 9, 2013 at 12:36 am

Ahhh I love an empty wall because then I love to have ideas of how to fill it! I like your initial suggestions Kate! You are incredibly talented and your kids are as well. Here’s my suggestion. It is both practical and grows with the kids.
A couple of “notice boards” framed in timber (we have one!) with cork or soft backing and then it can be covered with material background or left. Each child has a “space” within the boards where it’s an “about me” creative and memory area- e.g. Mix of pics of them, and some works they’re proud of. I like the idea of this because its a living family treasury! Denyse x

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Jeanette Nyberg July 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

I like the lots of frames idea, because you can just add to it as you go. Start in the center and it will magically grow out as you find cool things!

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Sarah July 9, 2013 at 11:22 am

In my last house I had an enormous white magnetic board (actually 4 hung together) to create an ever changing work of life art! Our calendar, photos, kids art, party invites, shopping lists, take-away menus etc…it was invaluable and I loved it. It evolves with you always moving around, storing everything you need or like to see. All chaos is contained on that one wall…..practical but visually fascinating. All our visitors were drawn to it.

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Anna July 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

We let our kids hang up their artwork – where ever they want to on our big wall and without frames. It is quite colorful. They are starting to run out of room, but won’t take down some of the older stuff. I love it.

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Jode@mummymusingsandmayhem July 9, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Like the idea of a mix of frames with children’s artworks and perhaps their photo beside each….and then a little feltboard framed for the children to add ever changing scenes down the bottom…

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Sonia Life Love Hiccups July 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I love the idea of a big blackboard wall with loads of white frames and you will each frame with drawings and you can change them whenever you like :) x

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Dani July 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

What about images of things, places, people, activities that make you happy and let the kids pick one each too, you take great photos! Or memory frames with a collage of art, photos, fabric, momentos of that special event.
Have fun and follow your heart x

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Cortney July 10, 2013 at 3:26 am

I like the idea of a gallery wall. Lots of different size frames and even textures but perhaps all the same color or wood tone to pull them together. You could put photos in some and kids artwork in other. Even add a mirror or canvas for a little interest. I like the look of all of the frames being the same color so it ties together though I have seen random frames pulled in nicely together as well. We have a big empty wall we are trying to figure out as well but I don’t want to add another big picture wall…..hmmmmm

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Mavis July 15, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Sharon July 25, 2013 at 6:13 am

Hey I think you should do a combo of chalk wall/ magnetic paint wall! You printables make great magnets! :) My daughter loves them, and I’m sure my son will too… another other thought is
http://tanisp.uppercaseliving.net/DesignItems.m?CategoryId=360&CatalogId=&DesignId=3609&ItemId=&CurrentPage=1

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