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Although I find myself to be a generally creative person (Hello, I’m a writer!), home decor consistently stumps me. For some reason, it’s hard for me to put things together and make it look cohesive! When I moved into my very first solo studio apartment earlier this year, I found it challenging to create the space I’ve always wanted. I can usually spot pieces that I like, but when it comes to figuring out what looks good as a whole, I never seem to get it quite right. And don’t get me started on figuring out wall art ideas! I refuse to be caught dead with an outdated gallery wall from 2010.
That’s why I started looking at home decor trends on Instagram and TikTok. I quickly found that the key to making your space look put-together is thinking outside of the box, which I wasn’t used to. I used to believe that having a beautiful space would require tons of money, so I stopped trying all together.
But nowadays, there are so many different platforms to glean home decor inspiration from—and some serious genius hacks that make aesthetically-pleasing decor more accessible than ever.
Here, I’ve rounded up seven non-cheugy ways to spruce up blank walls that go way beyond just throwing up a photo gallery. Let this be a sign to finally add some pizzazz to that one wall you don’t know what to do with.
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1. Layer Your Photo Frames
Instead of a stale gallery wall (which is so 2010), layer your frames to give your blank wall some personality. It’s all about depth and texture! Brown reveals the hack that makes it all work here and you can check out more home decor hacks in her book.
2. Hang Up a Woven Blanket
This is basically a more chic version of the tapestries you hung up in your college dorm room. The key here is to match the colors on the blanket with the colors of your furniture and decor. These blankets from Valfre are the perfect size to spruce up a wall without weighing it down (literally, blankets can be heavy). You can even get a zodiac-themed one to set the perfect intention for your space.
3. Hide a TV
No seriously; no one will ever know that your favorite Friday night pastime is binge-watching Gilmore Girls for the zillionth time. A huge, boxy TV set is the ultimate cheugy apartment accessory, but even some wall-mounted ones still have annoying black cords that completely kill the vibe in a stylized space. With the Frame TV from Samsung, you can turn any blank wall into a low-key art museum.
When this TV is off, you can upload your own photo to the home screen or choose from one of the many options that come for free with the Samsung SmartThings app. But what I love most about this TV is that it comes with the wall mount and a clear “fishing line” wire that’s pretty much invisible from your couch. Plus, everyone will think you splurged on a fancy painting.
4. Stop Being Intimidated by Wallpaper
Some people may relish in living alone, but I’m a fire sign who needs near-constant social stimulation. Enter: The home decor project that requires a buddy. I called up my BFF and offered her dinner and beer in exchange for being my extra pair of hands for this peel-and-stick wallpaper project. I completely transformed a blank wall in my bathroom and my landlord even came in after without blinking an eye!
It seriously comes off and it’s seriously worth it to upgrade a basic, boring wall into what could be the space of your dreams. This abstract tulip-printed paper is from Society6, which turns just about any image you can think of into wallpaper. Hint: Sign up for their emails! They’re always having 40 percent off sales.
5. Make a Plant Wall
Plants are the new pets; you can tell by the fact that just about every guy on Hinge proudly notes that he’s a plant dad. By throwing up a few floating shelves styled above side tables or even a dresser, you can create a wall that’s entirely devoted to your plants and fills up empty space without creating clutter.
It will even double as the perfect Instagram background for when your friends come over. To really mix things up, add some ceiling planters along with floating or hanging shelves
and more statement planters (this disco ball one
is a favorite!).
6. Add a Decal
I live in a studio apartment, so instead of having my bed pushed haphazardly against the only wall it would fit on, I knew I wanted even that small space to stand out. This decal is from Etsy is reusable, so I can take it with me to wherever I move next.
The best part about half-circle decals in particular is that they look great with furniture styled in front. So whether you have a bed area like mine that needs sprucing up or a side table that looks dreary up against a blank wall, it’s easy to play around with decals and even move them from room to room if you get bored.
Pro tip: Choose a color that brings out the subtle colors in your bedspread for a fun pop.
7. DIY Grass Wall
This trend is seriously all over TikTok. It’s kind of like turning a corner of your apartment into your favorite jungle-themed tiki bar! TikTokers are finding turf squares
on Amazon and using them to create the ultimate chill corner—add a sunset lamp to the bottom corner of the wall for some easy island vibes, or if you really want to level up, hang a neon sign in the middle of the turf.
FYI neon signs are no longer cheugy if they’re planted against astro-turf. I don’t make the rules, Gen Z does!