Designing a living room is so much more than finding the perfect, sink-right-in sofa. Though accumulating comfortable seating is certainly important, living room wall decor ideas are paramount to making your space feel more personal, beautiful, and interesting.
But if you’re wondering how exactly to decorate your walls, you’re in luck. Our interior designers have shared all their best living room wall decor ideas, from installing wallpaper and adding architectural details to hanging three-dimensional objects and utilizing accent lighting. No matter what look you’re going for, you’ll find inspiration on this list.
And there’s no need to limit yourself to just one of these living room wall decor methods. Combining multiple ideas, like an accent wall with floating shelves or bold drapery flanking statement artwork, will yield the most compelling results. As long as you give your walls some love, you’ll be in good shape.
1. Paint an Accent Wall
Paint is an easy way to spice up your living room—and all you need is a single can to craft an accent wall. A tone-on-tone look, like a dusty rose accent wall surrounded by pale pink adjacent walls, adds subtle intrigue. If you’re brave enough to try a stark contrast, opt for a fun color like bright azure or rich olive green in an otherwise white room (just like fashion icon and Havenly client Blair Eadie).
2. Apply Wallpaper
Thanks to the invention of temporary, peel-and-stick wallpaper, patterned walls are no longer a lifetime commitment. That means festive prints are a realistic option, even if you like to switch up your design often. Dip your toe in the water by applying removable wallpaper on just one wall behind your sofa or dive right in and wrap your entire living room in it.
3. Add Architectural Details
Just because your home doesn’t already feature beautiful architectural details doesn’t mean you can’t install them. Elevate your living room with molding, wainscoting, board-and-batten, or shiplap siding, which each add texture and dimension to flat walls in their own way. Vertical details help draw the eye upward and makes rooms with low ceilings feel taller (a designer secret).
4. Try Faux Tile or Brick
Peel-and-stick technology isn’t just for wallpaper—it extends to faux tile and stone, too. You can use peel-and-stick materials to achieve the exposed brick wall of your dreams or the marble bar backsplash you’ve always wanted for a small fraction of the price. And none of the construction or mess.
5. Play Up Windows & Trim
If you don’t have a ton of wall space to decorate, focus on your windows and trim to add character to your living room. Painting the window frames and trim in a contrasting color (like Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, featured here) will make them pop and draw just the right amount of attention.
6. Go For Oversized Artwork
Oversized artwork is one of our favorite living room wall decor ideas, whether you choose to hang a single, massive print as a focal point or pair two large complementary pieces for a big impact. Large wall hangings and tapestries can also make a splash, while contributing necessary texture and movement to the space.
7. Curate a Gallery Wall
Gallery walls are a classic for a reason—they work! This tried-and-true method of hanging art can manifest itself in multiple different ways, from a modern gallery wall using matching frames in the same size, to a nostalgic gallery wall with cohesive black-and-white photos, to an eclectic gallery wall that mixes an assortment of mediums, colors, shapes, and sizes.
8. Create a Mirror Moment
From the virality of Anthropologie’s Gleaming Primrose mirror to the resurgence of Ettore Sottsass’s 1970s Ultrafragola mirror, mirrors are having a moment. Consider hanging a statement mirror on the wall behind your sofa or propping up a standing mirror on an empty wall to reflect the light and make the room feel larger.
9. Hang Three-Dimensional Objects
Think outside the box and use household items as living room wall decor. For a cozy look, source vintage plates or cookware and create an exhibit. If you like to travel, collect woven baskets in each place you visit and hang them for everyone to see. Such three-dimensional displays are treats for the eye.
10. Put Up a Picture Ledge
Rather than hanging framed art with nails and hooks, put up a picture ledge for highlighting your favorite pieces. Picture ledges offer the opportunity to frequently swap out your art, which is especially helpful if you have a large collection. Plus, the look is a bit more modern and streamlined than the traditional gallery wall.
11. Consider an Antique Mantel
Scour your local reclamation yards and vintage shops for an ornate antique mantle. Then, use it to create a faux fireplace that will give your living room a classic elegance. It doesn’t matter that you won’t be able to spark a flame—it’s all about the visual intrigue. Believe it or not, the above fireplace is actually faux — here’s the full DIY.
12. Utilize Wall Lighting
With a variety of wall lighting, you can enhance your living room wall decor in multiple ways. Picture lights are used to illuminate your artwork, while sconces can highlight architectural features in your living room or simply add to the ambiance. Make sure to incorporate dimmers on all your lights to alter the mood throughout the day.
13. Embrace Bold Drapery
Try embracing bold drapery to showcase your personality. Whether you prefer to get daring with color or pattern—or both—flowy window treatments will punch up your living room wall decor instantly. They’re also very easy to swap out in the future if your tastes change.
14. Experiment With Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are an easy and cost-effective way to add decor to any wall in your living room. These open surfaces can constantly be restyled with your favorite objects and heirlooms, so you’ll never get bored of their presence in your space. They look especially chic when flanking the fireplace or television.
15. Go Vertical With Shelving
Looking for a more expansive living room wall decor idea? Consider floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, styled with your favorite reads, plants, decor, and more. This low-lift technique adds both vertical interest as well as layered depth to your living room, while also serving as a functional space-saver to store (and display) your mementos.
16. Invest In Built-In Storage
For anyone with the budget and resources to renovate, investing in built-in furniture is a winning move. Built-in bookshelves are perfect for creating a library in your living room, while built-in benches offer additional seats without taking up space. Built-in cabinets are extremely useful for extra storage and built-in media centers conceal all your technology in a beautiful package.
Looking for a way to overcome your unique home dilemmas? Work one-on-one with our expert interior designers for just $129 per room. Get started today with our style quiz.