Asked on Nov 18, 2013

Help! Decor ideas needed

AmericanWomanJeanette SKate Allen


I'd been holding off decorating my living room until I finally got a second couch (finally settled on a futon after too many failed attempts given my small doorways in this older, oddly shaped apt). The wall above the futon is so bare. I have a few framed items but they're small. What would you put up there? Decorative items, posters, tapestry? Thanks!
14 answers
  • Z
    on Nov 18, 2013

    A grouping of smaller similar items can work as a gallery wall, but if you want something big I suggest checking thrift stores for large framed art. If it's not to your liking you can prime and paint your own work of art on the canvas. Your kitty looks so content on the futon.

    • Stacie Lauridia
      Stacie Lauridia
      on Jan 8, 2014

      @Custom Service Hardware You could also use mirrors to help bring in more light. I see only 1 window? Place something that doesn't mind a little heat, because of the radiator, on that wall. Depending on your style shabby chic is always good. Also you can never go wrong with color!

  • Carole
    on Nov 18, 2013

    You don't say whether you own or rent your apartment. If you own it, then you can hang what you like providing there is something stable to put hooks into in the walls if there is any weight in the articles you are hanging. If you use a stud and electrical cable finder it will help to avoid drilling any holes into a hollow space (not good for hanging anything weighty) or accidentally electrocuting yourself if you hit a cable in the wall. You can get a stud finder from the hardware store and they are easy to use. If you want to hang something lightweight, that you don't need to drill into the wall or don't want to put a hook that may mark the wall or pull plaster off the wall when you remove it, then I would use those stick on hooks and go with something very light weight. This is better for people who are renting as you are not meant to mark the walls. Cheap canvas from a dollar store is good for either painting if you have any artistic leanings, or using fabric, paper or tea towels (you can get some very classy tea towels for not much money these days) and stretch to cover and staple them on at the back of the canvas frame. If you hang say 3 in a row of all similar - they can look good. I note that the wall has a ridge/raised part to it. You could use that part to hang something long/vertical in shape on that part. Also, don't forget that there are things like Balinese masks that you can hang - depending if you want something unusual, rather than something framed or on canvas. Thrift store paintings/frames can be bought dirt cheap and spray paint the frames. Even an array of interesting frames, painted in a bold colour with nothing in them can look interesting. You can then pick up any colours used in your artworks to follow through the rest of your décor say with cushions or throws to pull the whole look together. Good luck and have fun with it! It doesn't have to be expensive.

  • Amy Rohde
    Amy Rohde
    on Nov 18, 2013

    To start, I would hang a curtain rod above the molding with longer curtains that go all the way to the ground. Then perhaps a nice area rug to pull the space together, some throw pillows that compliment it and some interesting things on the wall. You'd be shocked at what you can find at thrift stores, goodwill and craigslist!

  • Pure Home
    Pure Home
    on Nov 18, 2013

    Good evening! You have a really cute place! Some area rugs, throws and throw pillows combined with some wall decor will really pull it together. We have a "Shop By Vibe" service that we do on our site- you pick out a room you like, and all of the items that go with that "vibe" are there to shop through. You should check it out- it will really take the guess work out of home decor. Good Luck, and Happy Hometalking.

  • Jan B
    Jan B
    on Nov 19, 2013

    I like Becky's idea. If it turns out you find a great frame or two but aren't thrilled with the art you can always find ideas on line to paint yourself. Or you can cover the art with a yard or two of bold fabric. You shouldn't have to spend much to create a great statement in your room. Good luck and please post whatever it is you come up with for the wall.

  • Rae E
    Rae E
    on Nov 19, 2013

    I like that wall area that is built out just a bit in living room area. That would be an ideal place for a piece of art that is framed or even canvas print. What kind of budget are you working with? I find some of the BEST items at consignment shops, discount stores and believe it or not for decor at Goodwill, Salvation Army stores. Sometimes shopping in these stores does require a bit of "thinking outside the box". It would help to know what type of styles you like the best with colors, patterns, fabrics, etc. If you can provide a few more photos of the lay out of room from all angles that would help us also to make suggestions.Look forward to seeing more with your home. Stay blessed ~

  • 169756
    on Nov 20, 2013

    IF you are allowed to paint, I'd paint the section of wall that juts out just to the left of the radiator an alternate bold color that works with your furniture. That would give you a cool focal point. Then I'd just go from there, adding groupings to the wall, whether artwork or something else.

  • Jennifer Decorates
    Jennifer Decorates
    on Nov 20, 2013

    Hello there. I would purchase a large mirror. Mirrors reflect light, and also give the illusion of a larger room.

  • Jen R
    Jen R
    on Nov 20, 2013

    You have received a bunch of great ideas. For art of the wall, an inexpensive route that I like is to have an image across several canvases (takes up wall space). I made one similar to this I don't have a photo of my set (we are moving and they are packed away). I bought the canvases when they were 50% off at the craft store. I painted a darker color as seen in this photo and used light vinyl sticker that I purchased off ebay for about $35. I used 3 birds on a branch, but instead of doing monochromatic, I have 1 bird that is orange because I was using orange accents in the room. I think you could easily just paint an image across several canvases - abstract even if you aren't feeling artistic - and space them apart. I think would be nice too with 4 or 6 square placed in columns and rows. Good luck and post photos when you are finished.

  • Diane Woods
    Diane Woods
    on Nov 20, 2013

    I think I'd make a large canvas floor cloth to put under everything and give more color. Easy to keep clean with a kitty, and cheap. You can get a huge canvas paint tarp from Home Depot or somewhere for about $40. Buy rejected paint from them too - super inexpensive. Cut off the edges and either sew or glue down a hem the whole way around. Put a couple coats of paint, a subdued pattern if you want, and poly on one side. Then I'd put 2 shelves in the recessed area above the futon for books, accessories, etc. Something on the center part of the wall that you want to highlight. This blends everything on that wall to make it a feature, and make the radiator less noticeable. I'd stay super simple on the window so the the room isn't cluttered. Maybe even just a blind similar to the paint color of the window trim or room. Check "Freecycle" for different things people donate that they don't need, or have leftover from projects for ideas too.

  • Custom Service Hardware
    Custom Service Hardware
    on Nov 20, 2013

    Thank you all for these great ideas!! I don't have time to go shopping and play around til the weekend, but rest assured I will be running with a lot of ideas and share the result!

  • Kate Allen
    Kate Allen
    on Nov 20, 2013

    Hi, I would choose a color you love to paint the walls and then make/buy drapes of the same tones as the room as it is not that large. If you're handy, create a rectangular cornice board and cover with drape fabric.It should be placed high, with drapes that reach the floor. Consider slip covering the futon and your sofa to match and add throw pillows - check out Home Goods, there are some real bargains there. Get a can of Annie Sloan paint and paint the coffee table. Get a sisal or jute rug for the floor and voila! Even if you're renting, it's worth putting a little money in to create a place you love to come home to. Check out consignment shops for a nice small chair to replace the folding chair. Good luck!

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S
    on Nov 22, 2013

    The first thing you need is color! I hope your futon has some color. And add more with pillows and throws. And that folding chair can be adorable if you spray paint it a bright color...perhaps in the cranberry family and recover it in a traditional fabric. You can find all sorts of things cheap at the thrift stores to put on the wall. Old keys small wooden shelves painted a variety of colors (stay in a family of colors such as reds, blues, citrus colors) and then place small objects on shelf for small white objects, another for gold another for silver, etc. or themes such as ferries, cats, dogs, elfs, balls, vases etc.

  • AmericanWoman
    on Dec 20, 2013

    I think one large piece of art on that will make the room appear larger. You have a great start on a Retro/MCM living room. Have fun decorating.

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