With every new season, I feel the need to redecorate, rearrange, and reassess my living spaces. Whether it’s spring cleaning or prepping for winter, changing your internal environment alongside the shifting weather and scenery has been proven to be beneficial for your mental health (and an excuse to keep control of your clutter… or buy new decorations. We’re not here to judge you). But as anyone who has spent hours scrolling through wall decor catalogs knows, adopting a new aesthetic for even one room can quickly become expensive.
In addition to the hefty redecorating costs, wading through the same framed prints and rustic home accents can get repetitive. How many different brass sconces can really exist in this universe, anyway? Break free from the algorithm-made aesthetic idea boards with these unconventional wall hangings, many of which can be made from items already collecting dust around your house. From old vinyl records to silk printed scarves, don’t settle for the trends: create a perfectly unique, perfectly “you” living space this season (and the next few, too).
Scrap Fabric Hangings
Fabric wall hangings aren’t limited to premade tapestries — look to your fabric scrap pile for new decorating possibilities! A spare rectangle of an eye-catching pattern or color can create a whimsical, bohemian addition to any room.
Mirrors (Both Big and Small)
Mirrors have energy-doubling qualities that can bring either positive or negative chi into your living spaces. A properly placed statement mirror or decorative bundle of small reflective glass can make any room appear to be twice as large — allowing you to remodel the room without a single power tool. For an extra rustic touch, try this farmhouse-chic mirror placed in the bottom of a large galvanized tub.
A hanging wall display of vintage plates — whether highly decorative and commemorative or antique and understated — offers a timeless look to an empty wall begging for a facelift. Who knows, you might even be inspired to start your own collection of souvenir plates. Someone has to keep buying them if they keep making them, right?
Hang Your Houseplants
Houseplants have become the hot new trend across the country, so why limit these oxygenic roommates to the floor and windowsills? Add splashes of color and texture to your walls with hanging houseplants and flowers.
Organize multiple schedules, to-do lists, and appointments with a giant whiteboard in your kitchen, laundry room, or office. Use it as a canvas for the kiddos’ weekly masterpieces or decorate it according to an upcoming holiday — an easy to erase, easy to draw design makes this whiteboard the perfect addition to any busy household.
Vintage Green Chalkboard
While we’re on the topic of life-organizing wall hacks, if you’re looking for a way to keep your grocery lists and vet appointments straight but are a stickler for the vintage aesthetic, opt for a green chalkboard. The timeless look adds a muted forest green to your room’s overall color scheme and keeps you punctual and prepared. A win, win, win.
We’ve all done it — you rifle through stacks of LPs and crumbling sleeves at a record shop just to find the perfect album: well… perfect album cover. The artwork is so captivating, you don’t even care that you’ve never heard of the band or a single song listed on the back. Then, upon further inspection at home, you realize you…probably will never listen to that record ever again? Don’t let it sit in a box until your next giant Goodwill dump: hang that vinyl up on the wall for an effortlessly chic and rock n’ roll look.
Maybe it’s just a Midwestern thing, but it seems like there’s always one person in the family that inexplicably has a massive collection of wicker baskets with nothing to put in them. Unless you can normally be found picking wildflowers from the local meadow, chances are those baskets will remain untouched and unused. Create a rustic, cottage-core-themed wall with a hanging display of wicker baskets — the greater the variety of colors, shapes, and designs the better.
Framed Vintage Scarves
An old silk scarf laying at the bottom of your vanity drawer is junk. That same silk scarf flattened and displayed in a wooden frame is art. If you have a loved one who was always known for their large collection of decorative scarves, this is also an excellent way to preserve their memory while simultaneously adding bohemian flair and color to uninspired walls.
If there was ever a bad aspect of receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers, it would be having to throw them away after they inevitably start to wilt. Preserving your blooms is an easy way to enjoy nature’s bounty year-round in the form of shadowboxes, garland, dried floral arrangements, and other whimsical and botanical wall decor.
Store Your Instruments, Accessories, or Kitchenware
Just because it’s “in storage,” doesn’t mean it has to be tucked away in a box. Utilize every square inch of your home with decorative storage. Hang your collection of hats, guitars, cast iron cookware, or even bicycles to save space and change up your decorative scheme.
Washi Tape Frames
Look, we can’t argue with the classics: hanging up beloved photographs always has and always will be a household staple. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick with the same boring frames. Maxwell Tielman from DesignSponge.com breaks down how to make your own unique and bold frames with artistically placed washi tape — it leaves your walls hole-free and allows for endless design opportunities for the next time you want to change up your room’s look.
Skirt or Pants Hanger Photographs
Speaking of unique ways to display your favorite photos, Meg Lewis at ApartmentTherapy.com has found a new way to finally use those pesky skirt hangers with clamps that somehow never seem to hang the pieces of clothing the same way they did in the store. No frames necessary, just clip, hang, and enjoy.
Hand-paint Your Own Mural
You don’t need to be Picasso to paint a mural you’ll love for years to come. Use painter’s tape to create a bold and modern geometric design; sponges and stamps for a whimsical, natural look; or use a projector to sketch and paint a specific dream design.
Grain, Coffee, or Bean Sacks
The phrase “bean sacks” doesn’t exactly sound like it oozes aesthetic, but these unassuming, rustic wall features can tie a bohemian design scheme together beautifully. We recommend starting with your local flea market or organic produce shop to find a decorative burlap sack perfectly made for that one little empty rectangle of space on your living room wall.
Why should books only be enjoyed when you’re reading them? Plenty of time goes into a book cover’s design, but most of what we see on a traditional bookshelf is a thin, unreadable spine. Pick your favorite book covers and display them on an open-faced bookshelf to add a unique, personal touch to your walls. Rotate your collection based on color, theme, or author for an always-changing and evolving wall feature.
At the risk of sounding a bit radical, isn’t any printed map considered vintage in this modern GPS-age? If you’re looking for something to do with those old atlases that have remain untouched since the advent of Mapquest, try hanging them on your wall! Frame them with washi tape for a fun new take on a classic look or opt for an understated wooden or metal frame. Make it even more personal by hanging maps of places you’d love to visit or maps of places that hold a special place in your heart — where you grew up, the city where you and your partner met or honeymooned, etc.
Easy to install, easy to use, and easy to dismantle — can there be a better trifecta of characteristics for a functional wall hanging? Pegboards make excellent key and coat holders for your foyers and mudrooms, earring holders beside your vanity, or a kitchen-wall addition for displaying small gadgets, tools, and favorite go-to recipes.
Recycled Wagon or Bicycle Wheel
Add an unexpected circular break in a wall of rectangles and squares with a repurposed wagon or bicycle wheel. From rustic Colonial-chic to an ode to a house full of avid bicyclists, decorative wheels can tie together a wall’s overall aesthetic in a unique and eye-catching way. Weave fairy lights, flower garland, tinsel, or colored yarn or rope through the spokes for an extra decorative touch.