“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – This is what the world-famous American dancer and author, Twyla Tharp, once said. Many would also agree that life without art wouldn’t be very interesting at all. This is why living room wall décor is such an integral part of interior design. As a communal space, one that welcomes friends and neighbours, and reveals the deepest, darkest secrets of your personality, it has to contain something unique and meaningful to you.
Despite this, wall art in the home is often an afterthought. Long after that final coat of paint, after the furniture has been placed, and after all the finishing flourishes like throws and cushions have been scattered, are most of us ready to think about what to put on our walls.
Wall mural: Voyage of Discovery by Andrea Haase
But the truth is, wall art matters most. Especially when your tiny city apartment leaves very little space to get creative in. The walls become your canvas. While it’s tempting to leave it blank in an attempt to make your living area appear larger, a lack of art will give your home as much charm as a hospital corridor.
If you’re looking for stylish ways to decorate, there many concepts to consider in the early stages of design – and they’re easily achievable too. Here are our top 7 living room wall décor ideas to transform a small apartment.
1. A stylish gallery wall
Gallery walls are fantastic because they can help to create a single focal point in the room (when arranged in one area). Or they can disperse your focus to create balance (when spread across a wider area or placed on several walls). The options are endless, and you can create a range of interior styles.
Whether you love modern prints, fine art or photography, you’ll find lots of ways to express yourself. And it’s not just about the art you select. The frames they come in are just as important.
Wall art available at Red Candy
Black framed prints are a huge trend at the moment but feel free to experiment with mismatched frames – both in colour and style. By mixing simple and modern with vintage and ornate, you can add texture, depth and intrigue to your living space.
2. Photorealistic scenery wall
Set the scene with a photorealistic landscape mural. A tropical beach, a rugged coastline, New York by night, or the ancient streets of Rome…..escape to your favourite place and transform your walls instantly. This is the easiest kind of living room wall décor out there, and it won’t take you very long at all. Select the right kind of scene and you can make your living room feel a lot larger than it is in reality.
Wall mural: Palm Springs by Paul Fuentes
Are you a keen photographer? You can even upload your own photo wallpaper for something truly unique to you and your home.
3. Using wallpaper as prints
Can’t decide which wallpaper you like best? You won’t have to with this ingenious living room wall design idea. Mix, match and clash to your heart’s content. This takes traditional wallpapering techniques and applies it with a cool, contemporary twist. Experiment with geometric wallpaper, baroque style designs, monochrome patterns, tribal wallpaper, or vintage florals.
This is perfect if you’re wallpaper-obsessed, but don’t have the right wall ratios to work with. If you’re worried about overcrowding a small living room, hanging instead of pasting your favourite patterned wallpaper is a chic alternative.
4. Plants as living room wall decor
Bring the outdoors in with a display of wall plants. Not only are house plants great for purifying the air, but they’re known to improve mental wellbeing too. As wall décor, plants work extremely well because they offer so much style versatility. There are over 390,000 plants species in the world, many of which can be grown successfully indoors. And there really is a plant to suit every personality.
Wall art available at Red Candy
Wall planters transform plain white walls, providing instant texture and colour. But they can also be a great addition to a botanical feature wall or a leaf print wallpaper.
5. Large scale art
Clutter can be beautiful when executed well. But some people have an aversion to it, no matter how neat or curated it looks. If a messy gallery wall sends your nerves over the edge, display your favourite piece of art as a single mural instead. There’s something cultured yet rather tongue-in-cheek about having a Michelangelo reproduction in your living room. Particularly if you juxtapose with contemporary furnishings.
Our Bridgeman Art Library features a huge collection of famous art prints, including works by Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, J.M.W Turner, and many more.
6. A wall of mirrors
It’s the oldest trick in the book. To create the illusion of space, simply add some mirrors to reflect light around the room. But what if one isn’t enough? If your problem is poorly placed windows, no gallery wall or fancy artwork is going to suffice. Instead, adorn your walls with light-reflecting mirrors. Whether you choose to clash or match them, they form the ultimate focal point as soon as you walk in.
This is one of the best living room wall décor ideas for small flats and apartments where square footage is a major obstacle. A well-placed wall of mirrors can instantly make your home feel light and airy, and can even double the size of the room from certain angles.
7. Floating shelves
Add shelves seamlessly with floating designs. Shelving systems without visible brackets give you a cleaner, sleeker look, making the most of the available space on your walls. If you’re concerned about clutter or trying to find that balance between minimalist and chaotic, this kind of shelving is ideal for your home.
Wall art available at Melody Maison
Small apartments benefit from plain and slightly austere fixtures. Remember, the shelves are a part of your blank canvas. The decorative items you put on them help you personalise, so curate them carefully and try to select meaningful designs that represent you.
Love our wall art ideas? What tips and tricks can you recommend for adorning bare walls in the living room? Share your wall décor ideas with us below, or let us know which ones you’ve tried and tested.