Unique Walls

By Kristen Castillo

August 18, 2014 5 min read

How often do you redecorate your home? A survey by retailer HomeGoods found that 47 percent of Americans haven't redecorated in the past five years, with 9 percent saying it's been over 10 years since they made decor changes.

If you're ready for a decor refresher, changing your wall hangings is a good place to start. For a small investment, you can make stylish updates to your home.

*Creating Interest and Impact

"Wall decor is one of the integral layers in every space," says HGTV star and interior designer Genevieve Gorder.

Wall decor can range from framed photography to mirrors to window treatments. "It's one of the last pieces that go into a space, but whole rooms can be centered and worked off it, if done correctly," says the host of "Genevieve's Renovation."

Wall hangings may be the finishing touches to a room, but they have big impact.

"It makes the space cozy, inviting and more interesting than staring at blank walls," says Suchitra Parikh-Crandall, owner and creative director ?for children's brand Monkie Birdie.

*Gallery Walls

One of hottest looks in wall decor is creating a gallery wall. They are easy to design and can be changed as often as homeowners want.

"Whether you choose art, frames or mirrors, a gallery wall instantly adds visual interest and depth to a room," says designer Kerra Michele, founder of the interior and event design company Apartment Envy. She thinks gallery walls, which can be large or small, are a fit for people who don't want to paint or use wallpaper.

"With a gallery wall, all you need is a hammer, some nails and a couple hours of your time to completely transform your space," she says, noting it personalizes the space, which is "a big plus for renters looking for ways to make their borrowed space feel more like home."

*Decals

Wall decals are also trendy -- for kids and grown-ups, too. The decals, available in vinyl and Photo Tex fabric, are available in a variety of styles and colors and can be changed out as often as needed.

"Although most vinyl decals are removable, they are, in most cases, not re-stickable," says Parikh-Crandall. "Fabric decals can be removed and reapplied to the walls more than a few dozen times, making it perfect for families on the move or for rentals."

*Creating a Feel

Wall hangings help define a room and separate spaces, too -- for example, designating a sitting area in a family room or a small office in the corner of a kitchen.

"Where you want to guide people to go and what you want them to do in a space, the wall decor is a director of that," says Gorder, who's partnering with solar service company Sunrun to talk about the must-haves in designing a smart, stylish home, including home solar.

Creating contrast in the room can maximize the effect of your wall hangings. Cool shades and low contrast can be calming -- "almost spa-like" -- says Parikh-Crandall, who says high-contrast wall decor can make a space vibrant.

Be conscientious about the size of wall hangings, too.

"A huge piece of art in a small room can overwhelm and intimidate," says Parikh-Crandall, whereas "a tiny art piece on a big wall would barely make a difference."

*Personalization

The easiest wall hangings to change are pieces that are stand-alone, such as a mirror in a hallway or a frame at the top of the stairs.

Established collections -- for example, a series of plates hung on a wall -- are most likely to remain unchanged because it's a larger job to redecorate.

Still, wall hangings can be a very personal thing.

"I tend to decorate with things that are sentimental, an old ticket stub in a frame," says Gorder, whose walls at home are decorated with a shadow box featuring her grandmother's satchel and vintage maps from schools.

"Everything you put on the wall becomes a little precious once it's there," says Gorder. "It's meaningful if you have it on the wall."

*Affordability

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have new wall decor.

Wall hangings are "an accessory," says Gorder. "Sometimes the pieces that are the least expensive are the most powerful."

Gallery walls, for example, fit any budget, says Michele, noting you can go pricey using original artwork in custom frames on the wall or budget-friendly decorating the wall with "flea market finds and Ikea frames to create your unique look."

Parikh-Crandall estimates that prices for art prints and wall decals can range from under $15 to up to $100.

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