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How to Fill a Big Wall on a Budget

By: colleen clark

August 1, 2016

Photo of John Robshaw’s house by Patrick Cline

An empty wall. It fills us with equal parts anticipation and dread, especially if we’re on a budget. While we all love a gallery wall, the cost of purchasing and framing that many pieces of art can add up quickly. Thankfully we’ve learned quite a few ways to trick out a big space on a small budget. These are our tips for finding statement art that won’t break the bank.


Try Engineering Prints

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Photo of Manolo Yllera’s home via AD España; Photo by Simple Grove

Even at big box retailers, a large scale art print can cost in the many hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars. And that’s before you frame it. But what if we told you there was an alternative that would cost you just $8 and a trip to Staples? Behold the engineering print! Upload a high resolution image file of your choosing, and stores like Staples will print them on the same large-scale printers used to produce blueprints and floorplans. You can invest in custom framing or hang them from dowels for a more casual look.

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Photo by Colleen Clark; Photo by Laura Gummerman via A Beautiful Mess

Hang Textiles as Art

There’s a reason college kids love hanging tapestries on their walls. It allows you to cover maximum space with minimum investment. The adult equivalent? Bold geometric block print wall hangings, antique textiles stretched like canvas, and silk print scarves mounted and framed.

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Photo via Ostrich Farm; Photo by Colleen Clark

Use Paint to Define Your Space

A single piece of art or a small group of images may feel lonely on a large wall. But paint is an inexpensive way to define the space and create visual interest. Paint shapes and hang art at unexpected angles to complement them.

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Photo of Consort Design by Lily Glass via SFGirlbytheBay; Photo by Kate Edwards via DesignSponge

Consider a Mural

Photo of stylist Meta Coleman's house by Chant Vaughn; Photo of Gwen Hefner's house by Justin Salem Meyer

Photo of stylist Meta Coleman’s house by Chant Vaughn; Photo of Gwen Hefner’s house by Justin Salem Meyer

At a loss for what art to hang? Why not transform the entire wall into a piece of art? Get creative on your own, hire a local artist to paint something abstract or, if you’re a renter, consider large scale peel-and-stick murals that you can remove when you move out.

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Image of Anthony Sperduti’s house by Brian W. Ferry

Raise a Flag

Vintage flags are a win win. They add patina to a room, make a serious statement and cover lots of wall space. Drape them horizontally for an unexpected angle or mount and frame them for a more polished look.

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Image of Steven Arroyo’s house by Bethany Nauert; Image of Emily Henderson’s house by Mike Garten

Relocate Your Rug

Some rugs are just too pretty to stay underfoot. Hanging vibrant Moroccan boucherite rugs, flat weave Turkish kilims and wool Navajo rugs to a wall adds texture to a room and a luxe boho vibe.

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Photo by M Lindsay Photography via DesignSponge; Photo by Jeltje Janmaat via Planete Deco

 

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