Dear Andi – Advice on how to fill a large living room wall

30 Jul

Recently, I received an email from an All Put Together reader named Jamie asking for some suggestions on a design dilemma we all can relate to – how to fill that impossibly large wall in a home. Jamie’s wall is painted a beautiful slate blue and features a really awesome silhouette of a squid. The theme for her living room: sea monster.

Below are three ideas I came up with to help her fill the giant wall. I tried to stay true to her design aesthetic which is more minimalist.

Reading vignette:
Jamie is an avid reader, so it seemed natural to suggest a cozy reading space. The vignette features a neutral accent chair, rope wrapped occasional table, tripod floor lamp and framed artwork. In selecting each piece, I wanted to maintain somewhat of an “explorer” feel.

Ladder bookshelf:
I’m a huge fan of Crate and Barrel’s Sloane (ladder) bookshelves – I actually have these in my home. Because these shelves are fairly shallow and open, they will fill up the space without looking too bulky. Also, the juxtaposition of the free flowing squid next to the structured book shelf creates a nice balance on the wall. Jamie can fill the shelves with lots of great accessories and artwork.

Fishing net:
I wanted to suggest one out of the box idea – a fishing net. A loosely hung brown, tightly woven fishing net keeps with the sea monster theme and offers great texture on the wall. Jamie could pin photos and artwork to the fishing net using wooden clothes pins, making sure the artwork is light so the net doesn’t sag. This option would also look great in a beach house.

There are lots of ways to fill a large, empty wall. Here are few other options:

  • Gallery wall: Whether it’s a structured grid (like in my post here) or an organic collection of artwork, gallery walls are a fantastic way to show off your beautiful art collection while at the same time filling the space. Don’t be afraid to mix in some unexpected items, such as animal busts, decorative plates or sculptural elements.
  • Oversized art: In some cases it might make sense to just go big with one statement piece of artwork, whether it’s an oversized photo, painting, tapestry or something sculptural. I have one large wall in my dining room that I was struggling to fill. I found a super-sized ampersand (&) at HomeGoods and that has just enough impact to fill the space adequately.
  • Custom woodworking: Custom woodworking and molding can be a great design option to create visual interest and texture,  while still maintaining a clean and uncluttered feel. Here is a great example by fellow blogger Nancy Marcus.

Do you have a design dilemma too? I would love to help out! Feel free to email me at

xoxo, Andi

4 Responses to “Dear Andi – Advice on how to fill a large living room wall”

  1. Jamie August 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    I figured I should definitely leave a comment on this one! Again, I appreciate all your awesome suggestions. I decided to go with your idea of a collection of artwork. I have quite a few pieces right now – all different sizes, styles, medias, frames, etc. Once I figure out how I want them displayed (I’m totally going to use your tip of cutting out paper in the size of all my pictures and tape that on the wall first), I’ll put them up and send you a picture! Thanks again & don’t be surprised if you see another email from me asking for more advice 🙂

    • allputtogether August 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      I’m so pleased you found my suggestions helpful! Can’t wait to see how the wall looks once you hang the pictures.

  2. Kirstin Frecks-Edgman February 2, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Hi Andi! I love the color (teal) of your living room wall. Do you happen to remember the name/brand of the paint you used?

    • allputtogether February 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

      Hi Kristin! The color is lagoon by Behr.