Cheap and Easy Wall Decorating

by Kathy Wilson

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Decorating our walls seems to be a huge dilemma to most home decorators, but it need not be. Here are some quick and easy ways to dress up your walls, on a budget.

The most common mistake most people make in decorating their walls is to sprinkle things around just to fill empty space. Instead, draw an imaginary rectangle on the main focal wall in the room you wish to dress up. Now fill that rectangle with a grouping of related art, such as portraits, plates, or clocks. This makes a much better impact on the room than the "sprinkle" effect.

Try to hang larger scale items to make your rooms seem bigger. This doesn't mean you have to run out and spend hundreds or thousands on a large painting. Hang a rug or a pretty quilt. Create a dramatic wall hanging with a large piece of plywood, some paint, and one inspirational word in large letters. "Faith," "Believe" or "Dream" are great ones. Paint a simple border and background in neutral colors. Then sketch on your word in blocks with pencil, and fill in with paint.

Try setting off a special portrait or a wall collection by painting a background "frame." Make the frame at least four to six inches larger than the art, tape off with painter's tape, and fill in with a darker version of your wall color.

If you have dozens of different frames and pictures, tie them all together by painting the frames all the same color. Black gives an elegant touch to any style decor. White is very fresh and a bright color can be fun in a contemporary design.

Consider using stencils to add detail and design to your walls. It's easy, relatively fast, and inexpensive. Pick up a simple design to wrap around windows and doors, or to add detail to your painted "frames" around your wall art groupings.

Finally, look at unconventional items as wall art. A weathered piece of driftwood accents over a doorway, or an old wooden box can hang as a curio cabinet. Simple wooded blocks can be attached to the wall as candleholders or display shelves. Your children's christening dress can be hung as memory art, or you can frame a piece of the maternity dress you loved while you were pregnant with your youngest. Use your imagination!

Decorating walls doesn't have to be daunting. Just use these easy ideas to get you started!

Kathy Wilson is a home and garden writer, author and consultant and is the home decorating expert for Visit her for more home and garden ideas at and

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  • Pick a wall that you want to decorate and choose one of these easy ideas to get started.

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