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Ideas to Make Your Walls 'Wow'

Let the below inspire you to convert a blank wall to a striking piece of art!

3D geometric walls and geometric illusions

There are many versions of geometric wall panels available on the market now, some of which are made from plastic to make them waterproof; thick cardboard; and plant fibers.

Another option is to pick a wallpaper, whether permanent or peel-and-stick, that bears a geometric pattern that simply looks three-dimensional.

Whether utilizing a wall paper of sorts or geometric panels or pieces, one option is to artistically utilize cut shapes to cover a wall.

Go soft with tufted elements, panels, and even fabric

In semi-contrast to the geometric effect noted above, soften select rooms with the following fabric or fabric-look panels or wall paper.

Psst: We get a lot of interest in this approach. A few questions can arise from this, so let's address them quickly:

What kind of fabric can you use as wallpaper?

Consider cotton and polyester as well as jute or wall papers that emulate these textures so well they look convincingly real! The perk with wall papers that mimic the look of fabrics is that they can be water-proof and rather quick to apply (especially with peel-and-stick options).

Velvet should be made into panels and mounted; on drywall alone, velvet can be heavy. If built into panels, the panels can be hung strategically and anchored to the wall.

How do you attach fabric to a wall without damaging the wall?

Unlike conventional wallpaper, you can probably get away with affixing a fabric or fabric-looking substrate to walls without buckets of adhesive. We've seen it carefully pinned up or nailed with small nails and even Velcro'ed!

Can you use fabric wallpaper in bathroom?

In a bathroom, water-proofing needs to be a priority. Do not place fabric near areas that will get wet; water settling into and behind the fabric can not only degrade the walls but lead to noxious mildew and mold risks. . . .

Consider a fabric or fabric-mimicking look that specifies it's water-resistant. Check the product specifications and inquire with the manufacturer.

Note: You could perhaps apply a fabric or fabric-like substrate to a bathroom and coat over it with a sealant. However, any water--even condensation build-up--that gets through a non-sealed area can become a source of mold growth.

Go big with painted murals or big-picture wallpaper

Whether you've got the ability to paint your own mural or apply large wall paper to achieve a 'wow' mural factor, this is a way to literally make a wall into a piece of art!

Chalk it up to chalk

Chalkboard-painted walls have been popular for a while now. From kitchens to playrooms to bedrooms and beyond, chalkboard paint often comes in fun colors, can be applied rather quickly, and provides an instantly artistic element that invites people to get creative and adorn their walls with personality.

Did you know?

Chalkboard paint itself is supposed to be scratch-resistant and can be applied to drywall, wood, metal and even glass and concrete!

There are peel-and-stick wallpapers that are ready for you and your chalk, too.

Chalk paint vs. chalkboard paint: The same thing?

Chalk paint is primarily used on furniture; it gets its name because of its finish, which appears chalk-like. . . .

If you have the express intention to paint a wall or surface to create an actual functional chalkboard, chalkboard paint is your go-to. It's used to create the chalkboard surface to write and erase on time and time again, as we're referring to.

Concrete, concrete-look, and concrete-finish walls

If you're building, remodeling, or adding to a home, maybe you can consider real concrete walls. Done right, they're unique yet timeless and durable as ever. The industrial look they provide can be desired or softened with the right complements.

However, real concrete walls are expensive and require expertise. . . .

If you're wanting to add a decorative element to a pre-existing wall or even reform a wall that looks less than stellar, consider the following options to achieve concrete looks or finishes:

-- Hardi board or concrete / cement / backer board (at the time of this post, most are less cost at Lowes rather than Home Depot, but that can change; do shop around): install as-is or add further concrete-look finishing via--

-- micro-finishing atop walls with a concrete texture; we've personally used FeatherFinish (and here it is pre-mixed) as well as grout. Yep--grout (this pre-mixed option was my go-to for an entire home with 20-foot walls recently atop concrete board)!

-- Additionally, you can also use a wallpaper or mere paint to simulate a concrete look if you do not necessarily 'need' or want the feel and finish of concrete. This can be ideal on drywall because the aforementioned concrete-look finishes are not always compatible with drywall. If you are going to try them, patch-test a small area to your discretion first.

Stripes or slats

Stripes or stripe textures can be placed vertically or horizontally to create the effect and eye-draw you're aiming for. Achieve such looks with--

--wall paper;

--spaced wood;

--bead board.


Texturing walls can be an art form in of itself. It's also a good way to go over imperfect drywall and make it look purposeful and artistic. The addition of texture to most spaces is a welcome design invitation. Once you get the hang of it, the process can be quite simple:

1. Choose a substrate such as joint compound.

2. Apply with a trowel.

3. Achieve your textured effect:

-- Make a purposefully imperfect troweled design, such as demonstrated in the above photo (I personally like using a large trowel like this geared for floors);

-- go for systematic patterns, such as achieved by the trowel teeth, and even brooms and combs;

-- and/or utilize select rollers and sponges for other desired textures.

4. Let dry, then paint.

Have you taken any walls from boring to 'wow' lately?

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