Hey y’all! Lauren from Amen Inspired Design + The Domestic Dispatch here, sharing a few thoughts on blank space.
“I don’t know what to do with this wall!” As a designer, I hear this so often from my clients. And it’s a legitimate dilemma. There’s nothing like a glaringly empty wall to taunt that your space is, indeed, unfinished.
And often times we’ll do a little Pinterest consulting, maybe take a spin through our favorite store or on online shop, looking for the usual suspects. Picture frames. Art. Maybe a mirror. Listen, I love all of these things. I’m such a frame junky it’s ridiculous. You should see my garage. I’ve got tons of them, just waiting to adorn something other than a storage shelf. And I love art. And mirrors.
Sometimes we find just the right piece without much effort and all is well. But it’s not always easy . Sometimes nothing seems to work. I often find that my clients come to me because they’re completely stumped. Sometimes it’s because a wall is really big, or maybe it’s kinda small or awkward, but you just know something should be there.
So I wanted to share a couple little tips from my own home.
It doesn’t take but a few quick clicks around Houzz or Pinterest to know that three dimensional pieces like mounted antlers are a great option. But sometimes, I see that they can get a little overdone.
Of course, it’s a matter of taste, but to me, a decently sized pair of mounted antlers generally speak for themselves. So if they must be paired with something, pair with something simple and a little unexpected. I love this laurel crown hung below these antlers. They’re in the same vein aesthetically, but I think the laurel’s still unique and so delicately beautiful. The impact of these two pieces together is so lovely because it’s simple.
(PS, I have to mention that this lauren crown is from the wonderful FLOWERSHOP at Mixon, here in Charleston, and the antlers are from a thrift shop…you should check out Courtney of Hamby Home’s post about thrifting!)
Ok, ok, I know I said sometimes you can think outside the box a little, and this next suggestion might look like a bunch of art, but look closely. Empty frames aren’t anything new, but I felt like I had to include this because I love the balance it gives a wall that could end up being a lot to look at.
I hadn’t planned on leaving these antique cream + gold mint-matted frames empty. But I got them because of how beautiful they were. They don’t need anything in them to hold their own. So when you’re considering the empty frame trend, take inventory. Are the frames really what you want? Are they beautiful to you on their own? Do they serve a purpose? Here, I think they do.
UNEXPECTED [ SIMPLE ] SALVAGES
Not everything has to has to serve it’s original purpose though. Like these salvaged vintage timecard receptacles.
I don’t use these for anything except filling space! When using unexpected pieces as wall decor, sometimes it’s just best to take them at face value; simply for what they look like and not what they’re meant to be used for. I thought I’d put something in these, but I fooled around with it, and it looked terrible.
Sometimes less is more…especially with unique pieces.
And speaking of salvages, I wanted to throw these babies in too! Don’t be afraid to use pieces that need a little cleaning up (or straight up bleach!).
This little alcove it tricky because. When dealing with this space, my first thought of course was “builtins!!” Sure, they would be beautiful, but they don’t really serve our needs right now. And framed pictures or art would look super weird here because the recessed alcove isn’t really conducive to appreciating those kind of pieces.
Sometimes unique spaces require unique pieces!
[SORT OF] LIKE A LANTERN
Most hanging candle fixtures make me nervous. They’re great if you’re on a budget and want a sconce effect without hiring an electrician or don’t want to deal with hiding wires for plug-in varieties.
But not all sconces have to be about lighting (or candles).
These hanging globe sconces are a great way to add dimension and interest, especially if you drop in something cool and simple, like this dried coral we found on a beach walk. Driftwood or some kind of cool, spindly branch would work too.
A LITTLE OFF
If you’re still feeling a little stressed or unconvinced, worry not! Let me tell you something I really actually love. You might not expect this…but sometimes I like it when things are a little off! The right pieces even seem to be better suited for it. Often vintage (or vintage feeling) pieces look cool when they’re not hung as if on a precise grid.
Here, the space between frames isn’t perfectly measured and the shape of the arrangement isn’t symmetrical. But you know what? I don’t really look at these pieces individually and think, “wow, they’re really neat and cohesive and sleak.” They’re old and even charmingly shabby. So it makes sense to me to have them hung a little “off.” So if you do want to stick with a more traditional gallery wall, but want it to have a little bit of storied character, don’t get too picky about placement.
Remember, not every space has to be filled. And not everything has to be perfect. I’m a big believer in imperfect beauty. If you see something you love, don’t pass it up because it’s seems too unlikely.
Anyone can go to Home Goods and grab some faux canvas “painting.” But sometimes it takes a little hunting to find the right piece, and when you do, you just know! So don’t be intimidated by that blank space anymore!
Add some interest, add some dimension. Add some love. And don’t worry about the rules! Sometimes thinking outside the box, really pays off!