How to Decorate a Long Wall

Sally Painter

Size and Style Matter

A long wall doesn't need to be a design challenge. The key to a successful design is keeping size and style at the forefront of decorating choices.

Minimize a long wall space by breaking it up with vertical lines, such as this oversized floral centerpiece, column candles, and a contrasting inset vignette.

Wall Treatments Divide the Space

Mix different wall treatments, such as the narrow gray wall paneling and cubbyhole wall cabinet unit, to define areas for different functions. The ceiling, floors, and remaining walls further repeat rectangular sizes while adding texture and design interest.

Go Dramatic

Take a velvet tufted headboard idea beyond the bed to cover the entire wall. Crystal chandeliers are installed along with a floating shelf. Keep decorative elements to a minimum so the tufted wall creates a dramatic focal point.

Faux Scenic Window Wall

A windowless wall can be transformed with a mural and painted wood slats. Frame the wall with the slats painted to resemble metal window frames. Measure and space the slats evenly to appear like tall narrow windows. Add curtains and enjoy a 24/7 relaxing view.

Modern Design

A custom-built full wall unit takes on a modern flair with a double overhead cabinet. A floating shelf with cabinets underneath creates a great visual effect. The bottom ledge can be left empty or used to display art objects with a mix of plants. Don't forget to hang a large flat screen TV for a truly functional design solution.

Bathroom Wall Design

Keep a large bathroom from being mundane by highlighting the different sections with unique tile work. Take advantage of framed mirrors and matching sinks mounted in a custom cabinet by using a different tile color around the sinks and mirrors. Symmetrical matching bookshelves featuring bottom cabinets add storage and help define the wall space.

Oversized Tapestry

A custom-made tapestry is an obvious solution for a formal or period style room like a parlor or formal dining room. If a tapestry is not within your budget, you can recreate this elegant treatment with a wallpaper mural. The mural adds interest and highlights craftsmanship.

All About Storage

A full wall unit can break up the space with different storage sizes, cabinets, and even a Murphy bed to accommodate overnight guests. You can use this idea to accentuate different areas for conversation, watching TV, or dining. This idea translates well to homes and apartments with a long wall but without storage or display space.

Floating Shelves

Varying lengths of floating shelves can be used to display various objects and plants. The large surfboard in the center provides a focal point with complementary accents to both sides. This design contrasts with the exposed overhead beams to create a great way to break up the wall space.

Sliding Color Wall Panels

Break up a long wall mirror with sliding blue panels. The panels offer you the opportunity to create various configurations for a versatile alternative to just a mirror. The semi-translucent panels still reflect the opposite wall adding a touch of mystique to the room design.

Floating Shelf With Drawers

This long floating shelf offers several storage options with long narrow cubbies and a series of drawers. The shelf can be used to display decorative objects. This is an ideal solution to a long breakfast or dining room wall.

Loft Wall

A brick loft wall with a defunct fireplace can become the ideal backdrop for a long sofa. Frame the wall with salvaged long ladder style windows. You can further break up the wall space with a sofa table behind the sofa with a pair of table lamps anchoring each end of the table and large artwork centered between the lamps.

Living Wall

Create a living wall with different green plants. You may even decide to transform your wall by creating a work of art with living plants. Be creative and design your own nature scape. Choose edible plants for a living salad bar!

DIY Art Panel

A great DIY project is to use different lengths of painted wood to create a panel behind a sectional. If you don't want to use wood, you can cut different colors of fabric into rectangular shapes and sew together like a quilt. Select hues that complement your room but stand out from the wall color.

Perfect Symmetry

Keep symmetry in line with this fun wall design using three identical tables equally spaced along the wall. An artfully displayed pair of tree branches breaks up the horizontal lines by drawing the eye vertically. Attention is then captured to travel vertically once more along the different shapes of wall art. Don't forget the table tops by adding potted plants, candles and dining accessories.

Try a few ideas to make your wall functional and look great, or use them when decorating a long, narrow room.

Sally Painter
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How to Decorate a Long Wall