9 Ideas for Blank Walls
Creative ideas for those big white spaces
Like so many other homes constructed or renovated in the last 30 years, Regina and Bryan Moomjean’s Clairemont home began with a wide-open floorplan that makes their 1,700-square-foot home feel much larger. Problem is, as Regina knows, open floorplans make it harder to visually separate spaces. As the merchandising manager and a buyer for Pigment stores, Regina’s no stranger to telling cohesive but varied stories within spaces that have very few visual barriers. In fact, she’s a pro. She was able to translate her expertise within her own home to inject a unique but complementary personality onto every wall. Her tips and advice, shared here, have you (and your walls) covered.
1. Pick a bright paint.
“I had it in my head since we moved in that I wanted the dining room wall to be emerald green,” Regina says. “Even though there aren’t defining walls, I wanted the space where we eat to feel like a different destination.” Her inspiration? Elvis Presley’s famed jungle room, a tropical sort of hideaway in his Graceland home.
2. Go ahead, use two colors in one room.
Regina loved the impact the saturated green brought to the dining space and longed to do the same thing—in a different shade—somewhere else within the big room. “It’s all about making each little nook in my home feel special but unique,” Regina says. She picked a color that pairs well with green, opting for a terra-cotta hue that reads as an earthy neutral (below). While the green shows Regina’s affinity for the tropics; this clay-red that she put in the entry illustrates her intrigue with the desert. And it totally works.
3. Hang a collection.
“I surround myself with things that have a special meaning to me,” Regina says. On another wall in the entry, she hung three hats because it reminded her of a similar display her grandparents had up in their home in Hawaii when she was a kid. And the “God Bless Our Pad” art looks similar to a painting Regina’s dad made for her mom when they were dating in the 1960s.
4. Cover it in greenery.
Working at Pigment—and being surrounded by plants all day—brings on the houseplant envy. Initially, Regina thought she’d add some statement pots in front of a barren wall and let tall sculptural trees do the decorating for her. However, having a curious toddler in the house (the couple’s son Marley is 2) means that’s not practical. Instead, she created a living wall with hanging foliage thanks to pothos planted en masse in wide, recycled-plastic pockets.
5. Make a mural.
Staying true to the give-each-room-its-own-personality strategy, Regina added a “playful California, beachy vibe” inside Marley’s playroom. She freehanded a “Locals Only” saying, inspired by photographer Hugh Holland’s Locals Only book chronicling the early days of skateboarding in Southern California, on the turquoise wall. If you’re not as artsy, you could have a custom quote made using peel-and-stick wall decals.
6. Fill space with picture ledges.
Slim walls or tiny corners can be difficult to decorate, but Regina utilized shelving without depth in those areas to stylishly show off some of her most-treasured objects like records, books, postcards and sketches.
7. Rethink your toys.
Bryan’s a big surfer. He’d go twice a day every day if he could carve out the time, so he has several surfboards—some that he doesn’t ride anymore. Regina found a decorative rack and hung one of her husband’s neutral surfboards on it above their bed, elevating his hobby into a piece of functional art.
8. Decorate like it’s a store.
“I like to see my things,” Regina says. “I’ve always used my accessories and apparel as decorative objects in my home rather than just items I wear. The second I start sticking things in drawers, I forget I have them.” But these items also help her make a creative and expressive statement. On top of her dresser, in a collection of acrylic boxes, Regina displays favorite necklaces, earrings and other baubles—all organized by color.
9. Hang a tapestry.
On the large wall behind a vintage leather sofa that belonged to Regina’s grandparents, she needed a big piece of art but didn’t want to spend a fortune on it. A wall hanging that reads “Baby It’s You,” based on a painting by an Australian artist, eats up a significant amount of real estate and cost less than $150.