DESIGN PROBLEM – HOW TO DECORATE A LARGE WALL SPACE
Have you ever found yourself staring at a large blank wall not knowing where to start with your décor? Before you jump into the exact what of the DIY décor for your large wall space, it’s important to figure out the how much. Balanced space is a key design principle for any area, including your walls. The amount of visual area that your décor occupies should be balanced with the area that is empty.
Say what?!?! If that sounds like a lot of gibberish – no worries. Check out the diagrams and steps below.
DESIGN PRINCIPLE – THE GOLDEN RATIO RULE
The Basics of the Golden Ratio Rule
- First, define the visual space that you are trying to fill – you can use just the empty wall space, or the entire vignette space.
- Second, use the Golden Ratio Rule (60:40 or 3:2) to decide how large your DIY wall décor should be.
- Finally, decide where you are going to place your wall décor within the empty space. For more on this, sign up for Style Library access where you can get all the freebies associated with each design principle I discuss at DIY by Style.
Essentially, what we find visually appealing has a mathematical basis. This includes the amount of area occupied (positive space) and the amount of area left empty (negative space) in the total area you are seeing. Typically, this means that 2/3 of the visual space is empty and 1/3 is filled. The diagram above left has defined the visual space as a vignette. It already includes a piece of furniture that is occupying roughly 2 of the 9 areas. The decor then, should continue to fill enough space so that the furniture+decor =3 of the 9 areas, or 1/3 as shown in the diagram above right.
Changing Up the Golden Ratio Rule
You can switch up the Golden Ratio – the can items occupy 2/3 of the space rather than 1/3 as shown above. How do you know which is right for your space? With the same vignette, this would require your wall décor to cover enough area such that furniture+decor = 6 of the 9 squares. The diagram below shows this space.
Doesn’t look quite right, does it? That’s because a ‘grounding’ object, usually furniture, is expected to be the focal point – often meaning larger than the decor. However, if the piece of furniture were a mirrored cabinet or the same color as the walls, it would not appear as substantial. Therefore, this space would not require that same ‘grounding’ feel in relation to the decor. This allows the décor above to be larger than the furniture and still be visually pleasing. So, when using the Golden Ratio Rule, keep in mind that materials and color can affect perception of visual space.
Since the total space is more wide than it is tall, the space filled should generally be more wide than tall. How wide you ask? About 2/3 of the width to be the most visually appealing. Get why it’s the Golden Ratio?! Psst…it applies to home color palettes too. I have used the option of defining the visual space as only the empty wall portion above the furniture in the diagram below. As well, I have already reduced that space to 2/3 of the width of the furniture piece.
Great! Awesome! Now you know the how much for your DIY wall decor. Except, if you have a large wall that means filling a pretty large space. Large decor is usually expensive. Unless…. you fill that space with multiple, affordable pieces.
APPLYING THE GOLDEN RATIO FOR DIY LARGE WALL SPACE DECOR
Using the Golden Ratio in My Home
I have defined the sitting area as what most people would visually see while entering our living room. I am working with an empty space that is 5ft wide x 7ft tall (35ft2) while my chair already filled about 6ft2. So, the area my wall décor needs to fill is 1/3*35-6, or a little more than 5ft2 for the Golden Ratio Rule.
Grouping Smaller Objects
Most of my home décor items are things I have been able to collect on my international travels. My family traveled when I was a kid for my fathers job. I have also been able to travel both with my jobs and personally. For instance, I was able to bring back these baskets from Zimbabwe. I would have loved to have grabbed more baskets, but we had a weight limit for the small prop plane flying us into camps. A limit of 25 pounds. This included EVERYTHING we needed for two weeks, even my camera and my 20 rolls of film (yeah, it was a while back). Needless to say, when you have to do a fly by to scatter the wild animals before you land on the dirt runway, you pay attention to luggage weight limits!
Other Ideas for DIY Wall Decor
“Bully for you, not heading to Africa anytime soon” you’re thinking? No worries. Here are more ways where I have used smaller, affordable items anyone can find to group together for large DIY wall décor:
- Embroidery rings with fabric connected in a large grouping (bedroom, office, living room)
- Game boards grouped for display and easy access (kids room, bonus room, finished basement)
- Grouping thrift store frames (anywhere)
- Decorative branches in a group display of DIY glass bottles (anywhere)
INSPIRATION STYLE CHANGE FOR DIY DECOR
On the other hand, you want a more feminine, Ornate style? Let’s get there using the grouping of embroidery rings.
In this example, I’ve used color (pale, blush fabric in different patterns) and embellishments (flowers) to adapt styles. Changing materials would be difficult as most embroidery rings are sold as wood. But, you could get the same affect by spray painting the rings – silver or rose gold would be good options. Likewise, I could even see some large vintage pendants/broches/earrings from the thrift store added for more bling.
Hope this gives you some inspiration to help fill those large wall spaces with affordable DIY décor!