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How to Choose the Best Wall Hangings for Your Modern Living Room

Updated on October 13, 2014

Types of Wall Hangings

Wall hangings come in many different flavors. What you wish to use is really up to you but your choice should be influenced not only by emotion but also also design. Nevertheless, there is a wide variety of wall furniture and decor to choose from.

  • Clocks
  • Paintings
  • Portraits
  • Shelves
  • Art pieces

Which of these pop out at you? Actually, if your room is big enough, you can go ahead and use all of them. There's no harm in doing that. Of course, there should be some form of unity, whether it's through design or through color. Make sure you don't go overboard, too. Too much wall decor is worse than not enough.

This modern design incorporates lighting fixtures and wall paint styles for a quality look.
This modern design incorporates lighting fixtures and wall paint styles for a quality look. | Source

Does Color Really Matter?

Of course it does! Color means almost everything. It is what creates cohesion between the various decor and designs throughout the room. Having said that, it doesn't mean that all the paintings and arts have to be the same color. What it does mean, however, is that if you are doing to use contrasting colors on one wall, you should do the same to another. On the other hand, if you wish to use similar colors on one wall, be sure to do the same on another.

Tip: using black and white portraits and art is a great way to add flavor to any living room.

Which is Your Favorite Wall Decor?

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How Many Per Wall?

Knowing how much decor to place on the wall is something that comes with time and experience. Most people's first thought it to shove all their photographs and art on the wall. Of course, this is not a design friendly choice. It ends up looking cluttered and unclean.

White space (empty space) is an incredibly important aspect in all designs and places, including walls. Placing just one large piece of art towards the middle of the room could very well be enough for the one wall, depending on the size of the piece of art and the wall. In most cases, two or three is enough.

Be sure to space the decor evenly using a tape measure. You should look at your wall like a grid. This may seem like a lot of work but it will pay off in terms of beauty later on.

  • Measure your wall (height and width) and your smallest wall hanging (height and width).
  • Divide the total measurement of the wall by the measurement of the wall hanging (wall width / hanging width and wall height / hanging height)
  • Create a grid pattern on your wall, on paper or with tape or a pencil
  • Keep your design to this grid pattern. Always put your decor within the gridlines. If the object is too big, then have it take up more grids. But never add objects in another objects grid.
  • For whitespace, leave at least one grid space in between objects.

A modern white walled living room with modern art wall decor offers a great focal point for any room.
A modern white walled living room with modern art wall decor offers a great focal point for any room. | Source
A clock perfect for modern living rooms is a great addition to your home.
A clock perfect for modern living rooms is a great addition to your home. | Source

Ding Dong! What's up, Clock?

Clocks are a highly underrated design element of homes. It wasn't always this way. Not too long ago, Grandfather's clocks were all the rage and were placed prominently in homes. However, over time they fell out of favor and small cutesy clocks began taking their place. In many homes today, the only clock in the living room is the one flashing 12:00 A.M.

Of course, you probably shouldn't use a grandfather's clock for your modern living room. However, there are many other great designs you can choose from.

Displayed above is a large modern art painting in a modern living room.
Displayed above is a large modern art painting in a modern living room. | Source

Paintings on Rye

When dealing with paintings, it's important to keep in mind the theme of the room. A truly modern room with bold colors with bright accents would do quite well with abstract art. However, the more conventional modern living room would do well with something along the lines of realism.

If you have young children in your home, a fun idea might be to have them design something for you. The more abstract the better. Get them some finger paints and let them have at it!

It's a Portrait of Beauty

I'm a huge fan of black and white photographs for modern living room walls. The colored portraits can be saved for the side tables or mantle. The black and white photographs can easily be done using a computer program and having them saved as black and white and then printed off. A cheap way to have a great design. Spread three or four of these across your grid center and it'll look fantastic.

Use pictures of your own family for an extra family feel or use pictures of famous modern artists to give a more artistic feel.

Danya B YU017 Set of 2 Color S Wall Mount Shelves, Espresso
Danya B YU017 Set of 2 Color S Wall Mount Shelves, Espresso

This wall shelf is a perfect addition to any modern home. The S design allows for a perfect modern touch to your living room.


Just Shelve It

There are countless amounts of shelves but let's focus on the ones that matter: wall shelves. These guys have many uses and can be used for an even larger design. Of course, since we are talking about modern living rooms, let's keep the designs of the shelves that way too. Something too contemporary or too classic just won't do. It'll take away from the overall emotion of the room and stand out too much from the rest of the design. If you already own it, throw it into a different room. It's OK to have different themes throughout your home! Too many people are afraid to try this but more people should.

With this being said, traditional wall shelves and pop art style shelves are the best choice for a modern look.

This design uses only one large piece of art to bring a new modern look to the room.
This design uses only one large piece of art to bring a new modern look to the room. | Source

Art is a Great Addition to Homes

Not many people feel the need to add pieces of art to their home. Sometimes people are just too afraid they'll make the wrong choice while others simply don't think they like art all that much. However, it is incredibly underrated. The perfect piece of art can create harmony throughout the room and be a talking point for new guests.

Once again, pop art is a fantastic choice. Of course, pop art isn't always great. Having a box full of canned soup on your wall probably doesn't sound too good. However, there are many pieces of pop art which are more than just cans of soup. Nonetheless, if you want to go with something a little bit different, I suggest choice something abstract or surreal. Whether it's a painting or a different piece of art, it'll surely look great in your modern living room.


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    • Arco Hess Designs profile image

      Arco Hess 3 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      Thank you for liking my hub! Home designs are easy-to-do. We all have the resources we need at home. All we need is our precious time and creative hands.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 3 years ago

      Thank you for an interesting hub. I became inspired.


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