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4 Unique Ways to Transform Boring Walls

When it comes to activating the wall space in your home or office, you can get away with a fresh coat of paint and some simple framed pictures. But there’s so much more opportunity to take advantage of in order to create a space that truly inspires you and your guests, and is a place you long to dwell in. The following ideas come from San Francisco based interior designer, Gina Rachelle. Gina is a new friend of mine, and a someone whose design taste I really admire. Her style is, in her words, “clean, fresh, and always focuses on the details”.


gina rachelle
Photo by Jenessa Sturgis


Before we dive into the particulars, Gina’s encouragement overall as you’re thinking about your wall space is to think big, and think creatively. In addition, creating a good balance of masculine and feminine design traits is really important. For example, wood paired with green plant life. Or dark, rich colors with softer, calmer colors.


Personally, I love shelving. There is so much stuff that can live on a shelf that speaks to who you are and what gives you life. I am in love with this custom-designed shelving piece below in the shape of the US. Not only is it functional, but it’s like a giant piece of art in itself.

united states shelf
Photo by Max Maloney

Shelves don’t have to be a major construction project. Take these little box shelves for example. Simple, yet clean, inspiring, and functional.
small shelf GRD_NateBolt_SY-36
Photos by Sonya Yu

Don’t hide your kitchen wares in a cupboard if you don’t have to. Let them breathe on an open shelf.
Photo by Max Maloney


The great thing about a wall like the image below is there’s a lot of forgiveness. You don’t necessarily have to align everything perfectly with a level and tape measure. The point is to create a bit of chaos.. but don’t go too crazy. Think organized chaos.

Some direction from Gina on the situation:
-Start at eye level and work your way out. Keep items close together, about 2-5 inches apart to create the perfect clustered gallery wall. 
Mix frames with art and greens.

Photo by Sonya Yu

Photo by Max Maloney


Hooks aren’t just for coats and keys. Hang things that add little bursts of personality to your space. The hooks themselves are part of the design, so don’t make them an afterthought. Check out Etsy for some handmade wall hooks, and think of little details you can hang that are non-traditional.

hanging stuff 1 20150530-494A7935
Photos by Max Maloney


All of us are familiar with the accent wall approach, but here are a couple ideas to take this idea to the next level.
A wood accent wall creates interest and texture, and lends that masculine feel that you can build upon with some feminine elements to balance it out. It also adds a nice rustic vibe, if that’s your style.

wood accent wall
Photo by Sonya Yu

The image below is actually a door (obviously) but the same approach applies. Instead of painting an entire wall a flat accent color, be bold and paint just part of the wall, giving it some geometry. A simple strip of masking tape, and you’ve just made a minimalist abstract painting all by yourself.
This image comes from one of Gina’s e-design clients who took her advice on creating a bit of unexpected interest in this child’s room.

Do you have a room you’re just a bit stuck on how to proceed with? You don’t have to live in San Francisco to have Gina consult with you.
Her e-design service is a way for clients anywhere in the world to pick her brain and get heading in the right direction. More about that here.

Looking for something to put on those walls?
I’m giving away a FREE download of the painting below, titled “Joy“, you can print and frame at home. Subscribe to my newsletter below and get the file automatically emailed to you.


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