What Can I Put on my Bedroom Walls? 5 Ideas to Style Your Space (That Aren't Just Frames)

These five decorative ideas are great ways to add interest to your bedroom walls

A bedroom with a mural
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen, Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

Bedroom wall art might be your first thought if you're considering adding something to your bedroom walls, but there are so many other interesting ways to add character to your bedroom walls than just a frame of your favorite print.

If you're feeling a little uninspired by your bedroom decor and getting fed up with staring at four blank bedroom walls, then there is no time like the present. Inject a little personality into the space by trying one of these five easy modern bedroom updates that will help you express yourself.

1. Display your hobbies

A surfboard displayed on a bedroom wall

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Jessica Gersten)

You might not have considered hanging something like a surfboard on your wall, but your bedroom wall provides an optimum opportunity to display your hobbies. Your bedroom is all about expressing yourself, from surfboards to displaying your proud collection of vinyls, using wall mounts to display your passion in pride of place might be a great way to bring some life to your bedroom.

In this example by Jessica Gersten, the surfboard works beautifully as a piece of bedroom wall decor and ties with the rest of the room with the natural color palette of the board and the walls. It helps to give a sense of place too, with the home located in the seaside village of Sag Harbor, New York. This kind of wall mount hook is also a great addition if you want to show off a bike on your wall too, just be careful to ensure it's solidly mounted and doesn't risk falling off.

2. Add interest with playful wallpaper

A bedroom with floral wallpaper

(Image credit: Chango & Co. Photographer: Read McKendree)

Bring some personality to your bedroom with the addition of bedroom wallpaper. With a fully wallpapered room, the space can feel immersive and like an escape.

'Wallpaper can be a fantastic choice for bedroom walls, as it has the potential to add depth, personality, and warmth to the space,' says Houston-based interior designer, Nina Magon. 'Wallpaper can add a sense of texture and depth to the walls, especially when opting for textured or three-dimensional patterns. This can make the bedroom feel more inviting and cozy.'

This doesn't necessarily mean going all out and wallpapering all four walls either. If you decide to wallpaper an accent wall, it can bring a focal point to a chimney breast. 'Wallpaper - even if just on one wall - makes the simple walls special and adds depth and personality to a room,' says Amy Kalikow of New York-based interior design firm, Amy Kalikow Design. 'If patterns are not your style, even a textured clean, colored wallpaper adds warmth and elevates a room from simple to chic.'

3. Upholster the wall

A bedroom with an upholstered wall

(Image credit: Amy Kalikow Design)

If you want to go for a more minimalist bedroom aesthetic, upholstering your spare bedroom wall is a great way to bring texture and interest to your bedroom walls. This design from Amy Kalikow is an extended headboard that brings a softness to the room with its gentle curves.

'Bring some drama and elegance to the bedroom with an upholstered wall like this example,' says Amy. 'Fabric selection is important as needs to be user friendly but it is warm and inviting and makes a great statement.'

4. Try bespoke shelving for storage

Built in small closet with dressing area

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

Bespoke built-in bedroom cabinetry or shelving that fits around the architecture of your bedroom and stretches to the ceiling is a great way to optimize your blank wall space.

Instead of dead wall space and freestanding pieces that take up precious room, vertical storage solutions cleverly make the most of every inch so you can store everything from books to decorative bits and pieces, to baskets that can contain clothing. It's a great use of wall space that is particularly handy if you have a small bedroom.

In this example, the designers have tucked the storage behind a wall to help the space feel sleek and tidy when the doors are closed. The storage unit has been painted an off-white, similar to the wall color so it disappears into the background. The unit also has higher-up cupboards so other more bulky and unsightly belongings can be closed behind the doors.

5. Opt for a showstopper mural

A silver blue mural in a bedroom

(Image credit: Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling Rosie Fridman. Design: Homework)

Instead of wallpaper or experimenting with bedroom paint ideas, why not opt for creating an accent wall out of one of the walls with the addition of a wall mural? This is exactly what the team at HOMEWORK has done in this Edwardian San Francisco family home.

The chimney breast has an ethereal, dreamy painting that makes it the focal point of the room - a smart addition to the room instead of the standard piece of framed art.

'We created a new fireplace inside the Primary Bedroom for the frosty San Francisco nights,' says Susan Work of HOMEWORK.

'If we had the budget, our dream would have been to clad this in a semi-precious stone like Labradorite, or even a dark stone to integrate with the surrounding navy linen walls. Instead, we opted for a hand-painted moment here too, painted with brushes in an abstract style that brings edginess and art into this subdued and cave-like space.'

3 things to put on your bedroom wall to add interest

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.