Lisa T asks: I have a huge dilemma that centers around an equally huge blank wall in my family room. The room has a large, two-story open floor plan. As you walk into the room, the back wall is made up of a two-story bank of windows, which will soon be draped in custom, sand-colored linen panels. Meanwhile, there are two walls on either side of the large bank of windows. All the walls have chair railings and shadow boxes. The right-side wall has another two story set of windows (which will also soon have the same window treatment as I mentioned earlier) along with a fireplace, a wall-mounted television, and a large built-in bookcase on the far end of the wall closest to the entrance to the room.
The left-side wall is blank, and therein lies my dilemma. I initially thought that some sort of framed or mirrored arrangement might work, but I’m still stuck on what would actually work and also flow with the rest of the room. Should pieces be mounted eye level or as high as the adjacent windows? Or will multiple pieces look too choppy? I don’t want to weigh the wall down, especially since my incoming window treatments are light and more on the airy side.
Also, my eye suggests any wall accessories should be centered on the wall above the existing sofa. However, the sofa is not actually centered on this wall. Rather it sits off-center to the left, so that it can be centered and lined up with the wall-mounted television on the opposite wall.
Annie replies: Personally, I would avoid anything mirrored, as I think the room is already very light and the reflection could be overwhelming. Instead, I would treat the large, looming wall as an art opportunity. I’d plan an installation of photos, all framed the same; the images could all be the same size or different sizes. You just need to plan the layout by cutting paper the size of the images and lay them out on the wall until you find a balanced arrangement. (See our easy how-to on hanging an art collection.)
Black-and-white or sepia photos will not feel too heavy, whereas hanging paintings could feel oppressive. Family photos would be a lovely way to go, or a collection of images of a favorite destination—Paris, London, New York?
And don’t forget some decorative pillows for your sofas and chairs! They’re a great way to focus the eye a little closer to the ground, and will add a bit of textural contrast to your design. You could stick with something in the same muted color palette as the room, like this flowered design, or add a burst of color, like this Indian-inspired design or this cheery berry-colored floral.