What can I put on my bedroom wall? 10 ways to successfully style your sleep space

Create beautiful spaces full of personality with these beautiful suggestions and expert tips

What can I put on my bedroom wall?
(Image credit: Damian Russell / Jenna Peffley / Future)

What you put on your bedroom wall can, perhaps unlike the rooms downstairs, be really personal to you.

Whether it's a beautiful painting, decorative objects brought back from travels or a panel of wallpaper, adorning your bedroom walls with decorative pieces you love is a wonderful way to stamp your personal style on the space.

Considering how bedroom wall decor looks from both the door to the room, any chairs you have in the space and from the bed is important. But where to start? We consulted interiors experts for ideas and have rounded up our favorites, below.

What can I put on my bedroom wall?

We start, below, with artworks. But don't stop there – there so many inspiring ways to adorn bedroom walls, from tapestries to classic bedroom accent wall ideas.

1. Hang a large artwork

monochrome bedroom with white walls and black charcoal cushions and table lamp with rustic bench at foot of bed

(Image credit: Jenna Peffley)

A neutral bedroom with uninterrupted walls is the perfect place to showcase bedroom art. Hanging a picture or painting over the headboard can make for a wonderful focal point, though bear in mind that you won't be able to enjoy it from the bed. 

Landscapes and seascapes work particularly well in bedrooms as they promote a relaxing feel.

'I often select oversized artwork in the bedroom for greater impact, but in order to keep a calm and tranquil environment that is best for sleep, make sure you opt for a soft color palette,' says interior designer Julia Dempster. 'A muted landscape portrait like this one can be particularly soothing in a bedroom and the larger scale of the art still creates a bold statement.'

When decorating with art, choosing something you love that works with the proportions and existing design elements in the space is the key.  

'When it comes to hanging paintings and placing art, it's important to consider the existing architecture and detail in the space, as if you have really striking details in the space already, then you may want paintings and artworks that are more minimalist to allow these details to shine through,' says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs. 'If you have a blank canvas however, then bringing in pieces with color and pattern that are bolder will help bring that character and life into a room.'

Julia Dempster
Julia Dempster

The renowned British interior designer Julia Dempster has worked on hundreds of projects worldwide from luxury hotels to royal residences. A master at working with neutrals to create a look of understated luxury her cool, sophisticated interiors are guaranteed to inspire.

2. Display collections

Red bedroom with woven wall baskets and a patterned fabric headboard

(Image credit: Future)

When thinking about what to hang on your walls don't be afraid to think outside the box. 

'Art is not just about painting and drawing. There are many different media, which can transform an interior – for example, we love to incorporate textile art, ceramics, glass or metalwork in our projects,' explains Clara Ewart, head of design at Kitesgrove.

Displaying collections of decorative objects brought back from vacations can look wonderfully effective when displayed in a group, as demonstrated in this bedroom, adorned with a gallery wall of woven baskets. 

3. Decorate with antiques and vintage pieces

Bedroom with vintage mirrors on the wall

(Image credit: Phillip Thomas)

Boasting beautiful patinas and the marks of age, as well as intriguing stories, antique and vintage finds can be a wonderful way to bring unique character to a bedroom. 

'Use vintage pieces in a beautiful way to showcase special objects that may otherwise be stored away as keepsakes,' suggests interior designer Phillip Thomas

'I am a firm believer in decorating with pieces that have meaning, that you love to look at! Grouping heirloom pieces or found, collected objects in a unique display on the wall or framing a special family momento creates personalized art that you will love to look at every day.'

When decorating with antiques, 'it is important to respect the architecture of the house you are decorating; some houses are well suited to lots of antiques whilst others will benefit from a mixture of vintage and modern,' adds Clara Ewart, head of design at Kitesgrove.

Interior designer Phillip Thomas
Phillip Thomas

Since founding his interior design studio in 2011, New York City based interior designer Phillip Thomas has used his unique style to transform array of interiors across the US and worldwide. heavily influenced by travel his schemes are rich in colour, texture and eclectic details.

4. Introduce paneling

Bedroom with blue wall, patterned bedlinen and wall light

(Image credit: Future / Emma Lee)

Bedroom wall paneling is a wonderful way to add texture to a room and works particularly well as an accent wall behind a bed. Although it is often associated with coastal and farmhouse bedrooms, it can look wonderfully chic when painted a vibrant color as demonstrated above. An oversized wall light doubles as a piece of wall sculpture. 

When installed vertically over the entire wall, shiplap bedroom wall ideas can also be a clever design trick to help lead the eye upwards and make rooms appear as if they are taller than they are.

5. Decorate with a beautiful wallpaper

Quirky bedroom with patterned Dado Atelier wallpaper, headboard and cushions

(Image credit: Dado Atelier x Day Dress)

‘Bedrooms are a wonderful space to create an inviting, joyful interior that feels homely and familiar. There are a vast number of choices when it comes to bedroom wallpapers, from bold large-scale multicolor designs to calmer more tonal designs that add pattern without feeling overwhelming,' suggests Kate French, founder of Dado

'The charming Bindi Flower wallpaper by Daydress is a happy pairing of stripes and florals with a light and fresh feeling, its multicolored nature makes it perfect for creating a design scheme as the different tones can be highlighted in fabrics and accessories. 

'Pair with geometrics, ikat prints or larger-scale florals for an eclectic feel. Adding plain fabrics to the mix, as well as painted finishes, will balance the overall look and ensure the room feels cohesive and considered.’

6. Try a fabric wall hanging

Green bedroom with a hanging fabric panel in Lewis & Wood's Coromandel linen

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

Hanging a beautiful piece of patterned fabric behind the bed can really make a statement in a bedroom and makes an eye-catching alternative to a headboard which can easily be changed if your tastes evolve. Wall hangings work particularly well in rooms with tall ceilings where the fabric really has space to shine. 

Fabrics with multiple colors can also be a wonderful starting point for an interior palette. Inspired by an 18th century Palampore panel found in the V&A, this ornate Coromandel design by Lewis & Wood beautifully brings together all the colors throughout the room.

7. Choose bespoke shelving for storage and display

A large bedroom with sofa beneath built in bookshelves

(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

Bespoke bedroom shelving designed to fit around the architecture of a bedroom is a is a wonderful way to create ample bedroom storage space for everything from books to baskets for storing clothes, and they can also be a great place to display decorative objects, artwork and house plants to brighten the space. 

Here the team at Kitesgrove have made a feature of the joinery by painting it a contrasting color to the walls.

'Decorating shelves is an easy way of updating your interior with minimal cost,' says Julia Dempster. 'It is imperative to ensure the scale matches the shelves, although I do think you can never overscale enough. Do not have all the items on a longer shelf the same height. Not only should you contrast materials, but height too.'

8. Brighten the space with a mirror

pale blue bedroom with a mirror over the bed

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Decorating with mirrors is a failsafe way to maximize the light within a space, helping it to feel instantly more bright, spacious and uplifting. They needn't be boring, in fact, there are a huge array of decorative designs to choose from that can add personality and interest. This scalloped design with a green frame makes a quirky focal point to this otherwise neutral space.

9. Embrace the warmth of wood

Scandinavian inspired bedroom with wood paneling

(Image credit: Damian Russell)

If you're looking to create a rustic bedroom or a Scandinavian bedroom you can't go wrong by embracing wood. With its beautiful varied markings and earthy tones, natural timber brings warmth and texture to a space. 

Inextricably linked with nature, it can be a wonderfully grounding and soothing addition to a bedroom plus it's great if you're looking to decorate sustainably.

10. Keep walls clear to highlight original features

cottage bedroom beams neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

When thinking about what to put on bedroom walls always take into account the architecture of the space. If you have a home with beautiful architectural features such as rustic beams or exposed stone walls then hanging things like artwork, wallpaper, or shelving could take away from the beautiful character of the space. In this scheme by Neptune the artwork is kept discreet to allow the historic beams take the lead.

What looks good on bedroom walls?

The fastest fix for bedroom walls is hanging pictures and paintings. If you're looking to create a relaxing bedroom then consider landscapes and art inspired by nature, alternatively, bring drama with a graphic abstract piece. There's no need to stick to conventional paintings, prints or drawings either – textile art, tapestries and patterned fabric wall hangings will bring warmth, interest and texture to the space, or you could try decorative shelves with sculptural objects or antiques.

Alternatively, if you're looking to keep the space feeling clear and minimal, rather than hanging artwork, opt for statement light fittings or carefully chosen pieces of furniture to serve as functional pieces of art.

Pippa Blenkinsop

Pippa is a contributor to Homes & Gardens. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.