Other than photos, what are some interesting things to mount on the wall
July 9, 2019 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Other than photos, what are some interesting or unusual things to mount on the wall of my 1-bedroom apartment?

I'm a guy in my 40s living in a 1-bedroom apartment in the city and would like my living room to look a little livelier. I have a couple walnut mid-century side tables, TV table and now a record player cabinet and a few snake plants. I have some travel photos I took I'm going to frame. But I'm also looking for ideas for other kinds of pieces or ephemera or just stuff that looks good on a wall. I would like my place to look a little less sterile, I guess, and the decor to be just a little more organic or messier (within reason).

Needless to say I don't know what I'm doing but would love input - thanks!
posted by critzer to Home & Garden (37 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If you have a big blank wall and a low budget, a busy or crazy patterned textile can really add a lot of color. Big flags also work well, especially since you have nice travel pics to show of your adventures.
posted by backwards compatible at 12:42 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Art or a mirror
posted by raccoon409 at 12:42 PM on July 9, 2019

How about a mandala?
posted by dianeF at 12:47 PM on July 9, 2019

I have a bunch of concert posters (framed) hanging on my walls, they add some nice color and also remind me of fun concerts I've been to!
posted by leesh at 12:50 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

A world map? Or could be of your local area so that you can show visitors where something nearby is.
posted by Seboshin at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you collect anything—shot glasses, Funko Pops, model cars, etc.—you can buy wall-mounted display cases. You can also tack stuff right to the wall, depending on the heft and your decor. I know people with very nice arrangements of comic books/action figures.
posted by xenization at 12:57 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

How bout a nice oak framed Ant Farm?
posted by Sophont at 12:59 PM on July 9, 2019


- more esoteric, like reclaimed wood-based art or signs or maps

- randomly placed shelves, or in a pattern, with various things from travel, etc
posted by rich at 1:00 PM on July 9, 2019

Guitars or other instruments. Also, patent art. As it drawings submitted for patent applications.

I actually have the patent drawing for both a Les Paul guitar and the actual guitar next to it. Same for a dreadnought guitar.
posted by kabong the wiser at 1:00 PM on July 9, 2019

There are many kinds of wall shelves. You could use them for pottery, plants, or something else.

You could go to a thrift store and buy some vinyl records. Those could go on the wall with or without the album covers. Google image search "records on walls" for ideas.
posted by FencingGal at 1:01 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Know any taxidermists? Organic -- yo!
On an even stranger note, the "specimens" do not have to be actual animals. Get some display plaques and set your inner Picasso free.
Or haunt some garage sales and pawn shops with an eye for "who on earth buys that sort of thing?" flotsom for your trophy wall.
posted by TrishaU at 1:02 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Go to a museum/gallery and get some 6x4 postcards in the gift shop of art you liked, frame them in cheap frames (Ikea or thrift store) with some card/paper to fill in the gap between postcard and mount. Thusly. Total of a few quid/bucks and if you get bored you can just change up the postcard.
posted by billiebee at 1:21 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pine cassette rack
posted by rhizome at 1:22 PM on July 9, 2019

I once knew a couple who had a wall that was immediately visible when you walked in the front door. They had haphazardly tacked all sorts of mementos to it - notes, postcards, souvenirs small and large, pictures, etc. - from their various travels and life experiences. And they traveled a lot, so it was amazingly impressive and left visitors dazzled and delighted.

Decorating a wall with personal keepsakes and such would be a good conversation-starter, as well as being constant reminders for you of happy times and significant events. And it could certainly look "organic and messy", but in an artful way.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:23 PM on July 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Maps? (Vintage, topographic, unusual...)

Oriental carpets are fascinating to look at, and make the room quieter.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:30 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shadow boxes with keepsakes.

Shadow boxes with slowly-growing contents (like a shell from every beach you ever visited).

Big damn map. Add pins in one color for each place you have been, and pins in another color for your visitors (or their hometown or whatever).
posted by wenestvedt at 1:35 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Someone I know has a properly mounted, matted and framed collection of international airline barf bags on his wall. It is quite the conversation piece.
posted by mmascolino at 1:40 PM on July 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

A bicycle shelf, if you have the depth and ceiling height
posted by niicholas at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Some decorative plates or trays can be hung up with stretchy plate hangers and work well with midcentury furniture. I have a small collection, a few are from family, a hand painted Talavera plate, a couple from antique shops, even a few plastic trays from Target and Ikea that were so graphically pretty I got them for wall art. I like that they don't quite lie flat on the wall, that they have unusual shape and dimensions, that they're easy to swap out, that they are multifunctional if I do need more serverware. Perhaps you would enjoy this baboon?
posted by Mizu at 2:19 PM on July 9, 2019

Theirnare some ceramic hanging vases, that are flat on one side with a hole for a nail or picture hanging hook they can hold air plants or regular plants, or even dried bouquegs of stuff you find on walks or hikes.

You can put up a hat rack. TJ Max has a lot of things you can put on walls to good effect, random shelves, set of hooks, etc stuff that looks nice but has a use.

You can frequently find small to larger metal bakers racks with wine storage or a coupla drawers, but lots of airy negative space for books and memorabilia.
posted by Oyéah at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2019

No one's mentioned cool clocks yet (for whatever is cool for your aesthetic).

I used to have a ceramic fish sculpture hanging in my kitchen that was nice, it was flat on one side to hang on the wall and had a hole for hanging.
posted by Jahaza at 2:33 PM on July 9, 2019

large tree branch

shelves with cats on them
posted by amtho at 2:34 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Well, things I've hung on my walls include a green glass fishing float, a cuddly octopus, a colourful tropical fan, a Chinese kite, a wooden snake, a metal gecko, a Japanese restaurant banner reading ラメン (ramen), and a tiny corkboard with Hello Kitty wielding an axe. Plus clocks, a world map, calendars, paintings and prints. I've also covered the room-facing side pieces of my Ikea bookshelves with postcards, mostly art cards from museums.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:08 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I know someone who has a brightly painted BMX bike mounted on their wall.
posted by BeeJiddy at 4:07 PM on July 9, 2019

Architectural salvage, put-together model kits, collections, blueprints, keepsakes, album covers (displayed above the record player?), fiber art, cool textiles, anything related to a hobby, paintings and prints... (You could also paint single wall your favorite color as an accent, or as a color block to highlight wall hangings, or create a mural, or cover a wall in chalkboard paint and ask guests for contributions...)
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:10 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Decorative tiles, postcards, mirrors, masks, fans, old movie posters, artwork by friends, maps, fabric wall hangings or quilts, vining plants.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:46 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh man, how about a wall mounted set of lego scenes from famous movies? Heck, lego anything can be interesting. I have gone the standard posters and cards but I really look forward to framing my Japanese woodblock prints of video games. Postcards from friends, family and internet strangers is always cool, too. I have seen people display their lives in subtle and not so subtle ways, such as, vials of sand/dirt/rocks from their travels. Another person did skulls. The thing is, it is about visuals, the interaction that you want from the viewer, if any, and of course what you wish to reveal.
posted by jadepearl at 5:10 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

A folding Asian screen - very unique and varied in designs / colors.
posted by MrsMGH at 5:16 PM on July 9, 2019

Antique wooden moulding planes, antique wooden spoons, antique wooden springerle cookie moulds, Japanese dessert moulds. Also a hanging Persian rug.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:31 PM on July 9, 2019

Start going to good art shows. Maybe you don't have a sense of what kind of art is good or what you like, but go look. Or browse posters.

What are your interests? What objects strike your fancy? You can display your collection of honey bears, wind-up tin toys, vintage anatomy, Godzilla. Do you aspire to hike the Pacific Crest Trail? Hang a map. Periodic Table. Hang your bike.
posted by theora55 at 6:54 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Google "skogluft".
posted by kevinbelt at 7:22 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

In addition to my photographs, on my walls I also have a Turkish rug square, an autographed album poster, several swatches of decorative paper/cards that I framed, and an old-fashioned glass barometer on my wall (this attracts by far the most interest/attention).
posted by TwoStride at 7:26 PM on July 9, 2019

I recently stayed at an Airbnb that was owned by a geologist. He had painting-sized slabs of granite mounted on his walls in a couple of places. This was the general sort of stuff used for countertops, but with particularly nice patterning, marbling, etc. It was very pretty.

I imagine they were very heavy, so mounting them probably took some work.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:01 PM on July 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

I have several Japanese fish flags hanging on one of my walls.

I'm also building a collection of seasonal banners to hang on one of my walls. Papel picado for Spring, papercraft holiday llamas, etc.

3M hooks are magical for hanging odd objects on walls.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:29 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I ordered a Uzbeki tapestry off of eBay once. Another time, a museum was giving away old displays: I picked up “What an Atomic Bomb Would Do to the Heart of Milwaukee.” Driftwood?
posted by kerf at 10:52 PM on July 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

My husband has 4 guitars, so we have those hung on the wall to store them, and the bonus is they look great up there!
posted by katypickle at 5:28 AM on July 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

My sister-in-law has framed blueprints on the walls in her guest bedroom.
posted by kathrynm at 5:32 AM on July 10, 2019

« Older Save my damaged WMA data   |   Taxi in Huejuquilla El Alto, Jalisco Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.