I recently shared that I wanted to be a little more brave in my home decorating – and that I had some ideas to finally use a lot of the art I had in storage that I didn’t know where to place.

Decorating Ideas - Using the Whole Wall

This is how my dining room started a few days ago. Nothing wrong with it, but there was a whole lot of space being unused on the wall – space that could bring in more character.

Dining Room Decorating

The piano was moved at Christmas to the family room – and we decided to keep it there because it seems to be played more in that spot. Having space empty allowed me to open up my mind a little bit.

A friend recently said how she used to think she didn’t have any wall space but now she always finds places. So, that is how I went about this – there was space to work with.

To do a wall like this, I think you have to have a main starting point.

My main starting point was that I wanted to find a showcasing space for one of my favorite prints. This print, was a gift from a dear friend and it is by Dick LaBonte. It features every American president and their wives (and one random child) all together attending a cocktail party on the lawn of The White House. Wouldn’t that be an interesting event to attend?

Dick LaBonte Presidental Print

There have been a few versions of this art – updates for each new president. This one does feature Mr. and Mrs. Obama. Mr. LaBonte passed in 2011, so this is the last version of this print.

Oh, and yes – there are mustaches on it. There were mustaches at my daughter’s birthday party last August (long story), when the girls returned home, they thought it would be funny to put them on the presidents. It has always cracked me up – so I have left it. Sometimes we need a little sense of humor in our decorating.

I love the print, it fits well in our history loving home - and here in the dining room, it brings a needed crisp and bright element to contrast with the darker reds and blacks. It also provides a carry though of the white – across the hutch and then to the other white matted print I have added to the other side. And the black frame links it all together.

I think that is another consideration when filling a whole wall - you have to have a few (2 or 3) unifying elements. Whether it be color, frame, art style or textures - there has to be a repetition of each element a few times. In the case of my wall I used color - white, black and then color pops of red/pink. There really is no unity in the subject matter - accept that they are all sentimental pieces to me.

Decorating Dining Room Walls

The beautiful Jennifer Lanne painting, the large floral painting and the rectangular toleware tray have stayed where they were.

Decorating Ideas Dining Room Jennifer Lanne Painting

I moved the two smaller trays from the other side of the hutch all the way to the end here – this creates a color flow with the black across the whole wall. Before I put these here, the floral picture looked lost – this filled it in and pulled it all together better.

Decorating Ideas - Hanging Toleware Trays

Right now I have a vintage bench in here, but it is just holding a place until I find “just the perfect piece”.

Until then, I am not worried – I love that the wall is now fully utilized. It is filled with things I love – that are no longer in storage.

Decorating Ideas: Gallery Wall

And each element carries through the whole wall – black, white and red/pink color pops.

Decorating Ideas for the Dining Room

So, what about you? Are you ready to look at your walls in a whole new way? Are ready to find more “space” and get things out of storage and onto the walls?

I know I am – and I still have two more walls to go!

If you would like to see more gallery type walls, you can visit our guest bedroom and the wall we just redid in our kitchen.

If you would like some tips on how to plan a gallery wall, please visit here. If you would like some tips on how to hang all of these items, please visit here.

Thanks so much for reading!


February 18, 2013 — Laura Putnam