10 Ideas for Decorating Bedroom Walls

No, paint is not your only option

Striped bedroom walls
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If your bedroom has been putting you to sleep when it’s not even dark outside, it’s time to wake things up. While plain, white walls have their place, if you feel up to a bit of DIY muscle (or have room in your budget to hire a professional), you can create an entirely new look by changing up your wall décor. Why have boring walls when you can use all that square footage to show off your decorating chops? There are all sorts of ways to bring the bedroom walls to life, and not all of them require a paintbrush or are off-limits to renters.

Decorate Your Walls With Paint

All it takes is a gallon of paint, a good-quality paintbrush or paint roller, and an afternoon of work to create bedroom walls with a whole new look. Remember, though: if you want good results, you have to take time to do the prep work of cleaning the walls, patching holes, taping off areas you don't want to be painted, and protecting the floors and any nearby furniture with drop cloths.

Paint all four walls: Whether you love the freshness of white, the moodiness of blue, a trendy shade of gray or something bright, a fresh coat of paint is an immediate room brightener.

Go dramatic on just one wall: If you want to try dark or bright color on the wall, but aren’t quite ready for that much drama, go for just one accent wall at the head of the bed.

Faux techniques: Adding an interesting texture or color effect is as easy as blotting a sea sponge in the glaze, then dabbing it over your walls. Other easy faux techniques include blotting on glaze or watered-down paint with a crumpled paper sack, feathers, rags, or a wide-tooth comb.

Add some stripes: Use painter’s tape to mask off stripes on your white walls, then fill in with a cheerful bright tone for a whimsical look, or a neutral shade if you want a more sophisticated style.

Try stenciling: There are stencils in every motif imaginable. Try your hand at stenciling a border around the upper edge of the walls, or use stencils to create a mural above the headboard.

No Paintbrush Required

If painting is not your thing, or you are renting and cannot paint your walls, you still have options.

Use wallpaper: Wallpaper has come a long way since the days of your grandma. Today’s paper is easier to hang and remove, and you can find patterns from dainty and soft to dramatic and strong. Cover all four walls with wallpaper, or just hang boldly patterned or colored wallpaper on one accent wall.

Fabric ideas: Believe it or not, you can use fabric instead of wallpaper to cover your walls. Not only that, but the fabric is easy to remove when your lease is up or you grow tired of it. Choose a lightweight cotton print that you love, and use starch fabric stiffener to adhere the fabric to the walls.

Hang a quilt: If you like a casual, country vibe, hang a quilt on the wall at the head of your bed to serve as a headboard, or fill up open space on the largest wall in the room.

Try a rug: If quilts aren’t your style, try hanging an unusual area rug instead. A zebra-print rug, shaggy faux fur, cowhide or lightweight Oriental rug will add pizzazz.

Use wall decals: Wall decals aren’t just for the nursery or kids’ room anymore. Today you can find decals in all sorts of designs from sophisticated to whimsical to motivational to just plain funky. Scatter a few floral decals around the walls, create a mural, add a border, or add a faux decal “window” looking out on a tropical view.

None of these ideas are very expensive, most are easy to do, and several are suitable even for renters. If you’re tired of staring at the same four walls, use your next free weekend to change their look entirely.