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Shiplap, Crown Molding, and More: Wall Design Trends for a Simplistic, Classy Home

by Evelyn Long


Empty walls make any house look unfinished. They’re supposed to express your personality and creativity. If you aren’t sure how to use your blank canvas, it’s time to consider the latest wall design trends — they’ll fill your home with character while keeping things classy. There’s no need to worry about these trends going out of style either because they’re easy to morph into any interior design aesthetic.


1. Hidden Doorways

Who hasn’t dreamed about a bookshelf opening into a secret room? Hidden doors are always a popular choice for empty walls. Pick one in your house and think about how you could transform it into a doorway into the next room.


Hidden wall in bookcase library
Hidden wall in bookcase

You could design a custom bookshelf and install a door that opens by pulling a shelf, or make a standing wardrobe rotate to reveal the next room. People even install them in their floors if they want something like a secret wine cellar. Your classy renovation will showcase your style and personality all in one project.


2. Shiplap Boards

Experts expect a drop in home improvement spending throughout 2024, although the industry still stands to make $450 billion globally. Budget-friendly wall design trends are saving homeowners big bucks. Shiplap boards are one way people reduce their interior design spending without compromising their creativity.


cozy gable guest bedroom with shiplap walls

These boards are wooden panels connected by overlapping joints. They don’t separate due to age or water damage because the hooked joints keep the boards together. They add a classy, smooth look to any empty wall space.


Paint them any color you like to use them long-term while still refreshing your home’s style whenever you want a new vibe in your living space.


3. Wood Paneling

You don’t need to cover a wall with wooden boards to upgrade its design. Add a panel or two to make a statement piece. Narrow wooden paneling could line the middle of your wall, separating wallpaper on the bottom from the fresh coat of paint above.


large vertical panelling in luxury home - feature wall

Paneling also works vertically. Imagine a wide doorway framed by vertical wood panels — they’d act like indoor shutters without swinging open and shut. This is another opportunity to paint them for an extra visual pop or stain them to match your hardwood floors.


decorative panelling in contemporary living room

Another perk of wood paneling is the ability to hang things on them. You’ll immediately gain a statement piece in your chosen room without reducing where you can put things like picture frames or coat hooks.


4. Crown Molding

Some people go their entire lives without using crown molding as a decorative element in their homes. It’s the trim gliding along your door frames and floors. Some older houses also feature it on the ceilings.


crown molding in modern minimalistic living room

Traditional crown molding features a 90 degree trim, but that’s not your only option. You could also replace it with elegant curved molding, or a bead and pearl trim. It depends on your style preferences and the shape of your selected room.


Although this won’t fill an empty wall, the timeless crown molding will give it a fresh look that may inspire what you’ll hang beneath or above it.


5. Slatted Walls

If you like wood panels but wish they weren’t as wide, slatted boards could be the best upgrade for your home. They’re less than an inch wide, and look great whether someone installs them vertically or horizontally. Use them to create an accent wall underneath your kitchen island or create the appearance of a taller ceiling along a bedroom wall.



It’s easy to paint over slatted walls as your style morphs throughout the years. You can also replace them with little effort since they only stay in place with glue. The clean lines create a simplistic interior design accent that shines in homes with any existing style.


Fans of mid-century modern designs may appreciate the natural textures and sharp lines more than most.


6. Oversized Art

You might think filling an empty wall with a large piece of art is basic, but it’s a gorgeous move. You’ll get to show off your favorite type of art and make it a conversational piece whenever someone visits your home. If your other walls are nearly bare and you opt for minimalist furniture, you could even feel like you live in your favorite art museum.


cozy living room with large artwork boho style

Search flea markets and online stores for the best deals on large art pieces. If you have more flexible spending, an art house expert will help you narrow your options based on your budget, preference and the size you need for that one empty wall in your house.


7. Accent Walls

People utilize accent walls in their homes when they want one to be the center of their interior design. What you create on that wall will inform everything from the pattern on your couch to the fabric you choose for your curtains.


stone feature wall in lakde side house

Have fun browsing materials you could use to transform an empty space into a work of art. Heavy-duty construction glue will keep stones in place if you want an Earth-inspired accent wall.


wooden feature wall in eclectic living room


You might also cover it in a large curtain or fling paint droplets all over the wall to make it something totally your own. Daydream about the possibilities to consider every option before your project begins.


8. Hanging Rugs

Rugs look great on floors, but they make equally captivating wall decorations. Find one in a pattern that matches existing colors in your home. It will pull everything together into one visual area while finally filling the empty space you don’t want anymore. This is a simple way to decorate without much work.


wall hanging in the transitional style dining room

Just ensure you have something strong enough to hold the rug up, like hooks screwed into the studs within your wall. A stud finder will locate each quickly and provide their exact size so you don’t accidentally hang your rug on thin drywall.


9. Cork Walls

Anyone who loves a good corkboard might get obsessed with the cork wall trend. It covers empty spaces in cork sheets, so you can hang anything you like along the entire length. You’ll also get to line the cork exactly how you want.


Use ornamental or crown moldings to frame the wall before hanging things like picture frames, handwritten notes, and other sentimental objects, which you can rearrange at any time.


cork samples

This is a great decorative solution for people who love changing their interior design frequently. You won’t need to create new holes in your walls to hang decor. You'll have endless arrangement possibilities as long as it’s not too heavy for the cork.


It even doubles as a useful feature if you want to hang notes while you study, class materials if you homeschool your kids or printed images while you brainstorm your home’s final look.


10. Pinned Photos

You don’t need a corkboard to place pictures on your wall without costly frames. Minimalists are using thumbtacks to fill their empty spaces with printed photos. Line them side by side across the length of your wall, ensuring each edge touches the other so there aren’t any gaps.


photo collage with special thumbtacks

Your thumbtack selection should match your personality, like retro metal pins or tacks with fun characters from your favorite movie. They’ll bring your pictures to life while showcasing your personality. Add as many photos as you’d like on any empty space — this trend is about celebrating as many memories as your wall can hold.


11. Temporary Wallpaper

You’re not alone if you’ve fallen in love with the idea of temporary wallpaper. This wall design trend is so popular that the market will likely be worth over $2 billion by 2032. Look into prints or patterns that catch your eye — they could be the next great addition to your house’s interior design.


blush geometric wallpaper with mint sofa

Removable wallpaper doesn’t require much work. You only have to hang it where you need it, cut it to your wall’s shape and remove the sticker on the back to seal it in place. Press against the wallpaper with something hard — like the edge of a book — to push out any air bubbles.


dotted dress wallpaper with woman in same dress pattern

Whenever you want to change your home’s style, just peel it right off. This simple and classy home decor option is an effortless way to enjoy a popular trend without committing to anything long-term.


12. String Lights

There are so many kinds of string lights to consider for your empty wall. Traditional fairy lights, mini lanterns and Edison bulbs are a few you could use. Hang them across your wall to fill the space visually while adding ambient lighting to your selected room.


grey cat playing with string lights

String lights are another way to improve your space with little work. Plugging them in and draping them along your walls only takes a moment. Whether you hang them in arcing half-moons, up and down on thumb tacks, or looping on removable hooks, the creative decor will dazzle your guests and warm the space with mood lighting.


Embrace Wall Design Trends in Your Home

Choose a blank room in your home and imagine these wall design trends in that space. When you think you’ve found the best option for your personality, enjoy every moment of your decorating upgrade. You’ll end up with a trendy home that stands the test of time.


evelyn long

Evelyn Long is the Editor-in-Chief of Renovated Magazine, where she writes on interior design and home organization content. She is passionate about making home styling easier for all homeowners and renters by writing about home interior trends. Subscribe to renovated.com/subscribe for more posts by Evelyn!

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