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7 best wall hangings for refreshing your home decor

Add personality to plain walls with these statement pieces

Kate Ng
Tuesday 25 August 2020 13:00
We've found something for every taste, from boho to modern
We've found something for every taste, from boho to modern

Despite what many interior design influencers would have you believe, refreshing the look of your home doesn’t have to involve major renovation projects, replacing furniture or repainting entire walls.

Often, what you put on your walls makes the biggest difference when adding character to your space.

You don’t have to limit yourself to posters and photographs either – there is a huge array of wall decor and hangings that can add personality to plain walls.

Even as a renter, there are ways to get decorations up with zero damage, and if you have a flexible landlord, it’s even easier to engineer a more lived-in feel.

Our testers searched high and low for a variety of wall hangings that would suit all types of people. Whether you’re looking to simply add an accent, soften up a room, or even make a big impression with a work of art, we’ve chosen pieces that have personality and make a statement.

Most pieces can be hung up using Command hooks, which are popular among renters as they can be safely removed without leaving a mark or damaging the wall, and depending on which type of hook is used, can hold a decent amount of weight.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Arhoj pearl set, bright rainbow

This set of colourful “pearls” by Copenhagen-based design studio Studio Arhoj was a favourite among our testers. You can choose from a number of colour themes or combinations and each ceramic globe has a unique glaze. The experts at Studio Arhoj originally designed the pearls as testing vehicles for new glaze colours and formulations, but found they looked exquisite enough to be ornaments.

The set comes with nine pearls, a detailed instruction guide for hanging and 10 nails. The guide helps you to space pearls out evenly and is simple to use. If you’re lucky enough to be able to put nails in the walls, hammer away. If not, our testers found that using Command’s medium wire hooks is an effective way to install the pearls, as each one weighs just 34g and the hooks hold up to 900g as long as they are properly applied.

Lizzie croucherli hanging moons

Independent ceramic artist Lizzie Croucher is based in Essex and produces charming hand-thrown pottery, including mugs, plant pots and incense holders. But we particularly liked her sweet hanging moons, which usually feature a large “mama” moon and two to three little “baby” moons hanging from the main piece. Each moon has a serene face with a 3D nose, and evokes a rather peaceful feeling within.

Simple but effective, almost all of Croucher’s works feature the same tranquil expression and would be perfect in a bedroom or wherever you need a bit of calm. The moons are a satisfying weight, which ensures they won’t swing about too much if you choose to hang them in a doorway, but we recommend hanging them on a wall where you can look up at them for ultimate zen vibes.

Croucher also does custom orders and welcomes ideas on different colourists shapes and sizes whenever it is in her capacity to do them.

Studio Coverdale majesty blanket tapestry

Some blankets are simply too beautiful to stay folded up, and this is one of them. British designer Natasha Coverdale, who runs her Studio Coverdale from Hove, is the brainchild of this beautifully soft woven blanket. The tapestry is made from 70 per cent recycled cotton.

Taking her inspiration from woven tapestries at Hampton Court Palace, the piece is bursting with rich colours and floral motifs that reveal new details every time we look at it.

It’s a large blanket, measuring 80in x 60in, and would make a huge statement on a living room wall. It comes with upholstery pins, which fit between the weave and do not cause any damage to the blanket. If you want to minimise the number of holes you might have to make in the wall to hold the blanket up as a tapestry, the designer suggests using the upholstery pins to attach the blanket to a length of wood and then mounting it on the wall with two nails on either end.

Once it’s up, invite some friends over for a socially-distanced dinner and wait for the compliments and gasps to roll in. The blanket is out of stock until mid-September but available for pre-order.

Holland Otik floral bird face

If you’re in the market for a wholly individual piece that adds just the right amount of weird and wonderful to your space, go for this. This striking ceramic mask is handmade, painted and glazed in Holland Otik's studio in Herefordshire and is a nod to rituals and elements of magic and mysticism. Each piece is unique and has its own purpose, whether it’s a tribute to changing seasons or embody a particular feeling. The designer's creations are truly one of a kind.

This face comes with holes dotted around the top of its head and Otik provides a small bunch of dried flowers to be inserted into the mask, creating a type of crown or halo. According to the designer, this is a forager’s collection shrine mask, designed to hold plants and twigs collected from places that are important to its owner. We loved its individuality and thoughtfulness, as well as its slightly curious expression.

All the mask’s packaging is recyclable and the artist fires her work in a kiln that uses green electricity, making it a highly sustainable work of art. Otik's creations are made to order, so get in touch with her through her website to discuss themes, colours and features of the mask.

Urban Outfitters book display

Make the most of coffee table books that go unnoticed with this unique book display wall hanging. It might appear exceedingly simple – two long pieces of hemp rope threaded through two grooved planks of rubber wood – but we loved the idea of putting books with beautiful images in them up on display instead of letting them gather dust on a shelf or table. You can constantly change what is being displayed, which is a really easy way of updating artwork on the walls to suit your moods and fancy.

The frame itself is super light weight at just 500g, but we recommend choosing a book that falls within the capacity of whatever wall attachment you use to hang it up. As mentioned before, the Command medium wire hooks are an excellent shout and can hold up to 900g, but if you’re planning to use a book any heavier than that, do check if your hook will be strong enough. A nail, if allowed, will be best for anything hefty.

Assembly by Tom Pigeon wall sculpture

This striking wall sculpture adds a graphic element to your interiors without being too imposing. The pastel blue and pink hues set against the black panel, with the gold accent, is a brilliant modern touch. It is part of a collaboration with Tom Pigeon, the pen name of renowned designer Kirsty Thomas who has worked with The Barbican, Tate Modern, The Design Museum, and more. Measuring 38cm x 50cm, this matte metal sculpture is our heaviest pick on this list, weighing in at 5kg – so in this instance, we would definitely not recommend using any adhesive hooks.

We really liked the modern, minimalist design of this wall hanging and how it makes an elegant statement. It’s easy to clean as you can simply wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth or a microfibre cloth, and it’s good to go. It’s also a bargain for a designer piece.

Oliver Bonas Lara multicoloured cotton wall hanging

The earthy colours in this multi-textured cotton wall hanging offer an easy way to bring calming tones into your home. The layers of tassels and woven cotton make it an interesting piece of wall decoration and it's versatile enough to either match or contrast with your personal style. It is easy to hang up on any adhesive hook or nail and is super low-maintenance. We liked how easily it added personality to a room and it looks particularly good in a space with plenty of plants as the greens contrast beautifully with the brown and pink hues.

The verdict: Wall hangings

We love the Studio Arhoj pearl set, which is loads of fun to play around with as you can rearrange each pearl until you find a composition you like. If making a major statement is what you’re after though, the majesty blanket by Studio Coverdale is an expensive, but highly worthwhile investment – and it’s a multitasker. For a more minimalist touch, Made’s wall sculpture collaboration with Tom Pigeon is value for money and super stylish to boot.

For more interiors inspiration, read our round-up of the best dressing tables, the best desks and our guide to tablescaping

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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