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What to do with a big empty wall?

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

How I took a dark, drab, wall and made it bright and balanced

"When I am brainstorming for my design, I always think about which piece or look I know I definitely want, (or what I know is indispensable) so that I can then work around that piece and decorate accordingly".
Family room TV wall
Family room TV wall

When we moved into our home, we knew we wanted to mount our TV on the wall in the family room to avoid having a piece of furniture taking up room. Once we did, I realized the wall was missing something because it was too big in proportion to the TV. Of course Matt would want to fill up the entire wall with a huge TV if I let him, but my challenge was what and how to decorate this wall.

I thought of different things like a wall unit that has shelves incorporated or just two plants on each side (I'm OCD about symmetry). I thought about a console table or a side table on each side of the TV. These were all viable options, but as I tried to visualize each one, I had to take the amount of space into consideration. Since I don't have much space between the wall and where my coffee table sits, I chose to go with wall shelves.

White leather Barcelona chair
Barcelona chair
white floating shelves
faux fiddle leaf tree
Italian Greyhound enjoying his view
Our Italian Greyhound Enzo enjoying his view
staggered floating shelves with modern coastal decor

We decided to remove the hanging chandelier and replaced it with recessed lighting to have a more bright, clean, and open feel. We also painted the wall Seagull Gray N360-1 by Behr because I wanted the white shelves and baseboards to have a subtle pop. It's such a nice and light "greige" color! Not only are the floating shelves space savers, they fill in the wall spaces and allow for decorative displays that add visual interest. Since I placed them level with the TV, they do not take away from the coffee table which I love (Timber from Z Gallerie.) It also is an added bonus that they are baby-proof because they are floating and so high off the ground. With our little soon-to-be walker, we won't have to worry about him pulling anything down onto himself.

The white leather Barcelona chairs were a Facebook marketplace purchase and the cowhide rug was given to us by a client.

Pro Tip: Because I wanted to keep the coffee table no matter what, I based my decision on the floating shelves and not vice versa. In other words, I could have done a console table but then I would not have the room for my coffee table. When I am brainstorming for my design, I always think about which piece or look I know I definitely want, (or what I know is indispensable) so that I can then work around that piece and decorate accordingly.

There are so many ways to place floating shelves. I chose to layer them on the wall. In my previous post I had mentioned that I love a modern coastal or tropical decor so I found so many great options at HomeGoods to display. The beautiful faux fiddle leaf fig tree (and the ceramic pot) was the best quality for the price I was able to find at Hobby Lobby. The waxy leaf as opposed to fabric gave it a more natural realistic feel. This is what I currently have on display but I have been known for updating or refreshing/changing it frequently.

So if you need to fill in a wall space, consider floating shelves as an option. They come in different colors and wood grain. I chose white for a more clean modern feel but the light wood looks great too and adds a touch of warmth! I bought mine at Target. These are 35.5' wide and 2 in thick. Make sure you take into consideration how much weight it holds in relation to what you plan on placing on the shelves.

Installation was fairly easy (for Matt) but the challenge was in trying to line them up straight. Fear not, he happened to find this video from the actual company of the shelves which shows you step by step how to install it.

Let me know what you think! Have you done something similar or want to? I'd love to hear from you. Leave your comment below and share with someone!



Other Notes for reference:

The sound bar is the Sonos Beam

The TV is 65"wall mounted using this mount

The security camera mounted in the corner is from SimpliSafe

The wall measures 8' high and 17' wide

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