Revitalizing your walls: Modern alternatives to traditional art messages

Feb 8, 2024, 3:00 PM

Decorated wall....

(Shuttershock Photo)

(Shuttershock Photo)

We Lived. We Laughed. We Loved.

Although positive messages continue to be on trend for wall art, it’s time to swap out that overused Live. Laugh. Love. sign or decal on the wall and replace it with something fresh or personally meaningful, like a psalm or family quote.

Messages not your style? How about the trending polka dots, florals, or geometric patterns?

There is a bounty of ideas to accent a bathroom, child’s bedroom, laundry room, home office, or other space without painting. Decals, stickers, and lit pictures are just a few ways to make a room pop.

Wall Decals

Changing up the look of any wall is as easy as applying a couple of decorative decals. Retailer West Elm says their decals are easy to apply and won’t damage the walls beneath. They can be arranged around a large piece of furniture, such as over a headboard or above a large sofa. On a blank wall, use them to create a complete coverage pattern. They offer these tips for selecting wall decals:

  • Color: The wall decors you add can coordinate with the existing color scheme of your home or stand out as a playful accent color. Consider the look you’re going for and choose decals in colors that will elevate the other pieces you’re showcasing in the space.
  • Design Style: Most rooms have an overarching design style or theme. Choosing theme-appropriate decals is a great way to reinforce a look that’s fun and temporary.
  • Size & Scale: Take note of the size and scale of each wall decor piece. A large room can accommodate larger pieces of wall decor, while a smaller space is ideal for elements that are smaller in scale.
  • Quantity: Once you’ve discovered a look you love, check out the number of decals included. Some offer one large element, while others offer a plethora of decals. Knowing exactly what’s included will make it easy to determine how many you need to achieve your desired look.

Fathead makes wall decals of athletes, cartoon characters, and movie posters. They also have a large assortment of wall decals for every holiday, which makes decorating easy and fun!

There actually is an online retailer called WallCandy in Quebec that sells wall decals and art and ships to the United States. They have some pretty unique wall art.

You can even change the decals with the change of seasons or holidays. In the fall, add gold and burgundy leaves, cherry blossoms in the spring, and beach vibes for the summer.

If staying on trend is important to you, removable wall decals may be an ideal décor option.


Wallpaper is still a popular choice and comes in so many colors and designs that you can add flair to any space. You don’t have to cover a whole room or wall, either. Wallpaper a breakfast nook, staircase wall, or an entryway. You can even add wallpaper to the ceiling to add dimension.


Woven baskets, rugs, and quilts can add beautiful textures to the walls. Mix and match shapes and colors.

Wallpaper infused with natural fibers can create a layered look. A wood veneer wallpaper adds a natural aesthetic.

If you like the look of the early 20th century, consider adding faux ceiling tiles. There are many options to choose from today.

If you have pets, textured wall art may be a magnet for pet hair. Find textured art that is easy to clean.

Not Your Average Paint

Okay, we said you don’t need to paint, but for a small area, magnetic and chalked paint can add personalization that regular paint cannot.

Magnetic Paint Walls — Magnetic primer paint allows you to fasten décor using magnets. Rust-Oleum and Magnetize it! make magnet paint. Be sure to read the instructions before painting. Instead of putting your travel magnets on the fridge, paint a small wall and display them there. This paint is also great for keeping the kids’ art from getting damaged on other surfaces. Be patient when applying magnetic paint because you may need to test the magnetic strength as each layer dries.

Chalk Boards Walls — Leave messages, doodle, or let kids create art directly on the chalk wall. Annie Sloan is the original chalked wall paint. Rust-Oleum also makes chalked paint.

Your Own Art

Today’s digital capabilities allow us to reproduce our own art.

Create a gallery wall with an assortment of frames. Mix different sizes and colors. Either hang them directly on the wall or showcase your photographs, paintings, or sculptures on picture ledges.

Backlit Picture Frames

Backlit picture frames are a captivating way to display photos or artwork. These frames have built-in lighting that illuminates the image from behind.

These frames typically use LED edge lighting. LED lights in these frames can last up to 50,000 hours or more. Some backlit frames have dimmable settings, allowing you to adjust the brightness.

You can also make backlit picture frames using acrylic, LED strips, and a power supply. There are plenty of videos online to show you how.

Display Art Without Damaging The Wall

If you like to swap or move décor from time to time, then use adhesives that will not damage the wall or décor. Here are some adhesive options.

Tape – There are many kinds of tape. For light objects, basic clear tape should suffice on edges and corners where the item touches the wall. Don’t overdo it with the tape because people will notice.

Washi tape is designed for hanging artwork and other decorations. It comes in a variety of textures, prints, and colors. This allows you to hang art with an artistic flair.

Putty or Poster Tack — Putty is easy to apply because it does not require tools and can be used just about anywhere. Press the putty or tack in place. Then press the decoration onto it. You may need more or less depending on the weight of the piece you are hanging. Note that some putty or tack can leave an oil mark on posters.

Velcro – One of the best inventions since sliced bread, Velcro with a sticky back can make hanging decor easy. We like the adhesives by Command. They have Velcro adhesives and a variety of removable hooks.

Non-Drilled Shelves — This type of shelf is installed without drilling holes in your walls. It cannot support the weight that a bolt-secured shelf can, but it’s ideal for light small decorations and pictures. Command also makes these. They are basically floating shelves with an adhesive backing. You can find more through other online retailers.

Whatever wall candy you choose, make sure it reflects who you are and that you like it well enough to look at every day.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions & comments.

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Revitalizing your walls: Modern alternatives to traditional art messages