Art Alternatives: 5 Apartment Wall Decor Ideas We Love

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas

There are lots of reason to look for alternatives to your standard wall art. For one, art gets expensive. Another reason may be that, as a renter, you have limitations to what you can do to your walls. Luckily, apartment wall decor options go far beyond framed artwork or prints. Whether you’re on a budget, or you just want to explore some other decor possibilities, there are a lot of unexpected ways to adorn your walls. Check out some of our favorite apartment wall decor alternatives below.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas

Temporary Wallpaper

As temporary wallpaper increases in popularity, we’re seeing more and more exciting prints being offered. Temporary wallpaper is great for renters who can’t make any permanent changes to their apartment’s walls. It’s also a great way to test out a trend or style before fully committing to it. If you want an instant apartment-makeover, temporary wallpaper is a great option. Some styles are so cool on their own, you won’t feel the need to decorate your walls with anything else.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas

Floating Shelves

Another alternative to hanging art in your apartment is to make use of items you already own. Hang floating ledges or wall mounts, then show off some of your favorite goods. Books are one of our favorite choices, but you can choose to display anything you think would look good on your apartment’s wall. Placing aesthetically pleasing items on your walls allows you to “kill two birds with one stone”—store your items while also adding to your decor.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas


Mirrors can create the illusion of space in a small apartment, making them an ideal choice for studio dwellers. But no matter what size your apartment may be, mirrors can be a great decor alternative to artwork. Choose a large mirror to make the room look larger, or create a miniature gallery wall with a collection of smaller sized mirrors. Thrift stores are full of mirrors of all different sizes, making them a budget-friendly choice.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas


Tapestries come in all different styles, from boho to contemporary. As another temporary wall fixture, they’re a good choice for renters or anyone who wants to experiment with a style without committing to a more permanent option. You can also use a tapestry to cover up an unsightly spot on your wall.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas


If you want to use art to decorate your apartment but still want to try something more unique than framed paintings or prints, consider going 3D. Adorning your wall with a three-dimensional decoration can make a bold statement with little effort.

Chicago Apartments, Wall Decor Ideas

Bonus: Washi Tape

If you’re dead-set on hanging art in your walls but have restrictions from your landlord, washi tape is a good solution. The tape itself comes in lots of colors and styles, so you can create custom “frames” and hang art without using any nails. If you want the look of a gallery wall in your apartment without drilling lots of holes into the wall, washi tape should be your go-to solution.

Not a fan of these wall decor alternatives? If you’re on a budget but still love the look of artwork in your apartment, check out our post on DIY apartment art.

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