When I first moved into my apartment, I was beyond excited to be able to decorate its interior to how I wanted. After several years of moving from one rented apartment to the next with roommates, the furniture and decor I had were accumulated over years of cheap hand-me-downs or they belonged to those I lived with.
I bought almost everything new at my new apartment – bed and bed frame, couch, TV stand, bookshelf, desk, coffee table, etc. This meant I could curate each piece for a cohesive look or theme, rather than the mismatched college student apartment. I knew I wanted a boho / modern style, and it somehow ended up that my bedroom is very boho with light and neutral tones, and my living room is more mid-century modern with some contrast.
Most of my walls are solid cement for soundproofing, which it meant I couldn’t drill holes. I had to scrap a lot of wall decor ideas. I couldn’t put the hexagon shelves I wanted above my couch, or a single long wooden shelf above my bed. I couldn’t hang my round mirror above my dresser – instead it’s just propped up. Those decorations require drilling holes, and thus required me to get more creative in using command hooks or stickers. In the picture above, I have a moon wall hanging and a dream catcher that are hung by small hooks stuck to the wall with 3M stickers.
If you’re in a similar situation where you’re unable to make holes in your wall, consider these wall decor alternatives!
No drills means no use for a hammer, nails, or screwdriver. I became intimately acquainted with 3M and it’s many sticker products. I have these handy velcro strips, sticky hooks, and double-sided stickers (not pictured).
If I couldn’t have my hexagon shelves, then I knew I wanted a picture wall instead since those didn’t require drilling holes. Initially I looked into 3 large canvases or frames with a watercolor eucalyptus leaves design. I could get prints on Etsy, as commissioning real pieces would be pricey. Then I remembered a gift I once received from a friend – he had blown up a Hawaiian sunset shot he took onto canvas. That’s when I realized I should use my favorite travel photos I’ve taken and organize a pattern on my wall. I settled on a rising step design that worked well with my arching floor lamp and ladder desk.
Rather than use a familiar or costly canvas print site/center, I decided to go with the cheapest option I could find on the internet. And it did not disappoint! Canvas Champ had great deals and it was made much quicker than advertised. I selected 17 shots, cropped into squares, and chose my size. These canvases were reinforced with a slab of wood and are tough! My dad accidentally stepped on one before and it didn’t break! Rather than use its included hook, I opted for 3M command squares. I used 4 to a canvas print, lined each one up with a sticky note for reference, and the whole thing has held up nicely.
I did end up going with the triple frame design, but above my bookshelf instead. I came across these beautiful digital watercolors on Etsy by NLS Design. They created cities and landscapes, nature, and abstract. I was most fascinated by the architecture ones. This artist sold prints individually or in threes for a discount, and I asked if they would allow me to pick my favorite 3. They obliged and created a listing just for me, AND took my suggestion to heart about Taipei 101! I ended up buying that print on the spot as well. I bought these frames on Amazon and hung them up using 3M Velcro strips.
Finally, my longest decor endeavor was my basket wall. I had such an expanse of empty space above my bed and I couldn’t put the long wooden shelf there like I originally wanted. I tried out a tapestry hung with command stickers at first but it wasn’t big enough or the colors didn’t match the aesthetic. Then I saw a basket wall on Pinterest that got me creating a mood board. See the full detailed post here!
And that’s it!
There are many types of stickers or wall adhesives you can use. You can find them on Amazon, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, you name it! The most popular brand is 3M, but I’ve used others as well. While I wish I was able to get hexagon shelves, I don’t regret the canvas prints above my couch 🙂
Hope this post helps with some ideas!