8 Ingenious Decorative Ideas For Bare HDB Walls, As Seen In Real Homes

20 September 2023 | BY

This compilation shows how homeowners have filled up the space that their once-bare HDB walls had in various ways.

Oftentimes, one of the hardest decisions we have to make for our interior designs is determining what to do with the bare walls. We might find ourselves putting this decision off to later, deciding to put out more urgent fires, such as getting new furniture or appliances instead. 

Fortunately, you need not rack your brain for much longer. We have a range of solutions for you – check out our compilation of the various ways other homeowners have taken to enhance their aesthetic by filling up the space that their once-bare HDB walls had. 

1. Sideboard display

sideboard displays in homeImage credit: @northshoreloft, Uchify 

A sideboard is a storage cabinet traditionally used for containing dishes, tablecloths, and various other kitchenware. Of course, you need not be limited to this list of items, and you can basically store anything you’d like inside – after all, your home, your rules. 

Depending on what you display on top of it, it can make or break your aesthetic. To name a few, all manner of ornaments, such as small trinkets, lamps, prints, paintings, and plants, are usually put on view. Trust us when we say that your sideboard display will liven up your once-empty space, especially if you get this cabinet to match your interior design.

2. Built-in wall niches

built in wall nichesImage credit: @twothreedesign, @curatedhem

Another useful storage solution to display your prized possessions is wall niches. These concave spaces act as a sort of built-in shelf space for your decorative pieces. Not to mention, they add depth to your room. 

colourful built in wall niche in living areaImage credit: Free Space Intent 

This home, designed by Free Space Intent, makes use of vibrant colours which are complemented by geometric shapes. These arch-shaped wall niches boast the homeowner’s extensive BTS collection without disrupting the visual appeal of the apartment’s interior design in the slightest. Rather, it adds to it. 

If you’re looking to display your very own collectibles or paraphernalia prominently, there’s no harm in considering wall niches for your home. 

3. Accent display wall

hat display on wall
Image credit: Studio Periphery

Accent walls, also known as feature walls, refer to the most eye-catching walls in one’s room. As the focal point of your home, there’s no doubt that, if implemented, it’ll be a wonderful conversation starter.

They have many benefits, including helping any artwork to stand out, making your room appear more dynamic, and even giving your room a whole different vibe. At times, they even help your space seem larger. 

pegboard wall display
Image credit: Uchify

Accent walls come in all sorts of designs and sizes. For example, some comprise a solid block of colour meant to make one area of the room pop. Alternatively, they may come in the form of a brick veneer. 

As long as one of your walls has a different colour, shade, or appearance that stands out against the other walls of the room, you’ve accomplished an effective feature wall. 

Fluted walls

Fluted panels, which are a type of accent walls, have grooves or ridges and are usually made of engineered wood fibers with PVC plastic. This brings about a host of benefits, such as being low maintenance, resistant to water, mould, and termites, easy to install as well as affordable yet looking and feeling almost like natural wood.

fluted wall display
Completed DIY wooden fluted panel wall.
Image credit: Alim Hussain

These wall fixtures are best paired with minimalist and neutral home designs that implement a lot of wooden elements and furnishings such as Japandi, farmhouse, classic and industrial.

One Singaporean homeowner even managed to DIY an expansive wooden fluted panel wall in his living room for under $1.3k!

Board & batten walls

Board & batten walls
Image credit: Angela Rose Home

Another way of transforming bare walls into walls with a bit more texture and character is by installing board and batten walls.

These are accented walls lined with paneling boards and narrow strips of wood called battens, which can run vertically or horizontally. Generally, these battens, ideal for farmhouses and classic home designs, would fit together to form an equally spaced pattern, often in the form of a series of stripes or a grid.

Although it is not difficult to DIY, board and batten walls take some planning and measuring to make sure you get it all aligned. Nearly any type of wood could be used for it, such as pine, poplar, oak and maple. Alternatively, medium-density fiberboards (MDF) make for a cheaper alternative.

4. Wall murals and colour-blocking

wall murals in bedrooms
Image credit: @thepastelabode, @one_treehouse

Wall murals have always been a popular photoshoot backdrop, with places such as Bali Lane and Ophir Road, as well as Haji Lane, attracting tons of visitors hoping to get their Insta-worthy shot. Yet, there’s no need to travel all the way to such places when you can display a mural in your very own home.

pastel colourful home living area
Image credit: Free Space Intent

Compared to single-coloured walls, having a mural can really brighten your space and add to the aesthetic. Through colour blocking, a technique of using distinctively bold, solid colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel, you can easily create stylish contrast and add life to your home. 

5. Custom artwork

custom artwork in wall displaysImage credit: @slowsundays.home, @this.oneday, 

Artworks can always be tasteful and expressive – choosing to display a specific piece can act as a splendid representation of who you are as a person. 

Besides, many have attested to the benefits of consuming art, such as a positive impact on mental health, emotional growth, and creativity. As such, there’s no doubt that custom artwork would make wonderful additions to your home, especially when placed in an easily noticeable spot such as on your walls. 

Nonetheless, there’s always the struggle of having too many different pieces. While having multiple can elevate your home decor, this may lead to difficulty in creating a single focal point. However, this is easily alleviated by having artworks of various shapes, sizes, colours, and shades and isolating the pieces you wish to emphasise. 

6. Vertical gardens

officer with vertical garden wall
Image credit: Stacey’s Web

Gone are the days of a boring home office or typical gaming room set-up – or so you might say when you see what Facebook user, Stacey’s Web, has done with his own computer room. A vertical garden spanning one side of their desk adds a nice green touch to their nature-themed room. 

vertical garden on balcony
Image credit: @starryhomestead

If you’re looking to add some greenery to your home without compromising on too much space, such vertical gardens might be the perfect solution for you. This setup has plenty of benefits in comparison to traditional horizontal gardening, such as reduced pest infestation as well as root rot. 

Alternatively, if you’re hoping to reap all the benefits of an aesthetically pleasing green wall without having to bother with maintenance, there are also plenty of artificial vertical gardens on the market. 

7. LED Neon lights 

led neon light on living area wallImage credit: Fuse Concept 

Plants aren’t the only things you can use to furnish your bare walls. LED neon lights can do just the trick as well – and are easily accessible. There are plenty of neon signages for sale on online shopping sites such as Shopee as well as Lazada to add a little life to your room.

neon lights in a house
Image credit: Design

This is especially so when you want to achieve the vivid colours of a neon-lighted gaming room aesthetic. 

Instead of a simple, bright ceiling light, sometimes, these neon wall lights can add to your room’s ambient lighting. 

8. Floating shelves

examples of floating shelves in living areasImage credit: @wallhubsg, D’Interieur Design 

Floating shelves are also another wonderful addition to your home. Taking up no floor space, you can easily position these shelves on the upper portion of your walls. 

Particularly useful for displaying small ornaments or storing small trinkets such as artwork or plants, much like the sideboard display mentioned above, it’s no wonder that floating shelves are so popular with homeowners. They also allow for easy access to daily household items.

However, one thing you may want to note is the placement of these shelves. Like other types of built-in furniture, once installed, it requires more effort to remove or move them. Careful planning in advance is always needed, lest you wish to replace this space with something else in the future without leaving a blemish behind. 

Bare HDB wall ideas to jazz up your space

Regardless of whether you’re a new homeowner or an existing one, there’s bound to be some space in your home that you have no idea what to do with. Nonetheless, we hope that we have given you some inspiration as to how to make the most out of your bare HDB walls. 

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Cover image adapted from: Fuse Concept, @one_treehouse

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