5 Decor Ideas That Are Perfect For The Space Above Your Doorway

For those who love to decorate, every empty patch of wall is a blank canvas that holds endless creative possibilities. If you are an interior decorating enthusiast, you may find yourself feeling like you've already exhausted all of the available space to adorn your home without it looking cluttered. However, you may be forgetting one invaluable patch of home décor real estate: the area above your doorways.

According to interior designer Carla Aston, the space above a door or window is the next best place to display art after you've run out of eye-level wall surfaces because it pulls the focus up, making an area appear larger. In addition, it looks great and can (quite literally) elevate a room, make a space appear homier, or simply present a hidden opportunity to further customize your house to reflect your taste and personality. When it comes to what to put there, you can never go wrong with a framed photo or artwork. However, there are tons of other options if you want to get even more creative. Below, we've outlined some of our favorite ways to fill the often-overlooked space.

1. Display a collection

If you love to collect things, the area above a doorway provides room to incorporate your collection artfully into your décor as well as being a functional storage solution. Glassware, memorabilia, tchotchke, textile, ceramic, stationary, or basket collections are all excellent contenders for this type of display. Depending on what type of thing you love to garner, it might make the most sense to hang it directly on the wall, mount a shelf above the door, or place it directly on your doorframe if it is wide enough (or the item is petite enough).

According to Simple Home Simple Life Simple Work, arranging objects in a collection close together makes them appear less cluttered and more impactful. If the collection that you choose to display above your doorway is too large to be showcased in one space, try to group pieces with similar colors or sizes together. The result is a striking display of some of your favorite things, which will spark a little joy each time you pass through the doorway below.

2. Continue your gallery wall

If you have a gallery wall in your home, don't put an end to it just because of a doorway! This tried-and-true method of displaying art has been in style for hundreds of years for a reason. A gallery is a beautiful way to showcase art that impacts you and coincidentally looks great, continuing along the top of a doorframe. The rectangular opening of a doorway mimics the shape of the framed art, creating a cohesive flow; as a result, it looks almost as if the door into the adjacent room is part of the gallery.

This is an expert-recommended method of displaying art and is especially effective in small spaces. "If you don't have one large wall, gallery walls can be hung around windows, around doors, above bed heads, above and around fireplaces, or even around cabinets in a kitchen," antique print and gallery wall specialist Luci Douglas-Pennant told The New York Times. In addition, the types of frames you use (or don't use), the spacing between the art, and the art itself that you choose are all highly customizable aspects of the gallery wall that will help you further customize the tone you want to set in your space.

3. Get creative with paint

A doorway also presents a fun opportunity to get a little out-of-the-box with paint. Why not add a pop of color or a decorative border right onto the wall? You can also recreate the chic visual of a curved doorway by painting your door frame and extending it into an arch above the door.

The trick to painting a perfect arch lies in the prep work. According to DIY, I'm Home, the best way to create the perfect this shape is to measure the width of your door from the outer edge of the frame, divide that number in half, cut a string that length, and then trace the shape of the arch by attaching the string to the center of the top of the doorway and following its arc with a pencil. If your ceiling isn't tall enough for that, DIY, I'm Home also offers a tutorial for that with the help of a little geometry. Just remember, painter's tape is your best friend with this project.

4. Create a picture ledge

A picture ledge is a simple, stylish way to switch up the gallery wall format and is especially nice if you like to change things up often since the format of this décor allows you to freely rearrange or switch out its contents as frequently as you please. Again, depending on the width of your doorframe, you can either place your fixed pictures directly on it or mount a ledge just above it.

Wondering how to best style your new picture ledge? According to Printique, arranging your frames so that they overlap and build layers will create eye-catching depth. Try mixing and matching different frame styles, sizes, and colors for the best effect. You can also throw in some small objects among the frames, such as crystals, succulents, postcards, seashells, or other small mementos. Prefer a cleaner look? Opt for evenly-spaced matching frames and images with a cohesive color scheme.

5. Add a built-in bookcase

If you have the time and budget for a larger project, a built-in bookcase that encompasses an entire wall–including all around the door–creates a cozy and chic library moment. As a bonus, it's a very efficient use of space and will provide plenty of room for storage that you would otherwise be missing out on, all while taking up very little floor space. According to Decoist, opting for a wood or paint color that contrasts the other walls in the room will turn your new built-ins into a stunning focal point. This design idea doesn't have to be used just for books, either. In the kitchen, dining room, or bedroom, you can use this method to store and display pantry items, dishware, or accessories, respectively.

For a smaller-scale version of the project, you could simply mount a shelf above your doorway and secure a small row of books with a pair of chic bookends. For avid bookworms, every square inch of shelf space counts!