By Derek Lotts, Guest Contributor

If you’re tired of your bland walls but don’t want to make a mess repainting them, there’s always another way! Paint isn’t the only way to add some interest and color to your walls. Take a look at these chic and eco-friendly ideas on how to dress up your walls without a drop of paint!

Repurpose old books and magazines

Sure, wallpaper is beautiful, but it can be quite costly and most types are definitely not eco-friendly. So, if you don’t want to cover your walls with toxic wallpaper, you can opt for a completely green and practically free option—old books and magazines! Cover your walls (or one statement wall) with pages of that book that just collects dust or give old magazines a new life by creating a collage of pages. Vanity Fair, Vogue and National Geographic have amazing full-page photographs you can easily turn into a little repurposed gallery!

Dress your walls

If you happen to have a large slab of fabric you can’t seem to use anywhere, why not dress your walls? There are different methods of using fabric on walls—you can use screws (not very practical if you’re renting) or cover your fabric in starch to get a removable fabric wallpaper! However, if you think a full fabric wall might be too much for your space, you can opt for a tapestry. There are great and easy ways to attach it, from Velcro strips to curtain poles!

Go old school

If you want to pay homage to the ‘70s, hang a beautiful macramé onto your wall! There are countless designs and colors available in stores or on Etsy, but you can also try making your own hand-knitted art for a more authentic décor. Buy some natural materials or even find an old hammock and repurpose the rope!

Go natural

If you want to fill your home with natural elements without painting your living room beige or green, you can opt for wood, stone and cork which are super popular, especially in high-end, urban environments like Sydney or New York. These materials are all very natural and eco-friendly, particularly if you opt for repurposed stone and wood and locally harvested cork. Additionally, if you’re just building your new home, you’ll get to consult with experts who can help you with your design. For instance, some companies that build stylish project homes in Sydney offer the opportunity to meet with designers and discuss your interior. These pros are usually full of amazing ideas and know a lot about eco-friendly materials and new, chic design solutions!

Washi your walls

Okay, you probably know about masking tape, but have you heard about washi? This Japanese tape is used exactly the same as a regular masking tape, but it comes in hundreds of colors, designs, and patterns and even has several widths. This tape is cheap, VOC-free and made of gampi tree, bamboo, hemp, rice, or wheat, which makes it green and biodegradable. Plus, you can let your kids have a go at their rooms without any worry they will make a huge mess! And, if you get tired of your wall decoration, you can just tear it down in minutes!

Display your possessions

Are you a collector that still hasn’t found a way to display their possessions? Well, make your walls your private display gallery! Put up your collection of car plates, key chains, beer caps or coasters! You can also just hang your bike, skateboard or musical instrument. This way, you’ll give your walls personality and save some precious space!

Opt for shelving

Is your space lacking personality, identity and storage space? If yes, the shelves are a great solution for you! Even though they are a more permanent solution than a tapestry, they are the perfect way to mix business and pleasure—they can provide you with extra storage space and add interest to a boring, empty wall. Additionally, you can easily opt for an eco-friendly material, upcycle a furniture piece and change your display in minutes! Just by changing the arrangement of books, you’ll create a new and fresh vibe!

As you can see, paint isn’t the only, and definitely not the best and most eco-friendly, way to spice up your home. So, ditch your toxic pigment and opt for these chic and green ways to dress up your walls!

Explore more inspiring home and garden ideas on Elemental Green!