So must we be resigned to a drab, lifeless home when painting is not an option? Even the most colorful wall art can seem like it's drowning in an endless sea of industrial off-white if it's not large enough. It's almost as though you have to paper your walls completely in posters and photos.
Some of my favorite photos are framed prints I've taken throughout my travels. I usually create a gallery on one wall...a parade of my favorite images from Peru, Egypt, Spain, Wales, Serbia and many other places. This seems to work well, but when you're hanging just one picture it can sometimes lack visual impact. My solution was to put a decorative piece of mid-weight paper behind the photo. Any craft store will have sets of this type of paper. I avoid origami paper because it can look too flimsy. This, for me solved some of my problem and my friend and his fiance are going to try it as well.
Another option is to buy wall decals. I have never used them, as I haven't found any yet that suit my style, but I hear they are easy to use and add texture and depth to a room. These are sold at several places, including Pier 1 and Walmart and come in a variety of colors and styles. I think they would be perfect for a little kid's room, particularly since their interests are always changing. Little Suzy is into flowers this year? *peel, stick, voila* Now she likes birds? No problem.