A well-styled, welcoming home is one that is full of art in each and every room. However, we completely understand that choosing pieces to display throughout your house can be a major undertaking. To guide you through the process of selecting art for every space in your home—from the dining room to the bathroom—we turned to pro designers, who weigh in below with tips and tricks. You'll have a home for everything from that large abstract piece to those small landscapes in no time!
Your bedroom is your sanctuary and therefore is the place to get personal with art selections, designer Kendra Nash says. "In a primary bedroom, I find clients have strong emotional connections to their selections and so they are willing to invest," she notes. "Sometimes I even commission an artist to do something special in a bedroom." Feel like thinking big here? Go for it, Nash encourages. "Art is the soul of a space, so it’s not the place to cut corners. Invest in large scale, one of a kind pieces that make a statement."
But because the bedroom is primarily a space to relax and unwind, pieces featured there shouldn't be too overwhelming in design or hue. "Most people want the bedroom to be a calm and nurturing space, so we bring in art that has blue tones, natural colors—something that makes you want to take a breath and curl up in bed," says Whitney Forstner, founder of Art for the Home. "Landscapes and soft abstracts are great in bedrooms. We always suggest staying away from reds and oranges in a calming space because these colors are full of energy."
Keep pillow and bedding hues top of mind when choosing art, too, designer Diana Rose notes. "Make sure the colors go well with your bedding and accent pillows to create a harmonious atmosphere in the space."
Designer Stephanie Waskins is all about a gallery wall in the living room and offers a few styling tips. "Consider varying subjects such as figurative works with still lives and landscapes," she says. "Also, be sure to vary mediums—oils, watercolors, collage, and photography—in different types of frames. Mixing different sizes is a key component, but no one piece should take center stage. Each piece should take equal importance."
The area above the sofa is an excellent place to hang a singular, oversized piece, according to designer Paige Gray. "Get creative with a pop of color or keep things neutral but explore intense texture," she suggests. "High-gloss pieces, so glass covered prints, or coated canvas for the dining or living room really let the dimmed light bounce around in a creative way."
When it comes to artwork that will be displayed in the kitchen, keeping practical considerations top of mind is key. "The kitchen is where you will be cooking, so stay away from any type of glass framed art that will get greasy," Nash states. "Canvas paintings of fruit or landscapes are always nice in a kitchen." Waskins agrees. "I love a framed canvas hanging adjacent to a range hood," she says. "The juxtaposition of the hard surfaces such as the stainless range and tile, alongside a framed oil or watercolor painting creates just the right amount of visual tension."
Kitchen artwork certainly doesn't need to be second tier, though. "Fine art does not need to be confined to formal or off-limits rooms," designer Chad Graci notes. "The point of art, for me, is to live with it so that the pieces enhance and elevate your day to day." So if you love a piece and want to ensure it receives the attention it deserves, placing it in your dining nook may be the way to go. "One of my most important pieces simply hangs in my kitchen, across from the island where I have coffee and breakfast each morning," Graci shares. "I love seeing it in the morning light."
Rose offers one more key tip when it comes to kitchen artwork. "Range hoods usually are the main focal points in kitchens, so don’t choose loud art that will compete with yours," she comments. "Choose small frames with muted colors and abstract painting that compliment the overall palette of the kitchen."
Whether you use your dining room every day or once a month doesn't matter—this is the space in which to really get loud and colorful, according to Nash. "A dining room is always my favorite room to design because you can go bold there, with furnishings and art," she explains. "It's typically contained and can act as the jewel box of the home. I like to take risks in a dining area with oversized art, striking colors, bold graphics, and various mediums of art."
Rose agrees. "Pieces hould be interesting enough as a conversation-starter, such as 3D art or something handmade, elaborate, and magical! The frame of the art piece is also quite important, and should not be plain."
And if you wish to have some fun with sculptural pieces, by all means, go for it, Gray shares. "Sculptural pieces are so fun—get beyond the traditional framing styles and mix it up with beautiful 3D sculptures on your walls," she suggests. "These really bring the eye in and create lovely dialogue for those dinner parties."
The bathroom is more than just a utilitarian space; it should also be aesthetically pleasing! When it comes to the bathroom, selecting imagery with relaxing qualities is key, Nash notes. "I encourage my clients to pick something soothing and tranquil," she says. "Personally I love a good tub soak, I want to feel like I am at a spa. Overall serene tones and motifs are pleasing for that peaceful moment."
A bathroom can be a great place for works that are special but on the smaller end, designer Kim Armstrong notes. "Art is truly appropriate for any room in your house!"
But if you feel like thinking a bit outside the box that's ok, too. "Bathrooms are a place to get quirky, guests love to snoop artwork in bathrooms," Gray explains. "Find unique statement pieces that reflect your personal style, antiques that have been shadow-boxed, collected pieces from your travels, or artwork that makes your head tilt in thought a bit." Abstract works can be wonderful, too, designer Lauren Lerner notes. "Generally, a 24 inch piece of art fits perfectly over the toilet space and balances a wall where you have a vanity and a toilet on the same wall."
Have a home office that you utilize every day? You're most definitely not alone—the function of the study has changed greatly in recent years, with more and more employees working from home. "Office spaces are usually where family photographs reside," Waskins notes. "But, now that so many people are working from home we have been asked to help curate art that will appeal to viewers during [video] meetings, essentially de-personalizing the areas that are visible."
Need a dose of motivation while you work? Bring it on, Waskins says. "In general, the office is a place to display inspirational pieces. We have even customized favorite quotes in the front of wall mounted neon signs!"
And because work can no doubt be stressful, opting for images that bring in a sense of calm can also be beneficial, Gray notes. "Think of pieces that really give your mind space to rest—large prints of outdoor spaces, seascapes, or abstracts with naturally occurring colors found in nature," she suggests. Rose adds that large black and white photographs are also a smart choice for the home office. "Think photos of architecture or bridges, or strong animals, such as horses or lions," she says. "They look striking and formal at the same time."