Decorilla's guide to using art in interior design

Have you ever walked into a room and felt instantly captivated by its ambiance? Perhaps it was the vibrant paintings adorning the walls or the carefully curated sculptures accentuating the space. This is where art transcends mere decoration and becomes the soul of interior design. Read on to learn how art in interior design transforms spaces into immersive experiences.

Incorporating Art in Interior Design: What Works With What?

Art in interior design can underscore the room's character, like in a dining room by Decorilla
Thematic art underscoring the dining room’s character, by Decorilla

The process of selecting art for your interior is as personal as it is aesthetic. Most of us buy art as an intimate reflection of our tastes, lifestyles, and the narratives we wish to weave into our interior design ideas. And yet, the challenge often arises when the piece we adore doesn’t seem to match our home’s style. 

Art in interior design emphasizing the character of an mid-century modern home by Decorilla
Artistic flair in an mid-century home by Decorilla

Is your interior minimalist, bohemian, traditional, or something else? Acknowledging this can help you set a foundation upon which to introduce art, regardless of its style. 

Pro Tip: Choose art that aligns with the style of your home. Not sure what style you prefer? Take our Free Interior Design Style Quiz to find out today!

But let’s debunk some myths first. The real goal is not to match but to complement. Art doesn’t have to mimic the periods of your furniture and decor to belong in a room. Instead, it should add depth, contrast, or a burst of personality that enriches the overall aesthetic.

Things to Consider Before Matching Art to Your Home Style

How to choose art for interior design and place it effectively; by Decorilla
Effective artistic display in a home office by Decorilla
  • Assess your home’s existing decor, lighting conditions, and color schemes.
  • Consider the scale: a large sculpture or painting can work as a single statement piece of art for the living room.
  • Think about the mood you want to evoke with art in interior design, whether it’s abstract prints for the living room or a tranquil bedroom artwork.
  • Mix and match different types of paintings for home decoration, but find a unifying thread for consistency.
  • When choosing art for your home, determine the focal points where artwork can draw the eye and provoke thought or conversation.

10 Ways to Use Diverse Styles of Art in Interior Design

Art in interior design creates prominent focal points, like in this living room by Decorilla
Art focal points in a living room interior design by Decorilla

Choosing art for your home is a personal and rewarding experience. You can confidently begin your art-buying journey by understanding your space, defining your style, and setting a budget. 

How to choose art for your home to emphasize urban vibes like in a living room by Decorilla
Art curated to emphasize urban and eclectic vibes in a living room by Decorilla

Explore different art sources, trust your instincts, and let your personality shine through in your choices. If it resonates with you, evokes emotion, looks interesting—then that’s it! With some time and effort, you can curate a collection that reflects you and enhances your home decor for years to come.

1. The Role of Color In Blending Art and Interior Design

A hallway by Decorilla using art in interior design to transcend patterns and colors
Art transcending patterns and colors in a hallway by Decorilla

One common way to merge art and interior design of varying styles is through color. A foolproof method for buying paintings for home decoration is to think about the existing scheme and use it to disperse the same hues throughout the room. 

Abstract artworks in a Mid-century living room by Decorilla
Abstract artworks in a Mid-century living room by Decorilla

An abstract, vibrant piece can enliven a minimalist room if the shades within the artwork echo those found in the room’s accents. Alternatively, monochrome art can offer a striking contrast in a boldly colored space, creating a focal point that draws the eye. 

2. Framing: The Effortless Unifier

Art in interior design unified by frame color, a gallery wall by Decorilla
Gallery wall unified by frame color in a living room by Decorilla

Framing is a powerful tool in marrying art with interior design. The right frame can impact an artwork, making it feel more contemporary, traditional, or eclectic. At the same time, it creates a visual bridge, linking the artwork’s style with that of the furniture and decor.

Transitional living room by Decorilla
Black and gold framing in a living room interior by Decorilla

Consider the frame’s material, color, and thickness. For example, a simple black frame can modernize a classical painting, while an ornate gold frame can lend a chic opulence to a modern print. 

3. Mastering Contrast as a Mutual Design Principle

How to choose contemporary wall art to emphasize a classic interior by Decorilla
Contemporary interior by Decorilla designer, Kristina B.

Contrast is a major principle in design for good reason. When used intentionally, it can also unify disparate styles. For instance, placing a contemporary piece of art in a room with classic, traditional furnishings can create an engaging juxtaposition that highlights the beauty of both the art and the decor. 

Transitional room by Decorilla blending art and interior design
Transitional room by Decorilla blending art and interior design

A classic portrait or a landscape can also be quite a conversation starter as an unexpected focal point in a contemporary room. The key is balance: too much contrast can be jarring, while the right amount renders a space dynamic and visually engaging.

4. The Rule of Repetition

Decorilla designers use art in interior design to emphasize contrast
Emphasizing contrast by the rule of three in a living room by Decorilla

Select and repeat some aspects of your artwork in other parts of the room. For example, if a specific piece incorporates vibrant blue tones, consider introducing cushions, vases, or even books of a similar shade. 

Art in interior design connected by numbers, colors, and geometry, a living room by Decorilla
Transitional living room by Decorilla

In addition, repeat the artwork’s texture or material elsewhere—and vice versa. A metallic sculpture can complement even brass door handles, enhancing the space’s unity with a subtle yet effective detail.

5. Transitional Pieces Bringing Art and Interior Design Together

Art and interior design styles blended in a dining room by Decorilla
Art display in a dining room by Decorilla

Incorporating transitional art pieces that merge elements from various styles can help bridge the gap between contrasting designs. For example, use a modernist sculpture on a vintage console table as a statement piece that draws together the modern and the traditional.

Abstract art in interior design blending traditional and contemporary elements, layout by Decorilla
Abstract art displays for a neoclassical living room by Decorilla

Furniture or decor that features both contemporary and classic characteristics can serve as a middle ground, making it easier to integrate art from either spectrum. For extra bold and chic points, consider incorporating a versatile rotating display stand that will allow you to effortlessly switch between contemporary and classic artwork.

6. Layering Textures and Materials

Art in interior design promoting texture galore, living room design by Decorilla
Texture galore in a living room by Decorilla

Layering adds depth and interest to a room, and the same applies to art: it can help you integrate diverse art styles seamlessly. A contemporary abstract painting, for instance, might stand out beautifully against a brick wall. Or, you could use dimensional art to spruce up a monochrome room. 

regency style living room - Casey H
Layered art in a living room by Decorilla designer, Casey H.

Similarly, a classic portrait can be softened by placing it near textural elements like a shaggy rug or a modern curvy velvet sofa. Such layering softens the boundaries between different periods and styles, making them feel part of a cohesive whole.

7. Art & Interior Design Woven by Thematic Connections

Thematically blended coastal interior by Decorilla
Thematically blended coastal interior by Decorilla

Beyond visual elements, thematic links also unify different art and decor styles. Merge artwork and interior elements that share a common theme, such as nature, nautical, travel, or urban motifs.

Two-way communication between art and interior design elements in a home by Decorilla
Multiple communication between elements in a home by Decorilla

Blending art and interior by theme also allows for a broad interpretation of style, encouraging a less formulaic approach to design. It will promote a cohesive narrative throughout the space, regardless of stylistic differences. 

8. Use of Negative Space

Use art in interior design to achieve symmetry like in a dining room by Decorilla
Symmetric art display in a dining room by Decorilla

The thoughtful use of negative space plays a significant role in blending different styles. Allow each piece, whether furniture or art, room to “breathe” by not overcrowding the layout to achieve a more balanced look. 

How to strategically choose and place art in interior design, by Decorilla
Strategically placed art in a bathroom by Decorilla

Negative space acts as a neutral buffer, reducing visual clutter and highlighting the unique qualities of each design element. Strategically used, it can even become an additional art frame, conveying a whole new dimension around the piece. 

9. Lighting as a Defining Element

Illuminating art for living rooms to seamlessly integrate with other elements, a guide by Decorilla
Modern living room design by Decorilla

Lighting can dramatically influence how art and design styles are perceived together. Directed lighting can draw attention to art pieces, making them stand out as focal points, while ambient luminance unifies elements with a warm, cohesive glow. 

Expressive prints for a living room by Decorilla
Expressive prints in a living room by Decorilla

Experiment with a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate artworks and furniture in a way that highlights their best features. Or integrate a unique fixture whose design resembles an art piece by itself. In return, it will soften the contrasts between different styles.

10. Alternatives and Innovative Solutions

Digital art for living rooms, interior design by Decorilla
Digital art in a living room design by Decorilla

For those seeking flexibility, alternatives are vast and no less stylish. Use genuine tapestries or framed native textiles, create tabletop vignettes, or cluster freestanding sculptural pieces to introduce dimensionality and shadow play. 

Functional art in a dining room by Decorilla designer, Eleni P.
Furniture as art in a dining room by Decorilla designer, Eleni P.

Moreover, your furniture can be art too. Furniture transcends mere functionality when it becomes a statement piece, seamlessly blending practicality with artistic expression. From sculptural chairs to intricately designed tables, each piece not only serves a purpose but also adds a unique aesthetic dimension to the space.

FAQs About Art In Interior Design 

Art as a focal point in a bedroom interior by Decorilla
Art as a focal point in a bedroom interior by Decorilla

Q: Can curating art for interior design affect the ambiance of a room?

A: Art in interior design extends beyond paintings for home decoration. Strategically curated pieces can transform spaces not only with color and texture but also with storytelling, distinctive character, and personal expression. 

Q: Can a large art for a living room impact its perceived size?

A: Absolutely. A large-scale piece can make a wall appear more expansive; hung at eye level, it also makes ceilings feel higher.

Q: What are the emerging trends in art for interior design?

A: Current trends include personalized art, kinetic sculptures, eco-friendly pieces highlighting sustainability, and interactive digital artworks.

Ready to blend art and interior design the right way? 

Home decor professionals can bring your dream interior to life. Book your Free Online Interior Design Consultation to transform your space into a masterpiece today!

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