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Home Home Decor Decorating With Art – 13 Ways to Arrange Artwork

Decorating With Art – 13 Ways to Arrange Artwork

Bring life and soul to your interiors with these beautiful ideas for decorating with art

by Monika Bürger
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Decorating with art can really elevate an interior. Far more than just a finishing touch, a well-chosen piece of artwork can transform the look and feel of a space and bring joy for decades to come.

A perfect way to inject your unique style into a home, artworks can also help define spaces, serving as handy visual devices within the interior design which help draw the eye to certain areas within a room as well as create narratives.

As art encompasses a huge array of genres, styles, and mediums as well as having the ability to be displayed in an endless number of ways, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to selecting and displaying artwork. To help you start thinking about how to choose art for your home, we’ve rounded up an array of ways for incorporating it into your scheme, along with with some advice from the experts on how best to display it.

DECORATING WITH ART – WHERE TO START

Decorating with art is an exciting and joyful process as it offers infinite ways to express your personality and for many interior designers is seen as the key to a successful interior scheme.

Nothing is finished without art. It’s what defines the space,’ says Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin. ‘Don’t be afraid to put very contemporary art in a traditional space, or vice versa, it is often the merging of seemingly incongruous styles that creates beauty through surprise.’

When it comes to decorating with art there are no rulebooks, anything goes, well, almost. Whether you design an interior around artwork or are looking for wall decor to fill a certain space, ‘always choose your art because you love it. It will hopefully be with you for the rest of your life so you should enjoy it just as much in 10 years’ time, or when you’re living in a different house,’ says Clara Ewart, head of design at Kitesgrove. 

As any curator will tell you, artworks can take a whole new meaning depending on how they are framed and displayed and can start a whole new dialogue on how they are juxtaposed with other artworks, this is something to bear in mind when decorating with art.

1. LET ARTWORK INSPIRE A ROOM PALETTE

Room in Etruria by Little Greene with an abstract painting by Caroline Denervaud
(Image credit: Styling by Claudia Bryant / photography by Polly Wreford / painting : Le Point de Rencontre au Fin d’automne by Caroline Denervaud, oil on canvas)

A favorite artwork can be a fabulous source of inspiration for an interior color scheme. Bursting with color, this abstract painting by Caroline Denervaud formed the basis for this room color idea of cobalt blues and flaming reds.

When it comes to decorating with art there are different schools of thought, sometimes art can provide a brilliant starting point, while others may want to treat it as a finishing touch, finding pieces to complement the walls and furniture.

When thinking about matching to a color scheme, ‘pinpoint one or two of the boldest colors in your room and reflect them in your chosen artwork,’ suggests  Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin. ‘Or, if working inversely, pick out a color in your artwork to highlight by using the same tone in cushions and other soft furnishings. This works similarly with shapes, mirroring a circular shape in an image with a spherical vase or sculptural lamp for example.’

Our floor pillows are the perfect pick for seating in a pinch. They’re overstuffed and firm to never lose their shape and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful. Available in round or square, with two size options.

<< More Floor Pillow Styles >>

2. ALLOW ART TO TAKE THE LEAD

Interior by Kate Guinness
(Image credit: James Merrell)

If you have large, bold artworks then opting for neutral walls will really let them shine. In this home with interiors by Kate Guinness, the schemes were definitely dictated in part by the homeowners’ art collections. 

For the lower ground and ground floors, we chose a specialist paint finish, with the lower floor being a slightly lighter shade of the corresponding color above. The walls have these broad brushstrokes that give depth and a sense of movement but, crucially, it doesn’t compete with the artwork,’ Kate Guinness observes.

Our natural cotton tablecloths are a great way to create the right mood for your next dinner party or everyday tablescape. Each rectangular tablecloth features an independent artists’ design, finished edges and a folded hem. They’re lightweight, machine washable and make an easy decor swap depending on the season.

<< More Tablecloth Styles >>

3. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN ART WITH A MURAL

Bandipur Grasscloth wallpaper panel mural by Designers Guild
(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan )

When decorating with an art feel free to think outside the frame. If you have a large space an enveloping panoramic wall mural can make a show-stopping backdrop in a living room, allowing you to really live with an artwork. You could commission a hand-painted mural, for example in a Chinoiserie style, alternatively, there are plenty of printed wallpapers available based on original artworks.

Depicting a hand-painted Indian landscape of delicate trees, meandering rivers, and soft clouds printed onto textural grasscloth, this show-stopping Bandipur mural from Designers Guild brings soft color and texture to a living room. 

To ensure the detailed artwork remains the focal point of the space opt for furniture with sleek lines and simple silhouettes.

Make a big statement. Wall murals are the ideal way to turn a blank wall into a showcase for your unique style. Simply line up the panels, peel and stick to reveal your stunning design. Plus, they’re removable and leave no sticky residue behind. Wall murals available in two floor-to-ceiling sizes.

<< More Wall Mural Styles >>

4. THINK ABOUT SCALE

Kitchen diner by Kitesgrove with artwork by Marta Marcé
(Image credit: Kitesgrove)

Installing a mural is a bold decision as once up it’s not easy to change. Hanging pieces on the wall is a far more flexible approach to decorating with art, as the can be easily moved or switched if tastes change, or if you want to alter your artwork to reflect the seasons. However, this approach needn’t be any less impactful if you opt for large pieces.

In this kitchen-diner by Kitesgrove, ‘a large colorful painting by Marta Marcé acts like a mural, allowing the rest of the interior to be pared back and neutral in tone,’ says Clara Ewart.

Our table runners add a dramatic and polished look to your dining or kitchen table setup. Made from 100% cotton, these table runners feature your favorite artists’ design on the front with a crisp white on the back. Plus, they’re machine washable in case of any accidents or spills.

<< More Table Runner Styles >>

5. INTRODUCE DIFFERENT MEDIUMS

colorful hall with Verdure tapestry, antique kilim and wooden bench
(Image credit: Paul Massey)

Decorating with art needn’t be limited to framed paintings and drawings. ‘There are many different mediums, which can transform an interior – for example, we love to incorporate textile art, ceramics, glass, or metalwork in our projects. We recently sourced a large antique tapestry in Paris, which covered the wall of a country house dining room, and set the tone for the room’s overall scheme, says Clara Ewart of Kitesgrove.

In this entrance hall by VSP Interiors, founder Henriette chose a tapestry to bring texture and richness to the space. ‘It’s important to play with scale when displaying a collection. Varying the sizes helps to emphasize each item and the shadows created become very interesting,’ she says.

Wall tapestries truly can do it all. They’re lightweight to hang on the wall, durable to use as a tablecloth and vivid colors make it an eye-catching outdoor blanket. Keep an extra tapestry or two in the trunk of your car for spontaneous park hangs or to set the scene for a meal on the go. Available in three sizes.

<< More Wall Tapestry Styles >>
Gallery wall in a blue bedroom
(Image credit: James Merrell)

gallery wall is a playful and creative way to group themed artworks, and family photos, allowing you to experiment with all sorts of different arrangements. Mixing and matching artworks in a variety of different picture frames makes a fun focal point above a bed or sofa. In fact, sometimes the frame can be as decorative as the art, in fact decorating with picture frames can make a fabulous feature even when not filled with a picture. 

When creating a gallery wall, ‘lay them out on the floor first to make sure all the shapes and colors work well together,’ Clara Ewart, head of design at Kitesgrove. ‘You can also template each frame on paper and temporarily stick them on the wall using a masking tape until you get the layout right.’

It’s easy to get lost in sleep in our warm yet lightweight comforters. Colors pop on this bedding staple and they will surely be the focal point of your bedroom’s decor. Choose from either synthetic microfiber or our unbleached, long-staple 100% cotton. Available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen and King sizes.

<< More Comforter Styles >>

7. DISPLAY ART IN A GRID FOR A SMART FEEL

pressed flower artwork
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

How an artwork is framed and displayed on the wall can be as important as the artwork itself and can impact the look and feel of the overall space so be sure to consider this when planning your art displays.

Smaller scale artworks and line drawings work well in a gallery style, while larger, bolder pieces tend to be more comfortable displayed on their own with some room to breathe,’ explains Clara Ewart.

While irregular gallery walls are a popular way to add a quirky feel, grid-style formats will create a more elegant and streamlined look, which may be more suitable for a restful space such as bedrooms, plus are a beautiful way to display a series of similar works. 

Grid-style formats are also better suited to delicate artworks as they allow the eye to focus on the works more easily, bringing them to the center of attention.

Dress up your duvet with our eye-catching duvet covers. These ultra-soft duvet covers feature sharp, vivid prints on the front, with a crisp white on the back. Choose from either synthetic microfiber or our unbleached, long-staple 100% cotton. Available in Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen and King sizes. Duvet insert not included.

<< More Duvet Cover Styles >>

8. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

Storage ideas artwork Studio Ashby
(Image credit: Studio Ashby/Philip Durrant)

Art doesn’t necessarily need to be hung on the wall, it can be fun to integrate it into your storage ideas, too, such as hung on a bookcase or even used as a device to conceal clutter. 

At the heart of this room is a painting by British artist Jack Penny which is mounted within bespoke joinery that slides across to cleverly conceal storage space behind,’ explains Sophie Ashby of Ashby Studio

Her approach to interior design is always to start with the art. Think about your art right from the beginning. I find it works badly if it’s used as an afterthought as it just doesn’t sink in the same way,’ she says.

Invite the sun inside on your terms. Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by the candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options...

<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>

9. CREATE A FOCAL POINT IN A LIVING ROOM

Living room with pale grey panelled walls. blue sofa with yellow cushions and round side tables and print of a map.
(Image credit: Brent Darby)

With plenty of wall space on offer and the space in which we entertain guests, a living room is an ideal spot for artwork where it can really be enjoyed. 

If you have a large sofa with a blank wall behind it, then think about hanging a gorgeous large landscape format artwork as this can add height, depth, and a focal point to the room,’ says Helen Armon-Jones, Founder of The Art Buyer. ‘By hanging one solo piece in this way, you’ll make a statement and the eye will automatically be drawn to it.’

For timeless living room art ideas which keep on giving, antique maps are a brilliant idea plus can be beautifully decorative. Intricate and detailed, they can be examined over and over again, every time throwing up new discoveries.

Our outdoor floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for outdoor seating. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Floor Cushion Styles >>

10. TAKE A CUE FROM THE ARCHITECTURE

Artwork in a hallway
(Image credit: Albion Nord)

When selecting artwork it’s important to take into account the architecture of the space. 

Never decide off-plan,’ says Camilla Clarke, creative director at Albion Nord. ‘Always walk around the space and you will feel the natural spots for art to be. This may be next to a window or at the end of a corridor.’

She also suggests hanging artwork that corresponds to viewpoints and vistas. ‘We work with architecture to work out where to hang art around the home. A long corridor? Hang a piece at the end of a hallway,’ she adds.

Cozy up with our unbelievably soft throw blankets. Crafted with sherpa fleece, these blankets actually get softer the more times you wash them. Coordinate with throw pillows and rectangular pillows for whatever nook needs a little extra dose of comfy. Available in three sizes.

<< More Throw Blanket Styles >>

11. DECORATE WITH ART IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Chapel House Ambrice Miller blue utility room
(Image credit: Future / Darren Chung)

Once a luxury only afforded by the rich, artwork would have historically been reserved for the and certainly not in the service areas, but today art is used to brighten up all rooms in the house and makes a fabulous way to bring personality and life to more practical areas such as laundry rooms, kitchens, and cloakrooms.

A laundry room is an unexpected spot for art. Adding something beautiful to an area where chores are done can really lift your spirits,’ says Erica Davis, co-founder of Murus.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Individually cut and sewn by hand, each pillow features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper and faux down insert. Keeping an assortment of throw pillow designs on hand is the easiest way to give any space an instant refresh. Available in four sizes.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

12. MIRROR SHAPES IN THE ROOM

Black and white kitchen with abstract artwork
(Image credit: Interior by Julia Dempster / photograph by Pete Helme )

To help your artwork complement your interior consider echoing the shapes of other pieces around the space. In this kitchen interior designer, JUlia Dempster selected a series of four limited-edition artworks from Eichholtz that reflected the cubist shapes from the chandelier above the kitchen island.

When it comes to selecting artwork in the kitchen, ‘I tend to try and select something more practical, as the kitchen is a hard-wearing area with steam and grease,’ says Julia Demptster. ‘I would select smaller artwork that doesn’t compete with the cabinets, I tend to select abstract paintings or artworks that complement the palette of the kitchen,’ she adds.

Our cutting boards feature bright designs that transform a kitchen essential into a functional decor piece. Prep your food on the wood side and use the display side as a serving board. Plus, use the drilled hole to easily store or hang your cutting board on the wall. Available in round or rectangular options.

<< More Cutting Board Styles >>

13. INTRODUCE SCULPTURE

Neutral interior with a classic bust
(Image credit: Styling by Alyce taylor, photography by Jake Curtis)

Sculpture is a lovely way to bring an extra dimension to a living space, bringing art off the walls and into the interior. Keeping to a muted palette will place the spotlight on the forms of the pieces. 

‘I love to layer artwork, whether that means creating a gallery wall of prints and photographs, putting a framed painting next to shelves of small sculptures, or creating a dialogue with architectural elements, such as hanging art over a bookshelf or propping it up against a column,‘ adds Philip Thomas.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Individually cut and sewn by hand, each pillow features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper and faux down insert. Keeping an assortment of throw pillow designs on hand is the easiest way to give any space an instant refresh. Available in four sizes.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

14. LEAN ARTWORK FOR A RELAXED FEEL

Art leaning on a sideboard
(Image credit: Future)

If you’re looking to create a simple living room or Scandinavian living room then consider learning artwork as this will keep walls clean and the space feel bright and airy, but will also create a relaxed mood. 

When you learn art, rather than hanging it on the wall, you open up new possibilities for styling around it. Complement your artwork with interesting objects, plants, or even other pieces of art to create a scene that’s beautiful and highly personal, says Erica Davis, co-founder of Murus. ‘Leaning art is also perfect for the indecisive, as it allows you to move things from room to room if you fancy a change.’

Express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric and accent pillows.

<< More Rug Styles >>

15. BRING TEXTURE TO A MONOCHROME SCHEME

blue bedroom corner with blue wallcover, blue armchair, chest of drawers and blue geometric artwork
(Image credit: Future / Jake Curtis / Claudia Bryant)

Decorating in a single hue can sometimes leave spaces feeling flat, adding artwork is a brilliant way to bring life and texture to the space.

Showcasing the textile technique of shibori, this beautiful artwork pairs with a decorative shibori cushion and eye-catching rug to bring life to this blue living room.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Individually cut and sewn by hand, each pillow features a double-sided print and is finished with a concealed zipper and faux down insert. Keeping an assortment of throw pillow designs on hand is the easiest way to give any space an instant refresh. Available in four sizes.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

WHERE SHOULD ART BE PLACED IN A HOUSE?

There are no strict rules on where art should be placed in a house, it can be used to bring personality to any room, from bedrooms to bathrooms

Displaying art is a way to express your personality and can be arranged in myriad creative ways, from a single artwork above a bed or sofa to a dynamic gallery wall in a hallway or cloakroom.

As a general guide, we recommend hanging a picture so its center is at eye level,‘ says Clara Ewart, head of design at Kitesgrove. ‘Smaller scale artworks and line drawings work well in a gallery style, while larger, bolder pieces tend to be more comfortable displayed on their own with some room to breathe.’

But artwork doesn’t have to be restricted to the wall, says Camilla Clarke, creative director at Albion Nord. ‘Remember art doesn’t always need to be hung on the center of the wall it can rest on top of tables or layered next to sculptures or on bookshelves and joinery.’

CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH ART?

You can never have too much art,’ says Henriette Von Stockhausen, founder of VSP Interiors. Indeed, when it comes to interiors, most interior designers agree that art is the soul of a scheme.

A painting brings a room alive and is an opportunity to add color and to bring together colors,’ says Vanessa Arbuthnott. ‘A unique piece of art as opposed to a print or even a photograph has a definite visual impact and helps to give the room a beating heart.’

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