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How to Choose Art: Your Need-to-Know Guide to Buying Art

When decorating your home, it’s safe to assume that the furniture and color scheme you choose will have the greatest impact on the design of your space. However, it’s the finishing touches like art and decor that really bring your space to life.

If you’re in the middle of designing your space from scratch or redesigning your home, you might be feeling fatigued by the time you get to choosing art for your walls. At this point, a lot of people either leave their walls blank until inspiration strikes, or they buy random artwork just to fill large blank walls. But art should never be an afterthought.

Art is such an important part of decorating. It helps bring your space to life, adds personality, creates focal points, and sets the mood for the space. But there are so many things to consider when choosing art. At Modsy, we actually get a surprisingly large number of questions about how to choose art for your home.

Because of this, we’re breaking down all the core considerations about how to choose art for your home and giving you tips on how to know what type of wall art is right for you.

Here’s a quick list of the considerations we’ll cover in detail:

  • Size
  • Shape and Orientation
  • Medium
  • Subject Matter

Read on to get the full scoop and become an expert at choosing art for your home!

Looking for help choosing other furniture and decor? Check out our Interior design buying guides for expert advice on finding the perfect pieces for your home. Or start a project to work one-on-one with a professional interior designer!

Blue dinging room with fireplace and abstract art

Consideration #1: Artwork Size

When it comes to wall art, size is incredibly important. Art pieces of different sizes will have completely different effects on your space. So, how do you decide what size of art to buy? This could be dictated by the size of your walls or the space you’re trying to fill—for example, a large blank wall might need a large piece of art.

If you’re shopping more generally for art rather than trying to fill an existing space, considering size also helps you understand the effect that various sizes of art will have on your room. Below, we’ll touch on the four basic sizes of wall art.

gray living room with butterflie wall art

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Small Art

Small art tends to be the most affordable. Similar to rug pricing, art typically goes up in price as the size goes up. Small art is also the most flexible, as you can hang these pieces almost anywhere.

Size: Small art typically includes pieces that are between 4 and 16 inches in length or width.

What it’s good for: Small art is perfect for creating small, intimate moments on your walls or tabletops, since you have to get up close to see them. This makes this size ideal for hanging in more intimate spaces.

Where to hang small art: These pieces are perfect as accent pieces above nightstands, propped on a shelf, or hung in the bathroom. They work great in gallery walls as well, as you can group small art together to create a larger wall of art.

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Medium Art

When you think of the “average” wall art size, this is it. You’ll find medium-sized art at a middle-of-the-road price range, where you can get a beautiful, impactful piece for a reasonable price.

Size: Medium-sized art is generally 25 to 32 inches in size.

What it’s good for: This is a great size for framed art prints and photography. It’s also a great size for pieces that are a little trendy and that you may not hang up forever. They aren’t a complete investment, but they’re large enough to make a visual impact.

Where to hang medium art: Wall art that’s medium-sized is perfect in hallways and over accent furniture. They’re also good for grouping with small art pieces for creating a focal point in an eclectic gallery wall.

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Large Art

Large art is the type of piece that makes a statement in a room. This is the typical size of art to choose when you want to hang or lean just one piece somewhere (rather than grouping it with other pieces). Large wall art tends to be more expensive due to the larger dimensions.

Size: Large art is typically 33 to 42 inches in size, whether in length or width.

What it’s good for: Large art is perfect for making a stand-alone statement. Anywhere a large piece of art is hung becomes a focal point!

Where to hang large art: You might see a large art piece hung over a fireplace, bed, or sofa, or on a large wall in a dining room or entryway.

white entryway with large abstract art

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Extra Large Art

Extra large art makes for a bold impact in your room! If you’re a fan of modern art, this is the scale you’ll find for a lot of original pieces. The idea is to almost overwhelm the viewer and create a striking impact.

Size: Extra large art is pieces that are 43 inches or larger in length or width.

What it’s good for: Extra large art is perfect for creating a dramatic focal point. It’s also a great size for custom art that you really want to show off!

Where to hang extra large art: Pieces of this magnitude usually hang alone on a wall, in a space with tall ceilings or lots of space like a foyer, stairwell, or large fireplace wall.

white living room with landscape wall art over fireplace

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Consideration #2: Shape and Orientation

Why think about shape and orientation when choosing wall art? Well, the configuration you choose will largely be based on the wall space you want to fill, and different shapes and orientations are better for different spaces.

In this section, we’ll unpack the four basic shapes and orientations of wall art.

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Square Art

Ok, we probably all know the math on this one—but for posterity’s sake we’ll spell it out: square art is pieces that are the exact same height and width. Because of the symmetrical nature of this shape, square art is very versatile and will look good in most spaces.

A square shape is best for… 

Smaller art, as stand-alone pieces or within a gallery wall. (Large square pieces can be difficult to fit on specific walls—though, that’s not always the case, as the room design above proves!)

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Landscape Rectangle Art

A piece of wall art that’s a landscape rectangle shape has a horizontal orientation—meaning it’s wider than it is tall. This is the shape and orientation you’ll typically find for landscape paintings (hence the name).

A landscape orientation is best for… 

Hanging over longer pieces of furniture, like a sofa, credenza, or bed. This shape also works well for pieces hung above fireplace mantles, if the space tends towards the wider side.

white entryway with coastal photo wall art

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Portrait Rectangle Art

Wall art that has a portrait rectangle shape is taller than it is wide. This orientation takes its name from classical art that featured portraits of people.

A portrait orientation is best for… 

Rooms with tall ceilings, as the orientation will draw the eye up. It’s also great for art hung in entryways and hallways for more of a visual impact in these pass-through spaces.

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Freeform or Round Art

Freeform art, as the name suggests, has no real form. Rather, it boasts a more organic shape. Because of its curves and more organic nature, we’re also grouping round art pieces with this category. Freeform art can be a multitude of shapes and can be hung individually for more of a statement or in a grouping of organically shaped pieces like in the room above.

Freeform or round art is best for… 

Larger, open swaths of wall where you want to make a statement or in small, awkward spaces where fitting a standard piece of art could be a challenge.

Consideration #3: The Medium

An art piece’s medium is what the piece of art is made of and/or the method used to make the art. This is the biggest factor in choosing art, as it has the greatest effect on what the art looks like and the mood it creates. You’ll likely find you gravitate toward certain mediums more than others.

Below, we’re breaking down the most common art mediums, general pricing considerations, and what design styles they work well with!

Oil and Acrylic Painting

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This is the medium that many famous, iconic paintings are made with. (Think: da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Monet’s Water Lilies.) Oil and acrylic paintings are perfect for creating a focal point due to their vibrant colors and ability to show incredible detail and beautiful brush stroke textures—so hang them where they will be seen, like in your living room, dining room, or bedroom.

General Price Point: These pieces tend to be more expensive due to the skill it takes to use this medium. This is especially true for one-of-a kind, original pieces. Love the look but not the price tag? You can find reproductions or digital prints that mimic the look and feel of a real painting but are much more affordable. (We’ll talk more about this later!)

Special Considerations: Be sure to position these paintings where they’re safe from UV rays and moisture, both of which can damage acrylic and oil paintings. So, no bathrooms, kitchens, or in front of large, sunny windows!

Watercolor

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Watercolor is a water-based paint that is applied to textured paper. Because of the way the water mixes with the paints, the colors featured in watercolor paintings are intrinsically less bold and more subdued. There’s less precision in watercolor paintings vs those made with oils or acrylics, giving this medium a more relaxed and casual vibe.

General Price Point: Watercolors are an easier paint to work with than oils or acrylics, so watercolor art is generally less expensive. However, as an original piece of art, This is a great option if you want an original work of art without the high price tag.

Special Considerations: These pieces are best hung in dry spaces like living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. That may seem strange, but watercolor paintings must be kept safe from moisture, as the paint can still bleed and smear if it gets wet.

Photography

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Photographic wall art is simply printed photos that were taken with a camera! Photos can be from a digital or film camera and come in either color or black and white. This medium can feel the most personal, as it features real life. Photography can commemorate or feature family members, life events, or travels. But it can also be professional shots of nature, people, objects, or events in history. This is a very versatile medium, and photography can go anywhere in a good frame—though photo prints will fade in direct sunlight, so be mindful of hanging photos in bright, sunny areas.

General Price Point: If you’re framing your own photos, this can be one of the most cost-effective ways to fill your walls with art. Professional photography will naturally be more expensive but still tends to be one of the more affordable mediums of original art.

Printmaking

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There are many different kinds of printing methods, which all create what are known as prints. Some of the popular methods include woodcuts, lithographs, engravings, etchings, and screen prints. As an art form, this is known as printmaking. This medium is not to be confused with digital art prints, which we’ll cover later.

General Price Point: The price point of these types of prints depends on the maker and if a work of art is mass-produced. Art prints are often produced in a larger batch, where one design can be printed infinite times once the original image template is created. However, some artists do limited runs or special-edition prints. So, they may only print 200 of a particular piece and never sell it again, making each print more rare and valuable. Ultimately, the number of prints available will contribute to the final cost. Regardless, prints tend to be more affordable than paintings, making them quality investments and a great way for a person to play around with their preferred art style.

Drawings and Sketches

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A drawing or sketch is another common form of original art, usually done on high-quality paper using materials like ink, graphite, or even pastels. This medium can be quite striking due to the monochrome coloring. Drawings and sketches make great accent pieces and art within gallery walls, as they tend to be created on smaller pieces of paper.

General Price Point: Similar to prints, drawings and sketches can be more affordable, since they typically take less time to create than paintings.

Mixed Media and Collage

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Art created from a multitude of different mediums is considered mixed-media or collage art. These pieces usually feature different paper cut-outs or found objects, grouped together into an artful arrangement. Because of the layering and mix of textures, we love the idea of hanging a collage somewhere where viewers can stand up close and get a good look at the intricate details.

General Price Point: The price point of a collage is completely dependent on the size of the piece, the artist creating it, and the materials used within the collage. Smaller colleges tend to be quite affordable.

Digital Prints

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All of the mediums above can be reproduced digitally for mass production and wider availability. Whereas an artist generally only makes one original painting, drawing, or collage, digital reproductions can be printed innumerable times. However, not all digital art is a reproduction of an original. These days, many artists only create digital artwork. Some modern artists start with a painting or drawing and digitally finish it, while others create artwork exclusively on their computer or tablet.

General Price Point: This is the most affordable way to build an art collection. While original artwork isn’t in the budget for many people, digital prints allow people to purchase art from specific artists or brands at a more approachable price point. You can get beautiful small and medium-sized prints for under $50.

Textiles

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Not all wall art is framable. Case in point: textile art. This medium uses plant-based or synthetic fibers that are woven into a decorative object. These pieces are traditionally woven by hand or on a loom and therefore have a handmade quality and uniqueness to them. Textile wall art—like woven wall baskets and tapestries—is a beautiful way to add color, texture, and patterns to your walls, plus introduce more freeform shapes to a room.

General Price Point: Handmade textile art tends to be around a medium price range because of the skill and time required to create each piece. However, today, some companies machine weave textile art, which makes it more affordable.

Consideration #4: The Subject Matter

A piece of art’s subject matter is simply what the piece portrays! This is another huge factor in determining which type of art you choose for your home. Do you like antique-inspired portraits of people? Abstract paintings? Drawings of animals? These are all different subject matters.

Below, we’re unpacking the most common subject matter categories and what styles they go best with!

green entryway with landscape wall art

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Landscapes

Landscape art showcases scenery from the world’s natural landscape. These pieces usually have a very serene vibe—nature tends to be quite relaxing and restorative, after all! The typical mediums for landscape art are paintings and photography, though you’ll definitely still see them in prints and drawings.

Everyone has a different idea of what types of landscapes speak to them and what they find most beautiful. So, consider choosing a landscape that depicts a place that is personal to you—something that reminds you of your favorite city, your childhood home, or a favorite vacation spot, perhaps?

Landscapes are a great choice for… 

Homes of almost all styles! However, they’re seen most often in rustic and traditional spaces. They’re also used widely in homes that practice feng shui design.

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Still Lifes

Still lifes (yes, that’s the plural form!) are a genre of art that depict a grouping of inanimate objects. A common motif for a still life is a table setting with food and tableware, flowers in a vase, or a bowl of fruit. Still lifes can be created in a variety of different mediums, and each one changes the look and feel of the still life. For example, an oil painting still life might feel super realistic and conjure up paintings you’ve seen in a classical museum, while a watercolor still life might feel more playful.

Still lifes are a great choice for… 

Traditional, rustic, and transitional styles. But if you have a different design style, you don’t have to miss out on this subject matter! Simply find one with a cute theme or humorous, playful slant—like a beachy still life for a coastal space or fast food and melted ice cream still lifes for an eclectic one!

dark blue dining room with abstract wall art

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Abstract

Abstract (or non-objective) art is a style of art that became popular in the 1900s, especially post-World War II. This is a very modern style that doesn’t showcase any object or attempt to portray a visual reality. (In stark contrast with representational art, like still lifes or landscapes, which represent real life.) Rather, you’ll see shapes, colors, lines, and movements that are intended to be an expression that evokes a feeling or revelation. Ultimately, this style is all about exploring forms and colors.

Abstract pieces are a great choice for… 

Contemporary and modern styles. You’ll often see large-scale abstract art in these styles! Typically colorful and full of movement, abstract expressionist pieces work well in a high-energy space of the home like the dining room or even kitchen, making for show-stopping focal points in those spaces.

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Portraits and Figures

Portraits and figure drawings are art pieces featuring people, where the intention is to represent a specific human subject. As a result, they tend to be very expressive and personal. You’ll find portraits of people both famous and unknown (in photos, drawings, and paintings). Whether super literal or slightly more abstract, these pieces always focus on the human figure. Because of the personal nature of this type of art, portraits tend to be hung up in more intimate spaces, like bathrooms, home offices, and bedrooms. But a small or medium portrait would be a great addition to an eclectic gallery wall!

Portraits and figure art is a great choice for… 

Almost any style. Historically, you’d see formal portraits in very classic and traditional spaces. However, today portraits and figure drawings are created in modern, humorous, and even super minimal styles. So, this is really a subject matter that spans across styles.

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Animals

Animal art is wall art that features animals. Sometimes it’s literal, in a more landscape approach like the painting above. Other times you’ll see a stunning black and white photograph of a single animal that shows off its beauty and majesty. And sometimes you’ll see animal art featuring animals dressed up in human clothing and accessories. Animal art really runs the style gamut. However the animals are portrayed, these subjects add a whimsical and more casual feel to a home. They work great in living rooms and other casual living spaces where you want to add a little life.

Animal art is a great choice for… 

Rustic spaces and kids rooms. Animal art is typically more rustic in style, but animals are seen a lot in traditional and classic art too. But on the more playful end of the animal art spectrum, you’ll find a lot of pieces that bring a whimsical quality to a kid’s room.

fireplace with still life wall art

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Botanicals

Botanical art features—you guessed it—botanicals! This can be anything from flowers (arranged or wild) to trees or plants. Similar to landscapes, botanical art has a very serene feel. Because flowers and plants are naturally colorful, botanical art is a great way to add color to any space.

Botanical art is a great choice for… 

Rustic, traditional, and classic spaces. Botanical art is most often rustic in style, but it can lean classic or modern, too, depending on the specific subject matter and medium used. These pieces can be used in virtually any room of the house, including bathrooms and kitchens.

light blue office with print wall art

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Maps and Posters

Not many of us use paper maps today as a form of navigation. We have phones, after all! However, in the past, printed maps helped people navigate during travels and exploration. Today, maps make for beautiful wall art when framed. You could hunt down a vintage map to give your space a more antique vibe. Or you can find a more modern interpretation that was never used as a literal map but is merely a nod to navigators from the past!

Maps and posters are a great choice for… 

Homes with an eclectic and collected worldly vibe. However, they can also look great in both traditional and modern spaces, depending on the style of the map.

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Architecture and Cityscapes

Architecture and cityscape wall art are pieces featuring buildings, cityscapes, and other architectural structures. This type of art is a great way to commemorate a favorite place you’ve visited or even the city you reside in. Often, they have a more graphic or vintage-inspired quality to them.

Architecture and cityscapes are a great choice for… 

Industrial and modern styles, as it’s a subject matter that’s a bit more utilitarian. Art like the pieces shown above can also be fun in a kid or teen bedroom!

slate blue living room with photo wall art

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Reproductions

Reproductions are just reprints or remakes of original pieces that are typically well known. Reproduction pieces have been made of many famous works of art throughout history. This simply makes iconic pieces more accessible to more people, since the originals are typically in private collections or museums. A true reproduction will be in the same medium as the original (vs. a digital print of the original).

Reproductions are a great choice for… 

Classic and mid-century styles, since a lot of reproductions will be more classical or mod in style. This is also a great option for those who love a specific classical or iconic art piece or who have a passion for certain historic artists.

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Other Considerations When Choosing Art

Your Budget

When starting or adding to your art collection, it’s important to determine how much you want to spend on art, first and foremost. Art, especially original pieces, can be quite expensive! But it’s also a great investment that you’ll have for years to come.

Replicas vs Original Works

We’ve already touched on this—but original works of art are one-of-a-kind, so you’ll get something way more unique than you could find at a big-box store or art retailer. But you will typically pay way more for it. Replicas and digital prints, on the other hand, are way more affordable. But these pieces are also more common, so they don’t hold their value in the same way as an original piece of art. What you choose simply depends on if price point or uniqueness is more important to you. There is no right or wrong answer here!

Color Scheme

Art and overall color scheme choices go hand-in-hand! Whether you opt for colors, black and white, or neutrals in your wall art drastically depends on the other colors in your space and the style you art you’re going for. You can revolve your whole design around a specific piece of art, or you can choose art as a finishing touch which reinforces the existing color scheme.

Frame Style

Frame styles can add another dimension to your art—so it’s important to carefully consider the color and style of your frame. A minimal wood frame will have a very different vibe from an ornate gold one!

Where You’ll Display Your Art

Where the art will be in your home is super important. This impacts the size and shape of art you choose. But you also have to consider the natural elements the art will endure in any given space, like heat, sunlight, and moisture. And, of course, you’ll want to think about how to hang your art. For large, heavy pieces, make sure you find a stud!

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Brand Spotlight: Meet Antique Curiosities

We’re always finding new Modsy brands to add to our growing catalog. From emerging designers to major retailers to off-the-beaten path shops, we’re always spotlighting new brands with furniture and designs that match your style and budget.

Next up here in our brand spotlight: Antique Curiosities!

Antique Curiosities nautical art

Meet The Brand: Antique Curiosities

A small family-owned business, Antique Curiosities offers artwork crafted by local artists that make for unique wall decor ideas. Each piece is newly handmade with a vintage vibe in mind, so every artwork has a beautiful antiqued and found look to them.

What They’re Known For

Antique Curiosities sells a wide range of unique styles and prints, from eclectic vintage pieces to whimsical watercolors to adorable children art. If you’re a fan of the animal art trend, you’ll find plenty of fun and quirky pieces here.

Antique Curiosities

Why We Love Them

Based in North Carolina, we love supporting Antique Curiosities and its roster of local artists. Additionally, they offer pieces in all sizes and price points, making it easy to find unique artwork that matches your budget and space. And because their pieces are all handmade, they’re always high quality and arrive in perfect condition and ready-to-frame.

Stylists’ Picks from Antique Curiosities

Here’s a peek at some of the fabulous art you’ll find at Antique Curiosities.

Antique Curiosities

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Colorful Kids Art

Charming and whimsical artworks in watercolors are one of the most popular (and affordable!) types of art at Antique Curiosities. They range from cute animal and insect pieces to nursery rhyme quotes, making them perfect finishing touches for kids rooms, nurseries, and playrooms.

Try hanging one large kids art piece or a few arranged into a gallery wall for a bright and cheery focal point in a kids room.

See our favorite kids art picks below!

 

Antique Curiosities nautical Art Print

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Cool Nautical Art

You’ll find no shortage of classic and tasteful nautical and coastal art at Antique Curiosities. Whether it’s red, white, and blue flags or watercolors of the ocean or beautiful coral prints, they have some of the best selections at all price points.

They’re perfect for decorating blank walls in a beach home or coastal condo, or you can line up a few nautical pieces in a row to play up a seaside vibe in any space.

See our favorite nautical art picks below!

 

Antique Curiosities botanical art

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Lush Botanical Art

For an organic touch, Antique Curiosities stocks a stylish mix of botanical art. From modern floral prints to classic watercolors, you’ll find plenty of options that will work with your decor style and aesthetic.

An easy way to play up botanical art in your home is to opt for a large piece in your entryway, which is the perfect way to set the tone for the rest of your home. You can also hang a collection of botanicals or a pair of florals to add a bit of symmetry. Check out our tips on how to hang art for more ideas.

See our favorite botanical art picks!

Antique Curiosities travel poster art

Graphic Travel Art

If you’re a travel enthusiast, or just dream about it constantly like us, you’ll want to do a deep dive into Antique Curiosities’ incredible selection. From graphic posters to watercolors and park logos, you’re sure to find evocative and inspiring pieces that reflect your wanderlust style. They also make for great gifts for travel lovers.

Prop a modern landscape on your workdesk for a cool backdrop or hang up a print or two above a console or sofa to inject a modern look.

See our favorite travel art picks!

 

Antique Curiosities

Unique Patent Art

Antique Curiosities also has a wonderful selection of unique, one-of-a-kind patent art. They make for a beautifully unexpected addition to a room, whether it’s a Christmas-themed patent or sports-related piece or cool prints of vintage kids toys.

If you’re looking to add an edgy, industrial look to a room or just want something a little surprising that’s guaranteed to be a conversation starter, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

See our favorite patent art picks!

 

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Trend Spotlight: Animal Art Is Bringing Joy to Our Walls

A decor trend we’re loving right now? Animal art! It’s such a fun way to add a whimsical element to any space, giving your walls a little extra dose of personality. And we’re not just talking cute animal portraits for a kid’s room! (Though we love it there, too.) There are so many different ways to try out this trend. However you incorporate it into your home, it has a way of bringing personality and joy to your space.

To show you the many ways you can bring this trend to life in your own home, we’re showing off some of our favorite animal art ideas for rooms of all styles, below. Keep reading to get the scoop on a few of our favorite pieces!

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Animal Art for Contemporary Spaces

In a contemporary space, we love the idea of animal art in muted tones—which adds visual interest and personality to your walls but isn’t over-the-top bold. These pieces skew more timeless and sophisticated rather than trendy.

We love the idea of vintage-inspired naturalist prints or watercolors for a contemporary space. Ultimately, look for animal art that compliments the color palette in your space.

See our favorite contemporary picks below!

animal art

Blue Dragonflies Bookplate, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Dragonfly bookplate, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Hummingbird Plate, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Moment of Waiting II, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

After Winter III, Chelsea Art studio

rustic sheep art above leather sofa

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Animal Art for Rustic Rooms

If ever there were a style where animal art felt right at home, it would be in a rustic space! Rustic and Farmhouse design styles offer the perfect backdrop for animal art, since animals are such an integral part of farm life, and rural living naturally inspires these styles.

Look for paintings of farm animals—sheep, horses, and dogs being a few of our favorites. These pieces pair nicely with paintings of barns or landscapes. But you could also opt for animal photography to give you space a more modern edge. Longhorn cows and Scottish Highland cattle are some of our favorite animals to look for in photographs!

See our favorite rustic picks below!

animal art

Mugshot I, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

Morning Farm II, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

Cavallo, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

Ride Easy, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

On the Grass, Chelsea Art Studio

art deco art

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Animal Art for Glam Spaces

You might not think that Hollywood Glam and animal art go together—but one of the little known tenets of Hollywood Glam style is that there is almost always a piece of animal print in the room. We’re talking zebra stripes, cheetah print, snake skin, and more. References to animals are quite common in this style—so animal art in the right style is actually a natural for a glam space!

Glam animal art will be more bold than that in rustic or contemporary space, and it might even be abstracted or surprising. Look for pieces with pops of gold or something that’s high-contrast to help bring the drama!

See our favorite glam picks below!


animal art

Black and White Butterfly, Antique Curiosities


animal art

Golden Butterfly III, Chelsea Art Studio



animal art

Birds with Magnolias I, Chelsea Art Studio


animal art
Birds with Magnolias II, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

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Animal Art for Kid Rooms and Nurseries

When you think of animal art, kids rooms and nurseries might be the first space you’d think these pieces would go. And kids rooms really are a great home for animal art! If your little one loves their furry friends, this is a great way to add charm and personality to their space.

We like to look for pieces with personality—whether that’s portrait-style paintings or prints of animals dressed up like people. But a cute, simple watercolor of a baby animal is a classic pick for nursery art! Look for fun colors and whimsical designs, which will add sweetness to your child’s room.

See our favorite kids picks below!

animal art

Watercolor Lion, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Watercolor Camels, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Watercolor Bunny with Glasses, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Watercolor Peacocks, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Watercolor Piglets, Antique Curiosities

butterfly art in a bohemian living room

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Animal Art for Color-Enthusiasts

For color-enthusiasts looking for animal art, the bolder the better! A lot of animal art can skew more neutral or muted, which is reflective of the natural world. But there are ways to add major pops of color to animal-inspired art, giving your space a bright and cheerful vibe.

Look to fauna of the jungle—like butterflies or birds of paradise—for your subject matter. These pieces often have a more abstracted look and feel, and a bolder use of color, making them great for modern spaces.

See our favorite bright and cheerful picks below!

animal art

Perilous Wings VI, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

Perilous Wings IV, Chelsea Art Studio

animal art

Navy Folk Art, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Watercolor Parrots, Antique Curiosities

animal art

Proudly a Statmentmen, Chelsea Art Studio

 

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Blank Space: 21 Ways to Decorate a Large Walls in Your Living Room

Can’t figure out how to decorate a large wall in the living room? You’re not alone. It’s one of the most common design dilemmas we hear from homeowners, and we can see why.

It can be intimidating to stare at a blank wall and try to decide whether to hang a piece of artwork or experiment with other wall decor ideas, like a cool mirror or a tapestry. After all, you want to make sure whatever you fill your empty wall with not only looks good but also goes with everything else in your living space and shows off your personal style.

Don’t let fear stop you in your wall decor tracks. To inspire you, we’ve rounded up 21 simple and stylish decor ideas for your living room to help you ace decorating large empty walls. See them all below! (Bonus: Most of these interior design ideas work for blank dining room walls, too!)

large contemporary living room design with two facing sofas and two matching armchairs

1. Large Piece of Art

Hanging a large-scale, statement-making wall art piece above your sofa is the easiest ways to decorate empty vertical space in your living room. It’s a great way to add a central focus to your space, and the larger the scale of your artwork, the more color, texture, and visual appeal it will bring to your room. Consider an oversize painting, photograph, or a diptych, like this space, for high-impact options.

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an eclectic living room design with blue walls, a red rug, and a large gallery wall

2. Eclectic Gallery Wall

If you can’t land on a large-scale art piece, create a curated gallery wall instead. It’s one of our favorite large wall decor ideas for living rooms because it works in any size living room. Start with an eclectic mix of drawings, paintings, or photos, then lay them out on your floor to come up with an arrangement. We like to use artwork in different sizes for some contrast in scale.

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a classic formal living room design with a large, grid gallery wall of botanical prints

3. Grid Gallery Wall

For a more tailored and organized gallery wall, try this themed grid approach. It’s a symmetrical and streamlined artwork display that looks right at home in polished and classic style living rooms. This is perfect if you have a collection or a series of art pieces you want to hang. Or take a cue from this grouping of botanical prints, which is one of our favorite gallery wall ideas.

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a chic living room with a grey sectional sofa, teal walls, and a diamond mirror above the sofa

4. Statement Mirror

When it comes to wall decor ideas that don’t involve a single piece of artwork, a unique sculptural mirror is one of our favorite ways to decorate a blank living room (or dining room!) wall. Not only is a mirror great for reflecting light, they also open up rooms by giving the illusion of a large space. Choose a mirror with a bold or fun shape, which will make it feel like a wall sculpture—that’s also super functional!

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a grandmillenial style living room with a sage green tufted sofa and floral wallpaper

5. Wallpaper

Few wall decor ideas add all-around impact like wallpaper. No matter your space, a wallpapered room sets a vibrant tone and is guaranteed to be a focal point in your home. Pick a fun pattern or a paper that mimics natural textures, like marble or wood graining, for a clean, layered look. If you’re not ready to commit, start with removable wallpaper that can be swapped out as needed.

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a formal living room design with plants and a large wall tapestry

6. Wall Mural

For something that’s just as captivating and elegant as art or wallpaper, hang a paper mural. Think of it as a large piece of wall art but more affordable because you don’t need to frame it. A garden or nature mural is a beautiful way to add richness and texture. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be permanent, so you can switch it out for other wall decor down the line.

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mid-century modern living room with a blue sofa, two grey armchairs, and an entire wall of bookcases

7. Bookcase System

Sometimes art and other hanging decor just aren’t enough to fill entire lengths of walls in the living room. If that’s the case for you, consider a full bookcase system, whether it’s a series of matching tall bookshelves or floor-to-ceiling built-ins. Store and style your favorite reads and objects into cool vignettes that become different focal points for your room. In terms of living room decor ideas, this nails style and function in all the best ways.

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a large open living dining room with large windows, a leather armchair, and a dining set-up crowned by a blue painting

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8. Sconces

Wall lighting can be a simple addition to a living room wall that adds bold visual appeal. A pair of sconces flanking a large painting, TV, console cabinet, or mirror will bring a sense of symmetry and balance to your living room. Seek out sconces with interesting shapes and finishes, giving your wall some sculptural appeal.

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a mid-century living room with a blue sofa and two blue tie-dyed tapestries hanging on the wall

9. Hanging Tapestry

Much like large artwork, wall tapestries make for a gorgeous, unique wall decor idea that brings a touch of soft natural texture to a room. Because tapestries are not big heavy pieces, they’re pretty and practical wall art in family homes with kids. Plus, they’re usually very affordable, so you can try a pair that have complimentary patterns for some visual variance.

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a mid-century living room design with a pink sofa, wood end table, and three pieces of art arranged above the sofa

10. Hanging Plants

One or two hanging plants alongside a gallery wall can be super impactful. A planter or two of trailing leafy greens, hung from your ceiling, can add a lush look and an organic touch that balances out framed artwork.

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a mid-century modern living room with a large blank accent wall painted blue gray

11. Painted Accent Wall

Sometimes all you need to liven up a blank wall is a fresh coat of paint. Before you pick up that paintbrush, do some quick research on accent wall ideas to see what color is right for your living room. A brighter paint color will turn your wall into an instant focal point while a softer color can shift the attention to your furniture pieces. You can hang some art over your accent wall or leave it blank, but either way, this is the simplest trick to punch up your walls and give it some depth and dimension.

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a mid-century living room design with a leather sofa, blue and white decor, and two wall-mounted shelves with art and decor

12. Floating Shelves

Another one of our favorite ideas for blank walls is to use floating shelves for artful displays. Instead of hanging wall art, lean a few large art prints and mix in small objects and tiny plants on the shelves to create visual interest while showing off your personal style. Just remember that less is more when it comes to styling; you want the shelves to appear curated, not cluttered.

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a boho living room with a white L-shaped sectional, carved wood coffee and side tables, a basket wall, and red and blue decor

13. Woven Baskets

For an alternative to the gallery wall that doesn’t involve art or plants or shelves, we love a display of hanging woven baskets as large wall decor ideas for living rooms. They add tons of natural texture to any blank wall, and they’re a nice contrast to boxy windows and clean-lined furniture. Hanging wall baskets also often come in gorgeous color combinations, so they’re perfect accents for enlivening neutral or white rooms.

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living room decorated in organic modern style

14. Sculptural Lighting

For those of you who love minimalist and streamlined spaces with unadorned walls, leaning into sculptural lighting designs can help keep your room from feeling spare and sparse. Here, it’s about using your empty walls as a backdrop to amplify shapes and forms of sculptural light fixtures and floor lamps. For instance, against a white wall, a cylindrical ceiling pendant will draw the eye up and visually fill out the negative space created by blank walls.

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living room with a large room divider shelf

15. Folding Screen

Think of the folding screen as a standing sculpture piece. What’s great about folding screens is that they act as wall decor without needing to be hung or installed. Line one along a blank wall or in a corner of your living room for a sophisticated focal point. They become instant statement pieces wherever they’re placed, and one with shelving gives you the added bonus of storage.

Shop This Looklarge tv wall with multiple bookcases and sconces

16. TV Wall

Sometimes filling the largest blank wall in your living room is as simple as hanging your TV there. You want to make sure it’s the best spot for your TV also, especially if you plan on using your living space for family movie nights or marathons with friends.

But why stop after the TV is up? As far as what to do with the wall behind your TV, try working in other wall decor ideas to round out the entire space, like adding a pair of sconces or a floating shelf. They’ll add function as well as balance out the boxy lines of the TV.

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Minimal living room with hanging cocktail bar

17. Hanging Bar

Don’t have room for a bar cart or cabinet? A hanging bar can fill up blank wall space while adding some practicality to your living space. This is a great option for those who love to entertain, as it keeps bottles and glassware near your conversation area. If you have an open living/dining room, it’s also a great way to bridge the two spaces! The hanging bar can be small or large depending on your needs and the size of space you’d like to fill.

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A large wall with living greenery hanging on wood palettes

18. Plant Wall

Are you a plant lover? A large blank wall can become a plant wall, adding additional greenery to your living room! The wall hangings pictured here have wood pallet backing with built-in planters. (These also conveniently come with faux ferns so you don’t have to worry about drips on watering day!) Hanging plants directly on the wall adds a ton of visual texture while filling that open space.

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Modern and minimal living room with neutral colors and a jute rug

19. Floor Mirror

A large living room wall can be decorated with a decorative floor mirror. When sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall, a large mirror reflects light to make your living room feel larger and brighter. It can also offer some practicality—letting you make quick outfit checks before leaving the house if your living room is close to your entryway.

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Leaning ladder on large living room wall
20. A Leaning Ladder

Large walls are a great place for decorative wooden ladders. They take up a lot of vertical space, so they visually fill a large blank wall—and they can be used to hang throw blankets, which adds a practical touch. You could also get some S-hooks and hanging planters and create a vertical hanging garden—a different take on a plant wall! Leaning ladders can be used in homes of many styles, but we especially love them in rustic, minimal, and Scandinavian spaces.

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Scandinavian living room design with wood furniture and blank walls

21. Leave It Blank!

Finally, there are also times when a blank wall just needs to be left as is. We love this in living rooms that are decorated with furniture pieces that all have unique shapes and forms. Here, it’s about embracing the negative wall space and leaving the focus to be with the materials, details, and other standout design elements in the room. If you’re a staunch minimalist, this is for you!

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Try on New Wall Art in Your Room

Still feeling stuck? Let our Modsy interior designers help! With a Modsy design package, you can get your room designed in 3D, so you can explore wall decor ideas before pounding in a single nail. Plus, your designer can help you discover hundreds of wall decor options from the Modsy catalog if you’re looking to buy something new!

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