Decorate

How to decorate with art in your home

Don't just buy it, celebrate it!
kitchen with dining table and upholstered bench seatPhotography: Jacqui Turk / Styling: Alanna Smit

Hanging art in your home can provide the decorating boost it needs to elevate the look and feel of your spaces from inhabited to stylish and lived-in.

Heritage home hallway with artwork and mirror
A large artwork framed in white hugs the wall to make a welcoming statement in this heritage hallway. (Credit: Photography: Ess Creative / Styling: Samantha Torrisi )

Feature artwork can help inspire certain moods, so it’s a great way to really give a space the feel you want. Artwork really helps capture the essence of a room, so whether it’s a selection of botanical canvas prints or an original oil painting, making sure the piece you pick harmonises with your decorating style will make sure your finished room really is exactly what you envisioned.

Choosing art can be difficult however and there’s lots to consider. We spoke to some experts to find out how to choose art to decorate your home and how to make the most of it once you bring it into a room.

Lara Scolari artwork in living room
(Credit: Image courtesy of Lara Scolari)

1. Consider the size of your room

“One of the best ways to do this is to take cues from the very space itself,” says leading contemporary visual artist Lara Scolari. “No matter what type of space you have, the first thing to consider is the dimensions of the space you’re wanting to fill,” she says.

“Get some tape, or even some blue tack, to roughly mark out the dimensions of what you believe is the perfect sized artwork for the space – then measure it. Take a photo of the space and your surrounding decor and then take both the image and the measurements with you to the gallery.”

“When using artwork to make a bold statement, consider the scale and size of furniture and accessories,” says stylist Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors. “Lots of incidental small pieces may clutter the overall look, whereas bold shapes will enhance it.” 

kitchen and dining room with indigenous art
Choose art to echo the scale and tone of the space in which it will hang. (Credit: Photography: Jacqui Turk / Styling: Alanna Smit)

2. Work with the decorating style of the room 

Whilst an artwork is effective in making a statement, it’s important to keep within the decorating style of other elements in your room. This can work both ways – you may have a much-loved piece that will form the basis of the entire room design – consider the style, colour and texture of the piece and build from there.

For example, “If the room you’re decorating has lots of exposed timber, you want to consider carefully what you frame any artwork in,” suggests Lara. “You should think about finish as well as colour.

Colourful upholstered sofa with complimentary artwork
(Credit: Photography: Hannah Puechmarin / Styling: Cheryl Carr)

3. White isn’t always right

“Most people think that bold colours ‘pop’ against white backdrops, and whilst this is true to an extent, let it not be forgotten that they often ‘pop’ even more against darker colours,” says Julia Green. “A wall colour with depth is a match made in heaven for bold hues.

Lara agrees. “Bear in mind that you might want to re-paint the colour of the wall where the artwork will hang to make the artwork pop, and to further incorporate your art into the space.”

Are you getting the most out of art in your home?
(Credit: Styling by Sara Huckett for Greenhouse Interiors | Photography by Armelle Habib)

4. Add a sense of luxury with your art

“Luxe rooms normally utilise bold hues, precious metals, reflective surfaces, exotic timbers, velvet, ornamentation, and silk or patterned fabrics,” says Lara. Affordable art can fit the bill here too – wall art prints in the form of vintage posters or new work from emerging artists can be kinder to your budget.

“With daring colour palettes, a luxe space usually demands a rush of colour and vitality.”

Lara Scolari, Artist

5. Create a feature wall for your art

“Feature walls can be painted in a rich bold hue and display a large scale dynamic abstract artwork that complements the energy and style of the room,” Lara suggests adding, “In rooms of this style, I would always recommend framing the artwork.”

“To enhance the look and feel of bold artwork, look to pick up cues from the chosen piece to inform the space,” Julia suggests. “For instance, repeat the use of a bold colour in accessories or furniture items to enhance the overall palette.”

A wall gallery with charcoal drawings over a vintage style cabinet.
The bedroom of this 1930s Queenslander is brought to life with a gallery of collected portraits and abstract art. (Credit: Photography: Hannah Puechmarin / Styling: Hayley Jenkin)

6. Include art in coastal interior decorating style

“Though there are different varieties of the coastal style, they all share a love of ocean hues, sun-bleached white, natural materials, found objects, raw fabrics and a celebration of natural light,” says Lara.

“A coastal room enjoys a subtler artwork or one that complements and reflects the rhythmic energy and marine colour palette. A large-scale abstract artwork with texture, movement and ocean hues, as well as the drone/satellite photography of the coast, gives interest and engagement within the space, without being too literal.”

Coastal bedroom with ocean artwork
Art imitates life in this coastal bedroom. (Credit: Louise Roche)

7. Gather your collected pieces together

“If you’ve chosen a more eclectic style for your interior, you have greater scope to collect pieces of interest from your life and travels and display them together,” says Lara. “Artworks within the eclectic space can once again become a collection – but best to keep a common theme. This is also a great opportunity to hang your art in a gallery-style arrangement. You can almost get away with anything, so really feel free to go for it.” 

Bedroom with gallery style artworks
A contemporary collection of abstract art echoes the colour scheme in this Gold Coast bedroom. (Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Kylie Jackes
PASTEL LINES NR. 1 - MINIMAL ART POSTER

01

Pastel Lines Nr. 1 – minimal art poster

$18.90, 5mm Paper

Best for: Minimalist musings

A touch of elegance, this minimal abstract art print is perfect for a hallway, bathroom, or as part of a gallery wall display.

Sizes: A3, A4, A5.

Key features:

  • 300g FSC-certified matte paper
  • Frame not included
  • 400gsm
CHAMPIGNONS BY ADOLPHE MILLOT ART PRINT (UNFRAMED)

02

Champignons by Adolphe Millot art print

$103.55, Art Du Jour Studios

Best for: Modern mycophiles

Who doesn’t love a botanical print? Devoted to the art of the mushroom, give this piece pride of place in your kitchen for a stunning conversation starter around the dinner table.

Sizes:

A3, Image Size: (29.7 x 42cm) | Paper Size: 36.7 x 49cm
A2, Image Size: (42 x 59.4cm) | Paper Size: 50 x 67.4cm

Key features:

  • Archival quality inks
  • 300gsm 100% cotton rag textured art paper
  • Frame not included
HARBOUR 1 ARTWORK

03

Harbour 1 artwork

$820, Highgate House

Best for: Classic interiors with a touch of history

With a colour palette that could drive an entire interior scheme, channel days gone by or plan European bucket list escapes with this evocative scene.

Size: 66cm W x 66cm H

Key features:

  • Deckled and floated on mat
  • Hand-applied crackled finish
  • Distress antique silver frame
  • Reproduction artwork
BALLY PINK SHOES BY BERNARD VILLEMOT ART PRINT (UNFRAMED)

04

Pink Bally Shoes by Bernard Villemot art print

$170.05, Art Du Jour Studios

Best for: Design enthusiasts and fashionistas

This is vintage poster art at its very best. A bold statement when they hit billboards in the 1950s, the Bally series remains timeless in its simplicity and style. If your budget and gallery contacts don’t extend to procuring an original, an art print is the next best thing to make a style statement in a contemporary space.

Sizes:

A2, Image size: 42 x 59.4cm | Paper: 52 x 69.4cm
A1, Image size: 59.4 x 84.1cm | Paper: 69.4 x 94.1cm
A0, Image size: 74 x 109cm | Paper: A0 84.1 x 118.9cm

Key features:

  • 300gsm 100% cotton rag textured art paper
  • Archival inks
  • Frame not included
  • High-quality giclée print
POLIGNANO A MARE PRINT

05

Polignano A Mare print

$59, Outside In Co.

Best for: Feeding your wanderlust

Did somebody say bucket list?! Escape to the coastal paradise of southern Italy when you wake each morning via this sunny scene on your bedroom wall. Or, avoid the crowds and enjoy the timeless charm of secret beaches beneath dramatic cliffs from the comfort of your living room.

Colours: White, Natural, Black, Unframed

Sizes:

A3, Image size: 29.7 x 42cm
A2, Image size: 42 x 59.4cm
A1, Image size: 59.4 x 84.1cm
A0, Image size: 74 x 109cm

Key features:

  • 300gsm 100% cotton rag textured art paper
  • Archival inks
  • Frame not included
  • High-quality giclée print
BAUHAUS AUSSTELLUNG CIRCULAR STUDY ART PRINT (UNFRAMED)

06

Bauhaus Ausstellung Circular Study art print

$103.55, Art Du Jour Studios

Best for: Architecture aficionados

The Bauhaus movement observed the principle of form follows function. This wall art print is the embodiment of this philosophy, with clean lines, bold colours and simplicity of design. This piece is perfect for your dining room as orange promotes joyful conversation.

Sizes:

A3, Image size: 29.7 x 42cm | Paper: 37.7 x 50cm
A2, Image size: 42 x 59.4cm | Paper: 52 x 69.4cm
A1, Image size: 59.4 x 84.1cm | Paper: 69.4 x 94.1cm
A0, Image size: 74 x 109cm | Paper: A0 84.1 x 118.9cm

Key features:

  • 300gsm 100% cotton rag textured art paper
  • Archival inks
  • Frame not included
  • High-quality giclée print

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