Living room art ideas may not be at the forefront when we think about how to decorate a living room, but they should be.
Our selection of the very best living room art ideas includes exquisite living room wall ideas with murals, beautiful accent walls, eye-catching wallpaper and artwork to suit the style of any home – and we’ve included plenty of value-added design advice for your existing living room ideas.
Whether your living room is long, open, or on the small side, there are always ways to incorporate art into your scheme. Plus, of course, we’ve accommodated a variety of styles, color preferences and budgets, and as always, there are living room art ideas that you can quickly adopt – no full makeover required.
Living Room Art Ideas – Introduce statement art into the main room
These are our favorite living room art ideas – we’ve rounded them up with in-depth advice from well-known designers and our own team of experts so you know how to create a living room that will last for years to come.
1. Make a statement in your living room
With plenty of wall space, living rooms are an ideal place to layer favorite artworks.
“When buying art, there are two really effective ways to make a statement with art in a living space,” notes Camilla Clarke, creative director at Albion Nord. “The first is to play with the scale. Make the most of wall space and choose a large-scale artwork that runs the full height of the wall. It will feel bold and impactful. Another interesting way to make a statement is to create an art wall. Play with a mix of works of different sizes, colors and genres.’
2. Invest in the best frames for your art
Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, advises “hang art at eye level or just above and never underestimate the importance of framing – these are costs you should never hold back. The right framing can transform an image and is crucial to the overall impact of the artwork.
Play around with the layout of your frames before hanging them; Try evenly spaced rows and columns, or experiment with asymmetrical formations for something different.
3. Opt for large format art in a small space
People often assume they should buy little pieces of art for your little living room ideas, but it actually makes a room seem smaller,” advises Sheena Murphy, partner, Nune. “Don’t be afraid to fill the space – invest in an oversized artwork that completely fills the wall, and don’t skimp on the framing either.” Buying larger artworks will not only look better, but will also make your living room look so much more interesting: win-win!’
4. Commission a custom-made mural
Enlarged art has its moment in the interior design spotlight this year. Using a mural to fill a wall with a single dramatic image is a bold move, but it’s a logical progression if you’ve used patterned wallpaper before.
“A mural is a powerful tool for the adventurous,” says Andy Greenall, Design Manager at Little Greene. Many wall designs are now available as wallpaper, making them easier to achieve. “Three drops of paper forming a whole panel gives you instant buoyancy,” says Andy. Try painting the surrounding walls a complementary color to the mural.
Here, intriguing and subtle, this architectural mural adds a luminous decorative touch to this scheme, where neutral, subdued furniture allows it to take center stage. A molding or rustic wood reflects the horizontal lines of the print, creating display space for elegant art and accessories.
5. Perfectly design shelves
You can own some of the most beautiful pieces, but if you don’t make your shelves stand out, they can quickly lose the impact they might have had.
“When designing shelves, make sure to mix the highs and lows of the objects,” says Sophie Pringle, creative director, Pringle & Pringle. “Living room shelving ideas benefit from mixing things up – incorporate art, add plants, use an odd number of grouped objects; Start with big pieces and build around them.’
6. Use art to anchor the scheme
Starting with an artwork is almost a bit like cheating because it gives you an immediate focus point and palette,” says Rachel Chudley, interior designer. “A large painting can anchor the color palette for much of a room. The screens should relate to the painting without imitating it. A common misconception is the need to accurately match colors to an artwork in order to work with it. Let the painting inspire you instead.”
7. Let your art tell a story
Storytelling with art in design is crucial. Beautiful things alone are not enough. Your story is one of the most important design ingredients and your life should have a central resonance in your interiors.
A home can help us be the person we want to be—to establish that personality. Some may do this through the watch they wear or the car they drive, but for most it’s the art on display in the home that can shape one’s personality.
It’s worth noting that art takes many forms – not just paintings to be hung on a living room wall. For a truly unique collection of favorite things, it pays to go much further to find a special way to display them.
8. Add interest with a gallery wall
Maximize the impact of your favorite images with a gallery wall. Curate your own gallery wall idea by tying artworks together as a group or group. Decide which paintings will anchor the scheme, then take your decorating cues from them. In Elizabeth Hay’s home, the interior designer uses a mix of inherited heirlooms, art collected from her travels and her own pieces to create a unique look. After all, you want your living room art ideas to be visually pleasing.
9. Wow with wallpaper – and art
Living room wallpaper ideas are such an easy route to an instant effect – every room has more walls than any other. “I often think that people don’t pay nearly enough attention to their walls, spending months researching fabrics but only minutes to pick a nice, vibrant color scheme for their walls,” says Martin Waller.
“Just because a wall is wallpapered doesn’t mean you can’t hang art over it. Kit Kemp, who we collaborated with on her eponymous collection, exuberantly demonstrates this in her designs. Wallpaper and art combine to add such interesting layers to a room.’
Don’t worry about furniture blocking parts of a great design – it doesn’t matter if you can’t see everything. Renaissance painters discovered that they did not have to show figures in their entirety; They understood that the brain intuitively fills in the blanks.
10. Light up your favorite art
High quality art (real or personal) needs careful treatment when it comes to lighting – especially if the goal is to make it a prominent feature of the space.
“Lighting an image has the dual benefit of showing off the work and reflecting the light back into the room,” says interior designer Nicola Harding, who designed this scheme. She chose a wall color with a lacquer finish to reflect the natural light; the artificial light above stands in place during the darker hours.
“This reflected light is more atmospheric than something that illuminates the whole room. I also like to play around with wall lights that aren’t specifically designed as picture lights. Anything with an articulated arm can work.”
“With contemporary art, it’s best not to shine any light on it, as it can reflect behind glass,” says interior designer Guy Goodfellow. “However, traditional art such as oil paintings will benefit tremendously from the lighting and bring the images to life. My favorite way of lighting art is using LED picture lights, which are clever enough to only direct the light onto the canvas, rather than illuminating the wall around it.”
How do I choose art for a living room?
Choosing art for a living room is a matter of personal taste, but some expert advice will have you well on your way to curating your dream living room.
“I love starting a project with artwork, but conversely, some of my favorite rooms didn’t have artwork to begin with,” says Rachel Chudley, interior designer. “This is how creative interiors can come about because you are forced to think outside the box. ‘
“I would never advise acquiring art to match an interior, but I would also say that an art collection should be an extension of your personality, just like an interior. It should bring joy – I firmly believe that life with art makes people happier.”
“You can build a collection in many places over many years, whether at art fairs or by looking for galleries and dealers who know your tastes. I recommend going to local art galleries and fairs that focus on representing fairly unknown artists. It’s a fantastic way to see things in person and they even arrange visits to artists’ studios.”