Artistic Expression: Using Art to Elevate Interior Design

Think Interior
6 min readApr 3, 2024

Art is a powerful tool for elevating and transforming living spaces in interior design. Artistic expression in interior design goes beyond aesthetics; it infuses individuality, culture, and storytelling into the places we call home. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into using art to elevate interior design, exploring how to make art the focal point of your space, select the right pieces, frame and display them effectively, harmonize art with color and themes, and much more.

You can learn how to use art in interior design through the interior design academy. Whether you’re a professional designer or just embarking on your interior design journey, this article will provide insights and inspiration on the role of art in creating remarkable living spaces.

Art as the Focal Point

The strategic use of art as the focal point in interior design is a dynamic approach that can raise the aesthetics and atmosphere of a space. This concept involves selecting a key artwork and designing the entire room around it, making it the centerpiece of the design. Here’s a deeper exploration of how art can serve as the focal point in interior design and its significance:

Creating a Visual Centerpiece: Art becomes the room’s heart, immediately capturing the viewer’s attention. It serves as an appealing centerpiece, drawing the eye and creating a focal point that sets the stage for the entire space.

Setting the Mood and Theme: Art can convey emotions, moods, and themes. The chosen artwork can establish the room’s spirit, whether it’s a tranquil atmosphere through a landscape painting or an energetic and vibrant vibe through abstract art. The artwork’s theme can be mirrored in the design elements throughout the space.

Personal Expression: Art allows for personal expression and individuality. The selection of the artwork reflects the personality, tastes, and interests of the homeowner or designer. It transforms the space into a canvas for self-expression, making it uniquely personal.

Highlighting Architectural Features: Art can accentuate architectural features. It can draw attention to unique details like decorative moldings, structural elements, or a grand fireplace. In this way, art complements and highlights the inherent character of the space.

Enhancing a Sense of Arrival: Art can create a sense of arrival in public and grand spaces. Monumental artworks in lobbies or entrance halls can serve as an initial point of contact, establishing a superb first impression that sets the tone for the entire building or establishment.

Choosing Art for Your Space

Selecting the right art for your space is deeply personal and creative. It’s not just about choosing a beautiful piece; it’s about finding artwork that resonates with the room, its occupants, and the desired ambiance. Here are some considerations when selecting art for your space:

Reflect Your Style: Consider your style and the room’s overall style. Do you prefer contemporary, traditional, or eclectic aesthetics? Your chosen art should align with the existing style or create a compelling contrast that enhances the room’s character.

Color Harmony: Consider the room’s color palette when choosing art. The artwork can complement or vary with the existing colors. Harmonious color choices create a cohesive look, while bold contrasts can add drama and visual interest.

Subject Matter and Theme: Think about the subject matter and theme of the artwork. Does it have personal significance or convey a message that aligns with the room’s purpose? For instance, a home office may benefit from inspirational or contemplative art, while a dining room could feature food-themed pieces.

Emotional Impact: Art can evoke emotions. Consider what feelings you want the artwork to convey. Peaceful landscapes may promote relaxation, while abstract art can stimulate creativity and intrigue. Choose art that resonates with the desired emotional tone of the space.

Art Medium: Explore various art mediums such as paintings, sculptures, prints, or mixed media. The choice of medium can influence the room’s texture and tactile qualities. Sculptures and three-dimensional art can add depth, while paintings offer a 2D visual impact.

Choosing art for your space is a thoughtful process involving visual and emotional considerations. It’s an opportunity to infuse your personality, values, and style into the room, creating an environment that resonates with you and those who share the space. Ultimately, the right art can elevate the ambiance and character of a room, making it an integral part of your interior design.

Framing and Display

Once you’ve chosen the perfect artwork for your space, the next step is to consider how to frame and display it effectively. Proper framing and display can enhance your interior’s visual impact and harmony. Here’s a closer look at the skeleton and displaying art in interior design:

Framing Styles: The choice of frame style is a critical decision when presenting art. The frame can complement or contrast the artwork and the room’s decor. Options range from ornate and traditional frames to minimalistic, contemporary choices. The structure should align with the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve.

Matting: If you opt for framed artwork, matting is crucial in creating visual space between the painting and the frame. Matting enhances the presentation by providing a clean border and drawing attention to the art. The color and width of the mat should be selected thoughtfully to harmonize with the artwork and the room’s colors.

Gallery Walls: If you plan to create a gallery wall with multiple art pieces, design the layout before hanging. Consider the arrangement of frames, their spacing, and alignment. Gallery walls are ideal for displaying more minor elements in a visually appealing ensemble.

Art as a Conversation Piece

Art plays a unique and multifaceted role in interior design. Beyond aesthetics, it is a conversation piece that can stimulate dialogue, provoke thought, and enhance a space’s cultural and intellectual depth. Here’s a closer look at how art functions as a conversation piece in interior design:

Cultural Significance: Art often carries cultural and historical significance. Whether a classic masterpiece or a contemporary creation, art can serve as a tangible connection to different cultures and periods. When guests encounter art with cultural references, it offers an opportunity for discussion and learning about the art’s origins and role in the world.

Storytelling: Art has the power to tell stories. Each piece has its narrative, whether it’s a representation of the artist’s personal experiences, a commentary on social issues, or a reflection of a particular historical period. Guests can converse about the stories behind the artwork and their interpretations of its meaning.

Aesthetic Appreciation: Art fosters an appreciation of aesthetics and beauty. Viewers often have diverse perspectives on what is beautiful or visually compelling. Artwork can spark conversations about individual tastes, preferences, and the emotional responses it evokes in each person.

Inspiration and Interpretation: Art can inspire, leading to conversations about creativity and interpretation. It encourages discussions on how different people interpret the same piece of art and the varied emotions and ideas it can inspire.

Provocation and Contemplation: Some art pieces are intentionally provocative or thought-provoking. They may challenge conventional thinking, address controversial topics, or question societal norms. Such art encourages dialogue about social issues, ethics, and personal beliefs.

Curation and Arrangement: The arrangement and curation of art within a space can also be a talking point. How you display your art, whether through gallery walls, thematic groupings, or even the absence of frames, can elicit curiosity and discussions about your design choices.

Engagement and Entertaining: Art can serve as entertainment and engagement during social gatherings. Guests may naturally gravitate toward art, discussing their impressions and interpretations. Art adds layers to the colonial experience, making it more intellectually stimulating and culturally enriching.

Learning the Art of Interior Design

For those looking to deepen their knowledge of interior design and the integration of art, there are educational paths to explore. Pursuing formal education in interior design can provide a structured and comprehensive understanding of design principles. Alternatively, colleges with interior design courses and resources cater specifically to interior design enthusiasts, offering flexibility and accessibility for self-learning at your own pace.


Artistic expression in interior design is a journey of creativity, storytelling, and personal reflection. The transformative power of art reclines not only in its aesthetic appeal but also in its ability to imbue living spaces with individuality and cultural richness. Whether choosing art as a focal point, harmonizing it with colors and themes, or delving into different artistic styles, art can elevate your interior design to new heights. It’s an enduring testament to the connection between aesthetics and emotion and the power of art in the spaces we call home.



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