How to finish your space with art

Household 6 min read

Design is all about the finishing touches. Those last few pieces you add that make all of your bold statements fit together and all of your subtle choices stand out. The pieces that make it all make sense. A finishing touch is almost never a main piece like a sofa or dining table. Instead it’s typically an accent piece like a vase, statue or rug. And the best of all possible finishing pieces is art. In fact, art is so essential to the final stages of creating a room that no space is ever really complete without it. To give you a better sense of what that is and how you can use art to perfect your own decor at home, here’s a few tips on how to finish your space with art.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Create a color palette with art

The color story is one of the most important components of any room, since no room can really exist without one. It’s not simply a matter of putting colors in a space, it’s about how they interact and how you weave them together throughout the design. Art is an amazing tool for taking the colors you want to have in your room and connecting them through a single piece.

Here, the red pillows on the bed would look bright and out of place, if not for the strong red statement being made by the artwork on the wall. But more than simply echoing the red textiles, the painting creates a cohesive feeling for the entire space by blending red with black and white, which are two of the room’s major hues. Bringing the color palette together in this way creates a relationship that helps everything fit together perfectly in this bedroom.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Complete the scene

Even as a finishing piece, art doesn’t always have to be the center of attention. Sometimes it’s enough just to fill in the space while complementing the color story in subtle yet meaningful ways. The black painting in this space is just going with the flow, complementing the black lamps on either end of the credenza and helping to add some contrast to the entryway’s white walls. At the same time, all of that black makes a perfect backdrop for the purple silhouette of a woman to stand out against. The purple, along with the drama of the image itself, adds character to the vignette while the woman’s chandelier earrings blend in a bit of the opposing color so that it all works, but without having to overemphasize the art in the space.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Art everywhere

Paintings look great on the walls, but that doesn’t mean that the wall is your only option for displaying an art collection. Art can make a statement anywhere in your home and that means that the floors are fair game as well. This room features art on the walls, but the boldest expressions are reserved for the floor where two vibrant pieces command the attention of the room. The unexpected burst of color and pattern gives the room a new sense of character that feels informal and engaging.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (


Art is more than just paintings. Sculptures, photographs, and even hanging textiles are all art and can all work in various ways to put just the right finishing touches on your home. In this space a sculpted miniature bust of Jimi Hendrix sits on the coffee table with a beaded basket and an organically shaped votive. Though all of the pieces are white, they create an interesting mix of textures. Meanwhile, a handwoven Mexican textile hangs behind the sofa, adding a subtle pop to the colorful blue walls.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Play with size

Gallery walls are one of the most popular ways to display art in the home. They’re also an excellent opportunity to play with scale to add visual interest to your collection of artworks. Here, a beautiful art display is made even more fetching by the mix of sizes between the different pieces. The bright colors of the largest piece stand out while the impact of the smaller pieces comes from the strong female images that both depict. The various contrasts between them draw the eye, making this vignette a center of attention in the process.

large wall artPhoto Credit: Jess Isaac (

Colorful photographs

Photography is an excellent choice for wall art in the home. One of the major advantages to art is that it allows you to display a point of view more clearly than almost anything else in your home can. If you’ve always wanted to travel or want to remember the travels you’ve had, a photograph could be the perfect accent piece. Or if there’s a cause that matters to you, a picture, as they say, can be worth a thousand words. In this home, a colorful photo of children in African dress is a happy reminder of a dance troupe that the homeowner founded.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Display Your favorites

In addition to all of its other benefits, art can simply be a useful way to fill the space in your home in an attractive and interesting way. Storage is always one of the major practical concerns in design, but if you don’t want storage to be the only thing your shelf space is used for, think about displaying collections of your favorite art and accessories. In this space, the built-in shelving is the perfect display area for everything from small paintings and family photos to baskets, statues and other crafts. This can be one of the most fun parts of designing a room because of all of the trial and error that goes into making your display look just right.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Global Art

Because art allows us to make such clear statements at home, it’s also one of the best ways to add a cultural feel to a space. Whether you’re talking about paintings, photos, or other crafts, art can help you to transport your room anywhere on earth to give you the feeling of a global getaway. Here, a colorful assortment of handmade baskets from Rwanda make for a colorful and vibrant wall display. An alternative to a picture gallery wall, handmade baskets like these are absolute works of art that can be easily displayed.

Photo Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

Exciting Wall Murals

Finally, if you can’t find the right painting to put on your wall, why not just paint the entire wall instead? Wall murals can give you all of the color and fun you need while reflecting exactly what you want your home to say. This vibrant wall mural fills the space with energy and life, turning an ordinary hallway into a colorful adventure. Painting the wall yourself, or commissioning a mural from a local artist can turn any space in your home into a masterful work of art.

wall muralsPhoto Credit: Photographer Patrick Cline (

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