No matter the type, I prefer walls with a featured art piece to bare ones. Nowadays, it’s common to find living rooms, dining rooms and other parts of the home with a particular wall art. Some even go as far as picking a featured or accent wall for an entire decorative wall.
The first pieces of wall art have prehistoric origins as cave paintings though it is believed they served as a means to communicate or as a religious device instead of decorative. They can be found across all continents except Antarctica and date back to 40,000 years with wild animals as a common theme.
Now we have handpainted Fresco murals with airbrushed and digitally printed wall art as the more affordable alternatives. Murals, as well as graffiti street art, are considered bona fide art forms.
Table of Contents
- Art Style
- By Room
Sculptures are a great way to add visual interest to your wall when you don’t want to add a picture or a painting. Because they are three-dimensional, they will appear to pop off your wall and can really enhance a room. Look for a sculpture that is large enough to command the attention of people coming into the room but not so large that it seems to take up the whole wall. This is especially important if your new sculpture appears to pop off the wall, as you don’t want it to visually overwhelm the room.
This is a classic type of wall art and one that you will generally see in every home you enter. While many people love to fill the walls of their home with photographs they have taken, there are amazing photographs that you can buy printed on quality paper to use as art. This type of wall art is much more realistic than other types, as it is actual pictures from around the world and not just an artist’s impression of what they are seeing.
Vinyl decals have recently become very popular as people have realized how easy they are to put on the wall and to remove later on when you no longer want the decal there. With choices that range from football players and kitchen art to whole room designs for nurseries, it’s easy to find decals that will fit the style of your home. They are less expensive now than they have been in the past, and since they don’t require you to put any holes in the wall, they are a great choice for families who are renting a home or apartment. Just like with other wall art, they can be used over and over in different locations in the home, making them cost effective as well.
Especially popular in man caves and a teenagers’ rooms, wall signs are heavy-duty and display something that is loved. This may be a particular brand of soda, a sports team, or a location in the world. When you are looking for wall art that will appeal to the recipient, help express their love of something, and tie into the décor of the room, wall signs are a great choice. They can look a little out of place in more contemporary settings, which is why they are more often seen in bedrooms and home bars, where they will fit in with a more relaxed atmosphere and décor.
For large-scale art that spans across a room or wall and can actually be hung around a corner, you will want to opt for wall panels. These will make you feel like you are in an art museum, as they are very large and can truly command a space. Look for wall panels that can span across a whole wall if you want to make a statement, as they tend to look a little out of place when surrounded by smaller art pieces.
Posters are incredibly popular in certain settings such as dorm rooms, first apartments, or home theaters. They are made of thin paper and can easily be rolled up and stored away when not in use. If you want your poster to last for a long time, you will want to either mount it on a hard backing or frame it right away, as the thin paper can easily become damaged. You can buy posters in all styles. It’s very popular for people to have posters of their favorite musicians or to buy prints of famous artists. As far larger art goes, posters are very inexpensive and are therefore great for individuals who are on a budget but want to outfit their home with wall art.
Prints are incredibly popular and allow anyone to have a copy of their favorite painting without trying to have to buy the original. Of course, when you opt for a print, it’s important to understand that you may very well see the exact same piece of wall art in another person’s home. If that doesn’t bother you, prints may be your best bet for decorating your home and filling your walls. They come in all sizes, colors, and themes, and it’s usually very easy to find prints to match the décor of your home.
While not often thought of as art, when you buy beautiful mirrors, you can enjoy them for their artistic appearance as well as for their utility and function. Look for a mirror that is large enough for you to easily use and which also has a thick decorative frame. This will allow you to make your room appear larger, since the mirror will reflect light, and will also help to tie together the colors and design of the room.
Source: Home Depot
Made from woven materials, this type of wall art does not generally come in a frame but is rather allowed to hang loose and free from a rod which runs along the top of it. You can opt for tapestries that are woven to show a beautiful design or, if you want, choose one that displays a landscape or other picture. Because these are often very large, you will need an open wall on which to display them to make sure they look their best.
Source: Home Depot
Wood is becoming more and more popular for wall art, although some people want the texture and the weight of wood but prefer that the actual wood grain and color be completely painted over. If you want to enjoy the warmth of wood in your home, look for options with an exposed grain. This can create a beautiful contrast when the wood is painted over or has printing on it.
Metal is quickly becoming more and more popular as a material for wall art because it makes such a statement. Metal wall art is generally very big and bold and can give your home an industrial feel if left raw, rough, and exposed. For a more modern or contemporary look, find metal art that has been finished and is smooth. When integrated with the other décor in your home, metal wall art can tie together a room, keep it from being too monotonous, and give you a conversation piece. When opting for metal wall art, you will want to choose large pieces, as they will be able to carry the increased weight of the metal. Smaller pieces tend to look clunky and not as high quality as larger pieces.
Source: Home Depot
Art that has been produced on a canvas will have more weight and will feel higher quality than art that is printed on thin paper. While you can easily print photographs and posters in large sizes, if you want something oversized or particularly eye-catching for your home, you will want to opt for art that has been printed on canvas. Noise detail will be muted when you hang a canvas on your wall, and such pieces will allow you to enjoy very large prints without worrying about loss of detail and appearance. Of course, canvas is heavier than plain paper, so you need to make sure that you use the right hardware to hang your new canvas so you don’t have to worry about it falling off the wall. Additionally, be careful when handling canvas because you can punch through it if you happen to drop the canvas or try to catch it by grabbing the middle part of it.
For a very special piece of wall art that is one-of-a-kind, look for something that is hand-painted. Of course, you are going to have to spend more money on this type of artwork, but the cost will be well worth it as you can rest assured that nobody else will have the same piece of art in their home as you do. When you buy hand-painted wall art, you can know that you are supporting an artist and that you will have an original piece in your home that is sure to spark interest and conversation.
If you don’t want to have to worry about finishing your wall art after you buy it, you will want to purchase wall art that has already been framed. This means that as soon as you get your wall art delivered to your home, you will be able to go ahead and hang it. If you are in a time crunch or really want to finish decorating your home, you will definitely want to buy framed art, as it will speed up how quickly you can hang your artwork.
For art that will not only be different than any kind of art that you will see in another person’s home, but which will also be special to the recipient, opt for something that is personalized. You can easily find wall art that is personalized with an initial, name, or a special date such as a wedding or birthday. While any gift of wall art is nice, when you choose something personalized, it really stands out. These pieces offer a great way to commemorate a special event and celebrate it every day
Sometimes you want wall art that looks great together but don’t have the time or inclination to hunt down individual pieces yourself. If you find yourself in this boat, you can greatly benefit from buying a set of artwork. This means that all the pieces of art included won’t match perfectly but will have enough of the same elements that they look great together. This gives you a fast and easy way to decorate your home.
Wall art shouldn’t just be enjoyed inside the home. Make sure that you can enjoy your favorite art outside as well when you opt for pieces that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This type of wall art is created to stand up to the elements and is a great way to decorate a porch or deck.
Floral and Plant
Source: Home Depot
One of the most popular styles of wall art is nature and floral. Flowers are naturally beautiful, and since they come in so many colors, you can easily choose floral wall art that will pick up hints of other colors in your décor. Look for artwork showcasing your favorite flowers so that you can enjoy seeing them all year long.
Even if you don’t live anywhere near the beach, you can enjoy the soft colors and gorgeous landscapes that are common with coastal living. With coastal art, you will find soft, muted colors such as blues and browns, as well as many water scenes. This type of wall art is very calming and looks great in homes that showcase muted colors—don’t expect to find coastal art that is bright.
You can easily add a touch of glitz or glamour to your home when you buy metallic art. Different than metal art, which isn’t always bright and shiny, metallic wall art can be a sculpture or a canvas, but the result will be the same. Bright metallic colors will liven up a room and look great in any home.
If you want to bring nature inside your home and you have a favorite animal, buying animal wall art is a great option. You’re not just limited to paintings of animals either, as 3D sculptures of animals or birds can add a lot of interest to the walls of your home. The great thing about animal art is that it looks alive.
Source: Home Depot
Maps are always a great choice for wall art. Whether you choose something as broad as a world map or narrow it down to a map that shows only your hometown, maps are interesting and great conversation starters. Make sure that if you do have a smaller area displayed on your map that the map is big enough to show detail.
Bath & Laundry
Showcasing subway art in a bathroom or laundry room has become very popular in recent years and is a cute, fun, and cheeky way to remind members of the family to wash their hands and brush their teeth or to correctly sort their laundry. Look for art that matches the other colors in these homes, as these rooms tend to be quite small and clashing colors won’t improve their appearance.
Source: Home Depot
Wall art doesn’t have to involve a picture, and if you want to really draw the attention of everyone who comes to your home, you will want to invest in some textured art. Bold letters against a contrasting background will ensure that your message comes across loud and clear.
Kitchen & Dining
Just like you can buy wall art designed specifically for a bathroom or laundry room, you can also buy wall art specifically for your kitchen. This art is usually tongue-in-cheek and helps keep the person who is cooking in a good mood while they are working. Look for kitchen art that includes your favorite food or a food pun for something lighthearted.
Farmhouse décor looks great in homes located in the country and is also appreciated by people who grew up in a farmhouse and want to remember how it felt. Look for graphic prints of animals to really bring the farmhouse feel inside.
To add vintage flair to your home without having to make a huge commitment to furniture, wall art is a great option. These pieces will stand out because of their muted colors, strong lines, and the feeling they evoke.
Watercolor wall art is incredibly soft, beautiful, and delicate. While you may think that it will look out of place in a home that isn’t feminine in style, this art looks great in practically any home due to the flowing lines and incredible use of color. When choosing watercolor art, you will want to take special care to pick a piece that is large enough for the details to be seen. Also, pay close attention to the color scheme used, as you can pick up tones from the art to use throughout your home.
Strong lines and subjects that are easily identifiable are sure signs that you have chosen a piece of classic art. This type of art will look great in almost any home, but it will look especially wonderful in contemporary homes that feature strong lines and solid colors in the furniture and linens.
Impressionism is characterized by the use of small, thin brush strokes that are visible. This type of art is generally very accurate in its depiction of the scene or item being painted and focuses on including movement in the piece as a result of the brush strokes. Look for impressionist art that has unusual angles and perspectives so you can make sure that the piece you buy is interesting.
Modern & Abstract
When you want art that will make people stop and think, look for something abstract. This type of art doesn’t always have a clearly-defined subject and can be open to interpretation by everyone who sees it. Not only can paintings be abstract, but sculptures can be as well.
Kids often love having art in their room, but it can be a little tricky to find art that will not only be appropriate for their space but also appeal to them. You can easily find art that will work for a child’s room when you look for pieces that are created specifically for use in such a space. These often come in either pastel or very bright colors and feature images that appeal to children, such as cute animals. You can also look for wall art for a kid’s room that features lyrics, poems, or empowering messages about love and strength for your child to enjoy.
When you want wall art that will either blend in with other pieces in your home or force people to come close to get a really good look at it, you will want to opt for artwork that is quite small in size. Look for wall art that is under 10 inches in height or width if you really want to be able to hide it among your other pieces.
Wall art up to about two feet in size is still considered rather small. This type of art looks great when bunched together with other pieces to create a cohesive look, but can also stand alone when hung in the right location in your home.
When choosing medium-sized wall art, look for something up to about 32 inches in height or width. This gives the art enough size to show more detail than is possible with smaller pieces but is not so large that it will dominate a room.
Large wall art is larger than 32 inches in size but is smaller than oversized pieces, which are usually taller or wider than 41 inches. Those few extra inches of size over medium-sized pieces of art can give the piece a little more heft and allow it to become more of a focal point in a room.
For a large statement piece that can stand on its own in even the largest room, look for an oversized piece of wall art. This art will look terribly out of place if you have a small room or a lot of clutter, so you will only want to use oversized wall art if you have plenty of open space in your home. This is the best way to make a statement, so make sure you love the artwork and that it ties in well with your décor and color scheme.
And yet another way to classify wall art is by room. While there is definitely cross over as to the types and styles you can use in different rooms, each room does have its own options that work best. To that end, we include an entire series of wall art by each room of the house.
Kitchen Wall Art Ideas
Kitchens are one of the more difficult rooms for wall art because there often isn’t very much wall space. Cabinets and backsplash take up much of the wall surface area.
Nevertheless, if you do have some wall space, check out the following ideas for kitchen wall art.
Bathroom Wall Art
You can have some fun with wall art in the bathroom. Like the kitchen, there usually isn’t much wall space, but with the little you have, you can incorporate quotes, pictures, knick-knack shelves and more. We have an extensive list of ideas. Check them out:
Living room wall art
Probably the popular room for wall art is the living room. It’s the room with the sparest surface area so it’s perfect for all kinds of wall art.
The good news is we put together an epic article setting out all the various living room wall art ideas.
Master Bedroom Wall Art
Above is an example of many master bedroom wall art ideas. You can go with a quote, wallpaper, wood, accent wall plus many more ideas. Check them out:
Outdoor Wall Art
Above is an example of how to incorporate outdoor wall art into your home. Spruce up your home exterior by turning it into a huge art canvas and don’t forget to use the windows for interesting details.
Dining Room Wall Art
Don’t miss out on adding wall art to your dining area as well. The dining room is a place where you gather with your family, share a meal, and spend quality time together. It’s very important to set an inviting mood in the dining area. Using interesting wall arts is one effective way to create an ambiance that’s both appetizing and inspiring.
So if you have an empty dining room wall, we’ve rounded up some great ideas for you to fill it up:
Office Wall Art
Wall arts aren’t limited to your home, you can also create a more productive workspace by adding creative wall arts to your office space. We’ve got a bunch of ideas for you as well: