How to Decorate Every Room of Your Home With Original Art

 “Four Appetizers,” by Pat Doherty
 “Four Appetizers,” by Pat Doherty
 “Four Appetizers,” by Pat Doherty

Match the Energy of Each Room

When UGallery client Steve was planning to retire in southwestern Utah, his decorator encouraged him to stay away from green tones when choosing the right artwork, because blue, black, gold and bronze were colors more often found in that particular desert landscape.

Wishing to capture the mood of the desert in the art that he would hang, Steve commissioned two abstract pieces by UGallery artist Melisa Taylor that were made with a combination of materials including acrylic, spray paint and charcoal. He hung one in the entrance of his home, and the other above a stone fireplace.

“Steve wanted to have something abstract and contemporary that was also a nod to his new house in this new landscape for him,” says UGallery Art Advisor Samantha Greene. “He also wanted to slow things down in his retirement, and choose the right art to reflect that.”


Art for the Living Room

Recently, a UGallery Florida-based client named Rob acquired a 48” by 48” mixed-media painting of a Native American chief titled “Glowing Pink Chief,” by UGallery artist Scott Dykema. Rich in color and texture, the enormous portrait was meant to be a focal piece in the living room that would immediately draw eyes.

“Art provides powerful energy, so we like to match social and productive energy in the living room,” says UGallery Director Alex Farkas.

“Glowing Pink Chief” (sold), by Scott DykemaDepending on what kind of energy you’re striving for in the living room, the right art can be a big and bold statement piece, like Dykema’s painting, that sparks conversation—especially if you plan on doing a lot of entertaining. On the other hand, if you plan on mostly enjoying the living room yourself, or would rather not have wall art that becomes the main focus when you have guests, hang something less attention-grabbing.

Greene says that Rob loved how when the sun was setting, the painting would glow because of the gold leaf that the artist had used on the chief’s feathered headdress.

“I don’t think he even anticipated how the light would affect the gold leaf on the painting,” she says, noting that “Glowing Pink Chief” works as the only piece of art in the living room because it makes such a big statement on its own. “So it ended up being much more than what he was anticipating.”

Art for the Kitchen

UGallery artist Pat Doherty paints plates of colorful sushi, rows of crackers topped with vegetables and stacks of macaroons, among other culinary still lifes.

Paintings of food, whether savory or sweet, are popular in kitchens, where people are cooking and enjoying food.


“Groupings of food paintings work well for the kitchen, dining room or dining nook,” Greene says. “Oftentimes, people create gallery walls to display foods that they like.”

But art for the kitchen doesn’t have to be food-related. And because kitchens sometimes have limited wall space due to elements like cabinets and windows, smaller pieces of any subject matter usually work best. Just be aware that if you hang an art piece in a spot above the stove, or close to where you prepare food, splashing can damage the work.

Art for the Bedroom

An oil painting of red, orange and yellow wildflowers dancing in a field called “Summer Blooms,” by UGallery artist Kajal Zaveri, appealed to UGallery client Jim for his bedroom because he wanted to wake up to something bright and cheery.

“He was looking at this piece to be directly across from his bed and be the first thing that he sees in the morning,” Greene says.

“Summer Blooms” (sold), by Kajal ZaveriTips for choosing artwork for the bedroom are similar to those for choosing art for the living room: think about what kind of mood you’d like to evoke in your bedroom. Bold and energetic pieces like “Summer Blooms” work well for happy and motivated energy in the mornings, while serene landscape or abstract paintings work best for gazing at something soothing before drifting off to sleep.

When choosing the right art piece, take into account the fact that bedrooms are more private spaces than other rooms in the house.

“You can choose artwork for the bedroom that is more intimate in terms of subject matter, or in terms of work that you like but don’t necessarily want to put on display for everyone to see,” Greene says.

 Art for the Bathroom

“Artwork for your bathroom can also be intimate,” Greene says, noting that pieces featuring nudes, semi-nudes or women applying makeup are popular. “Especially if it’s your own personal bathroom.”

For bathrooms or powder rooms in your home that will be used by guests, consider less personal, more decor-friendly artwork.

Either way, it’s important to make sure that the artwork you choose for the bathroom can withstand moisture, and that works on paper are framed for protection. A well-ventilated bathroom can prevent damage to the work, but you’ll probably want to save your most cherished pieces for a different room.

Art Doesn’t Have to Match Your Sofa

Greene says that she advises people to choose artwork that they’re really drawn to, rather than choosing it because it matches their furniture.

“Art has a life of its own, and it’s more about defining your personality than anything,” she says. “So if people are too concerned with matching, they don’t end up really finding anything that they love to live with.”