How to Select Artwork for Your Living Room

 Detail of “That Pond in My Dreams” (Sold), by Andres Lopez
 Detail of “That Pond in My Dreams” (Sold), by Andres Lopez
 Detail of “That Pond in My Dreams” (Sold), by Andres Lopez

Consider Your Taste

As always, our advice is to choose art that you love for every room of your home. So when browsing artwork for your living room, go with what is most striking to you.

Choose one large piece of art that will stand out in the room, and everyone’s eyes will likely be drawn to it—especially if you leave the other walls bare. Or create a gallery wall, where you start with one piece that you love, and then surround it with other pieces that share an element that ties the work together.


Work With the Size of Your Living Room

The size of the artwork will be dictated by the size of your living room. So when choosing art for a large living room, know that big paintings will work better to fill the space. And if your living room is on the smaller side, be sure to stay away from oversized pieces so that the room doesn’t appear smaller than it is.

If you admire a piece of art that isn’t quite the right size for your living room, ask if the gallery can help you commission a custom piece. We recently assisted a client in San Francisco who loved a very large 5’x5’ painting. In order to fit their loft apartment, we worked with the artist to recreate a similar piece in a smaller 3’x3’ format.

Set the Mood of the Room

UGallery Director Alex Farkas has collected art for his living room that includes an abstract forest piece and a painting of a quiet evening in Venice. In the room together, the artwork evokes travel and exploration.

Farkas also wished to portray a vibe of relaxation in the room where his family gathers, so he chose pieces that evoke peace and calm. Think about what kind of feeling you’d like to create in your living room, and select pieces that honor that.

Use Your Art to Tell a Story

The paintings that you choose can tell the story of your life, but they don’t always have to conjure up the same feeling, and they don’t have to be in the same medium or style.


UGallery client Jim, who lives near a pond, chose to hang two contrasting pieces side by side in his living room to evoke different energies of water. One, by UGallery artist Andres Lopez, is an oil painting titled “That Pond in My Dreams.” Featuring colorful lily pads resting on softly rippled water, the painting evokes serenity and peace.

The other, an abstract acrylic painting titled “Aquarius II” by UGallery artist Krispen Spencer, features fluid, vibrant paint poured onto a flat canvas. Reminiscent of splashing water, it evokes power and movement.

“Aquarius II” (Sold), by Krispen Spencer

Hang Your Art Correctly

There are usually multiple places to display art in the living room, so choose the right spot by thinking about the space above the couch, over the fireplace or on mini easels atop tables and mantles.

When hanging the work on walls above seating areas, make sure that it is high enough so that guests leaning back or stretching their arms don’t damage it, but close enough to the furniture to balance the room.

Generally, the center of a piece of art can hang on the wall at approximately 60 inches above the ground to ensure that it’s at viewing height. This can be adjusted depending on the layout of the room and your own personal height.

Placing the art at a height at which it can be easily enjoyed from all sitting areas is ideal, especially when entertaining guests. Paintings in the living room, especially those that tell a story or set a mood, make for great conversation starters.