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How to Decorate with Art in Small Spaces

Decorate with Art in Small Spaces

In the art world, small spaces are a special challenge. Decorating your home or business with art is a matter of adding beauty and vibrancy to the design. 

But in small spaces, it's important to think about how the space visually flows, even if there's only room for one or two pieces. Adding art to a nook or a small bathroom requires a careful balance of style and visual activity on the walls.

Decorating a small living room or bedroom can be even more challenging. You're creating an entire room of artistic decoration, but with very little open wall space to work with. Don't worry, we've got you covered.

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Decorating with art in small spaces isn't as hard as it sounds. All you need is to understand the isolation, flow, and lighting required to make any small space look good with the right art pieces.


Work With Your Wall Colors

Start with your color scheme. In small spaces, you don't have room to redefine the palette with art - unless you plan to decorate the entire space from top to bottom. Usually, you'll want to work with the wall color.

In a home painted the usual off-white, look for prints with a plain canvas background color and art designs that make the existing colors in your room pop.


Centralize One Piece of Art Per Wall-Section

Let your art pieces breathe, even in a small room. In fact, especially in a small room. Place one piece of art per section of wall (about 3-6 feet). This makes the room feel more spacious and reduces the sense of visual clutter. Too much art in a small room can make it feel smaller as if there's not enough space for all your art.

One piece of art per wall section is an elegant way to decorate a small room and make it feel elegant rather than crowded. If you have a little strip of wall between doorways, this is a great place for a single piece of art. For a blank expanse of wall, you might have two spaces that can each become home to one centralized piece of art.


Simple Art Pieces Reduce Visual Clutter

Keep your art pieces simple. Large and visually busy art can often make a small room feel smaller. You don't want your art piece to visually dominate the space unless the space is specifically for viewing the art. Instead, make sure art pieces in a small room are understated, adding beauty and interest without taking over the wall it hangs on.

In some small room designs, a single piece of large art can look very nice. But that piece should feel clean and create focus. Choose a piece that clearly has a center rather than a busy scenery piece.


Art that Makes a Small Space Feel Bigger

Some pieces of art can work much like a mirror to make a room feel bigger than it actually is. Prints set into large canvas backgrounds, for example, can make the wall look 'big' for the art instead of the frame making the wall look smaller. Simple pieces, line drawings and abstract paintings, can often make a room look bigger by forcing the viewer to look more closely to see the art within the expanse of the wall.

Light colors in your artwork, large frame backings, and spacious art designs can make a small room feel bigger.


Create a Presentation Space

Sometimes, however, you want a single piece of artwork to be the focus of your small room design. Let's say you have an alcove that is perfect for your favorite art piece or you have a prized painting to hang in a small living room. In this case, don't be shy about turning that small space into a presentation space.

Consider hanging a curtain or even painting an accent wall that will make your favorite art piece pop from its setting. If you want a big, impressive piece of art in a small space, make it look powerful and intentional.


Bring Up the Light Level

Finally, every small space needs clear, wall-to-wall lighting. Make use of natural light, if you can, with the right window treatments. Install new bulbs in your light fixture or even install a better light fixture for an even, beautiful illumination of your small space. This will bring light to your artwork and banish shadows that can make a room feel smaller.


Decorating a small space isn't difficult if you know the impression you want to make. Whether you're adding style to a small living room, adorning a powder room, or finding the perfect decor for a small nook, the key is to strike a balance between negative space and beautiful artwork. For more insights on home decorating in any sized room or space, contact us today!

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