Living Room Wall Art Ideas

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No one wants to spend the bulk of their time sitting in a room they find repulsive. One of the easiest and most popular ways to decorate a living room is with wall décor. There are three basic types of wall art frequently used for decorating the living room: paintings, prints and photographs. A more modern approach is to create art on the wall using paint and other textures. Each one can run the gamut of size and price, but the ultimate choice depends upon which medium means the most to you. 

Types Of Wall Art For The Living Room

  • Paintings are made by hand or mechanically painted pictures on a canvas. Traditional, often colorful and typically detailed, paintings are a great choice for traditional or formal living rooms. Depending upon what is depicted in the painting and how bright, dull, detailed or simple the image is, paintings can be adapted to any living room theme.
  • Photographs can be as simple as a portrait of family members or as detailed as a major city skyline. Hanging framed photograhs is one of the easiest ways to add highly specific, personalized art in your living room. Select photographs of people, places or things you love and want to look at each day. Select black and white photos for a slightly subdued, modern look. 
  • Prints are high-quality printed replicas of paintings, movie posters and other artistic expressions printed out digitally by a computer. This style of living room wall art is perfect for modern, minimalist and Hollywood style rooms. 

The decision on what type of wall art to choose for your living room is determined by the current décor of the space and the person or people who live in the home. Someone who enjoys the look of black-and-white photography may choose old photos to put on the walls, while a single college student may adorn his walls with framed prints of his favorite movie posters.

The only caveat on personal expression is the type of décor in the room. In a room with a modern theme, for example, antique floral paintings would look out of place. Select pieces that reflect both your personal preferences, and the style of the room. 

Color

Color doesn't pertain so much to the colors in the painting or photograph as it does to the color of the frame. As long as the framed art meshes with the décor and doesn't clash with the other colors in the room, the color is fine, but the frame can make or break a piece of art.

Examine the room and determine the color scheme. If the room doesn't have one or it hasn't been decided yet, then choose frames of a solid darker color or a natural wood color. These tend to be good neutral colors that fit in with most living rooms.

If the room does have a theme or color scheme to it, then find a frame that matches in both style and finish. If a frame cannot be found commercially to fit the scheme, then a custom frame can be created expressly for that purpose. Take note that a custom frame is more expensive than a standard frame from a store.

living room wall art ideas

Size

The walls of a living room are like a blank canvas waiting to be filled, but there are a few options how that canvas is filled. If there is literally a bare wall from ceiling to floor, with no furniture to take a person's eyes from it, then a single large piece of art is acceptable. It can also be accented with smaller framed artwork on either side of the main picture or painting.

If the wall is long but not wide, then using several smaller pictures is the best option. A single large piece of art will make the area feel cluttered, but several spaced-out smaller pieces create a collage of images. The key is to space the pictures out and stagger them so they aren't in a straight line. If they are too close together, then the wall will look to busy. But if they are all in a straight line, then it may seem too antiseptic for a cozy living room.

living room wall art ideas

Cost

The cost of the artwork is dependent on the quality of the work, frame and size. Starving artist auctions are great places to pick art up at a low price. If the piece is purchased at an art house or gallery, then it will be priced significantly higher, because it is made by a more prominent artist. Black-and-white photographs can be found at antique shops and secondhand stores for only a few dollars. Many times, the pictures are leftovers from estate auctions and have no real monetary value. Artistic photographs can cost as much as a gallery painting, because they are pieces art as well.

Prints are the most evenly priced of the group, because they are not originals, but simply replicas. These will cost more than paintings at a starving artist's sale, but less than art house pieces. They can be found at most commercial department stores.

Size will also increase the cost. If anything, a bigger picture requires a larger canvas, more effort and additional paint, so it will sell at a higher cost. A custom designed frame, either for color or size, will cost significantly more than a standard frame purchased at a store. Custom frames are put together by hand and are made to fit a specific painting or photograph.

Last Updated: March 14, 2013
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About Brock Cooper Brock Cooper is a freelance writer for IdealHomeGarden.com. 

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