living room design

6 Great Ways to Use Abstract Art to Transform Your Home


contemporary living room with black leather seatingAn Abstract Painting in a Living Room

What if a few small additions could have a transformational impact on your living space?

If a renovation is currently not in the budget there are other ways to give your home a needed makeover. One way is to give your home a dose of abstract art.

Wondering how art can be a real game-changer? Keep reading to discover the answer!

Why Decorate With Abstract Art in the Home?

We have some suggestions for using abstract art in a powerful way. Before we get to that, it’s important to answer a simple question: Why even use abstract art?

Critics often dislike it because it is not representational nor does it have a clearly recognizable subject. Instead, these works challenge viewers to find their own meaning. For this writing we are defining abstract art by its elements that incorporate the process of form, line, pattern, texture, color, and composition. It is a non-objective, or unrealistic form of art, but a creative process none-the-less.

Entrance Foyer, Abstract Art, Reston VA
Entrance Foyer with Abstract Art

That in fact is the power of abstract art. It challenges the viewer to uncover mysteries about the artist and the artist’s meaning behind the work. It can be non-objective and only exists to be visually stimulating. The creativity of these pieces lies in the materials or medium that is used and how they are applied. In short it gives the opportunity to challenge the viewer to be imaginative.

Dr. Eric Kandel, head of the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University writes “our neural circuitry is hardwired to prefer images we can identify, which makes abstract forms more difficult to process. At the same time, abstract forms leave the door open to interpretation, stimulating the higher-level areas of the brain responsible for creativity and imagination.”

Decorations can set the tone for an entire home. Why not use the kind of art that can transform your brain and your living spaces?

Transform vs. Conform

Below, we have several suggestions for decorating with abstract art. Before getting started you need to determine whether the purpose of the art is to transform a space, or work with an existing design.

If you want the artwork to help redefine an entire space, you want something transformative. That means you’ll pick the artwork and then design the room around the art.

If you already have a design style you love and an overall feel that speaks to you, then you want something that can conform to existing colors and patterns. The art then becomes an extension of the current design and helps to make it cohesive.

Reston VA, Living Room, Abstract ArtLiving Room With Abstract Art

Regardless of your choice, abstract art takes your interior decoration to the next level. Here are a few of the ways you can get started.

Defined Focus

When designing, it is important to have a well defined focal point which strikes a delicate balance: it pulls the room’s “look” together without overpowering the other visual elements.

Abstract art makes the perfect addition. A large scale and sometimes colorful work of art naturally draws the eye while making the space look richer and more elegant. 


Neutral Master Bedroom with Colorful Abstract Art

At the same time, there are so many varieties of abstract art (from geometric shapes to fluidic curves) that you can easily integrate the artwork with your existing style. Adding a more contemporary piece to a traditional or transitional space elevates the design and makes it feel more up-to-date.

Better in Numbers or Go Big

Do you want your artwork to stand out? In that case, the solution is simple: increase the number or go large scale to make a statement.

Master Bedroom, Large Contemporary Art, Potomac Maryland

Large Sized Contemporary Abstract Art in Bedroom

Putting two or more complementary pieces of abstract art next to each other creates a powerful statement in a space. It can make a room look balanced and ads symmetry.

Triptych contemporary abstract art, home office, Ashburn VaA Triptych of Contemporary Abstract Art

Having a “balance” is key. Using works that are the same size and style is important so they coordinate, and if the work is framed that element should also be the same.

Master Bedroom, Contemporary Abstract Art, Reston VA, Pair of ArtPair of Contemporary Abstract Art

Equally powerful is using an oversized single piece of art. Not only will the sheer size make it the focal point, but it adds drama, and can also help delineate a space.

Match the Vibe

How do you pick the artwork for the room? This goes back to the “transform vs. conform” question. If you want art that really blends with the room, you should choose works using colors already present in the space.

As an example, if your walls are a light shade of grey then you will want varying grey shades in your selected piece of art, this way the art blends with the wall it hangs on and is grounded.

Abstract Art, Powder Room, Black and White, Carrera MarblePowder Room With Abstract Art in Black & White

As an alternative to the wall color, you might select artwork that picks up the colors in your furniture. Either approach helps give the room a very cohesive look.

Abstract Art’s Affect on the Brain

Numerous scientific research have proven that viewing art develops neural systems in the brain, with benefits ranging from advanced creativity, improved emotional balance to developing fine motor skills. 

Interior Design

Further, additional neuroscience and behavioral studies into the affects of abstract or non-representative art shows that viewing abstract art enables the brain to tap new emotional and cognitive associations otherwise harder to access.

Dr. Kandel writes, “We need to exercise our imagination much more with abstract art. We have to fill in the details, and each one of us fills it in in a slightly different way. So people respond in a greater variety of ways to abstract art than they do to figurative art. They have to use their imagination more.”

The New Mixed Materials

One decorating trend that keeps building momentum is the use of  mixed materials also known as “mixed media.” The idea is to create an eye-catching contrast by mixing different kinds of materials such as wood, paper, cloth, paints, and other products to create a 3-D type of collaged effect. 

Mixed Media Abstract Art, contemporary, metal

Mixed Media Abstract Art

The use of mixed-materials art can be considered abstract when it is not representational. Like other forms of art, it is used to tell stories with color and materials. This form of art blends beautifully with abstract 2-D art and is a great addition to a design plan.

Mixed Media Art, Clint Eastwood

Mixed Media Art

Building “Blocks” Of Color

The beauty of abstract art as decoration is that you can do so much with it. For example, many abstract works are dominated by a single color or singular pops of color. And you can use this to your advantage when designing a room.

Contemporary Dining Room, Abstract Art, Potomac MarylandContemporary Dining Room with Abstract Art

A large, colorful painting in a room creates a nice “color-blocking” effect. Such a method allows you to inject color into a limited area and contrast that color with the surrounding space.

Home office, Abstract Art, contemporary design, large scale art

Large Colorful Abstract Art Used as a Focal Point in the Design of this Home Based Office

The end result adds depth and personality to the room without making it look distracting or busy.

A Whole New Home

Now you know what artwork for the home can do to transform your space. But do you know who can turn every room into a work of art?

We specialize in collaborating with homeowners and bringing their design dreams to life. To see how we can make your home as beautiful as any work of art, contact us today

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