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Art By Subject

Art is irresistible for many people. When you hear your favorite song on the radio or music player, it’s hard to resist tapping your feet along with the beat – or dancing around in your socks if no one else is around. The same thing happens when you see artwork that you love. So if you have a blank space in your living room or bedroom that you’re dying to fill with some art, it’s no surprise that you’re excited to look through amazing pieces. Breathtaking art has a big effect on any space. At Pottery Barn, we have pieces that are very easy with which to fall in love. We organize our art by subject, so if you know what you want, it’s not hard to find. Not quite sure exactly what you’re looking for? That’s not a problem. Check out a few ideas and tips for inspiration. Above all, have fun designing the look of your dreams.


Don’t feel as if you have to pair certain subjects with specific rooms or are obligated to decorate a bathroom with floral prints. Art is a reflection of your personality. When decorating your personal space, you’re an architect and artist wrapped into one. You decide what kind of theme or ambience you want to highlight in each room. That gives you a totally blank slate to express your creativity however you see fit. The more excited you are about decor, the more alive the room feels.


While botanical themes look awesome in a bright bathroom, their decorative potential goes way beyond that. Floral prints and sculptures give a room a very relaxing vibe. They’re inherently positive, happy and fresh. That makes them an excellent choice for any room in the house but especially places where you go to unwind. They give your bedroom a soothing atmosphere with a touch of romance tossed in for good measure.


Botanicals are also extremely versatile as they combine color, striking shapes and mesmerizing patterns in the same piece. Some floral prints feature a monochromatic or even black-and-white palette. They fit beautifully in a neutral living room. Other botanicals swing to the other side of the scale with vibrant tropical tones like bright orange, red, violet and green – sometimes in the same picture. They make excellent accent pieces that stand out right away.


If you are looking for a vintage feel instead, then check out black-and-white photographs from the New York Times. They’re classic and artistic at the same time. A Chesterfield sofa, stunning pendant lighting with metallic tones and chic mirrors all pair well with this 1920s and 1930s style. Artwork dedicated to architecture – often with distinctive shapes of its own, like a three- or five-canvas grouping – also gives a living room or dining room a strong connection with the emotion of the past.


One thing that’s good to keep in mind is that your art collection doesn’t have to feature works by the same artist only, or even similar designs. Having a layered look makes your home feel more intimate and personal. Feel free to combine large canvases with smaller framed photographs, three-dimensional art, pieces of metal and anything else that seems like it belongs. In fact, you don’t even have to hang photographs from the wall if you don’t want to. Create a vignette instead by leaning a favorite painting atop your console table or bookcase and adorning with other decor.


For those who are adventurous at heart, the map-related artwork and photography can take you anywhere in the world whenever you want. They’re great as bold accent pieces that capture attention, and also for bringing pleasant memories to your imagination. In a dining room, a map – perhaps hanging above a buffet table with candles, bowls and other exotic pieces placed around it – transports your guests to the streets of London or Paris or the lush jungles of Thailand. Geometric art also has a similar international flair. It has the power to bring places like India or the Mediterranean to any room of your home.