Art By Subject

Art is something very personal. It has the power to touch you deeply and also expresses something about the way you see the world. Through your favorite pieces, you have the opportunity to share your emotions with the people around you. Artwork is also a great way to put the finishing touches on your dream decor for the living room, bedroom, bath and dining room, just to name a few. At Pottery Barn, we want to make designing and decorating as easy as possible. Our art by subject helps you find pieces that inspire you effortlessly. Artwork organized by category is also helpful for creating a harmonious theme in your home. Need a few ideas? Here are some tips for art-inspired interior design.


What art subject works best for your room? There are a few easy ways to figure out the answer to that question. One possibility is to focus on the kind of ambience you want to create. For example, if your living room is a sanctuary of rest and relaxation, you can enhance that laid-back atmosphere with nature-themed artwork. Why does that help? For one thing, neutral blues and soft greens of outdoor scenes have a soothing effect on your whole body; they reduce stress, slow your heart rate and give you a positive outlook. Plus, natural beauty makes you happy. It’s easy to imagine yourself in a gorgeous national park or a pristine white beach somewhere, maybe with a strawberry daiquiri in your hand.


Another way to decorate with art has to do with your favorite room colors. Artwork often uses striking patterns and vibrant hues. That really helps to bring a space to life, and it also makes for creative color pairings. In a black-and-white design arrangement, bold reds and yellows jump out at you. Of course, not all tones have to be so intense. If you just want to chill, artwork with warm but subdued colors like sepia, cantaloupe and rose are smooth and subtle.


Art can often provide a perfect pop in multicolor arrangements. If you’re going for a split-complementary layout – a narrow triangle on the color wheel that uses three tones – featuring light green and reddish-orange wood or leather furniture, a few bright blue accents via your artwork add tons of excitement to the room.


Does that mean that your art has to match the rest of the colors in a space? Not at all. Your personal collection of artwork is totally independent in decor. In other words, it can stand alone and still have a huge effect. You can put the art you love in any room and any position. What if you still want the room to have a theme? One possibility is to tie different pieces together with some common element. It might be black-and-white photography, architectural artwork or period pieces that reflect some era of history, like the 1920s. Using similar frames can also create a connection between several works of art that are very different.


Sometimes art is just as much about telling a story as adorning the home. Do you love to travel? Feel free to proudly display your adventurous spirit with artwork that highlights maps, transportation and international locales. You can even add personal details to the room like souvenirs and photographs that detail the places you’ve visited. Using a large trunk as a coffee table or draping handmade throws over your sofa give a living room exotic flair. This type of intimate artwork reflects your personality and makes guests feel right at home. The same tips work for any hobby you’re passionate about – from hiking in the backwoods to classic jazz, and everything in between.


There are no limits to what’s considered art. For a modern touch in your bedroom, kitchen, home office, living room and dining room, use typographic art featuring eclectic slogans. A few words in French go a long way with vintage dining room decor or a cozy bistro table in a covered outdoor patio. Romantic phrases set the mood for a meal with someone you love. There’s also room to be playful with humorous reflections.