How to choose paintings for the interior: decorator insights

What to look for when choosing, where to look, and where to hang – we answer the most important questions

Even the most ideal renovation will not look complete without decor. It seems like the easiest way is to hang pictures on the walls. But how to choose them and where to look? Let’s figure it out together with an expert.

How to choose a painting?


Think about what kind of images you like – landscapes, portraits, still lifes, flowers, abstractions, or fauna.

Color spectrum

Pay attention to the color scheme of your interior and highlight the color that predominates. Think about which shades will complement it and which ones will reveal it in a new light. 

To avoid mistakes, use the color wheel and the contrast point rule: find the most contrasting point in the interior – it will become the main accent.

Painting size

The length and width of the canvas greatly influence our perception. It is very important to maintain proportionality between the painting and the interior.

If it is difficult for you to imagine the size of the painting in reality, make a prototype of it from plain paper of the appropriate size and stick it to the wall using special tape. Move the prototype, and look at it from a distance and from different angles.


Rectangle, square, circle, oval – depending on the shape of the picture, our perception changes: soft and smooth shapes smooth out the image and space, and sharp corners lengthen it. The shape of the painting may overlap with the shapes of other objects in the interior.

Where can you find your dream painting?

  • In independent contemporary galleries. Here they select the best works of contemporary artists and produce high-quality editions of graphics and paintings. Galleries offer a “painting to try on” service: the canvas is brought to your home so you can “try” it on for your interior.
  • Artists on social networks. Write to them in private messages or by email. They will help with the choice, give advice on the size and shape of the painting, and you will carefully study the portfolio and understand whether you like their work.
  • At markets, festivals, and fairs. This is convenient – in one place you can view and compare the works of different artists. For example, at the Cosmoscow Contemporary Art Fair.
  • On travel. Walking, for example, along the streets of Montenegro, you can see a wonderful seascape that will sink into your soul. A painting is a personal perception of the feeling of beauty, so it doesn’t matter what its price or origin is.

Where and how to place it?

Before drilling a hole in the wall, think about where best to place the picture.

  • You can hang a picture not only on a nail, but also on double-sided tape, or organize a special shelf or hanging system.
  • There are many options for where to hang a picture: above a chest of drawers or a sofa, above the bed, or opposite it. You can place a small picture on the bedside table or shelf, above the dining table. If you choose only one piece, it will become an accent, but if there are several, you will have to work with them as a whole and create the whole composition.
  • If you have chosen a large painting, please note: the distance from which it will be convenient for you to view it should be at least two meters.
  • Consider the width of the object over which the painting will be located. For example, the width of the picture above the sofa should be at least a third of its length.

Is interior style important?

Yes! Your style will help you find exactly the painting you need. For example, a natural palette and classic themes are suitable for a classic interior. And abstractions, street style, and posters will easily fit into a modern environment. 

At the same time, the work can either support the general style of the interior or go against it, giving it a new sound. For example, placing a classic still life in a minimalist interior will make the environment more modern. And if you add abstraction, it will be more acute and provocative. Try playing with contrasts.

And always rely on your feelings. Buy what you like, even if the piece doesn’t fit your style.

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