A Guide to Art & Photography for the Living Room

A guide to art and photography for the living room

Consider how you really use this space and the needs of your family.  Whether it is a formal or casual area will be a good starting point to choosing the type of art to hang. The living room often has the largest wall space and can be a well used area, so many people like to place a larger piece there. Think about how you want your family and guests to feel in the room and choose colours and subjects which will create that atmosphere. Do you want to create a formal, relaxed or party space?

Larger pieces will give a cool, formal feel, while smaller pieces of art bring a more intimate feel to a room. Likewise, contemporary, abstract or subjects which you have no connection with, are more formal and familiar subjects, portraits, loose watercolour paintings and some photography, particularly of travel or familiar scenes will contribute to a friendlier more family oriented atmosphere.

Be imaginative with your art choices, you can frame children’s artwork, pages from old books or pieces of wallpaper.

The go-to place for a feature artwork is often over the sofa and a general guideline for size is around 2/3 the width of the sofa. If you are hanging 2, 3 or more smaller pieces, you can space them to fit the same area.

You can lean pictures on the mantel for a more casual feel, or hang them about 10 to 30cm above depending on the height of the mantelpiece. 

When hanging near windows try to keep 10-15cm gap between the frame and the drapes so the pictures don’t feel crowded out.

Photo walls are a popular choice for living rooms. 

green moss fine art home decor print, Breeze Pics
pasture gate limited edition fine art print, Bernadette Meyers
mushroom limited edition fine art print

Subject Ideas


inspirational words





children’s artwork

old book pages

vinyl record covers






black and white photography

art & photography for the living room, Bernadette Meyers

Colour palette options to consider for artwork for the Living Room: 


White - Cool, crisp whites for a lively feel, warmer whites and creams for a more cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Neutral - excellent for living areas because they are peaceful and hospitable.

Earths - are warm and homey, they help us feel secure.

Blue - Light and warm tones are relaxing, darker tones can evoke feelings of sadness. 

Green - is a cheerful colour and connects us with nature.

Pink - the gentle form of red has a very relaxing effect on the mood of a room.

Purple - light tones such as lilac and lavender are peaceful, sensitive and creative and a good choice for living areas. 


Grey - best used in lighter tones for a peaceful atmosphere. 


Black - can be used as an accent colour and is versatile for a traditional, contemporary or elegant look.

Orange - is another energetic colour which has a more positive influence on mood than yellow. Good for motivation, but not the best choice if you want the living room to be a relaxing place.

Yellow - has a lot of energy, so take care with where you place this colour.

Red - is the strongest colour and not restful at all.


If you found this article helpful, you might enjoy my 3 free guides; 7 Keys to Creating a Sanctuary, Using Colour to Create Mood and 5 Inspirational Sanctuary Moods.