Choosing the right art piece for your design space can complete a room or make it look unfinished.  Designer Tara Bernerd sums it up “For me, art to a room is like punctuation to a sentence; it is that all-important ingredient and without it a space lacks the layers and attitude that a significant piece can bring.” The right artwork can attract attention, creates a focal point, draws the eye, ads life to a space, and completes the composition or style of the room.  Dare we say it … we think Australian wall art and art pieces matter most in interior design.

Abstract painting by Jess King, A River Runs Through

Abstract painting by Jess King, A River Runs Through for sale


There are 5 things to keep in mind to end up with a satisfied interior design client:

Complement with Colour

Art can complement the tone and vision you have created or give that instant pop of colour.  Interior designers can approach it from two different directions.  Some find the perfect wall art and then use it as inspiration to complete the room, pulling the dominant colour out and a few additional shades for accents.  Although a tip from the pros is that it’s much better to complement hints of colours in a piece of art with the space.  Or completely turn it around and choose contrasting colours.

Whilst others have the vision and design set and need to find the piece that fits the vision.  Some designers stick with a limited colour palette that is classic and transcends fads and trends. Perhaps you have a limited colour scheme and then you just need a bright powerful painting to pop the colour in.

Some Brisbane Art galleries (like Manly Harbour Gallery) and artists will include colour patch swatches when describing the artwork, or will assist interior designers to match the colour needs for any art for interior design.

Interior Design Colour Palette

Interior Design Colour Palette

Consider the colours and patterns that are trending in the interior design world and look for pieces either in those shades or that complement them. For instance, the 2020 Pantone Colour of the Year is Classic Blue and Dulux’s colour of the year was soft greens, which means that everything from carpet, to paint, to sofas have followed suit.  As an interior designer it is a good eye idea to keep an eye out for artwork that complements the trends.

There are some early predictions for the coming 2021 colour trends – Benjamin Moore has forecast Aegean Teal 2136-40, and Dulux has chosen the Earthy Beige “Brave Ground”.  These colours align with the trends of bringing the outside in and will be complemented with beige, stone, soft eucalypt greens and earthy browns.

Size Counts in Interior Design

There is no set rule for the size of a wall art piece for a space, but you need to ensure that the size works for the room.  You don’t want the wall art to be lost on a large wall space or dwarfed by the furniture, but likewise if you put too large a piece and you have to back up to see it all and can’t, then it isn’t the right size.  In that scenario, perhaps it is better to consider a combination of pieces.  Creating a gallery wall can give a professional look.  This is particular useful in an area with a lot of length and not a lot of width.

Wall Art Gallery

Wall Art Gallery Example

Artwork Options for All Budgets

In a perfect world we would fill our spaces with original artwork but budget doesn’t always allow that.  Remember that there are many alternatives that can make wonderful additions to your design, such as drawings, or limited edition prints. Some artists will create their artwork in many different sizes and price points to increase their opportunities for sale.  Depending upon your budget you can also collaborate with an artist on a commission to create a piece with a specific environment in mind.  We have many artists that available for commissions.

Styles matching the Clients and Trends

Client preference can be pivotal in the final piece, but many clients do not have any idea what they like when asked straight out about home decor.  Instead start a conversation, checking whether they like abstract or representational, calming or pieces with lots of movement.  If they like representational check the subject matter preferences like seascapes, landscapes, still life, or florals.

Abstract opens the space up to more personal interpretation for the viewers and is therefore more versatile.  Whereas representational, can overpower the design and distract rather than enhance.

If you do a gallery wall, then try to instil a theme, either a similar subject matter, art style, artist or similar size works. If the local area is important to the owner, then paintings incorporating the location can be a great theme. We have many local themed paintings of either Brisbane or the Wynnum Manly area in our gallery.

Wynnum ( Gordon Parade)from above: Commission

Wynnum ( Gordon Parade)from above: Commission

Cohesion in your art choices and the space is key, and can set the tone for the room.  For example, to soften a space utilise a watercolour painting, to add texture utilise oil paintings, mixed mediums can enliven an area.  Or a few hanging tapestries could add a cozy feeling to a living area.

My First Sail Boat by Danielle B Latta $158

My First Sail Boat by Danielle B Latta $158

This year the trends have been inspired by minimalism (fluid line drawings, female silhouettes, curvy and pared back paintings), classical coastal decorating (less colour and not obvious seaside themes), bring the outside in (nature, plants, sand and natural textures).  Not just in paintings but in sculptures – combining the feminine curves with the raw materials of concrete, bronze and brass.

Sculptor Zygmunt Libucha at Manly Harbour Gallery

Sculptor Zygmunt Libucha at Manly Harbour Gallery

Textures Adds Tone to the Room

In the era of eco-friendliness, the latest trends are bringing nature into interior design spaces.  Primarily inspired from the earth and sea, leaves and branches and natural timbers, clay and stone, add the texture that makes a space more interesting.  Along with our love for organic shapes and textures is a growing respect for recycling, repurposing and handmade craftsmanship and artisanal bespoke pieces.  These homeware pieces can bring heart and soul to a space.

Abbie Rose Bespoke Piece

Abbie Rose Bespoke Piece


Remember that paintings are just one option of artwork, try adding three dimensional objects such as sculptures or shadow boxes.  A fun trend that we are also seeing is the introduction of tassels, fringing and macrame, bringing our retro revival into play.  This texture adds interest, softness, layers and movement to the room with the natural fibres.

Brisbane Art Gallery - Denise Murray

Brisbane Art Gallery – Denise Murray


Interior design Artworks should enrich the interior designed space, add the appropriate tone to the room, be pleasing to look at, and not compete with the intended uses of a space.