This image symbolises your bedroom at the moment. It sucks. It’s dull. It’s grim. I’m sure you’ve been searching far and wide for new, original artwork to add some personality to your bedroom.
But it’s difficult finding artwork for your bedroom. It’s tough to know what sort of art to buy and you can get self-concious about what others may think about it. On top of that, where’s the best place to put it?
I cannot explain to you how long it took me to transition from having a bedroom that actually sucked the energy out of me each morning to one that I was proud to be in and show off to my friends.
Buying art can be stressful. I bought my first painting when I was 17 for my mom. It was some kind of landscape scene with a house in the middle, trees either side and in a chunky, gold wooden frame…
I thought I was doing a great job, first paycheque and for her birthday – she was going to love it, right?
Wrong. When I look back I realize it was, unfortunately, a terrible painting. But, mothers are mothers and they pretend to like it nonetheless. I’ll see if I can post a picture of it here sometime to show you how far I’ve come.
There’s a lot of art out there. There’s a lot of bad art there (see above) but there’s also a lot of amazing art that will put a stamp on your room, make you calmer and more comfortable with yourself.
Now I know how to navigate the artistic terrain, I want to show you as well because your life and your bedroom’s life are going to change in a powerful way. Let me show you everything you need to know to make the transition too.
We live in a time where most furniture is mass-produced. Original artwork finally lets you be you.
It’s time to have some fun.
How do you choose what art goes in the bedroom?
You’re sitting down for breakfast toast, your suit is on (minus the blazer) and you’re ready to go to work. The morning news is on in the background when you catch something simultaneously strange and yet far too common.
The news anchor begins explaining that someone’s consumed a vast array of illegal narcotics and they’ve been on somewhat of a rampage for the last four days. They’ve done some weird things, occasionally some horrific things too.
It’s not even the drugs that cause this havoc in their psyche (although I’m sure they help), it’s not having slept or eaten. Their bodies go into turmoil in desperate need of replenishment.
Keeping that in mind, what’s the worst trigger for insomnia? It’s usually some kind of strong emotional response, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter if the emotional response is positive or negative either.
If Tom’s going travelling in the morning and he’s thrilled at the idea of discovering new cultures, it’d be understandable if he couldn’t sleep. Equally, Mark’s been listening to a podcast about the Golden State Killer. You’d appareciate if he lay awake for hours with floods of adrenaline each time the floorboards creaked.
Curiously, this brings me to bedroom artwork. Art’s job is to stir the emotions within us. We’re all unique, we’re not all affected in the same way by the same art. The alternative would be boring.
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re wondering what the best art is for your bedroom (how to not stay awake for days like Mr Drugs Man, running around chewing hairdryers) and where you can buy it for yourself. Come with me and I will take you to the promised land.
Throughout this guide there will be links to additional in-depth articles where I focus on one specific style of art for the bedroom or anywhere else in your home you see fit.
Feel free to access those articles at any point if you have a connection the artwork and it makes you happy, intrigued or both.
- You want artwork that doesn’t keep you awake at night
Increase the relaxation
Some people love spending a lot of time in their bedroom to get away from the stresses of life and their fellow confusing humans. One of my friends will lock herself away for days so she can recharge the batteries.
Others are barely in their bedrooms at all.
There’s one thing we do have in common though and that’s sleeping in them. For this reason alone, you need to feel comfortable and chilled out when the time comes.
As I’ve mentioned, everyone appreciates different art and the same art differently. This is a good thing, however, acquiring a relaxed state can be tricky for you when pinning down the type of artwork you want to see above your bed.
Most people find neutral colors and nature to be a great starting point. Now, there’s nothing to say your art has to be composed of both of these (or any of these at all) but it makes sense to work from the standard before you branch out.
- Nature and neutral colors are a good starting point
- Don’t worry about whether your taste in art is good or not. If you love the artwork then that’s all that matters
Examples of great paintings and photographs
I thought it would be beneficial to have a quick look around the online art galleries and pick out a few examples of what I’m talking about so you can go ahead and do it on your own.
Above is Forest Morning by Angela Cameron. The neutral greens and browns in this hazy mist drags you into the belly of the trees.
Imagine walking through the forest and breathing in the thick, cold air. There’s a surreal vibe that’s going on. It’s as if just below the camera a woman is walking in front of you with her hand stretched out leading you into the dense woodland. Follow her if you want to discover the answer to last night’s dreams.
The acrylic painting above is Second Nature No. 40 by Susan Ulrich. As you can see, it’s an abstract piece and may remind you of something completely unrelated to me but I love it for its association with spring.
Is there a better day in the calendar year than the first day of warm weather? After a brutally cold winter, you get up early and go for a long walk with a T-shirt on. Loads of people are doing the same and everyone with dogs is happily walking them before they go to the bakery for some delicious bread. For me, that’s one of the best experiences life has to offer. What does it remind you of? Answer in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Paracas 5 by Michael Filonow is a photograph of the Peruvian desserts. Images of the wildest places on Earth provide a perspective that we don’t often get with other pieces of art or in our concrete-jungle lives.
Familiar day-to-day stresses are tiny compared to the might of nature and it can be cathartic to appreciate.
Those are just three examples I picked out to help get you started on your journey. After you go browsing and find a gem, you need to know where you’re going to put it, don’t you?
- Images of art that I found whilst browsing Zatista
- Use these as a stepping stone to finding what you want to place in you bedroom
What size should bedroom art be?
It’s important in interior design to understand scale. In its most basic form, this means not buying furniture, art or something in between that’s too large or too small. This is in relation to both the size of the room (in this case the bedroom) and the furnishings around each other.
When I get round to writing an article I’ll link to it here to explain further. Please remind me if I haven’t done so.
If you’re lucky enough to have a big, flat wall and can put your bed against it, make sure the bed is right in the middle of the wall.
Behind the bed, place a Big Ass painting or photograph. They’re the best art for the bedroom. Honestly, as big as you can get away with, they look awesome if you get the right one.
If it’s square artwork against a long, flat wall, ensure its size is one or two inches thinner than the width of the bed. However, if the bed is sat flush against a protruding wall, the frame (or edges of any other types of artwork) need to have the same amount of space between them and the boundary of the protruding wall.
If you’ve read the above and are now thinking to hell with one large painting I want a gallery wall then that’s alright too.
How to construct a gallery wall is beyond the scope of this article but many people love them. They look awesome with black and white photographs as well.
- A big painting or photograph behind the bed should be one or two inches smaller than the width of your bed
- Gallery walls look great, the spacing needs to be even and a thematic consistency amongst pictures (e.g. black and white photographs look great)
Where should you place your bedroom art?
You’ve figured out which masterpiece is going to help go from having a boring bedroom that lacks personality to one that will proudly show off your best qualities. A space your friends or lovers want to be in.
Where to hang your art is easier than you may think.
Hang artwork above the bed
As I mentioned in the previous section, the best location is above the focal point of your bedroom, where the eye is drawn to most – the bed. If you think about it, it makes sense. Whatever’s being positioned, whether it be a photograph of New York, an abstract painting with a different meaning each time another set of eyes sees it or a massive Ikat rug – it’s the visual continuation of the bed on the floor that travels up the wall.
That way there’s a balance of two walls (the floor and one wall vs the ceiling and the other wall) instead of a ratio of 1:3 (floor vs both of the walls and ceiling).
Which is handy. It means the second best place to put your art is on the wall opposite the bed for the same visual equilibrium.
You can see in the picture at the top of the page, pictures can be placed all over the walls. The designer has positioned equal spacing between each frame and made sure each image varies in size to keep viewer’s interest throughout.
- The best place is above the bed on the same wall as the headboard
- Second is on the wall opposite the bed
What kind of framing looks best?
The best picture frames are minimal and basic. You don’t want anything over the top and distracting from the artwork.
Most people will purchase blacks frames but you can always branch out with white frames. Buying a white frame means your attention won’t be diverted away from the subject you’re actually trying to display. Additionally, white emphasises the colors around it so your art will pack an added punch – imagine a mid-twenties Brad Pitt in a white tux, that’s your aim.
Although not technically framing, you need to get the right kind of glass. Imagine how annoyed you’d be if you hung a beautiful photo up but, in actual fact, the only thing you can see is the shower reflecting from next door. That’s a terrible way to spend $800. Low-reflective glass means low-stress you.
- Simple, minimalist frames work best
- Black frames are most common but white frames bring out the image’s color and blend into the background better
- You need to get non-reflective glass
The best websites to buy art online
Art will make you smile. You’ll wake up, stretch your legs and stare deep into the heart of the universe. Looking back at you will be crisp colors, swirling stone and textures of acrylic paint on canvas, and say to yourself it’s time to get that promotion. At the same time you hit yourself in the chest to solidify your determination. The closer you are and the harder you look, the more you’re ready to smash the day ahead.
Artists spend days creating and perfecting until they can do no more. All so that you can experience emotions you never knew were there.
It’s immensely gratifying having your friends jealous of your home. All of the hard work was, in the end, worth it. From realizing you needed better furnishings to spending the hours reading How-To guides. You’re almost there. Now, you need to finish with the most important part, and that is buying some art.
Here’s a couple of my favorite websites that sell incredible art. You won’t find better galleries anywhere else online, I can promise you that because I’ve done the work myself.
Zatista is my favorite place to search for art. I promise it will become yours too. The online gallery is the leading retailer in original artwork.
You’ll find the creme de la creme of artists choosing to sell their work through Zatista because of their reputation curating the best in fine and contemporary art, photography and sculpture.
You will discover and purchase some of the best art from around the world and, having been featured on The New York Times and Architectural Digest, you can trust Zatista’s expertise.
Saatchi Art connects you and your art together, and offers an unrivaled number of paintings, sculpture and photography.
Catering to people of many different price points, collectors from anywhere on Earth can be matched with the art they love.
- Art makes you need fantastic on the inside so you can conquer life again
- Zatista.com and Saatchiart.com are my favorite online marketplaces for the most amazing original art in the world