bedroom with art hanging on wall above bed

Since a bedroom is considered to be the most personal room in the home—the one that often isn’t seen by guests—it’s an opportunity to make it your own and give it some character. 

Specifically, artwork can really step up the design of your bedroom, allowing you to weave in creativity and visuals that make you feel joyful or calm.

“Artwork moves attention in a bedroom up the walls and moves the eye around the space,” says Maria Martin, interior designer and founder of Design Appy. “Artwork can help disguise elements of the room that are off-center and add excitement and seasoning to the environment.”

Below, we’ll go into detail about choosing, hanging, and arranging wall art in the bedroom.

How to choose wall art for the bedroom

“The artwork in a bedroom should feel like an extension of the values and character of the people who use the room,” Martin notes. When Martin is choosing artwork for a bedroom she’s designing, she asks her clients about their favorite place to vacation—where do they go when they want to escape?

“Once we learn more about those spaces, I ask about the feeling they have from those spaces and what appeals to them,” she says. “Then I work on finding art to reflect those values. Each person is unique, so it's very important to dig in deep to learn about them and their joy to make selections that fit them and bring long-term happiness and satisfaction.”

You can use a similar approach when choosing bedroom wall art. What places bring you joy that you’d like to emulate in your sleeping space? What pieces of art most feel like an expression of your ideals and personality?

Where to hang wall art in the bedroom

One surefire spot to hang artwork in the bedroom is above your bed.

“Beds can be low or very tall, and they can come in various sizes, shapes, and materials," says Martin. "Artwork's size and shape should relate to the bed." Martin adds that headboards can often benefit from just a single piece of art.

In other words, don’t choose a large piece of artwork if you’re dealing with a tall headboard or small wall—and don’t go too small with the art if your headboard is low and the wall is expansive.

“Artwork over a bed can be the focal point for the whole room,” Martin says.

Another place you can consider for artwork is above a dresser, where Martin says a gallery wall of framed artwork looks the best.

How to arrange wall art in the bedroom

A bedroom should be your soothing space, so too much artwork is likely to be overwhelming. A small gallery wall with carefully-chosen pieces—or single, special pieces—often looks the best in a sleeping space.  

“First, determine the placement of the art and what elements are around it,” Martin suggests. “Size and scale will create more impact than the subject of the art.”

FAQs

What kind of art should go in a bedroom?

If you find yourself Googling “what kind of wall art for your bedroom,” you’re far from alone.

Luckily, Martin has some words of wisdom to share: “Artwork should be a reflection of the person using the space," she says. "It should bring joy, peace, or enthusiasm to the person when they see it. Art is personal and a representation of the feeling or the emotion experienced in the space."

Artwork can be big bold, and exciting—or it can be light, delicate, and subtle, adds Martin. You can choose anything from a serene black and white photo gallery wall with simple frames to a vintage oils collection in ornate baroque frames. 

"The best thing to do is to dress the walls in the space as you would dress yourself," says Martin. "Look at your wardrobe and your accessories and pull your favorite items. The things you love are very indicative of what artwork you'll enjoy.”

How do I choose good wall art?

“There are no rules really when it comes to what you like,” says Martin—but good wall art will reflect the aesthetic of a space and your one-of-a-kind personality.

For instance, according to Martin, a bedroom that’s calm and tranquil will have a softness to it—so you should choose equally soft-looking artwork, such as natural landscapes.

Or if you feel your best in maximalist surroundings, it can be wise to go with bold artwork. “People who wear robust patterns and color will thrive in spaces with patterns on drapery fabric and artwork with a quirky personality,” Martin observes.

How can I match my art to my room?

Martin suggests pulling patterns and colors from your bedding and allowing that to inform your artwork choices. That way, everything will look pulled together.

Should I put art above my bed?

The answer, as Martin believes, is an unequivocal yes. “It gives the room visual height and interest,” she says.

Ready to give your bedroom a makeover? Check out these trendy bedroom styles for inspiration.

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