Choosing the Right Art for a Smaller Home

When decorating a smaller home, every inch counts, and selecting the right art can play a pivotal role in enhancing your living space without overwhelming it. Here are practical tips for choosing art that enhances the beauty and functionality of compact spaces.

1. Consider the Scale

One of the first considerations when picking art for a smaller house is the scale. Large paintings can dominate a small room, making it feel cramped. Instead, opt for smaller pieces that can be grouped or a series of medium-sized works that complement each other. This strategy helps create a focal point without overpowering the space.

2. Use Light and Reflective Colors

Artworks that incorporate light colors or reflective elements can brighten a room and make it feel larger. Consider pieces with pastel colors, light hues, or metallic finishes that reflect light. Mirrored frames or glass can also add depth and dimension to a small space, creating an illusion of more room.

3. Select Meaningful Pieces

In a smaller home, where you can't display everything, choose art that has personal significance. Whether it’s a small sculpture picked up on your travels or a custom painting by a favorite local artist, meaningful pieces bring a unique narrative and emotional depth to your home.

4. Think Beyond Paintings

Art isn't limited to canvases. Consider alternative forms such as textiles, wall hangings, or ceramic plates that add texture and interest without taking up too much space. These can be particularly effective in areas like hallways or bathrooms, where traditional paintings might not be practical.

5. Opt for Multipurpose Art

In small spaces, consider art pieces that can double as functional items. For example, a beautifully painted room divider can add a dramatic flair to the room while also separating spaces in a studio apartment. Decorative wall shelves can display small art pieces or vases, adding beauty while offering storage.

6. Play with Vertical Space

Utilizing vertical space is crucial in smaller homes. Consider tall, narrow pieces that draw the eye upward, which can make the ceilings appear higher, thereby making the room feel more spacious. Installation art that spans from floor to ceiling can also be a striking choice that doesn’t consume valuable floor space.

7. Use Art as a Color Guide

Let a favorite piece of art dictate the color scheme of a room. This can be an effective way to create a cohesive interior design in a small space. Choose complementary colors from your artwork for your furnishings and textiles to create a unified and expansive feeling.

8. Consider the Lighting

Proper lighting can dramatically enhance the impact of art in small spaces. Use spotlights, track lighting, or wall-mounted lights to highlight your artwork. This not only draws attention to the art but also adds a sophisticated touch to the room.


Selecting the right art for a smaller home is about balancing aesthetics and functionality. By choosing the right sizes, colors, and types of art, you can create a space that feels inviting and expansive. Remember, the best art for your home is that which reflects your personal style and makes the best use of your available space. In a smaller home, each piece becomes a focal point, so choose wisely to ensure your home reflects your unique tastes and lifestyle.

Find a full directory of Christchurch Art Galleries here