Bedroom wall art ideas – how to design the space above your bed

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It’s easy to get stuck on bedroom wall art ideas. This space above your headboard is tailor-made for displaying a beautiful frame or wall hanging, but deciding what exactly it should be is the challenge. What size should it be? Where should it be positioned? Which art style? These are all questions worth asking and, if you get the right answer, will ensure that your wall art complements, not detracts from, the style of your bedroom.

Finally, some bedroom wall decor ideas are more walkable than others. Your choice of art should really serve to enhance the rest of your scheme. If you’re looking for something a little more unusual and exciting to use as a frame of reference for your own design, here’s a micro gallery of ideas for designers who use bedroom walls as canvases to experiment with art.

Bedroom wall art ideas from interior designers

So what makes a good subject for bedroom wall art? “Bedrooms should feel like a retreat,” says Kelsey McGregor, founder and director of Kelsey Leigh Design Co. “I tend to choose art that evokes a sense of calm, whether it’s abstract landscapes or textured/neutral paintings.”

Of course, rest is an abstract topic that different people experience in different ways, but it’s a good place to start if you’re looking for a restful bedroom.

1. Choose quiet but interesting pieces

a bedroom with two-tone wall art

(Image credit: Virtually Here Studios. Design: Stelly Selway)

Quiet doesn’t have to mean boring, of course, just that it sets a tone for a space meant for sleeping. Think about color in artwork the same way you think about calming colors for bedrooms, and look for pieces that have a stillness about them rather than ones that make you feel energetic.

In this bedroom design from Los Angeles and London-based design studio Stelly Selway, a contrasting wall art duo adds focus to the space without being overbearing. “The large-scale art we commissioned for this master bedroom from Carla Cascales was soothing, serene and tonal, we wanted it to feel like the space was enveloped in warmth,” explains interior designer and co-founder Tanya Selway. “Carla is an aspiring painter from Barcelona and our clients were interested in investing in a piece that would become part of their collection.”

2. Think beyond frames and canvases

a bedroom with a hanging chain wall art

(Image credit: Andrew Frasz. Design: Jessica Gersten Interiors)

There’s a world outside of two-dimensional wall art, and above a bed is a great place to get creative. Wall hangings and other items on display can add texture and form to a bedroom that a frame often cannot.

Take this bedroom design by Jessica Gersten Interiors as an example, where a chain link style net was used to decorate above the bed. “In the first junior bedroom, I wanted something sculptural and formative, not a framed piece,” explains lead designer Jessica Gersten. “This is a beach house, so I wanted something airy and open at the same time.”

This wall art has a tactile quality that complements this neutral bedroom, adding interest and a contrasting tone that gives the room impact without overpowering it.

3. Think creatively about hanging art

a bedroom with a textured tapestry

(Image credit: Katie Charlotte. Design: Cortney Bishop Design)

“Your bedroom should feel as unique as you do,” says interior designer Cortney Bishop, and although it’s set in the designer’s studio, this design is full of unusual ideas. An oversized pegboard forms a base on which a decorative tapestry sits proudly, a lo-fi contrast to the rich textures of the fabrics of Cortney’s textile brand Harwood House.

While this pegboard design isn’t for everyone, consider how hanging wall art above a bed could sit alongside other wall covering ideas, murals and wallpaper or color effects to create a creative display for your bedroom walls together.

4. Go away from the center for a more interesting look

a bedroom with asymmetrical wall art

(Image credit: Aaron Leitz. Design: Lucas Interior)

The natural placement for a piece of art is right in the middle of the bed, creating a symmetrical look. However, when you do something unexpected, such as placing art asymmetrically in a bedroom, that’s where the real magic can happen.

“When a space has a strong sense of symmetry due to the architectural elements, it’s casual gestures like unconventional furniture or the placement of art that add personality to a space,” explains David Lucas, creative director of Lucas Interior.

“We love exploring ways of doing things that are unexpected in our work and feel slightly muted. This movement shouldn’t define the space, but draw your attention to it in ways you might not have considered before,” he explains.

5. Remember that art doesn’t always have to be the center of attention

a bedroom with four-poster bed and tree

(Image credit: Emily Hart. Design: Kelsey Leigh Design Co)

It’s easy to think that art above a bed will do a lot of the heavy lifting to create a focal point, but art doesn’t always have to be a room’s main attraction. It can be used just as well to create background textures and to complement and enhance other elements of the design such as: B. modern bedroom furniture.

Take this design by Kelsey Leigh Design Co as an example. “A four poster bed has to remain the statement piece, so we usually choose a smaller horizontal piece of art or two to three smaller pieces,” explains lead designer Kelsey McGregor. “Our goal is for the art to complement the bed and not overpower the space.”

6. Experiment with scaling

Bedroom with small wall art strung on a headboard

(Image credit: Jess Alexander. Design: Stelly Selway)

Getting the scaling right is one of the hardest parts of choosing art for bedroom walls. In modern interior design, it’s safe to say that bigger is usually considered better when it comes to wall art, but there’s a charming confidence in spaces where small works of art are used successfully.

“Using smaller pieces on a large wall is interesting because it draws the viewer in and it’s unexpected and delightful,” praises Tanya Selway, co-founder of Stelly Selway. “In bedrooms we will add small pieces of art above the headboard in a linear line or a single piece above a console with some vertical accessories.”

But what’s the key to making small works of art feel the right size for the space? “Use light frames and bold subject colors for the small artworks,” Tanya suggests. “Make them loud and significant, and then ground the artwork with furniture—the line of a coat or a chair underneath so it doesn’t appear to be floating.”

7. Choose an ornate headboard

a bedroom with a walnut headboard

(Image credit: Michael Ray Wells. Design: Davide Casaroli)

How about a headboard idea that doubles art as the artistic focal point for the room? When designing this Los Angeles home, interior designer Davide Casaroli used a piece of walnut with raw edges to add interest to the bedroom.

“My idea was to create a sophisticated and soothing space,” he explains. “The natural wood board is our ‘headboard’ and the focal point of the bed wall in the room.”

“This walnut element is not quite furniture, not quite art, it’s like sleeping under nature. The balance and harmony of colors are our keys here,” says Davide.

How to choose wall art for a bedroom?

Aside from considering art that reflects the atmosphere you want to create, there are no hard and fast rules for choosing art. “Art trends are so diverse and subjective that depending on the project and client, their story or reference points, we look for art that speaks their language,” explains Tanya Selway.

“Some clients come to us with strong collections that we need to build around,” explains designer Kenneth Brown, “others have never bought original art and we can educate them on the importance of building a collection.”

“It’s important to us to showcase artists who are making their mark on the world in a beautiful way, and I guess that’s a trend that we’re very sympathetic to as a design studio,” Tanya reiterates.

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