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Selecting the Perfect Contemporary Art Style for Your Interior Design Projects

ByLiyana Safari
Selecting the Perfect Contemporary Art Style for Your Interior Design Projects

Image Courtesy of Mega Furniture

Art in interior design plays the silent hero - bringing together the overall ambience and aesthetic appeal. However, it is crucial for it to seamlessly complement the design scheme in order to enhance the present atmosphere. By aligning the art style with the interior design, a curated aesthetic comes into view, creating a balanced and proportionate space that also provides a palpable sense of intentionality, creativity and most importantly, individuality.

With the vast variety of art styles in Contemporary Art, it can be intimidating to decide which artwork is the right fit. Unlike traditional art forms, Contemporary Art often explores themes and topics that go beyond anything conventional, embracing the idea of experimentation and individualism. This article will break it all down for you, offering insights into the different styles, their characteristics and how they can complement your space.


Image courtesy of Decorilla.

Abstract art, alternatively known as concrete or non-objective art, is characterized by its prominent use of shapes, colors, forms, and gestural marks, often detached from its real-life representation. While these elements may draw inspiration from real-world objects, they are abstracted to the point of non-representational symbolism, conveying emotions and ideas in a non-literal depiction.

Abstract art offers versatility, being able to bring visual interest into a space without overwhelming it. With the clean lines and neutral color palettes of industrial, modern and minimalistic interiors, the space creates the perfect backdrop for Abstract art to become an interesting focal point for visitors. Take a look at a few abstract artworks below.


Image courtesy of House Beautiful.

Figurative art is the realistic representation of figures or objects, aiming for recognizability while injecting them with symbolic meaning or narrative depth. Unlike abstract art, Figurative art holds a connection to reality to reflect an artist’s interpretation of the world around them.

With Figurative Art leaning close to a traditional form of art, a classic and traditional interior design style with muted and warm color palettes would pair perfectly with this art style. Additionally, traditional and vintage decor and furniture in the existing space can complement such an art style as well. This helps to create a sense of sophistication and elegance to the space while also providing a warm ambience with timeless pieces. Here are some examples of Figurative pieces.


Image courtesy of Gharpedia

Geometric art is represented by using geometric forms made of points, lines, angles, and shapes. They exhibits a remarkable sense of precision and symmetry, captivating viewers with their complexity and balance.

Similar to Abstract art, Geometric art pairs perfectly with modern, industrial and minimalist interiors. With the mathematical precisions of the artwork, contemporary and modern styles will complement it well, especially if paired with monochromatic or neutral colors. This pairing can exude a simple, clean yet classy atmosphere. Below are some examples of Geometric works you can consider for your space.


Image courtesy of Medium.

Minimalism is represented by the deliberate absence of personal expression, resulting in artworks that are stripped down to their core elements – its medium and materials. Minimalism embraces simplicity and reduction, where geometric lines meet a tangent of the utmost simplicity of clean lines and a neutral palette.

With the simple and sparse nature of minimalistic art, a space with a similar style would be a great fit. In a space with minimal decorations, a Minimalist artwork will be able to take center stage while also providing a sense of calm and serenity. Additionally, to bring warmth into the space, ensure that natural materials and neutral colors are present in the existing interior. Take a look at some of our selections.


Image courtesy of Forbes.

Nature art represents the beauty and diversity of the natural world, immersing viewers in the wonders of the outdoors as a respite from the hustle and bustle of life.

While Nature art can be a wonderful and versatile choice for most spaces, nothing beats pairing nature than with nature itself. Incorporating a Nature artwork into a space with a lot of earthy colors, materials and textures can bring the overall ambience of tranquility indoors. Additionally, traditional and classic spaces can also benefit from a Nature piece. Here are some Nature artworks that you can consider.


Image courtesy of Home Designing.

Pop art emerged in the 1950s and 60s as an aftermath of the post-war cultural landscape. A big part of Pop art is the embrace of mass culture and consumerism, being represented by its bold colors, graphic imagery, and iconic symbols. Artists pioneering this style of commercial imagery and inject a sense of energy and playfulness in their artworks.

With the vibrant and bright nature that Pop art brings, this style can certainly enhance a space that allows it to shine. Minimalist interiors with sleek and modern furniture can contrast the loud artwork. However, mid-century spaces can also benefit from an artwork of this style, bringing an energetic vibe while also adding a visually interesting element to the space. Here are some Pop artworks for you to view.


Image courtesy of Talie Jane Interiors.

Portraiture art centres around capturing the likeness, character, beauty, status, or essence of an individual. This art form has remained a foundation of artistic expression, depicting the personalities of people through various mediums, including painting, photography, and sculpture for over 5000 years.

Similar to other forms of art that lean close to the traditional styles, Portraiture art will complement a classic or traditional space best, evoking a sense of timelessness, bringing elegance and sophistication to the space. Furthermore, a Portraiture art featuring a subject of importance to the space can make the space more meaningful. Below are possible Portraiture artworks.

Still Life

Image courtesy of Round Table Design.

Still Life depicts exactly what is mentioned, represented by inanimate objects arranged in a deliberate manner. Still Life art offers timeless depth and resonance, inviting viewers to reflect on the intricate interplay between objects and their environment. Therefore, adding a detailed artwork like this in a space that is minimalist is ideal in balancing it all.


Image courtesy of 6sqft.

Surrealism art emerged in the 1920s, delving into the depths of the unconscious mind to unveil a range of surrealistic imagery that evokes perplexity. Surrealist artists defy conventional logic, inviting viewers to question the boundaries of reality.

Surrealist artworks embrace whimsical qualities, inviting interiors of similar characteristics, such as eclectic interiors, to create a cohesive look of matching themes. Vibrant colors and unconventional furniture along with a surrealistic artwork can also bring a sense of depth and wonder into the space. Take a look below to see some examples of Surrealism art.


Image courtesy of Arts & Co. Designs.

Typography art uses existing or new typefaces as the primary visual element, crafting dynamic visuals that seamlessly blend together in form and meaning. With the growth of the print industry, typography art grew significantly and became ubiquitous. Through skilful manipulation of typography, artists and designers transform these letters, words, and symbols into visual masterpieces that transcend mere communication.

Typography has a strong emphasis on graphic design elements due to the use of geometric shapes and grid layouts which can definitely take center stage in modern, minimalist or contemporary interiors.


Image courtesy of The WoW Style.

Urban art draws its inspiration from the dynamic landscapes of urban spaces, serving as a reflection of the vibrant energy and pulse of city life. In addition to celebrating the vitality of city life, urban artists often use their work as a platform to address the state of urban lifestyle and spaces.

With the rugged and utilitarian aesthetic of Urban art, an industrial space can benefit from an Urban artwork in its space, adding a layer of texture and authenticity to the atmosphere.

Considering the Art Style for your Space

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the array of contemporary art styles, you must be wondering which one fits best with your interior decor. While certain artworks complement specific interior themes, there are also a few styles that come as versatile options. However, it is essential to understand and identify the overarching theme of your space.

Does it lean more towards minimalism, embrace eclecticism or have traditional charm? The existing elements within your current space plays a pivotal role in balancing with the chosen artwork. Once you have that identified, we can now explore how different art styles can enhance each setting.

Image courtesy of CGIFurniture.

In modern interior design, which can be identified by the clean lines and minimalistic aesthetic, Abstract, Geometric, Typography and Minimalist art styles seamlessly integrate into them. With the sleek compositions of modern furnishings and materials, both can echo simplicity and sophistication. The layered textures and subtle patterns found in these art styles further enhance the contemporary artworks, making them the perfect fit for modern interiors.

Image courtesy of Decorilla.

In traditional spaces, seeking sophistication and timelessness is evident, therefore artworks inspired by traditional forms of art fit perfectly. Portraiture, Still Life and Nature art styles resonate closely with the aesthetics of traditional design and bring out a sense of nostalgia and heritage to the atmosphere.

Image courtesy of MyDomaine.

For eclectic interiors that celebrate the joy of individuality, creativity and style, artworks with a bold and eclectic flair will thrive. Figurative, Pop, Urban and Surrealist artworks provide a vibrant mix of colors, textures and themes that mirror the same energy. These artworks can work as focal points while also injecting character into the space.

Considering the Function for your Space

Consideration of the space’s function is also paramount, determining the suitability of each decorative piece.

Image courtesy of Decorilla.

Residential interiors allow for greater flexibility as the artwork should reflect the personality and interests of its inhabitants.

For the living area, artworks that evoke warmth, comfort and intimacy can enhance the whole atmosphere. Nature inspired artworks or family portraits are popular choices, infusing the space with a sense of familiarity.

For the Kitchen and Dining area, artworks that can stimulate conversations are a great choice. Therefore, vibrant artworks of the Abstract, Pop or Surrealist styles are possible considerations to spark discussions and add visual interest to the space.

In bedrooms, prioritizing calmness and serenity is essential. Opting for a minimalistic or nature-inspired artwork can help to promote the tranquil atmosphere, therefore fostering a sense of peace and relaxation.

Image courtesy of Home Designing.

While residential spaces allow for more flexibility, corporate or office settings require artworks that can create a conducive and inspiring work environment. Apart from selecting artworks that can reflect the values of the organization, it is also important to convey a sense of sophistication, professionalism and creative expression. Abstract, Typography and Urban artworks can convey these perfectly and create a visually interesting space as well, creating a good balance. By carefully selecting the correct artworks, corporate spaces can be enhanced, inspiring and motivating employees, ultimately contributing to the productivity and job satisfaction.

Considering the Color Palette of your Artwork

With the strong influence an artwork has on the mood of a space, the color palette is another crucial consideration. The artwork should harmonize with the overall palette of the space, not overwhelming it. For example, an Abstract art piece with vibrant and bright colors can help to infuse a room with vitality and energy while a Minimalist piece can create a sense of serenity and calm.

Considering the Size and Placement of your Artwork

Lastly, the scale and placement of the artwork are equally important in interior design. Serving as a focal point, artworks command attention and anchor the space. Artworks should be proportionate to the interior and placement should be deliberate, taking into consideration the natural light, traffic flow and sightliness to ensure optimal visual impact.


Overall, as the art and design landscape continues to evolve everyday, it is essential for design professionals to stay current and open to experimentation and exploration, pushing boundaries in creativity and innovation.

Selecting the perfect artwork is a process that requires careful consideration of various factors. By exploring the different ranges of contemporary art styles, designers can create a harmonious space that resonates with their clients.

Specialising in hospitality, corporate, residential, and private projects, our expert team of consultants at The Artling can help alleviate the tediousness of all that. To view our past projects, click here and to engage our art consultancy services, click here.

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