Choosing the Perfect Piece for Your Walls

Do you have a blank wall space you’ve been meaning to fill with the right work of art? With Christmas looming, it’s the perfect time to gently (or boldly!) hint about the gift that would really make your day. If that doesn’t work, you have an opportunity to treat yourself with a New Year’s resolution to finally select an artwork that will be a pleasure to live with.

Choosing the perfect painting for your home or office has a powerful impact on the space but can also be a daunting decision. Here are some factors to consider when making this important choice.


If you have a busy or stressful life, then artwork that features serene subject matter with gentle lines and harmonious colours has a very therapeutic effect on mood. Blues and greens are known to have a calming effect on emotions. The right painting has the power to be something you want to wake up to, that gets you in the right frame of mind for the day, and is also a relief to come home to.

seascape yachts painting

Manly Qld Marine Boats and Yachts by Iris Bonnemasou. The soft colours and abstract composition have an overall calming effect on the viewer.

Subject matter

Are there places or situations that easily make you feel good? Maybe you love to go on holidays to the countryside. Then a landscape will trigger those relaxed holiday feelings every day of the week. A general painting of this scenery may do it for you or there may be a particular location that holds fond memories for you. A painting of this place would have added meaning.

Pastoral image

Cloncurry Landscape by John Rice. Selecting a painting of a place that has personal meaning to you makes it very special.


Do you have a passion or hobby that gets you excited? A painting that reflects your interest is naturally something that would be fun to live with. For instance, if you are a horse lover, then equine art would be a perfect choice.

Equine art

Born to Run by Elena Parashko. For those who have a love affair with horses, you can’t go wrong with equine art.

Decorating Considerations

Would you like the painting to complement and reflect the colour, mood, texture, form and line of a room? A painting can highlight the accents in existing décor and unify eclectic pieces. Alternatively, a painting can act as a contrast to the colour scheme, accentuating differences and itself becoming the focal point.

The width, colour and moulding of a frame should complement the painting as well as existing décor. For a minimalist look, choose a simple frame or a painting on a stretched canvas with no frame at all.

in situe image

Doubly Delightful by Elena Parashko. The yellows and reds in this painting compliment the warm colours of the timber furniture, with the green adding a zing of contrast.


The best size and format for a painting (that is, portrait orientation, landscape orientation or square), will depend upon the intended wall space. For instance, above a lounge, landscape orientation works well and at the end of a narrow hallway, portrait orientation is a good choice. If you have a small wall to fill, then choose a painting small enough to have space around it so it makes a statement without competing with surrounding features. For a large wall space, don’t be scared to choose a very large painting as something small will look lost and insignificant. Large pieces have a wow factor when viewed from a distance and give you lots to explore up close.

Abstract or Realism

Many people have a preference towards either abstract art, where there is lots of room for interpretation, or realistic art where the subject is easily recognisable. An abstract painting simplifies subjects to basic elements of colour, line and movement that are decided upon by the artist. A realistic painting usually includes details of form and texture and has colour accuracy. Choose the level of realism that is pleasing to you.

abstract figure

This piece, The Origin, by Yvette Ten-Bohmer, is an abstract depiction of a figure.

Investment Value

The artwork of emerging and established artists is often bought with the intention of later selling it at a profit as the artist’s reputation continues to build. The owner of investment art may not necessarily like the painting they buy and may not even hang it; while for others it can play an important decorative role for a limited period of time. This is an option if you prefer to periodically change artwork.

Falling in Love

Sometimes we “fall in love” with a painting and feel we must have it but can’t really explain why. The passion and emotion that an artist projects into a painting somehow connects with the viewer on a subconscious level. The painting may trigger an emotional response or memory of a significant experience. The viewer will then transfer their own meaning and story onto the artwork thereby taking ownership of it. In this situation, the decorating of a room may revolve around the artwork.

Bicycle art love

Bluethumb artists Gille and Marc Schattner know all about falling in love! This piece is They Loved Riding the Streets of Paris.

Author Biography

Elena Parashko is an award winning Australian artist, writer and teacher. Her artwork is held in private and corporate collections and galleries throughout Australia and overseas.

As a trained teacher with a Bachelor of Education and Masters in Adult Education, Elena is a regular international tutor of art in Fiji, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hamilton Island, The Maldives and Italy.

Elena is a writer for Leisure Painter magazine in the UK and Professional Artist magazine in the USA. She has also published the book, “Survival Guide for Artists: How to Thrive in the Creative Arts”. Available via her website, this is an empowering book for all creative people wanting to live the life of their dreams

Close up of artist's hand holding paintbrush on half completed canvas
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