How to Incorporate Contemporary Art into Traditional Spaces

Finding the perfect mix of old and new in a home can be a struggle. We all have family heirlooms, favorite pieces we’ve acquired over the years and an ever evolving sense of design. We also have access to endless design inspiration instantly with the tap of a button, so it’s not surprising that we can easily find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by all the possibilities and constantly wanting to update the interiors of our own homes.

I’ve shared Liza Pruitt’s art collective in past blog posts because through some of my own purchases, I’ve discovered that one of the easiest and most impactful ways to breathe fresh life into an otherwise traditional space, is with a piece or two of thoughtfully curated contemporary artwork. Now, I’m not saying you can simply slap a Rothko-esque painting on a Bowood clad wall and call it a day, but I am saying that in a room with antiques and traditional lines, a piece of art with an unexpectedly contemporary edge can be transformative and one of the best design investments you’ll ever make…if you choose wisely.

First thing’s first,

First thing’s first- Pay careful attention to the color palette of your home and the room where you will be putting your new artwork. Although you don’t want the colors to be matchy-matchy, you do want them to tie in with the rest of your home. Artwork always sets the tone of a room, so be sure the mood and colors of the piece compliments, not distracts, from the space to create the desired tone.


Be sure to take note of the natural tones that fill your room. Do you have lots of various types of wood furniture finishes? What color are your floors? What tones naturally pull through your windows from outdoors? Greens from trees? Blues from shadows? Yellows and whites from bright natural light? This will help guide you towards the style and overall ambience of the artwork you acquire and should be kept in mind when selecting a frame as well.

When in doubt, never underestimate the power of symmetry. Depending on your comfort level, sometimes two symmetrical pieces are better than one and can actually a softer, more subtle way to incorporate modern art, creating a sense of fluidity because your eye isn’t drawn to one central, glaring focal point.

Size is also important. If you have very traditional interiors than I prefer to use a smaller piece, However, like in the living room above and the next two images below, the colors are a continuation of the rest of the colors in the room.


Don’t forget to edit! You might love that vase from Aunt Edna but does it really have to be on the chest directly below the painting? Maybe it needs to go in another room or in a box in the attic all together. You want every room in your house to feel harmonious and warm and too many decorative accents, including photographs or paintings, can make a space feel cluttered and chaotic.

Finally, it’s incredibly important that you see purchasing original art as an investment, not a splurge. It’s more expensive than the art you find online or in a catalog for good reason. There’s no duplicate, each piece is unique and authentic and can never be found again. The emotional connection to artwork that moves us is priceless and is something that if we listen to (and if out wallets will allow of course), will result in an investment that will bring us joy everyday when we give it a place in our homes.

I recently shared my daughter’s bedroom makeover and got lots of questions about artwork sources for children’s rooms. Today at 9AM EST, Liza Pruitt is releasing an exclusively curated collection of bunny paintings by Anne Bohne Curtis. They are positively darling (and affordable) and would be so sweet in a nursery! I know adding contemporary art to traditional interiors can seem intimidating, so I’ve also included a way to style these bunny paintings in a child’s room, along with styling ideas for two other pieces currently available through Liza Pruitt‘s collective. Happy Wednesday!

BUNNY COLLECTION BY ANNE BOHNE CURTIS

LOW COUNTRY SOIREE BY ERIN DONAHUE TICE

**This piece was just added to the collective yesterday to assist with childhood hunger during these scary times and 100% of profits go to No Kid Hungry. Enter code NOKIDHUNGRY at checkout for free shipping**

Painting // Table Lamp // Foo Dogs // Console // Blue Coffee Table Book // Neutral Coffee Table Book // Extra Large Ginger Jar

SEASIDE BY JENN THATCHER

Painting // Chair // Skirted Table // Bud Vase // Gold Bamboo Frame // Brushstroke Table Lamp // Woven Table Lamp


***This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase something, I may get a small commission from it at no cost to you. I understand that anything I recommend is a direct reflection of myself and my blog, so I only refer things that I have hand selected and love enough to share with you.

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