Art At Home And Our Well-being

May 11, 2014

Every painting has a soul. While creating it, the artists gives it his energy, emotions, feelings…  Moreover, emotional state of the artist while he was paintings has bigger impact on our perception of the canvas, than its plot. Another fact is that the same picture can evoke totally different emotions from different people. I have noticed this recently, when we discussed with my sister-in-law one painting in our house. She said that it is “depressive and gloomy”, while my mother-in-law, who bought this picture described it as very “touching and tender”. I believe, this happens when someone’s personality is not matching with painting’s soul. In the movie “La vie d’Adèle” there is an episode when two artists have a dispute about Gustav Klimt’s art: the first one sees his art as sugary and naive, while the second one thinks that his paintings are of full harmony and beauty.

I thought it might be interesting to write a post about it and investigate how art that we choose for decorating our house reflects our character.


Image by: Anson Smart

Generally, there are two types of paintings that attract us:

1) We find in them something akin. Those paintings, as a rule, coincide with our worldview, they bring to us piece, hope, joy and strength. We could also call them as our mascot, as they are often inherited from our parents, otherwise we buy them instinctively, following a momentary impulse. If the painting is passed on from generation to generation, it accumulates the positive energy from all previous owners and gives it to its new master. Usually,people have good feelings from contemplating peaceful landscapes, marine scenes (but not stormy sea), portraits of animals and beautiful human body.

2) Art that helps us to get rid of melancholy, depression, pain and anguish. Usually this kind of paintings reflect our own subconscious fears, complexes, obsessions. In that sense, artist helps us to feel that we are not lonely with our concerns and his creation gives us relief and pacification.

Frida Kahlo "Deer"

Frida Kahlo, “Deer”. Frida Kahlo became so popular because she had the courage to carry out her worries and fears on public display. Here sincerity and honesty echoed in the hearts of millions of people. Her art doesn’t loose relevance even today because it is about eternal things: love, women’s purpose and joy of motherhood, thoughts about life and fear of death.


You should never perceive art as only part of you home decor: never buy a picture just because it has the appropriate size to fill the empty space above your sofa. If the painting will be in the space you live in, it has to find a positive response in your heart.

Talking about this, I need to mention that cubism, surrealism and abstractionism are perhaps the most risky directions in art to put them in your house. Distorted shapes and abstract forms force our mind to constantly search for a solution for this puzzle: it tries to make the painting look realistic and “normal”. Broken lines and sharp corners provoke quarrels and arguments in the family, so it is better to choose abstract paintings with smooth lines and round forms.

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele’s portraits of emaciated, sickly-looking humans some people see as disturbing and depressing. Broken lines and wrong proportions are associated with ugliness and disease. Perhaps his paintings is better to behold in the museum or art gallery, than at home, as they call up unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

Surrealistic paintings usually represent the mix of unmixable, which again, breaks our logic thinking and intrudes into our imagination. They push some people to develop their own creativity, others they drive mad…

What to put where: 

Depending on the designation of a room the approach for choosing art can be different. Thus, living rooms are usually decorated with landscapes and still life. At the same time, it is considered that living space is not the best place for portraits: not everyone will like to chat and drink coffee under piercing look of someone’s relative, important historical figure or famous actress.

Study room and home office is the best place for portraits, hunting and battle scenes, as well as paintings that we referred to the second category (illustration of our fears).

Entry halls can be wonderfully decorated with extensive gallery of diverse paintings:


Image credit: Anson Smart

Bedroom is the perfect space for pictures depicting flowers and chamber scenes, delicate watercolour, graphics and nude paintings. According to Feng Shui  it is better to choose portraits of a couple, rather than single odalisque, otherwise there is a danger that husband will find another woman. The paintings picturing autumn and winter as well as all paintings symbolising fading and cold are not recommendable for bedrooms too.

In the kitchen you can put paintings of animals, flowers and genre art. It is better to choose the ones in watercolour or graphics: you will be able to place them under glass and therefore protect from moist and dirt.

However all rules are made to be broken. The only unbreakable principle is that you have to love the painting you bring to your home.

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