Five Tips for Adding Art to Your Office

image: elsa soyars interiors

image: elsa soyars interiors

Looking to liven up your office space with artwork but unsure where to start? Libby Langdon of Libby Interiors, Inc., Marilyn Rose of Marilyn H. Rose Interiors, Elsa Soyars of Elsa Soyars Interiors, Nancy Ganzekaufer of Expressive Living Art and Accessory Consulting and Deborah Martin of Deborah Martin Designs are here to help. These interior designers and consultants offered five vital tips to consider when you add art to your home or shared office space.

Think about your office type.

Note whether you’re planning to decorate a home office or aiming to deck out a shared space like a waiting room, communal meeting area, etc.

Langdon said, “When I choose art for commercial spaces, I usually go for bold, bright and very large over-sized artwork. There can sometimes be design restraint in an office or professional environment…but artwork is most likely in an entryway or a common space. It’s the chance to show the fun, full-of-personality side of a company that it may not be able to otherwise display.”

As for home-based spaces, Langdon noted, “A small personal office can be more of a snapshot of the individual’s design taste, style and what they want to enjoy on a daily basis or portray to visitors. A gallery wall that’s a combination of personal photographs, travel pictures, sculpture and small original artwork items can be hung together to evoke a style sense that’s personal but also shows an artistic point view.”

image: elsa soyars interiors

image: elsa soyars interiors

Realize that size matters.

Regardless of the office type, whether it’s personal or public, the size of the room into which artwork will go is universally important.

“Scale to the space,” Rose said.

Soyars added, “In a larger space, you want to have more impact. You can use bolder pieces of art.”


image: expressive living art and accessory consulting

Create the mood you want.

Keep in mind the type of space (private or public) for which you are selecting artwork, and then set a tone.

Martin said, “The subject or nature of artwork in a more public setting must appeal to [the occupant and the visitor] and be inspiring. One is able to be more expressive in a small, personal office.”

In a building where employees are expected to be productive, “You want bright, happy-feeling art,” Ganzekaufer said. “You just want to bring energy into the space.”

Be aware of light.

Is natural lighting enough to highlight your artwork, or does it need supplementation?

“Lighting is one of the most important elements in any space, and it’s paramount when you want to illuminate artwork,” said Langdon. “A combination of overhead recessed lighting on a dimmer, picture lights mounted over artwork, table lamps and chandeliers gives you points of light that are at different heights in the space.”

Martin2 copy

image: deborah martin designs

Know where to source potential art pieces.

“Galleries and professional trade showrooms remain my first choices for sourcing art,” Martin said and added, “Trade shows like the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair are also excellent venues.”

Other experts cited art fairs and online websites as popular art hubs for patrons.

Soyars said, “Art fairs don’t necessarily have to be the biggest. You can go into local fairs and find some really talented people.”

rachel kalina

Rachel Morgan Kalina is the creative director of The Wood & Watch jewelry and a freelance writer. She knows how to wield a flame to shape metal; loves to travel; and is passionate about art, antiques, DIY, and nature. Visit her at and