For those of us who call a studio, small apartment, or loft “home,” size matters. There are only so many pieces of furniture you can fit into a living room and bedroom. In truly small living areas, you have to take advantage of every inch of space available—including your walls. Create a dynamic interior by adorning your walls with art. Not only does art reflect your style, it can also create drama, tell a story, make moments happen, and give the illusion of something bigger, even in a small area.

Keep reading for seven creative ways to incorporate art into your small space.

Include Statement Pieces


Making a statement is easier than you think. Try juxtaposing minimalistic furniture with a dramatic work. In statement pieces, colors are bold, vibrant, and powerful. Choosing art that takes center stage is a great way to divide and frame your apartment into separate areas. Consider incorporating a painting to add texture in addition to bold color. Artists like Anna Valdez, Annelie Vandendael, and Jonni Cheatwood create large, vibrant works that achieve this effect.

flamingo wall art

Annelie Vandendael Flamingo

Use Large Frames


Exaggerate the size of small photographs and prints by placing them in thin frames with large borders. This also prevents wall art from looking cluttered, especially in a small setting.

Try hanging one or two large pieces front and center to give more depth to your wall.

Tappan founder Chelsea Neman curated a wall at Alfred Tea Room in Los Angeles by doing exactly that. She took small, original works crafted on paper and exaggerated their size by floating them in larger frames. Then she mixed in larger works to create what are called “anchor pieces” to hold the wall. Works by artists Claire Oswalt and Jeff Kraus are great for smaller pieces, while colorful photography like that shot by Eric Chakeen serve as fitting anchor pieces.

Sois Belle 2.11 by Annelie Vandenael

Anneliie Vandendael Sois Belle 2.11 

Go Small to Exaggerate Wall Size


If you don’t have the budget for a large piece of art quite yet, try exaggerating the size of your wall by incorporating a few smaller pieces with or without large borders. This creates a clean, understated look. Following this mind-set, the less artwork you hang, the more important each piece becomes. Check out artists Heather Day and Dafy Hagai for this look. 

dafy hagai photograph

Dafy Hagai Omer 

Fake a Window


When you live in a small, urban space, thinking about the next getaway can make your space seem even smaller. Instead, bring paradise to your home. Like a window to the forest, desert, or beach, anything with an expansive shot of nature will open up the room. Marc Gabor, Isaac Zoller, and Lani Trock are Los Angeles–based photographers whose works achieve this effect.

hawaii wall art

Isaac Zoller Hawaii Blue 

Keep Colors Neutral


Keeping it neutral or monochromatic will make the atmosphere of your space light, bright, and soft. Since these colors blend well with most décor schemes, you have the freedom to redecorate and swap out furniture without having to worry about replacing art.

lani trock photograph

Lani Trock Good Morning

Stack Art Vertically


Stacking artwork vertically can lengthen the height of a wall. When using this trick, envision what your wall can hang from bottom to top. Cheryl Humphreys’s works on paper and Jeff Kraus’s collages are examples of art that is accentuated when stacked with other pieces.

Place Art in Unassuming Locations

Regardless of the size of your home, you can add layers of character by placing works in the room’s most unassuming spots. A bold piece can stand alone on your bathroom door. Incorporate small pieces onto your bookshelf. Katy Krantz’s ceramics and Ali Beletic’s paintings are perfect for this.