Be Informed

Common Terms

Before we dive into how to choose paintings let’s go through some common terms generally associated with paintings, wall arts, frames.

Surface Surface the art is painted or printed on, likes paper or canvas.
Medium Material to create the painting, like oil, acrylic, water color paint or charcoal, pencil etc.
Frame Frame is a border or a case that encloses the art. It enhances its looks and works as support to hang it on wall.
Mount Mount is a paper strip border around the art, that sits between the art outer edge and the frame inner edge. It enhances the look and prevents the art from sticking to the glass on top.
Stretched Canvas Wooden frame is behind the art and canvas wraps over the frame from front and sides. There is no visible frame and it can be hung on the wall.
Glass/Acrylic Covering The art on paper is covered with a glass or an acrylic on the top for protection. When the art is on canvas, it typically is not covered with glass/acrylic.
Hooks The paintings with frame or stretched canvas are fitted with hooks at the back for hanging.
Without Frame You may choose to buy a painting without frame. Artwork is rolled in a tube container.

One website that allows you to use all these options and even to see how a painting looks when you make changes is Arte’Venue ( I haven’t see any other website that has this level of customization.

Go to
Before you search for paintings

What to Consider?

There are a plethora of decisions you have to make before you start looking for paintings. Let’s look at important ones.

Original Paintings Vs. Reproduced Painting Vs. Art Print

Buying original painting
Like the originals & have the budget? By all means go for original paintings. However, it will need much more time and effort in finding the right art that gels with your interiors. It will be at least 5-6 times costlier than the art print. A well known artist’s painting would cost you much more than this. But you will, after all, have an original art on the wall.

Buying reproduced paintings
A cost effective option is to employ a local artist to reproduce an original artwork. If you opt for it, please be aware that outcome may not be what you expect. The original paintings are unique and only an art print can reproduce accurately through high quality prints.

Buying art prints
If your main objective is a beautiful home décor and don’t want to spend exorbitantly, I suggest you go for art prints. It is the best option to buy art for home décor. There are huge options to choose from, it’s easier to find artworks that gel with your décor, easy to order and much friendly on pockets.

Theme/category of Paintings

The themes traditionally most liked by people are abstract, floral and landscape. Now-a-days lot of people want modern, contemporary and different look and choose themes such as minimalistic, cityscape, black & white, vintage, maps and many more different ones.
It’s quite difficult to define a certain guideline on choosing the theme. Based on what I have seen people buying mostly, as a board guideline you can look at following themes.

Living room, behind sofa Abstract, floral, landscape, cityscape
Bedroom, behind bed Floral, landscape, abstract, buddha, cityscape
Above console/table Floral, inspirational, buddha, animals, nature, botanical decorative, figurative, fashion, maps, museum,signs
Study room Inspiration, botanical, floral
A teenager/young adult's room Pop culture, movie posters, sports, automobiles
Kid’s room Children, animals
Foyer Sunrise/sunset, floral, abstract
Stairway Floral, figurative, cityscape, ocean, vintage, maps, abstract
Dining room Abstract, floral, figurative, cityscape, vintage, museum, kitchen, food

You can be different and choose a mix of various themes or a single theme to create a gallery wall set (collage) that looks really impressive and classy. A designer can do this better but you may give it a try.

Arte’Venue ( has some really cool collection of gallery wall sets. I have not seen such an impressive collection in India. Furthermore, you can filter the collection by room, placement, color etc. Truly unique and a class apart! It has been an instant hit with people.

Painting Size

Behind Sofa or above your bed:
Choose the width of about 70% of the width of sofa or bed. For ex, if your sofa is 60 inches (5 feet) wide, then choose the artwork with width that is approximately 40-45 inches. The height of the artwork can be about 1/3rd to 2/3rd of the width. You may even choose a set of paintings that covers the wall area mentioned here. Needless to say you have to go for horizontal (or landscape orientation).

Above a chest, console or table:
The width of the artwork can be approximately 75% to 100% of the width of the chest or table. Now, when it comes to height, you can look at the orientation of the chest or table and try and keep the orientation of the artwork also same. For an example, if the width of chest or table is more than the height, then choose an artwork that has horizontal orientation.

Single Painting or a Set/Collage

This is a matter choice and what you think looks better. One simple guideline that you may consider - If you go for a single painting, which means it will be bigger in size, then it should have greater details in the painting. Meaning, if the painting has just one or two large shapes/figures/objects/blocks without any details within and in monotonous colors then it may not look that good. Paintings like landscape, scenary, cityscape, abstract, floral with details would look good as single painting too.

There is a high demand now for a gallery wall/collage, where it's a set of 2 or more paintings. When it is styled very well, it looks amazing on the wall. You can even have one large painting cut into 2 or 3 large pieces and hang on the wall as a set.

Paper or Canvas Print

Canvas prints are as close to the real paintings as it can get. Canvas has always been prized for its excellent colour absorption. The fabric material can soak up lot more ink than the wood fibres of a poster and that’s why canvas prints achieve truly eye popping colour saturation. They really look impressive. From a distance you won’t even know if it’s a painting or a print.
With canvas you also have an option to get it stretched.
Paper prints are good too and look quite impressive on the wall. They are covered with an acrylic sheet and can have mount that adds a great look to the artwork and protects the paper print. It’s cheaper than canvas.
I would definitely recommend a canvas print. I am sure you will be happy.

Primary Colors in the Painting, Frame Color

The primary colors in painting can be either contrast to the wall color or gel with it. If you want the painting to stand out in the room, go for contrast colors and keep the furniture colors subtle.

You should look to match, as far as possible, the frame color to that of the furniture in the room.

Choosing the Frame

A couple things to keep in mind while chosing the frame are the frame width and the color. Choose the frame width which is about 1/10th or less of the painting width. Frame width bigger than this may result in frame taking away the focus from the painting. For an example, if the painting image size is 10 inch, then frame width can be 1 inch or less.

If you go with a frame that is very intricately designed, styled or designer kind of frame, then you want to highlight the frame too. So it can bigger in size as compared to a guideline of 1/10th of painting width.

As far as possible, try and match the frame color to the color of furniture in the room. This makes the artwork gel with your room décor.

The Search

How to Search & Buy Paintings for Home Décor and Interiors

If you haven’t done this before, believe me it is a daunting task. When you have finalized the theme, size, colors etc, finding the one that you like is very time consuming and confusing at times.

Physical Art Gallery/Store Vs. Online

It’s always better to actually see and feel it before you buy, isn’t it? So if you ask me I might at once say go get it from a physical art gallery/store. But then you end up with another issue – the time and effort it takes and the limited options. You may have to visit a scores of stores, go through so many paintings one-by-one, visualize how it may look on your wall and you get to pick from very limited choices.
This is where the online world comes to your rescue. It is so much more comfortable to do it while sitting at your home, at your own time and no one pushing or looking over your shoulder. Saves you lot of time and effort, gives infinite choices and some websites also help you virtually see it on the wall.

Physical Store

See it physically and exactly know the colors etc.
See the quality before buying
Highly time consuming & cumbersome
Limited options
Searching is very cumbersome
Customization may not be available
Limited discounts

Online Store

Saves time and effort
Can do it at your own time
Lot more options to choose from
Searching is much easier
Option to virtually see it on wall
More discounts and offers
Ease of ordering and returns
May have doubt on the colors in painting you may get
Can't actually see the quality
From the above comparison, it is clear that if you are ensured of the quality, then there is no comparison really. Buying paintings online offers so much more options, is highly convenient and would be more cost effective.

Where to Buy Online

There are a good number of sellers you will find when you want to buy paintings online for home décor and interiors. There are websites dedicated to art and websites that sell art along with other home décor products and then there are giant marketplaces like amazon, flipkart and more. So where do you go?
Here are a few things you can evaluate the online sellers for before spending time on their websites to find and buy paintings.

How may paintings

How many paintings do they have in their collection? With just hundred odd in a category you don’t really have much choice.

How well the website is organized

Are the artworks neatly categorized by subjects like abstract, floral, landscape, vintage, photography, inspirational, nature etc. so can you easily navigate to what you need?

Curated and Modern Selections

Artworks of world famous artists, minimalistic, pop culture, line art, cityscapes, vastu compliant etc, theme based gallery wall sets and collages. Makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

How can it help you narrow your search

Can you filter on the size, color, orientation, etc. These really help when you are looking to paintings with specific size, and colors. Otherwise it takes so much more time and effort to locate.

Is there a powerful search facility on the website?

For an example, if you were looking for a ‘Scandinavian’ theme based paintings, can you search for it and see only those? This is such an important factor in saving your time and effort.

Can you virtually see chosen painting in different room settings?

It helps in decision making when you can visualize the paintings in different settings, different wall colors.

Is there any help available to decide the size?

This one important factor. As I see that lot of people realized they brought a smaller size than what they should have. If website offers some help to determine the size, it would help a lot of people.

How much customization is available?

Can you decide your own size, choose frame, choose the mount size and color or buy it as stretched canvas?

Does the website offer visually pleasant experience?

It's an art website and if it's not pleasing to look at, why bother?

Do I get a designer advisory service?

When you are not sure of what paintings will suit your interiors or getting confused, a designer can help you.

Am I assured of quality?

What materials are used in framing? Can it be returned if you don’t like the quality?

How to Know

The Quality

A very important part is what quality you are going to get. Most people would shy away from buying online for this one particular reason.

There are primarily two parts to it. One is the quality of the print – how well the original art is reproduced and second is quality of framing – what framing materials are used and the finish. I want you to be aware of the fact that there various factors that impact price of a good quality art print – the paper/canvas quality, licensed art print (where seller pays a fees to the artist for every sale), framing materials and workmanship.

I have seen some online sellers selling artworks for just a couple hundred rupees. Be aware that you will not a get good quality print and frame for that price. Being online you can't see the quality and get duped by buying the cheap quality artworks. When you buy paintings for home décor, I am sure you don’t want a flimsy quality up on the wall. So how do you judge what quality you are going to get?

Here are some pointers –

Licensed/Authosized Artworks

Whether the website mentions that artworks are licensed. Look through specifications on the product page - surface quality and framing materials they use. When you find that they don’t talk about it, you should have a doubt in mind.

Customer Reviews

Browse customer reviews for the seller. This is probably the best information source for you. All genuine websites will have a proper process to verify and publish all the reviews, whether positive or negative. Ask them and they should be able to explain their review process to you.

Satisfaction Guarantee

Do they offer satisfaction guarantee? Do they take returns if you are not happy with the quality? Sellers who are confident of their products will not hesitate to offer this guarantee even if they customize products for you.

Info on Quality

Look for any other information on their website that talks about quality, like products photos or videos. If you don’t find, ask for it.

Let me point you to Arte’Venue ( It offers a premium online art buying experience not seen before in India art websites. What distinguishes it from others is -

  1. Largest, licensed 3+ lakh artworks
  2. Top quality, free shipping & returns
  3. Superb customization features
  4. Very impressive collection of gallery walls
  5. Neat categorization and curated sections
  6. Excellent search and filter features
  7. Instant art preview on customization
  8. Art adisory service to help you choose

Go to

By Shekhar Tayade
Director at Montage Art Pvt Ltd. We help customers in choosing artworks for their interiors.
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