Design Inspiration

The Beauty of Contrast: Modern Art in Traditional Rooms

Whatever your taste in decoration, an element of visual contrast is a great way to make your home more interesting and personal. Something oppositional or unexpected awakens the senses.

There are many ways to introduce invigorating contrast into a space, and art is one of the best. Here are some examples where modern art breathes life into traditional rooms.

Looking to add an original, modern artwork to your space? Check out this collection of bestselling modern abstract works, curated by Saatchi Art Senior Associate Curator Kat Henning.

(Image: Photo by Ann Lowengart Interiors, Courtesy of Houzz)

A simple pink circle painting creates a modern focal point and a vibrant contrast to the green walls of this traditional dressing room.

Painting by Dawn Arrowsmith, Toomey Tourell Fine Art

(Image: Photography by Matthew Millman, Design by JayJeffers, Courtesy of Houzz)

In this masculine space, a bold and playful abstract painting is juxtaposed with understated linear wallpaper and carpeting.

Painting by John DiPaolo

(Image: Photo by Angus McCaffrey, Courtesy of Houzz)

A minimalist glowing screen and a Bubble chair — which is as much a sculpture as a piece of furniture — provide a counterpoint to traditional wood paneling here.

Chair: Bubble, Maarten de Ceulaer; LED panel: custom by Al Zaparolli

(Image: Photo by David Scott Interiors, Courtesy of Houzz)

Bold red flowers on a black background command attention in this neutral dining room.

(Image: Photo by Angus McCaffrey, Courtesy of Houzz)

In this restrained classic-style space, an abstract drawing reinforces the color palette while adding movement and energy.

Print by Joan Mitchell, Susan Sheehan Gallery

(Image: Photo by David Scott Interiors, Courtesy of Houzz)

A free-form black and red kinetic sculpture is a dynamic counterpoint in this understated classic-style living room.

(Image: Courtesy of Houzz)

A provocative painting anchors this traditional living room.

Artwork: “Vote” by Julian Schnabel

(Image: Photo by Angus McCaffrey, Courtesy of Houzz)

A large-scale painting leans against the wall of this classic-style dining room, adding a bit of the unexpected yet keeping within the neutral color palette.

Painting by Robert Kelly, John Berggruen Gallery

Related: Gorgeous Neutral Colors to Introduce at Home