The powerful impact of simple artwork

Powerful artwork can be simple artwork. It doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be expensive. And it doesn't have to be large. What's really important is that it complements the rest of the furnishings in the room or pulls it all together. Here are four ways to bring maximum impact to your room with a simple piece of art.

• Uncomplicated Watercolors

The most perfect example of uncomplicated watercolor artwork inspired me to write this article. I ran across Maria Killam's post on Houzz featuring a green, black and white bedroom from the Morgan Creek Residence project. I was struck by the straightforward elegance of the three orchid watercolors that hung above the bed in plain black frames. Without pomp and circumstance, these pictures captured the room's color palette and brought it into focus in perfect proportion. I highly recommend reading her blog - it's filled with fresh ideas and good design.

• Black & White Illustrations

It doesn't get any simpler than black and white. Old botanical or architectural illustrations have been long-time favorites of decorators who want artwork for their client's walls - but, they don't want it to compete with the rest of the furnishings. Mounted in simple frames, black and white illustrations can bring interesting subject matter into a room without competing with understated fixtures. Let them bring in just a hint of style wherever it's needed.

• Repeated Patterns

Artwork takes on many forms. It doesn't have to be a single subject. Sometimes a repeated pattern matched to the colors in your space can work just as well as a hand-painted masterpiece. I've used small clips of computer-generated kaleidoscope prints, scraps of striking wrapping paper or themed scrapbook sheets in over-sized mats to accessorize a project. It's all about the colors in the pattern and how they relate to the room - proving a little pattern can go a long way with minimalistic style.

• Ordinary Photos

Don't relegate those vacation photos to a cardboard box in the bottom of your closet just yet. Sifting through your pictures can yield you some great artwork. For example, vacation shots usually produce a number of pictures of the same subject from different angles. That's a good thing when you're looking for a set of pictures. By nature, they'll all have the same color theme and if the colors work in your project space, you've struck pay dirt. Mat them, frame them and display them proudly.

Check out the pictures and the inspiration for this article in the Simple ideabook on Houzz. You'll quickly see how simple artwork can be the perfect complement to your room and give you ideas on how to work similar pieces into your next project.

Enjoy more home decor ideas from Terry Mulligan:

10 Tips to Take Your Next Decorating Project Over the Top

Fabulous Choices for Decorating with Throw Pillows

Budget-Friendly Dollar Store Finds Anyone Can Decorate With