13 Calming Art Prints That Are Beautiful and Soothing to Look At

updated May 21, 2021
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Credit: Mackenzie Schieck

Ever walk into a room and notice a shift, albeit subtle, in your mood? There’s power in paint — plus a whole psychology behind the way certain tones make us feel. Color crash course: cool hues tend to be associated with calmness, as evidenced by Pantone’s soothing blue choice for the 2020 Color of the Year. Although it was a pre-pandemic decision, it couldn’t have felt more spot-on, given the circumstances.

You know what else equates to calm? The great outdoors — or, photos of it at least. One study showed that just looking at pictures of nature might help you de-stress (hello, work desktop hack!).

So, what to do with this info, you may ask? Channel it into calming art for your home. . . because if you’re going to look at the same four walls every day, you might as well fill them with happy hues or soothing scenes. If you’re a DIY-er, you can easily make your own at-home calming creations (art therapy is a thing, after all). Otherwise, there’s no shortage of mellow prints and paintings out there to help create the ultimate serene space.

Speaking of, here’s a roundup up of wall accents that scream — er, softly whisper — “soothing.” Interpretations of what constitutes the best calming art will definitely vary from person to person, but each pick feels universally peaceful — from watercolor beach scenes, to posters with positive mantras (manifest it!), to gentle abstract prints. None skimp on style, either, so you can cross both trendiness and tranquility off the list.

Keep calm and (art) shop on with a few favorites, including one I have in my own apartment:

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Urban Outfitters

What’s one of the strongest associations with calmness? The beach, of course. It makes sense — soothing waves, endless sun, stress-free vacay vibes. Channel that energy 24/7, sans passport, with this beach horizon print, which comes in a variety of sizes and frame options. I especially love this piece for the round shape and bottom quote, which nods to the healing power of the sea.

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This peaceful painting elicits all the soothing vibes, thanks to the cheery yellow tone and delicate florals. It’s the perfect colorful-meets-calming accent for any room.

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West Elm

There’s something about this textured art that makes me want to (happily) spend all day staring at it. Although on the pricier side, its muted tone and wavy motifs check all the calming boxes — not to mention it feels super interesting and contemporary.

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Whenever I text my best friend freaking out about something (a common occurrence), she sends me a photo of a print with this same reminder. It’s a comforting reinforcement we all need to hear every once in a while, so give this poster a prime spot somewhere in your bedroom or living room.

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Pottery Barn

A must from textile designer Rebecca Atwood’s recent Pottery Barn collab, this watercolor print combines a few of the most soothing hues to resemble a summer sunrise. Consider this incentive to pick up your own art supplies, too: The piece is inspired by Atwood’s meditative warmup method, painting stripes.

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The next best thing to fresh florals, this framed accent from artist Jennifer Allevato boasts soft-hued blooms against a sky-blue backdrop. It's basically the equivalent of having pretty buds at home every day — how could your spirit not feel lifted?

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Urban Outfitters

Here’s another important message to keep on display as a daily mantra. This comes in four different sizes (plus framing options), and I recommend putting it on — or near — your desk to channel stress-free, positive vibes when you’re working or studying.

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West Elm

ICYMI, blue’s been dubbed one of the most calming colors — so the more of it, the more soothing, right? This felt creation nails the soft, peaceful ambience, both for its blue tones and fuzzy texture.

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I don’t know about you, but I definitely feel most at ease floating in a body of water. Capture that sentiment and find some instant joy with this cute and cheerful art (available in four sizes).

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For more calming art that veers into cheerful territory, you can’t go wrong with this Minted print that feels like sunshine on canvas. The abstract shapes, especially the yellow, pull in your attention for a quick positivity boost whenever you walk past.

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Pottery Barn

It’s eternal (soothing) summer with these blue beach prints, modeled after the motion of waves. Buy each individually or both as a set for double the at-home calm.

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West Elm

One of the first pieces of art I bought for myself, I can confirm that this pink- and blue-infused painting does make my space feel more tranquil (and chic!). It hangs above my bed, so I can catch glimpses as I’m going to sleep or waking up.

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When in doubt, go with the classics: This print of Monet’s famed Garden at Giverny painting feels elevated and high on calming energy. Even though there’s a bit of a darker color palette, you can’t help but feel peaceful soaking in a floral scene inspired by the artist’s real-life garden.