Take a Lesson From Me & Monet About Balance & Your Decor

Take a Lesson From Me & Monet About Balance & Your Decor

Jennifer Hunter
Apr 17, 2015
(Image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Once upon a time, a freshman me took an Intro to Art History class because I like looking at pretty pictures and it started at the very reasonable hour of 11am. Well, I retained one very important lesson about balance from that class, specifically about this painting — The Magpie by Monet — and you can apply it to your home.

Take a look at the Magpie in the painting (it's that small black bird sitting on the fence). Looks pretty insignificant, right? Especially for a painting named The Magpie. Ohh, but just trust good old Claude.

Now, close one eye, cover up the magpie with your thumb and look at the painting again. See how different it looks? It's completely off balance. The tiny black bird in that open space balances the visual weight of all that's going on elsewhere.

Now, let's take a look at four rooms that used that exact same concept.

Melissa and Brian

This room has a lot going on so what brings it all together and balances the decor-heavy table and oversized lighting? Those two insignificant sconces dotting the wall. This room just wouldn't look right without them.

Sophia and Sebastian

A grand piano and a large piece of art dominate the right side of this wall, but the two sconces — hung at just the right angle to match the pitch of the roof —balance them perfectly.


Erin has a busy bedroom and every element has a purpose. The off-center "X" art? It keeps that large plant from dragging the whole look off kilter.

Jamie and Byron

Another layered room with a larger chandelier that just wouldn't be the same without the simple silhouettes placed in just the right spot.

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