Photo by Belén Imaz

The kitchen is a room often overlooked when it comes to hanging fine art. True, many kitchens are wide open, but if your space has even one wall (even a backsplash), or is self-contained, there are plenty of opportunities. Not only can artwork bring in color, it can set the mood, and add life and soul to sometimes sterile environments. For inspiration, have a look at how art, both figurative and abstract, is displayed in these 12 modern kitchens.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Brooke Holm

A pair of colorful, collage-like pieces framed in pale wood that hang above the dark wood shelf brings color upwards on the high white wall. Colors are pulled from the artwork and used throughout the kitchen, from the green counter stools to the array of dishes stacked on the stainless steel countertop. Although this kitchen was actually set up for The Design Files Open House in Melbourne, Australia last year, it is perfectly functional for the real world too.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Kristiina Kurronen

Finnish interior and prop stylist Susanna Vento put together this all-white kitchen—floor, walls, cabinetry—which benefits from some grounding pops of black. The sconce anchors the space on the right, while the abstract artwork in black, navy, and red, holds the room in on the left. A nice touch: the colorblock composition echoes that of the stove.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Mati Véronigue

This is the kitchen of a bold apartment in Porto, Portugal owned by the design duo behind Oitoemponto Architecture & Interiors. The space has the feel of dining room meets diner, thanks to the chrome and leather chairs and antique lamp, along with the stainless steel countertop. It’s unclear if the houndstooth pattern floor is linoleum or carpet tile, but it makes quite a statement. The art, an array of portraits, is a quirky finishing touch.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

This contemporary black kitchen, designed by Italian architect Piero Gemelli, combines high shine (the lower cabinetry) with matte finishes (blackboard and concrete). The walls may be clad in metal, and the ceiling certainly seems to be. A pair of botanicals that are framed in wide black wood lean on the counter, while a colorful selection of paintings are clustered on the far wall.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Bernard Touillon

Logger meets chef in this spacious stainless steel kitchen featured in Maisons Coté Sud. A science lab style island is topped with butcher block sporting an uneven edge; and then there’s the tree trunk support. A series of abstract florals lines the top of the range hood, propped against the tan tile backsplash, again drawing the eye upwards towards the soaring cathedral ceiling.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Ricardo Labougle

Architect Mauricio Arruda designed a masculine kitchen for his home in São Paulo, which appeared in Casa Vogue last year. From his extensive art collection, Arruda chose to hang a dramatic black and white landscape photo in the kitchen on the celadon tile wall. It makes a striking vignette alongside the mid-century modern clock and magnetic knife strip. Plus, the simple black frame works well adjacent to the black framed floor-to-ceiling window.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Manolo Yllera

Another black, gray, and wood kitchen, this one home to and designed by Tom Delavan, the creative director of shopping site Gilt. The black clock, black and white photos, and white objects create an artistic atmosphere in his small Manhattan apartment.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

In this Fritz Hansen furnished eat-in kitchen, two scratchy portraits hung over the sink bring instant character to the white-on-white, Scandinavian style scheme, complete with plank floors. Although monochromatic, there’s plenty of texture, including that of the artwork.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

São Paulo architect Francisco Calio designed this house and its concrete kitchen. The occupant, who moved here after spending five years in Rio, only rents, but has made it her own. The picture of the pig not only adds a feminine color touch (notice her pink cookery perched above the open shelving), it’s a humorous subject for kitchen artwork. Wonder if she loves bacon?

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Max Zambelli

A single spot of gold, in the form of a gilded frame around a black and white still life photograph, adds sparkle and soul to this gray and white minimalist kitchen. Designed by Studio Montañana, an architecture firm based in Valencia, Spain, and featured in Elle Decor Italia, this third floor apartment needed a total gut to clear out the debris of the ’70s. Ultimately, its original mid-19th century bones where uncovered, and a contemporary design created.

Roundup: 12 Kitchens With Artwork in main interior design  Category

Photo by Kristofer Johnsson

There may be no better combination for a kitchen than pure white paired with Carrara marble and matte black fixtures and furnishings. From the unexpectedly placed sconces, to the minimalist faucet, to the provocative black and white photograph, stylist Lotta Agaton works her magic in this minimalist contemporary kitchen in Stockholm, which belongs to graphic artist Therese Sennerholt.

For more kitchens featuring fine art, check out Montage: Artwork in the Kitchen on StyleCarrot.