Designers have long sung the praises of original art in interiors and the unique manner in which it elevates a space. I sometimes hear from people, "I just live in a regular house, with regular furniture. I can't afford to buy everything new so that it looks like a design blog or shelter magazine."
Take my example here. This is predominantly furniture from Pottery barn that has been available for several years. The wall color, pillows and curtains are earth tones that many people choose as a "safe" choice.
It is easy on the eye but rather sterile and impersonal.
Adding colorful original art will breath life into a room and it certainly does not have to match the curtains. In my example below, colorful pillows are the bridge to the already neutral decor and can be found at many price points.
I greatly prefer the room with original art and colorful pillows over the safe choice that many people go with. The difference in budget would be approximately $1000-$3000 for art from an emerging artist vs. $10,000-$30,000 to redecorate with with the latest mid-range pieces.
Lest you think I am only in favor of colorful, feminine abstracts, I have an example with a landscape in more muted colors that offers a different feel without looking like big box store decor.