Using Artwork to Choose Wall and Accessory Colors

wall color with artwork

Four variations on a color theme, showing how artwork can help you choose a color palette.

When choosing wall colors for your rooms, big decision making help comes from artwork you own. Painting the wall a color that will set off the art without competing with it is how to start.

Start with the wall color

First look at your artwork’s frame color. It should not compete with the art itself. It’s the same when choosing wall colors. Look for minor colors in the art for inspiration. That will make the art stand out better than using the art’s dominant color. Avoid using the art’s background color as your wall color, that will compete with the art. The four variations shown here all take their color cues from the poster but don’t try to match the main background color of the art.

Go dark or light

For wall colors, you can go darker or lighter than the art. Both approaches will help make the art stand out. Darker colors add more drama; lighter colors are more restful but still make the art pop against the wall.

Accessorize the colors you see in the art

I’ve shown an IKEA Stockholm chair here in basic gray. Add variety by using color in throw pillows and texture as well as color in a throw. Pick colors that are contained in the art and complement the wall color. You can go brighter on these items when the furnishing are neutrals: white, black, gray, soft earth tones.

Put your art against the wall and try out color samples before you paint to see which looks best. Add the accessories after you’ve hung the art.

Find more color inspiration on the DecorFixins Pinterest boards!

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2 Comments to Using Artwork to Choose Wall and Accessory Colors

  1. Jamie February 12, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    What a fantastic and helpful site. It certainly helps the inexperienced as well as the budding professional. So many colors, so little time!



    • kate February 12, 2014 at 11:26 am #

      Thanks for the compliment, Jamie!

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