Do you match or coordinate your art?

SheeshareeIIMarch 8, 2014

I don't believe art has to be matchy matchy, but I do feel it's best if it somehow coordinates with the space.

I'm planning a kitchen makeover and will be repainting. Currently the walls are BM Olive Branch. My brown counters and flooring have a pink undertone and I plan to better coordinate this room. I'm 99% sure I'm going to go with BM Shaker Beige as it has a slight pink undertone and looks great with browns. My LR is also this color.

However, the art on the main wall of the dining room (our main eat in area) is mostly yellow and orange in color and is going to clash. If it were a small picture on another wall I don't know if it would bug me as much, but it's the main wall. I'll reevaluate when it's all done, but I'm pretty sure the picture will end up in the attic. After we repainted the LR Shaker Beige, one of the floral prints (part of a set) with the golds looked yucky so that one left and I paired the existing print with something else. I've discovered I don't hate the pinky beige/browns anymore as long as I don't ignore it (that's what I've done in the past), but they are limiting.

So what do you do for your home? Does it matter much to you?

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I start with the art and pick everything else based on the colors in the art.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Yes and no. I want the art to be shown to its best advantage, but I don't purposefully coordinate.

I move things around and notice how different aspects are highlighted when the background color changes. I also tend to go for contrast. Cool tones walls with warm toned art/frames.

You will know if you like how it looks or not and you might be able to use it in another room.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:40PM
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I don't buy art to match décor, I buy art because I love it. Most of my art has some red/orange in it and you find those colors in my house too. Most of the colors around my house can also be found in the art pieces I have. I can also move my art to any room and it will work. Most of my art is colorful with reds, greens, blues, browns, etc. and most are original oils with texture that are framed with no glass.

Would a different mat and/or frame make a difference so you can keep the art?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I also wanted to say, of course, I think you should love or at least like the art you're using.

Alex - I'd love to use it elsewhere, but the picture is of fruit. Someday when we remodel I may bust it out again.

Chispa - Due to the colors, I don't think that would make a difference.

This post was edited by sheesharee on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 17:01

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 4:59PM
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Not really, but I have probably never painted a room a color that wasn't fairly universal when it came to going with things.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you have to ''match'', it's not art. It's decor. There IS a difference.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:22PM
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I use neutral wall colors that complement any art or decor.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:38PM
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Unless you want something different, wait until you've painted to decide. You might see any pinks and reds highlighted enough that the oranges and yellows won't clash like you think. The dark background of the painting will also help separate the wall color and fruits.

I know you like to have things figured out. Did you look at the painting in your living room? Just to get an idea of how the two play together?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 5:57PM
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I think it has to coordinate to a degree in color and style....I wouldn't put an old master in a heavy guilded frame in a pink, frilly nursery and I wouldn't put an abstract in reds and oranges in a colonial blue room with traditional furniture.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:00PM
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As hollysprings said "If you have to ''match'', it's not art. It's decor." If matching is a concern for you, you must look for appropriate wall decor or you will not be satisfied with the result.

When I buy original art I don't ever think about whether it 'matches' anything. It has to create an emotion and be something that makes a real impression on me. I do believe tho that I am not attracted to art or wall decor that is completely discordant with my esthetic or decor.

Not all my art works in every room of my house. Some of the landscapes in my LR and hallway are dark and very traditional and would not work at all in my cottage bedrooms with paler colors where floral prints are very appropriate. And the floral prints with white frames would not be something I'd ever use in the LR. When I buy wall decor I look for colors and a subject that will work in a specific place.

Since purchasing art can be expensive there are times I've often admired paintings but not bought them. However, when I cannot get them out of my mind I return to the gallery and hope they have not sold! I've missed a few that way but better than to buy impulsively and regret it.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 6:54PM
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I have a similar fruit picture and it goes with just about everything.

To answer your question, I never buy art to match the house. You'd be surprised how you can hang a piece of art and not have it match the room, then pick a prominent color in the art and accessorize the room with it. I did that in my DR and kitchen not too long ago.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:12PM
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Alex - Yes, I do. :) I did try it in the LR and didnâÂÂt care for it, but the lighting and furnishings are different. IâÂÂm hoping it does still work when itâÂÂs all done. IâÂÂve never loved the plates beside it. I like the plates, but just donâÂÂt think they work right with the picture. I think the picture looks lost on the wall by itself though so I never changed it. I'd like to figure something else out if the picture ends up staying.

I was excited to put up a set of botanicals, but realized IâÂÂm not going to like another grouping of frames because you can see this wonderful set from the same view.

And these certainly donâÂÂt coordinate with a thing in my house, but theyâÂÂre the most important pieces of art I own.

ItâÂÂll fall into place. I felt like being chatty about this topic and wondered what others did regarding art.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 7:54PM
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Way back, when you were working on that wall, I think I posted a pic from Christi Carter's "Art of Accessorizing". It was a wall arrangement over a sofa, but working from a center point and arranging various pairs around it.

You might see if your library has a copy. It could help you finalize what you'd like to see.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:39PM
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I think you can have it both ways. I definitely think there are some pieces of art that will not work with a room's decor. And it's kind of like it's "not fair" to the art, because it is not shown to it's best advantage. I think if you look - and it may take some time - you will find something you truly love that also works with your decor. I don't see anything wrong with that.

As our colors have changed over the years, there have been some pieces of art that we have not used at times. I have a beautiful Robert Tino (local artist) that is now hanging in my work office. It would totally clash with our rooms now. There are some pieces we have that have been rotated to different rooms or are not in use at this time. Not so much because we tend to use different kinds of "art" on our walls that just paintings.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Alex - I have that book, but it's been a long time since I've flipped through it. I'll dig it out in a bit.

Tina - I've rotated and moved art around too. Everything seems to have worked itself out to what feels right. I'm pleased with the art we have throughout the house except for the arrangement on the DR wall.

I might add a chair rail while I'm making changes.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 9:20PM
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All my art and every piece I choose has a common theme. When I look around my home some of the themes repeated in the visible space are circles, squares, neutral colors, clean lines, subtle ocean/water objects. Then I use some of the common themes to transition to spaces off the main part of our home. It's the subtle repetition in a space that keeps things looking coherent. Things don't have to match so much as have common elements that contribute to the larger feel of the room.

This post was edited by Mmmbeeer on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 22:12

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:10PM
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deee posted a link to this apartment earlier in the week. It belongs to Dick Button

All the art in this hallway is related to ice skating, but it is not related in period, style, quality or to the room decor but I still think it is very effective:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:25PM
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Deleted - I posted a picture of different art beside the fruit pic, but changed my mind.

Ineffablespace - Thanks for posting that picture!

I've been quite smitten with this piece of art for a while now. I find it sophisticated looking without being so dark and love the muted colors. Maybe I'll bite the bullet when the time comes.

This post was edited by sheesharee on Sat, Mar 8, 14 at 23:22

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 10:55PM
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I am from the camp that does not feel you have to match art to your décor. More interest is added when it doesn't. These are lithographs of artists we enjoy. Across from the LR is a Georgia O'Keefe with oranges that are not anywhere. Yet it all works. I know I have to replace the chandy and add more art to the DR. It's a work in slow progress. Hope you get what I am trying to show.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:10AM
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Quantity and quality.

If you have a lot of good art, it looks great anywhere.

If you have only one painting, it needs to relate to the room. And if it's bad, it had really better relate to the room!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 1:02PM
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Like Chispa, I'm drawn to certain colors. Also drawn to certain scenes and topics, so it kind of all goes together in some way and "coordinates." I'm sure it's boring to others - mostly soothing neutrals with a bits of more intense color here & there, but I like it. :-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 6:01PM
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I totally picked the fabric for my sofa because it's exactly the same shade of aqua that's used for the sky in my favorite painting. So, yeah, my art matches my sofa, but the art came first. I have a thing for aqua anyway, so it was kind of a given that I'd be drawn to a painting that used lots of it, then get a sofa that matches it.

The art I pick tends to have one of three things in common: city scenes, landscapes with lots of emphasis on the sky (cloudscapes?) or birds. There are a couple of other pieces that don't fit in these categories, but mostly those were gifts from people I love. Oh, and one painting of a bug my husband picked out, which is gross. But he loves it and I love him, so I love it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 6:51PM
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