Choosing art like an expert: colour or monochromatic?

A thoughtful piece of art or personalised canvas print can majorly enhance the overall interior decorating scheme within your home and can foreground your unique tastes and individualistic style. If you are thinking about creating an art collection of your own or purchasing statement pieces to refresh the interior of your home—you want to ensure that your chosen wall art complements your home and does not clash with your existing wall colour or furniture. When choosing art it’s important to remember that it is mostly always centred around your own personal preference. Remember to be confident with who you are and your style choice. However, there are some standard tips to keep in mind for those of you who aren’t overly confident to go out on a whim yourselves when choosing art for the home.

Is one option superior to the other?

No. The whole point of having art in your home is to enhance your mood, elevate your interior design and create conversation. The idea of art is achieving an art collection that can be enjoyed by residents and guests at your home on a daily basis. This means there really are no strict rules when it comes to choosing art and your choices need to appeal to your own senses.

If you aren’t fully immersed in the art world, choosing the ‘right art’ may seem like a daunting task. However, there really are no boundaries when it comes to choosing the colours incorporated in your art pieces. If you personally are more drawn to colourful, vibrant abstract pieces or watercolour floral arrangements—this is a great starting point to focus on. Others enjoy a monochromatic gallery wall that experiments with different mediums while keeping your interior design cohesive and unified through matching particular elements.

Wall art can either serve to stand as a centrepiece in your home, or blend in seamlessly with your surrounding interior design. This means you can absolutely display a bold, vibrant oversized piece in your all white entrance—or you can put a black and white trio of acrylic paintings in your dark grey toned lounge room.

A very popular tactic when choosing art for your home these days is browsing the web and selecting art based on staged photographs you’ve seen. These can be found on Google and social media more commonly. This provides you with fantastic colour inspiration and can be used as a baseline for your interior design scheme. Find photos that embody your own preferred style and use these as a baseline for choosing your art collection for your own home. Once again, there are no rules when choosing art for your home, it’s all about what you feel most comfortable with. If you despise pastel colours or loathe pink and black together, avoid these at all costs! If you’re in love with brown and golden tones or want to create a neutral nursery and feature something soft in the same colour palette—there is your answer.

How to work with colours you already have.

If your main goal is to create a harmonious and unified home, often working with the existing colour palette of your home is the smartest and simplest way to achieve this. As a general rule to achieve a cohesive look, match at least one of the colours from your chosen wall art with the surrounding decor. This could include opting to hang some wall art that incorporates duck egg blue on your duck egg blue feature wall, it can be that simple! Otherwise you can try to blend your chosen art with your home’s colour palette. For example if you have cream carpet and walls, opting for a thin-lined sketch in a natural frame which is tonal to this space can be very cohesive. If you have decorative chairs upholstered in a green velvet, you may want to place a landscape portrait that incorporates this green or variations of this green in the painting.

Should I introduce new colours into my space?

If you are wanting a change in your space or are looking for a piece of art that commands attention rather than one that blends in—you could create deliberately clashing looks such as a vibrant, busy abstract piece with minimal modern furnishings, which can make a huge visual impact. If you have an all white home that is sterile feeling, bold reds, colourful florals and vibrant photography can brighten up a monochrome setting. If your furniture is a feature, such as an antique mantel and cobalt blue sofa—you may want to tone the area down with a monochrome piece. Graphic or urban wall art can complement a modern minimalistic setting which is very common for inner city dwellings and many suburban locations. A set of three or four consecutive pieces as part of a single art group can also create a striking look in a minimal space. The more furniture and busy your environment, the more mindful you need to be of your choice in art. Keep it simple with only one or two colours and ensure you leave enough clearance between your hanging art and your furniture.

Tip: if you are wanting to introduce new colours into your space, think about the colours that appeal to you most. What do you usually wear, or desire to wear? What are your favourite films? Or what type of imagery do the pages of your coffee table books include? Think carefully about this and make your choices in art accordingly.

Pops of colour.

This is the ideal way to liven up a neutral room as opposed to making a room look like a kaleidoscope. If you have a completely monochrome space with charcoal carpet, white walls and white furniture—you can feature a collection of art with an emphasis on one colour. This doesn’t mean the art should be all one colour, this means your art collection will feature one particular colour in a cohesive yet subtle manner. It makes your collection seem thought about rather than completely random. If you have browns and creams in your home with oak furniture, you may want to introduce earthy greens into your space through wall art. If you have rattan furniture with white linens you may want to introduce black into the equation through canvas pieces or photography. If you live in a more tropical location yellows, greens and animal prints can give you that beautiful British colonial vibe within your home. For the popular Hamptons style home—blue and white work well against each other and can be continually layered with ease.

The benefits of introducing colour.

If your home is currently lacking colour and vibrancy—bringing rich and bold wall art into your space with a variation of colours can truly elevate your home. Combining monochromatic works with a pop of colour can also bring much needed warmth to a dark or moody home. Even if it’s dark and miserable outside there’s no reason for it to be that way inside your home when you have colourful art in your space. Bold colours make spaces appear more memorable and mesmerising. Colours obviously don’t all convey the same feelings either, you can create a space that is fun and unusual or chic and traditional through your choice of wall art. You can completely elevate the mood of your house as the brighter and lighter your colour choice—the more happy and optimistic it will make you feel. Pastel colours like peach, light pink or lilac can also have an uplifting effect on your mood. Notoriously happy colours include bright and warm hues of yellow, orange, pink and red. Yellow is widely recognised as the happiest colour in the world and comes with a scientific pedigree to back up this esteemed honour.

Tip: a great way to enhance neutral or mostly white or cream interior is to introduce an intriguing, abstract painting by your favourite artist to get your audience’s brain thinking!

The benefits of monochrome artwork.

Darker or monochromatic wall art can tone down bright or loud furnishings to neutralise your home in a positive manner. You can still maintain a minimalistic and sophisticated look without coloured wall art—as long as the piece itself is simple, yet bold and intriguing. One colour automatically creates a sense of simplicity and harmony within a space. Your overall design effort is simplified since concerns about colour clashes will no longer exist through the incorporation of monochrome art. It creates a minimalist style that allows objects within a room to take precedence. This is fantastic for those who prefer coloured furniture or people who collect antiques which they want to be the focal point of a room. Monochrome colour schemes really are foolproof as monochromatic styles use different tones from the same angle on the color wheel (the same hue). Basically, in monochromatic interior design—colour will be refined in a few ways to create a liveable space. Incorporating monochrome art in your home is quite contemporary and memorable in its own right. To avoid the “matchy matchy” look and feel—feel free to experiment with art of different mediums and textures to make it more interesting.

Tip: if you have busy wallpaper and bold, colourful interiors or furnishings—adding monochromatic wall art with a simple theme will successfully break up your space.

Bring it all together.

As there are no strict rules when it comes to purchasing and hanging art in your space, it’s important that your choices reflect you and your interests. Don’t compromise who you are or buy wall art for someone else’s gaze, otherwise you will be disappointed with your end result.

Ultimately, you want to be mindful that the rooms which you are buying art for don’t end up looking too cluttered or chaotic—or too barren either! Find a balance between busy and minimal and you are bound to be successful.

Wall art prints or canvas prints from photos can add personality and character to your space. Foreground and embrace your quirks and unique flair throughout your home to make your house feel like a home. Use your imagination to create distinct themes throughout your house. You can create a breezy coastal getaway, or a whimsical manor feel through your choice of art. Create gallery walls that utilise personal photography combined with professional sketches and paintings to amplify your favourite memories. Always consider the available light in your space and how this will interact with your chosen pieces. Freshen up nooks and voids in your home by adding artwork at the end of corridors or in your stairwell.

The simplest method.

If you’re new to the art world the simplest way to achieve an art arrangement that is balanced and aesthetically pleasing is by buying larger single pieces first—then working your way towards smaller pieces which complement your larger pieces. Place these smaller pieces on either side of your larger pieces in a large living area. When choosing these initial pieces be sure to keep in mind your existing interiors and your available wall space. Tie pieces together in particular rooms using colours—or work to a general theme throughout your entire home. The wall space should be able to cater to your chosen wall art with the right amount of clearance to avoid overcrowding. If your wall is too big or too small for your chosen piece/pieces this can do a disservice to your interior design and will be visually unappealing. Small pieces of art can’t fill large spaces effectively but an art series or trio can. A combination of smaller and larger pieces, or a grid with multiple small pieces can also be effective. Brighten a dull room with coloured art or create intrigue or tone down your loud decor with monochrome art.

Tip: a fantastic way to get cohesion through your pieces is by buying multiple pieces from the one collection—by the same artist. Often they are created in a synchronised manner and therefore it’s certain they will work together perfectly within your home.

Have you got a far better idea of what your next piece of wall art will be? Perhaps you’re going to create your first ever gallery wall in your main living area? For beautiful, high-quality pieces by notable artists—visit United Interiors and browse through some unique designs that will elevate your home’s interior and create your most memorable space yet.

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Australian House & Garden
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