Making Art Work in Home Design and Color

Here at New Elements, we are BIG fans of color. We love using art as a way to express color and elevate a living space design. But how can we use color to create a space that is cohesive, and also goes along with the art we love? There are several ways to do this!


Matching the Art to the Room

Seeking art after a room has been decorated can be a challenge...but as long as you follow a few rules, you'll be able to find a piece that fits the colors of the room perfectly.


First, determine the predominant shades of the room itself. Not just one pigment...good decor in rooms means that there will be a family of colors. Identify the top three or four. These are the colors you'll want to match the art to. Make sure to note the color of the wall you want your work to hang on as well...that color will determine how the work interacts with the whole room. Once these are determined, head to your favorite gallery!


Your gallerist will know exactly how to match your artwork. In fact, if you bring a photo of where you want the art to be, many galleries have software to create mock-ups of where the art will go! If you don't have a gallerist to assist you, there are a few basic color rules to keep in mind when picking your work. Make sure to grab a color wheel to see how this works!


For the wall color, you'll need to find a piece that has a different predominant color from the wall itself. If you don't do this, you risk the piece being swallowed by the wall! It usually will not stand out. You can look for a piece that is lighter than the wall you plan to hang it on. This will draw your eye to the work itself. You can also match the wall color to an accent color in the painting, which will have a soothing effect on the space, or a complimentary color (a color opposite the predominant color on the color wheel) for a more exciting wall.


Artists can have palettes within their particular styles, so sometimes it's easier to find the artist and then the piece. Bob Rankin often has a lot of teals in his he'd look great in an orange room for a more exciting wall, or a purple (another favorite of his) for a more soothing effect.

"City Start" by Bob Rankin has great pops of orange and coral. This is such an energetic piece.

Matching the Room to the Art

Starting a room from scratch? It is much easier to match a room to the art. Once again, the predominant hue of the work will be what the room is based one. Most room decor have a primary, and then maybe 2 or 3 accents. From there, designers like to play with color by using different shades of those 2 and 3 accent colors.

Sullivan Anlyan's work is mostly this beautiful piece would work perfectly on a blue wall, with white and yellow accents.


See an explosion of eye candy this month at New Elements Gallery with "Prismatic Promises," a new show featuring Bob Rankin and Marlowe. Let us know you're coming!


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