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How to Contrast Your Art and Home Décor to Look Good Together

Once you start to accumulate wall art, integrating these pieces with the décor and furnishings you already have will require a more thoughtful approach. In a typical white-walled art gallery, curators use spacing, lighting, and other tricks of the trade to ensure that each piece can be appreciated individually. 


Houses and apartments, on the other hand, are meant to be lived in, and artworks will usually be placed in rooms that aren’t necessarily display areas. A home also bears witness to the experiences and histories of its inhabitants, which means that it’s bound to be filled with a lot of stuff that probably wouldn’t be displayed in typical art galleries.


Given all that, it’s easy to understand why many home art collections look messy. It’s not because the individual art and décor pieces are “bad” per se. In most cases, it’s the lack of intentionality that keeps home collections from reaching their aesthetic potential. 


To ensure that your unique art prints and other possessions harmonise even as they contrast, consider the following strategies from leading art platform DROOL:


1) Choose Décor and Wall Art You Enjoy


This seems elementary, since most of us will only shell out for pieces we like. Collectors, however, can sometimes run into the dilemma of not caring that much for a piece aesthetically but still wanting it as part of a series. Likewise, people who are just starting their decorating journey may not know exactly what it is they want. 


In any case, sticking with pieces that you truly like rather than what other people recommend is important. After all, you’ll be the one who’ll live in the home you decorated. Take this opportunity to decide on what you like and to make investments in décor that you know you won’t regret. You can start by browsing for contemporary art posters, graphic design prints, or illustration art posters on a reputable website like DROOL and choosing high-quality pieces that speak to your personality and lived experiences.


2) Keep Themes and Aesthetics Relatively Tight



Again, it's important to select pieces that you genuinely enjoy. But it's also beneficial to maintain some cohesion in terms of themes and aesthetics. Even trendy maximalist homes are intentionally designed, usually with a given colour palette or overall style family. This doesn't mean that every piece needs to match perfectly, but they should collectively aim for a cohesive look, even if they do contrast. 


Fortunately, making unique art prints pop out or lay further back in the background is usually just a matter of ordering the right frames. Even if you have a thematically incompatible art piece in your collection, frames that complement the style you choose for the room can help tie everything together and enhance the visual impact of your décor. 


Making contrasting décor fit is a bit more challenging, but it's doable if you pick shelves or display stands that suit your theme. Less valuable décor can also be refinished or repainted to better fit your personal vision.


3) Prepare Your Space



Before hanging your wall art in a chosen room, take a step back and assess the room as a whole. Consider the layout of furniture, the flow of natural light, and any architectural features that may impact the placement of your artworks. From there, you can begin thinking of ways to help your contrasting art and décor work within the room. 


Some things you can consider include:


  • Selling off furniture that doesn’t work for your plan
  • Repainting the walls or furniture to better suit your intended palette
  • Redoing the lighting to better highlight key pieces
  • Rearranging your furniture to improve the balance and flow in the room
  • Incorporating additional decorative elements like rugs, throw pillows, or curtains to tie together disparate elements


4) Consider Your Elements’ Shapes



With a few exceptions, most rooms are rectangles and squares. By default, this makes typical rectangular wall art work well within these spaces. Similarly, a lot of furniture and décor is intended to work within the context of a four-sided room. 


But this doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate elements with softer, more organic shapes. Adding just enough of these key pieces will create the contrast needed to make your space more visually dynamic.


5) Add a Variety of Textures



If your pieces have a similar feel or colour palette, introducing a wider variety of smooth, rough, shiny, and matte textures can create a pleasant contrast while still maintaining an intentional look in your space. Consider incorporating elements such as woven textiles as well as naturally imperfect materials, like wood and stone, to add warmth and character to your home.


6) Keep Meaningful Objects in Your Space



At the end of the day, remember that you’re putting together a living space, not an art gallery. Infusing your home with personal touches creates a space that feels truly authentic and welcoming. It won’t matter how put-together your space looks or how many likes it gets on social media if it doesn’t elicit positive emotions from you. Take the time to integrate family heirlooms, travel souvenirs, or handmade crafts into your home décor—anything that tells a story that you feel is worth telling.


Achieving Aesthetic Harmony in Your Home 


The effort to decorate and refine your home is ultimately worthwhile when we consider how much time you spend inside it. All the same, making disparate elements work in your home isn’t an exact science. Because you’ll be working with contrasting art and furniture, it may take a few tries before you end up with something that you like, and it may be a while before all the pieces fall together. In any case, so long as you stick to your design goals, you should eventually end up with a living space that’s as liveable and unique as it is beautiful. Browse through our catalogue on DROOL for art pieces that will help you achieve just that over time. 

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