Learning how to match paintings is no easy feat. In fact, “how do I match artwork?” is a question frequently fired at our curators. This how-to guide explores the art of pairing paintings and how to avoid the most common art display mistakes with five easy steps.
First of all, ask yourself what kind of ambience you want to create with your art. Contrasting patterns and colours in paintings is a great way to jazz up your walls. Although no less musical, complementing hues and styles typically evoke harmony and can be less stimulating. For soft and cosy vibes, consider botanical fusions by Hermione Carline or a subtle bouquet of impressionist skyscapes by Andrew Kinmont or Pol Ledent.
Existing Colours and Patterns
To match or to clash? That is the question. Similar to creating mood, it can be hard to know when to complement or contrast colours. Start by establishing what style is already apparent in your space. A common mistake made when choosing paintings is to ignore the already prevailing colour palette or genres present. To match bold, urban feels, consider marrying graphic abstract paintings with colourful tribalesque compositions. You could bring together street art by Niki Hare and bright, fragmented works by Kaz Land.
When it comes to creating gallery-worthy displays, try not to overlook the size. Decide whether you want your paintings to be orderly and aligned for symmetry or vastly juxtaposed. As long as your wall hanging layout is intentional – even if you’re going for a casual, improvised vibe – both styles can have an equal impact.
What is the aim of your painting collection? Not that these values are mutually exclusive, but is your aim to inspire yourself when you walk in the room or to add a little zest to your home space or office? Are you looking for paintings that remind you of being immersed in nature, such as the far-flung, atmospheric vistas by German artist Renate Faeth? Or engaging portraits to empower and spur you on, such as the striking personalities in Mikela Henry-Lowe's works? Before matching paintings, take a moment to consider the why behind your choices.
The mood, size and purpose of your paintings will change depending on which room you present your display. Here are some guidelines to review when matching paintings with interiors.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and always deserves a little tender, loving art. To match paintings with kitchen interiors, first look for where your artwork will fit. Countertops or spaces above cabinets are perfect yet often neglected art spots. Then, consider which styles are most suitable. When it comes to cuisine, often less is more. The same goes for kitchen designs. For the best design recipes: think less spice, more depth. Consider more minimalistic paintings for your kitchen to avoid overwhelming the room.
Remember that your bedroom is your retreat. It’s where you go to rest and replenish yourself. With this in mind, you want to look for paintings with colours and feels that are conducive to relaxation. Avoid looking for paintings with energising patterns and colours, and opt for calmer and quiet compositions. For example, peaceful and ethereal landscape paintings by Tessa Houghton or photographies by Reed Hearne.
Is your living room party central? Or a total zen den? Mirror vibrant and full-of-life rooms with paintings that spark joy. Balance peaceful and serene salons with therapeutic works that purify the energy in your space. To enliven a living room, peruse the kaleidoscopic colours of Odilia Fu's expressive rainbow works. To soften your decor, opt for the detoxifying and remedial underwater works by Brigitte Yoshiko Pruchnow.
When matching paintings with your study or office, avoid overpowering the space. While you want the work to incite productivity, you don’t want them to be too distracting – it’s a difficult balance to strike. We suggest leaving space for inspiration. Remember, you don’t have to fill every corner with art. Review refined and clean art deco paintings by Sarah Emily Porter for beautiful works that pique your curiosity and creativity without consuming all your attention. Likewise, precise and geometric paintings by Crispin Holder ignite individual reflection. You can enhance your home-office wellbeing with works from our Working From Home Collection.
Art that Matches You
A guideline you shouldn’t ignore during your search is to find something that you love. Make sure that whatever you choose brings you joy and happiness. If it doesn't match up to your standards, it doesn't deserve a space on your walls.