Is it okay to put a colored wall behind art work?

When I see beautiful rooms these days, especially ones with great art in them, they usually have either white or light gray walls.

White and light gray are not only in style right now, but also help the art work pop. However, I’m a color person- meaning that I LOVE having color on my walls. This can seem challenging when you want art up and you don’t know how it will look, so you just end up going with a light neutral color on the wall.

I’ve collected 10 different designs that use color on the walls in one of two ways- with lots of art, or with one piece.

Let’s start with the “solo show” pieces and their colorful backdrops.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living, Design by Celerie Kemble

Photo courtesy of Southern Living, Design by Celerie Kemble

Photo courtesy of Michael S. Smith

Photo courtesy of Michael S. Smith

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Coral Harper Interiors

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Coral Harper Interiors

Photo courtesy of S.R. Gambrel

Photo courtesy of S.R. Gambrel

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Kasler

Photo courtesy of Suzanne Kasler

Each one of these spaces want you to “feel” something when you go into the room. It’s either bold and bright, elegant and calm, loud and cheerful, cozy and moody. Complex emotions you could say…

The artwork may or may not have the color of the wall in them- but it fits with the “feeling” of the space. The wall color coordinates with type of art to give you the “feeling” and then the rest of the room keep emphasizing those “feelings”.

The same could be true for the gallery wall collections and their rich hued settings.

Photo courtesy of Emily Henderson

Photo courtesy of Emily Henderson

Photo courtesy of Mary McDonald

Photo courtesy of Mary McDonald

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Photo courtesy of West Elm 

Photo courtesy of West Elm 

Photo courtesy of Lonny

Photo courtesy of Lonny

One of the biggest differences between using lots of pieces of art on a colored wall vs. one piece, is that you need to have the wall color in some of the art.

You’ll notice that in each grouping of art, some variation of the wall color is in one of the pieces. That helps bring them all together. If that wall color wasn’t in at least one of the gallery wall pieces, it wouldn’t work as well. It would make the wall color look like it was some random color you put on the wall instead of an intentional design choice. Which it clearly was!

If you are scared to jump in and paint all the walls the color you are thinking about (like lime green! just kidding...kinda), just paint one wall with the art on it. That way you can get a feel for how it will look and it may be just enough dose of color to satisfy the look you want. Another perk to this option is that you can change the color again in a few years if you want….or maybe that’s just me!

So if you want something very quiet and simple, white is your color. However, there are many many colors out there that are worth a shot to dabble in- don’t be scared!

 

Have you put a color behind your art work? Have you wanted to but been scared because you didn't know how it would look?