Pulling from a piece Series- how do you know what accent color to pick from art?

Colored walls are my favorite.

I love how they really do help make the room feel a certain way. Plus, they do a good job of tying everything together (art + furniture + rug + accessories). There are many ways to pick a paint color based off the design.

Since I’m a big proponent of letting the art be the item that calls the shots in a design, I want to focus on how to pick a color based off the art piece.

Let’s start with the piece in question. I’m going to give 3 different examples and talk about my reasons.

Photo courtesy of Elle Decoration

Photo courtesy of Elle Decoration

1. Pulling the dominate color directly from the piece

This blue color is gorgeous. Since it's also the main color (besides neutrals) in these pieces, they pulled it out to make it the background color. This is probably the easiest way to go about choosing color. If you notice, they also have a blue sofa...you don’t have to go that far. However, don’t be scared of a dark color. It is opposite of the white wall trend but if you have a lot of natural light, it could actually be cozy and calming. With any piece of art, picking one of the dominant colors is a sure fire way to make sure that the room coordinates with the artwork. It also gives you freedom to use lots of neutral in the furniture or chose other similar colors in the artwork.

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor Espana

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor Espana

2. Take the smallest dose of color from a painting and make it the walls

I feel like if I could name this room, it would be “Sugar Rush”. That pink is LOUD (and stunning)! And though it may not be everyone’s favorite color- especially on all 4 walls- it gets the point across. In this painting, there is a subtle hint of this pink in various areas. Instead of choosing a gray or another neutral, they decided to give the room impact with the pink. Another great reason to do that is that it makes the piece and the room fit together visually (like a puzzle) because your eye picks up on the accent color in the painting and therefore makes it feel one with the wall. Another reason why this design works- there isn't a rug. The floors are consistent and neutral which balances out all the color in the room. 

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

Photo courtesy of Barrie Benson

3. Mix it up by using a contrasting color

Don’t lose me here. I know this sounds crazy because there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason. However, there is a trick I recommend if you want to try out this look. If you were to look at the piece and say it was mostly “warm” or “cool”, choose the opposite for the wall color. In this piece the dark browns and reds/oranges make this a dark “warm” piece. So the designer, Barrie Benson, chose a light “cool” color to balance it out. Overall, this is a little bit of a wild card in the game of paint colors- because people choose all over the board! But I would encourage you to use this trick, especially if you want to use a piece of art but don’t necessarily want the walls to have the same color that is in the art.

 

Are there paint colors that you love to have on your walls? What prevents you from pulling out colors from your art?