New Year, New Room Week 2 – Choosing Art

Minted provided the art featured in this post (thank you!). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s week 2 of the New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge. In case you missed the introduction, you can see week 1 here. Even though I haven’t accomplished all that much in the room since last week, I feel like my vision and plans are a lot clearer. I’m excited for everything to come together in the next week.

Today I want to talk a little bit about choosing art. Obviously there is a lot to consider when picking art for a room–for example style and scale, which could each easily take up an entire post–but for now I want to focus on choosing art as part of an overall color scheme for your space.

Art Colors2

Like other accessories, art can “match” the colors in a room, or it can play off them for contrast. Art that shares roughly the same color palette can make a room feel cohesive; art that brings in a contrasting color can make a room feel dynamic. You can’t go wrong with either approach because really, adding art is always a good thing.

As I mentioned last week, we are partnering with Minted for this challenge, and I am including Debra Butler’s awesome Land of Infinity photograph in my room design. It was a tough choice because Minted has an amazing selection, and after I “narrowed it down” I was still left with at least about eighteen choices. BUT, I’m so so happy with my selection. I opted for the Whitewashed French Farmhouse frame, too, and love how it complements the subject matter.

Since I’m working with this print right now, I want to use it as an example of how you can choose either matching or contrasting colors with a piece of art. I’m calling them safe and creative options, which kind of sounds like one is better than the other (because we all obviously want to be creative), but I don’t mean it that way. The safe options are simply taken directly from the colors in the photograph, whereas the creative options play off the colors using roughly analogous or complementary color schemes.Art Colors5

Top row, L-R: BM Smoke, BM Crystal Springs, BM Summer Nights, BM Treasure Trove
Bottom row, L-R: BM Seaweed, BM Raisin Torte, BM Exotic Red, BM Dusty Pink

It’s easy enough to see how the safe choices work with the photograph, but let’s talk just for a second about why you might ever consider using purple with a piece of art like this. (You may want to peep a color wheel during this chat. You can see one here). The dominant colors in the photograph are a light blue and a golden yellow. Green works with both these colors in an analogous color scheme (colors next to each other on the color wheel). Purple is an analogous color to blue and the complementary color (across on the color wheel) of yellow. Red together with yellow and blue forms a triadic color scheme (three colors equadistant from each other on the color wheetl) and pink is a take on this same scheme. Incidentally I do think the pink perhaps works the least well, though it could still be pretty in the right setting.

When thinking about an actual room design, I doubt you would want to use this photograph only with the creative color choices I picked, but I think mixing some safe options and creative options in an overall scheme with the photo would give you a result that both makes visual sense and provides a twist on the expected.

That’s what I’m trying to do in my guest room, which I’m refreshing in this challenge. I have blue on the walls and yellow on the desk, but I’m using an emerald green throw, and plan to bring in dark coral and other warmer tones through additional art and textiles.

IMG_8664Yes, I hanged my beautiful new photo on an existing picture hanger where it looks totally wrong. It will be moving before next week! Since I moved the furniture arrangement off-center to accommodate the desk, I plan to put up some other art in kind of a loose gallery to balance the look on the wall.IMG_8669The matching chair was just a little too much with the desk, so I brought this rattan chair out of the basement. I have a pair of these, and they’ve been in about every room in my house at some point. They are good everywhere!IMG_8673Some of the other art I’m planning to use. I’m thinking the different colors in these accents will bring variety and also tie a few of the elements together.

My Lamps Plus Color Plus lamps should be here today, and I’m excited to see what they bring to the space. As a reminder, I’m using the Double Gourd table lamp in West Highland White.

double gourd lamp

Here’s a quick rundown of the plan for this room before the reveal next week:

  • Install new baseboards (Justin still plans to do this. The room needs it, but I’m fine even if it doesn’t happen this week).
  • Accessorize bed with an actual duvet, real covered pillows, etc.
  • Find additional rug/floor covering.
  • Hang art.
  • Hang curtains (I have a stash, all from Ikea, that together probably cost less than one curtain panel from somewhere else).
  • More plant power.
  • Style it up!

Now, don’t forget to hop over to visit the other great bloggers participating in this challenge. There’s a ton of variety in the spaces they are taking on, and you don’t want to miss a single one.


Finally, thanks again to our sponsors for providing decor for this challenge!


See you next week!


20 thoughts on “New Year, New Room Week 2 – Choosing Art

  1. Looks fantastic. The room is looking great. Love the color palette you chose! I’m a big fan of mixing blues and greens. Love the green blanket on the bed with the blue wall color. LOVE LOVE


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  6. i really like how you broke down the safe/creative color choices…i will not lie,my eye was drawn to all the creative colors. you really have a way with mixing and matching, everything from colors to prints…love it!


  7. “Plant power” made me giggle. That’s my favorite design tip of all time–put a plant in it. I love the color options you shared and the print is gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing it all pulled together.


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