Q: Our son and his wife are expecting and they just bought their first home. We have given them the sectional from our living room and some other furniture because they need it and we are wanting to redecorate anyway. When we got that sectional, we had also bought a large original painting that went perfectly in colors with the leather color on that sectional. My son and his wife think the painting is boring and they don’t want it. I guess I never really liked it either, but it was exactly the right size to fill up the space on the wall. What should I do with this painting?
A: If you never really liked that artwork in the first place, why is it in your house?
Ideally, art should be something inspiring, meaningful and pleasing, something that reminds you of wonderful experiences and travels and the people you love. Art is a powerful focal point of a room, right up there with a beautiful fireplace, stunning view or large piece of furniture like an antique cabinet or armoire. So consider something that resonates with you every time you see it.
Well-chosen art helps express your design style, whether you get it first or find it after you’re done decorating. If you start with the art, consider choosing your favorite color out of a painting, and pick darker and lighter tones for accents throughout the room. Use each color at least three times for a coordinated look, and tie it all together with a neutral color on the walls and window treatments — gray, an off white or sandy colors. A darker version of that neutral will be great for the leather or fabric of your next sofa or sectional, or use a pattern that has that color as a base. Brighter, bolder colors that coordinate work well in other accessories such as books, throw pillows and other accents. Area rugs and other art pieces can also use a mix of these colors.
If you don’t have that perfect treasure and need to shop after you’re finished decorating, it’s OK to narrow your options according to size. Or find something you love no matter its size and make the art arrangement work by changing to a larger or smaller frame, or adding coordinating accent pieces hung closely. Maybe your new art won’t even be a painting but a textural collage of driftwood, smaller art pieces and various treasures. Whatever fits your personal style.
Hold out for the art of your dreams, no matter where you are in the decorating process. You should love your home, and the art, even if you need to live with a blank wall for a while.