Artsy Dwelling

Artsy Dwelling: Art on Patterned Walls

There’s this thought that’s been dominating the art and interiors world for a while now– the white cube phenomenon– the thought that art is shown at its best on a clean white wall.  And perhaps sometimes that’s true, but when you live with art, it becomes a part of your surroundings in a much more subtle and incorporated way.  Layering your art on patterned walls can create a complex visual even more intriguing to the eye!

Here’s four ways to display art on patterned walls–

1 | soft texture So maybe you’re more into super subtle patterns, letting a softly textured pattern play a secondary role in a solid, rich color, allowing monochromatic artwork takes center stage.  Just an understated wash of color and visual texture plays up the nuances in the artwork.

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2 | playful repeats Play up an element in your artwork by subtly repeating it in your wall covering.  The nautilus shell-like pattern below is a quiet nod to the lollipop swirl in the painting.  It’s not in-your-face-repetition, but once you start looking, you’ll see repeating patterns everywhere!


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3 | modern botanics This isn’t your grandma’s family portrait on floral wallpaper.  The monochromatic scheme of the paper keeps it feeling fresh and modern and subtly picks up on the greens in these contemporary portraits without being matchy-matchy.  Plus it’s like being in a sunny garden!  Bonus.

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4 | graphic goodness Big bold, graphic artwork is too much for all this pattern, right?  Wrong!  The symmetrical and relatively small pattern repeat on the wall covering is the perfect foil for the freeform overlapping squares in this piece.  Keep the scale of pattern in your artwork complementary and you’ll be sure to please the eye.


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These definitely have me rethinking my aversion to wallpaper!  Have you ever hung art on patterned walls?  Did you love it or hate it?

All image sources linked above.

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