The painting is the character of the space. If we try to perfectly match a work of art with its surrounding, it will be obvious, the artwork will feel like an accessory to the furniture, and we will have only achieved to weaken the impact that this artwork could have. We can still create a discussion between the space and the painting/s without limiting the necessary independency that the work must have in order to reflect a sense of style, confidence, and a statement. If we want the paintings to stand out we have to help them do it by giving them freedom to talk.Here are a few practical tips that will offer a help so you can rise to the challenge of finding and displaying works of art for your spaces.
Determine how much space you have available and go for the right size. A rule of thumb is that the art has to fill two-thirds to three-quarters of the available free surface where it is going to be displayed. If the painting is bigger than that, then it will not be able to breathe, and it will look restricted. If it is significantly smaller, it will get overwhelmed by and lost in its own background-surface. Abstract/Semi-abstract art generally needs to be as big as it can so as to have more impact.
The choice of the right colour palette depends of course to a big extend on the personal likes. However, the colours of the art composition must not be exactly the same tones/ shades of other items in the space. If this is the case, the monotony of the colour pattern in the space will make the painting look weak, dull, and boring. Contrasts, even if they are not strong, add life to both the artwork and by extension to its space. They create focal points that can catch the eye and flatter the space. On the other hand, in order for the colour scheme of the painting not to awkwardly clash with the existing dominant colour palette of the surrounding space, there is another rule of thumb: Do not try to match the tones/ shades, as already said, but do try to match the values. Warm tones match warm tones, and cold tones match cold ones. Warm are reds, yellows, oranges, beiges, most browns, ochres, tan, magendas. Cold are blues, teals, greens, violets, lilacs, greys. Generally: Warm colours stand out more, and they give the impression that they approach the viewer, making the space look smaller, while cold colours tend to 'distance' themselves from the viewer creating the illusion of a bigger space.
Do not centralize the artwork with reference to the background surface (wall mainly) but do centralize it according to a reference piece of furniture. Thus, you are creating 'corners' that make the space look bigger, and indeed more balanced. Hang your art at eye-level (considering the average eye-level while you are standing). When we hang a piece of art above a sofa or another piece of furniture, it's good to keep the bottom edge of the frame 6 to 12 inches above the furniture. Remember: The paintings need to have space to breathe.
If for any reason, we want/need to have more than one painting displayed in the same space/room, we never try to match the styles/ colours/ subject matters of the works. Each work must maintain its own signature, its own personality. We must keep in mind that each work must be a showstopping piece in itself. In this way, the visual result will be authentic and undoubtedly more artistic. If we try to match them, then they will either look like a set (which will definitely make them look less valuable), or our effort will be evident which will result in them looking awkward and weak.
Our tool in order to marry more classic/traditional/old-fashioned spaces with edgy/contemporary/minimalist artwork and vice-versa are the frames. That doesn't mean that every painting of every style can fit in every environment. Generally, classic spaces can accept extremely avant-garde paintings more easily than a linear minimalist space can accommodate a classic composition. Specific conditions must be taken into account.
It goes without saying, that paintings and every work of art need light. Please note that direct sunlight is not recommendable, as it can affect the paint. If the place where we want/need to place the artwork is not bright enough, the portable spot-lights are always an effective solution. However, we must remember to choose cold white bulps.