Art Inspiration: Decorate a Room Based on Your Favorite Piece of Artwork

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Image: Design Magnifique

An empty room is like a blank canvas or clean white sheet of paper; it can be an exciting and creative adventure or it can fill you with performance anxiety. If you’re prone to analysis paralysis and need a place to start with your interior design, why not let your art be the guide? Here are a few approaches for using a piece of art to inspire your room’s décor.

Use Color, Line and Shape

How Decorate a Room Based on Your Favorite Piece of Artwork on the Interior CollectiveImage: Fresh Home Decor

I think the old saying, “buy what you love and it will all work together,” works just as well for interior design. Typically, we are drawn to a certain set of colors and shapes, either consciously or unconsciously, and wind up with pieces that somehow work well together. The same is probably true of your art. One fun interior design exercise is to pull pieces into your room that share the same color palette, lines, and shape as your art. You can see this demonstrated to great effect above.

Use Mirroring

How Decorate a Room Based on Your Favorite Piece of Artwork on the Interior CollectiveImage: William Waldron for Elle Decor

Another simple but effective trick is to replicate your choice of furniture pieces in number and scale of your art—or, as is the case above, to mix it up a bit and mirror the number of items but flip the sizes between art and furnishings.

A subtle decorating tactic is to start with a base of neutral pieces and compliment them with pillows and lampshades in the tones of your selected art piece. In this example, even the items in the bookcase share the artwork’s color palette.

Show Some Personality

How Decorate a Room Based on Your Favorite Piece of Artwork on the Interior CollectiveImage: Oh, I Design

And, on the other end of the subtlety spectrum, you can always play off the color, shape and personality of your art when selecting the rest of your décor. Not only are the lines and tones of the art above picked up in the chair, but the same sense of glee can be found in both pieces.

Do you have a room that was inspired by a piece of art?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of JapaneseTrash.com, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite (ruraltheory.com) and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (thenovogratz.com), Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.