Should Art Match the Furniture?

Do you think artwork should match the sofa?

Momentum encaustic painting by Shirley William artist shown over a sofa

'Momentum" framed encaustic on wood, 28 x 80 inches. © 2018 Shirley Williams


Most artists might say absolutely NO WAY!!   They want their paintings to stand alone and apart from anything that may seem decorative.

My thinking is a little different.  

I honestly don't mind when someone is looking for art in colors that "go with" their decor.

My only caveat is that they love the painting first and foremost. For example if someone can't get a painting out of their mind, even though it's not the perfect colors, it would be a better choice long term than a perfectly matched painting they're only lukewarm about.

I firmly believe that art should be about beauty. Of course that's different for everyone. One person may prefer a serene, monochromatic environment so therefore they'll automatically be drawn toward a quiet painting with similar colors. 

On the other hand another person may love the jarring effect of a bold painting.The colors might even clash with the furniture, but because they love the painting it will look awesome in a room decor that also reflects their bold taste.

Whatever works for you is ok. However, it's always important with original art to acquire paintings you personally love. The decor will change over the years, but if you love the painting, it will always nourish you no matter where it's installed.

Recently I read a Blog post by  color consultant, Amy Wax.

This is what she had to say on the subject:

1. The most important reason to hang artwork on your wall or bring it into your home is because you love it. By limiting yourself to pictures that match, you are denying yourself the fulfilling experience of hanging art because you find the piece satisfying, or exciting to look at.

2. Hanging up artwork is a way of showing off your personal style. It can be difficult to find artwork that uses the exact color scheme of your decor. Then, if you do find a piece or two that "match", you may not like them or they may be out of your budget. Don't go ahead and buy. This is not an efficient or satisfying way to express your style.

3. Artwork is not "supposed" to match. Hey, it's your wall. You can put whatever you want on it.You can think of art, not as decoration, but to draw attention to a focal point in the room. 

4. Matching artwork to your home can seem "tasteless" by many. Harsh. But many people think this way. Often, pictures that "match" are bland. I implore you not to compromise your personal preferences in favor of a lukewarm piece that matches the colors in your home too closely.

What do you think?