New home, new walls

One of the delights of moving into a new home is choosing what art to hang on the walls.

Painting of cat in garden hung above a mantelpiece

I am particularly thrilled that my new abode has loads of picture hooks around the house for me to take advantage of. Plus – and this will be to the envy of those of you who are fellow artists – the upstairs bedrooms still have the artist’s most desirable period property feature: the picture rail. 

When I moved in, I was a little worried that the coloured walls would limit what paintings I could display. My childhood home had some softly coloured walls. Yellow for my early years and then a “gossamer pink” that was more gossamer than pink. Mom wasn’t convinced that my seven-year-old self wouldn’t outgrow the colour. But most of my adult life has been spent in rented and shared homes with magnolia walls, bar the occasional feature wall and some lovely face brick walls too (I love the textures and colours of face brick). I always chose not to repaint and add colour for fear it would curtail how often I can change the art on the walls.

Two blue ballerina paintings with Odette figures in white tutus hung above a piano keyboard

I was wrong! What I’ve learnt in my first week in my new pad is that paintings look fabulous against a deeply coloured wall. The tan walls downstairs are surprisingly versatile and offset paintings with an array of colour schemes to perfection. The rich blue corridor walls also work really well. Lucky me having a new landlady with a taste for colour.

The rooms with the lovely picture rail both have textured wallpaper. So, figuring out what to hang on those is a bit more challenging. I suspect this is because most of my paintings are currently unframed (unless I’m framing them for an exhibition, I find it better to sell my work unframed and let clients choose frames that match their personal tastes). Adding a good quality frame will help create a clearer pause between the textures of the artwork and the wallpaper. And of course, paintings always looked better framed. I’ve got a collection of artworks (both my own and some by other artists) that I am planning to send to the framers so soon I’ll be putting my theory to the test. Watch this space, I’ll blog to let you know how it turns out!

So, if you’re hesitating about adding some colour to your walls, my verdict is: ditch the magnolia and go for that splash of colour. And if you think a rich colour will be too much solid colour, well, just liven it up with some original paintings.

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