22nd July 2019 Art & Interior Design

Expert Tips for Successfully Combining Art and Wallpaper

Matching With Other Themes Changeco Changed

Georgia-SS-Avatar-Circular.jpg#asset:132161:icon114 By Georgina Savery-Smith | 5 mins

The prospect of combining artwork and wallpaper can be an intimidating one, but don't let it put you off!

Placing art on patterned wallpaper has the potential to create a truly stunning and unique effect.

Fortunately, we have collated a selection of top tips to help you overcome the challenge and provide you with some inspiration for successfully marrying your artwork with your wallpaper.

1. Pay close attention to the framing

Image Credit: Timber Trails

When decorating on top of patterned wallpaper thinking about your frame material and size is essential. Your frame should provide a soft transition, but hopefully a good level of distinction between your artwork and your patterned wallpaper.

As a general rule we'd recommend choosing a mono-colour frame which will create a simple partition and prevent the space from looking too busy or cluttered.

Image Credit: Alyssa Rosenheck

Don't over look the mounting for your artwork either - it's another element which will help to seperate and lift the artwork from the wallpaper.

A large white mount, as illustrated in the space above works brilliantly to provide a bit of breathing room and ensure that the artwork does not become overwhelmed by the design of the paper.

2.Scale it up

Image Credit: Tobi Fairley

When you're placing artwork onto a patterned wall, think big! A large scale piece is more likley to make an impact and will also reduce the risk of your artwork getting 'lost'.

In most cases, a single artwork of a larger size will have the greatest impact in terms of creating a strong enough focal point against a busy background.

However, you can also try simple gallery grids - a series of 4 or 6 equally sizes prints from the same artist will create an eye-catching effect which almost acts like a single large piece.

3. Consider your arrangement

Image Credit: Architectural Digest

When dealing with a busy background you must be strategic in the placing of your artwork. Think carefully, and plan out how you intend to position your artwork before committing to drilling any holes!

If you do wish to use a selection of prints, make sure you have a strong composition and the pieces are hung tightly together. Our eyes are often easily distracted, a sense of order and a clear structure will stop this from happening.

Remember not to hang your pieces too high - the centre of the artwork should be at eye level.

4. Choose complimentary themes

Image Credit: Allison Lind Interiors

The goal here is to make sure your artwork complements rather than competes with your wallpaper. Pick out certain colours, styles or motifs within your wallpaper that can be carried through into your chosen artwork to create a unified space.

Here, the theme of animals appears both within the selection of prints and the wallpaper behind, while the white frame, white mount and negative space helps to distinguish the two.

5. Match with your home furnishings

Image Credit: Chango & Co

If you're struggling to create a link solely between your artwork and wallpaper do not worry! As showcased in these rooms there is another way...

Tying in your artwork with the furnishings of the room will allow for more flexibility and will pull the room together in a cohesive manner.

These bedrooms have acheived balance in what would otherwise be a visually chaotic space by incoporating the blacks or blues found within the existing furnishings into the artwork and its framing.

Note how both these examples also use simplistic geometric shapes within the artwork which counterbalance with the geometric nature of the wallpaper.

Image Credit: Chango & Co

6. Juxtapose with confidence

Image Credit: Decor pad

Or if you're finding it difficult to implement the previous tip - simply do the opposite - but be confident about it!

Don't be afraid to juxtapose colours, patterns and textures, sometimes the phrase more is more applies. See the way this bold and simplistic abstract artwork perfectly juxtaposes the blue and white wallpaper for example.

Although slightly more tricky to achieve, this makes for a great statement and will no doubt catch the eyes of any visiting guests.

7. Opt for work with negative space

Image Credit: Decor pad

Implementing artwork with plenty of negative space is another great way to seperate the artwork from the design of the wallpaper.

This bedroom illustrates a fantastic use of negative space, demonstrating how a busy wallpaper acts as a great background for a minimalistic artwork.

To create a sleek and sophisticated look, combining monochrome artwork and monochrome wallpaper is a combination which is guaranteed to work everytime.

8. Offset your feature wall

Image Credit: Hallett & Co

Although we have firmly established that hanging art against wallpaper can look amazing, it might not always be the right decision for your space.

Placing your artwork on an opposing or adjacent wall is often the perfect solution. Not only will this allow both the artwork and the wallpaper to shine, but it will also draw your viewers attention around the room naturally.

In this example the artwork and the wallpaper mirror off against each other particularly well due to the complementary colour tones and shapes creating a lovely well-rounded room.


All in all, if you're planning on achieving this look at home, don't be afraid to experiment. You might find that you can give old artworks a new lease of life when they're set off against a jazzy wallpaper!