Should You Match Your Art to Your Couch?

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Should You Match Your Art to Your Couch?

It’s almost the new year! And if you’re anything like me, you like to start the year by cleaning the entire house top to bottom, rearranging and reorganizing. You might be finding space for new gadgets, home decor and other things Santa brought you. Maybe you’re looking for the perfect spot for new art or wanting to purchase something for an empty space. But you’re concerned with how it will fit into your home. Should you match your art to the couch? Or should you go ahead and buy that piece you really love even though it doesn’t match anything in your home? Read on for some tips to make it work!


First thing’s first. It’s important for the placement of your art to be aesthetically pleasing, but also to preserve the piece! Make sure your artwork will not receive direct sunlight; this can cause premature fading, yellowing and deterioration. Avoid cold locations and damp or humid places like bathrooms. You’ll also want to avoid hot spots near the stove, vents or fireplaces. Position your work so that it won’t get smacked by doors and chairs or smudged by little fingers.  (Click here to see more about caring for artwork!)


Size is also important. You don’t want a large piece to be squished into a tight spot. Hang your artwork so that is has a good amount of “breathing room” around it, and it will really make your piece stand out. Don’t guess, get out the tape measure!

match your art
An example of art being too small for the space. Umm. Don’t do that! Unless it’s obviously intentional.

You also don’t want a tiny 4 inch piece all by itself on an 8 foot wall. But grouping it with several larger pieces would look great! Here’s another consideration. If you buy a small piece, remember you may still have to frame it. You can stick to something similar in size, or get an oversized frame that will make the piece appear larger. Just something to think about. When hanging, eye level is best.


Now let’s get to color! Color is not only about seeing red, blue, purple or green but also the varying shades of those colors and their relationships. Look around at the items in your home where the art will go. Is there a color scheme?

Let’s say that you’re living room has lots of blue and gray. You could look for a work of art that has those colors in it, but you could also look at something that will really pop against all those cool colors like a bright orange or yellow. Perhaps your room is very dark and you want to lighten it up. You can also do that with a large painting or drawing that has lighter colors in it.

One of my favorite ways to figure out a color scheme is to use a color wheel. Check out this fun tool from Adobe to see how color schemes work. We can look at complementary colors (colors opposite each other on the color wheel, for example: orange and blue), analogous color (colors that are right next to each other like blue-green, blue and blue-violet) or triad colors (colors that can be connected by a triangle on the color wheel). A color wheel can help you figure out if an art piece would match your couch or clash with the curtains.

So, What’s the Verdict?

So should you match your art to the couch? It’s really up to you; art is subjective and tastes vary! My opinion is that art stands on its own, it’s there to make a statement and don’t worry too much about matching. You want the art to be the exciting part! That being said, I always try to look for some thread of similarity in a piece and the overall look of the room.

I really think that matching the size of the piece to the space is more important. Just something to chew on while you tidy up and get ready for spring cleaning. Tell me what you think!