Perhaps the most common item used as home decor is the framed painting. In my previous post, I shared a small range of The Mariners’ Museum and Park collection that is available for reproduction and display in the home. When choosing an art reproduction, the choice of subject matter and color can determine the visual impression and mood your room will provide. Let’s see how some living spaces look when the color of the chosen art is an essential factor.
What Bold Color Can Do
Paintings can make a dramatic impact, such as in this Thomas C. Skinner painting displayed in this cafe bar. The light, flooding the room from the windows, is matched in the ochre tones of the art and the leather sofa. Note how the colors in the artwork play off the yellow of the couch and how the scale of the picture works in this space without being overwhelming. This scene is a good pairing of art with location; however, you could easily imagine this same piece mounted over a roaring fireplace in a wood-paneled library. In that instance, it would have a completely different feel.
In contrast, using the same space, I substituted a vintage travel poster for the stationary vessel above. The image provides excitement because of the movement implied in the illustration and the color choice. The combination of those blues with that sunflower yellow sofa provides a shock of color. Which artwork do you prefer in this room?
Color Can Have A Purpose
Bright bold color and contrasting color schemes have historically been found in posters and advertisements as a way to draw interest from the busy public walking by. These travel and wartime propaganda posters from our collection are great examples of this:
Another artist in the Museum, David Taws, uses both color and light to create his paintings. Note that his use of watercolors does not mean pale pastels, his works are bright swaths of colors such as squash yellow, turquoise, dark teal, and various shades of pink that create arresting images of sails and waves dappled in sunlight.
Neutral Tones Have Value Too
Perhaps a monochromatic look is more your style and your home consists of shades of white, creams, taupes, and brown.
This example shows how a painting that only uses the colors already present in the room can still be dramatic and eye-catching.
Neutral living spaces need not be dull or uninviting. Here, three different pairings of art from The Mariners’ Museum and Park collection create distinctively different moods for the same living room scene.
These are also great examples of the variety of artwork available at the Museum; large-scale botanical studies, travel industry posters, and wartime propaganda posters.
To search for some of our colorful images, please view our online catalog here, or you can email us at [email protected] for suggestions. To order an art reproduction from the Museum, please fill out and submit our Usage and Reproduction Request Form here.
Designing your home decor is an exciting and fun task to set for yourself. Why not use color to both brighten up those walls and your spirits?