When Pintrest won't cut it
January 28, 2014 12:18 PM   Subscribe

I have a large (about 55inx45in) oil painting in gilded gold frame that my great great grandmother painted (the frame is original to the painting). I think it is kind of neat, probably about 100+ years old. I want to hang it in the living room as a focal point. The thing is, I don't want it to be the only thing on the wall. We just moved in, so all the walls are empty. What can I pair with such a dated statement piece that would not look silly? I don't have to use it if nothing is going to go with it. I want a relaxed, kitschy feel for the room. I don't even know what to type to search google/ pintrest image ideas.
posted by MayNicholas to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Without knowing how large the wall is, let me throw out painting that wall as an accent wall in a color complementary to the painting.
posted by bfranklin at 12:23 PM on January 28, 2014

What's the subject of the painting? Are there any main color groups? What does the rest of the living room look like? You might go through DesignSponge and Apartment Therapy and search for oil paintings to see if there are any similar rooms or designs that you like, and how they could be modified to fit your particular painting and room.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:27 PM on January 28, 2014

My wife and have done our dining room salon style, using a wide range of art and materials. The more incongruous the combinations, the better.

Here's some inspiration.

Too much is never enough--but remember, mix and match. Don't put the painting with just 100 photos of your dog. Paintings, a record sleeve, a photo of you, ephemera, etc.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:34 PM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

The walls will be green (avocado), the subject is a river, trees and mountains or volcanoes, I can't tell if it is smoke or clouds. The wall is about 15ft with 8ft ceilings. The colors in the painting are greens, greys, browns and blues.

Salon Style! That helps.
posted by MayNicholas at 12:38 PM on January 28, 2014

What other stuff have you hung on walls in the past? Do you have anything else framed? Family photos? A cool old map? Rock gig posters?

The most tasteful and least affected way to do this (and probably the easiest unless you actually enjoy digging through flea markets or collecting art) would be to hang it with other old family things and personal mementos.

If you are going for a more deliberate curated or kitschy look, you are going to have to develop some kind of taste for art. Which isn't something we can do for you, and is hard to really advise on without seeing a photo of the painting.

Or you could always hire an interior decorator to have taste for you.
posted by Sara C. at 12:41 PM on January 28, 2014

Gallery wall!

Gallery wall 1. Similar tones in the art and frames. Mixture of sizes, but some sizes repeat.

Gallery wall 2. Notice the mixed media but it's all in a similar color palette.

Gallery wall 3. Notice how it's arranged on the wall.

Gallery wall 4. A link to a bunch of gallery walls. Try to notice what works and what doesn't.

Gallery wall 5. More eclectic, but there is a similar sense of graphicness to most of the pieces. Still, it has a good mix of styles.

Gallery wall 6. Notice they are nice and big, and arranged without perfect lines of symmetry. The overall feeling is balanced but not super orderly, which matches the ambiance of the room.
posted by barnone at 3:15 PM on January 28, 2014

Try searching french hang - you don't need to limit yourself to just pictures.
posted by Wantok at 3:26 PM on January 28, 2014

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