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How to Create Ambiance Using Fine Art

In your home you want to feel comfort.  In your office you want to feel productive and appear tasteful.  To accomplish this, you need to create an ambiance with your choice of decorations.  Fine art should be one of the top considerations for creating an ambiance.

Creating an ambiance is an art form in and of itself.  The mood or vibe of a room is dependent on several factors which include paint, furnishings, and yes also artwork.  If you choose your decorations well, your family, friends, guests, coworkers, and clients should get the proper feeling when entering your space (be it your home or your office).

Photograph of Cramer Imaging's Palisades in a living room setting with a piano

For purposes of this article, fine art will mean some form of wall art.  There are other kinds of fine art, such as sculpture or ceramics, which could easily be addressed but they fall more into the furniture or doodad department when it comes to decorations.

Creating Basic Ambiance


Photograph of Cramer Imaging's fine art photograph 'Tranquility' on the wall of a room with a couch and lily flower
This well-chosen piece of fine art, in combination with the paint, furniture, and plant, create a calm ambiance.
So, how do you create ambiance using fine art for the wall?  It's actually really simple.

Let's start with choosing a paint color as it's one of the building blocks of creating ambiance.  You choose a paint color which will reflect what you want the room to feel like.

If you want a cool and calming feeling, you go with a light blue.  If you want to seem bright and cheery, you choose a yellow paint color.  If you want to add drama to a room, you choose a dark color or even a black to darken things down.

In much the same way as you choose a paint color for a particular feeling, you choose a piece of fine art based on color.  However, you also choose fine art for ambiance based on content as well.

If you want to create that same calming ambiance with fine art that the light blue paint creates, then choose something calming in color palette and in subject matter.  The photo above with the lake was well chosen for that particular vibe.

If you want to go with something more dynamic or dramatic, you will need to choose a piece of fine art which will grab and keep people's attention.  Perhaps something like the example below will do the trick.

Photograph of Cramer Imaging fine art photograph 'Ancient Red Skyscrapers' on the wall of a living room setting

Notice how that image simply commands your attention?  It's bold and bright in its color palette.  The fine art also depicts something tall.  There's dramatic lighting on the scene.  It dominates the ambiance of the otherwise elegant but monochromatic setting well.

What About Other Design Elements?


If you haven't noticed, the surrounding decor elements play a subordinate roll to the fine art on the wall.  That's an important part of using fine art to create ambiance.  The paint colors, the furniture, the curtains, the doodads, the flooring, the light fixtures, and all the other design elements contribute to but do not get in the way of the fine art on the wall.

Photograph of Cramer Imaging's fine art photograph 'Misty Mountains' on the wall of a brown living room

The central figure in creating ambiance with fine art is the fine art itself.  It's the first chair, the diva, the leading lady.  The rest of the orchestra (or design elements) must enhance the fine art to complete the ambiance you wish to create.  That is if you wish to use fine art to create ambiance.  If not, then something else will take the lead instead.

What About Multiple Pieces of Fine Art?


This is a great question.  Many of you will not have your home nor your office decorated with a single piece of wall art.  You will add a couple or even several pieces of fine art to the wall.  What do you do then?

Photograph of Cramer Imaging's San Diego Pier and Gone Fishing in an office setting
These photos where carefully chosen for their nautical or aquatic feel and because they work reasonably well together.
It's actually quite simple.  The fine art will still create the ambiance but now all the pieces of art must play well with others in addition to the color palette and content requirements.

If you're hoping to create a nautical feel to a room, it will not make any sense to add a mountain scene or a balmy desert no matter how much you like the image or how well the color palettes work well together.

It doesn't matter if 2 pieces of art fall under the same content theme either if they don't work well together.  For example, a dramatic lighthouse photo will not work very well with a cartoon seagull no matter how nautical they both are.  This is what "play well with others" means for fine art.

Step By Step


Now that you have some idea of how to create ambiance using fine art, here's a good step-by-step process for you to create the ambiance you want.

Photograph of Cramer Imaging's Candied Canyon with a chair and plant
  1. Choose the feel you want for the room.  It can be any feel you want.
  2. Choose a general color scheme which will create this ambiance.
  3. Shop for and choose fine art for the wall which will create the feel you want, fit the color scheme you have chosen, and work well together in the case of multiple pieces of art.
  4. Choose your paint color/wallpaper and other furnishings around the colors found in the fine art you have chosen.  Your color choices can match, go with, or contrast.  It's up to you.
  5. Decorate and arrange the room to your heart's content.
  6. Enjoy the ambiance you have created for yourself.

Conclusion


Creating ambiance using fine art is a simple process of choosing what goes well with the vibe you want to create.  You need to pay attention to color palette and to content.  If you plan on using multiple pieces of fine art, you need to make sure that they all work well together as a whole.  If you take the time to do things right, your friends, family, coworkers, guests, and clients should instantly feel the ambiance you wish to create upon stepping into the room.

Have you got some examples of where you've used fine art to create ambiance in a room?  We'd love to see what you've done.  Share pictures in the comments section below.  Inspiration is always a welcome commodity.

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