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Ask Casa: Help Me Choose Paint Colors

Hi Casa,

My boyfriend and I are about to move into our first house and I couldn't be happier! I can't wait to get in there and start putting our touch on things! The only problem is that I am having a tough time picking a paint color for the living room.

A few years ago, I bought a set of three prints that I absolutely love. I want to hang them above the sofa in our new place, but I'm having a tough time finding the right paint color to highlight them. When we first bought the prints, our living room was white and they popped beautifully. But now I'm a little sick of white and want to add some color, but I'm not sure what direction to go. The living room in our new place opens onto the dining room, so whatever color we choose will have to continue into the dining room too.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for the help,

To see my suggestion for KatieMise,



Hi Katie,

Great prints! I love them. This isn't a tough one. When choosing a wall color for a wall with artwork, my rule of thumb is always to choose a hue that's an accent in the art piece, but not the primary color. You should choose a complementary color, too. In this case, the background colors of two of your prints are a greenish-blue and a true blue, and in all three prints there is reddish detailing. So, I think a red or watermelon hue would really make your prints pop. Not only are they on the opposite side of the color wheel from those greens and blues, but reddish walls will make the red detailing in your prints pop!


I made a couple of mock-ups to give you an idea. But the best thing to do is head to your paint shop and grab a few samples in these colors, and then bring them home to see what works with your prints. Then, test the paint on your walls before you paint the whole thing. If a whole room in a red color is too much for you, you can always just paint an accent wall and then leave the rest of the walls white. I think it works with the artwork, too, because red is a really important color in Asian culture.

Hope this helps!



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KatieMise KatieMise 7 years
Thanks Casa! And everyone else for your suggestions! Always so helpful to have a second (and third and fourth!) opinion!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
:-) thanks ladies.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Kim, that's what I immediately thought of, painting a portion of the wall around each picture (or around the grouping, depending on how close together they'll be hung) in red.
gidigirl gidigirl 7 years
P.s I love Kimpossible's idea... Im definately going to try that oneday.
gidigirl gidigirl 7 years
I was just thinking red would be great Good to know that Casa concurs:) I just used a similar red to picture #1 as an accent wall and i LOVE it.. I used Benjamin Moore's "Smoldering Red" Happy Decorating!
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
I like the first red as well. You could also leave the walls a neutral, white, beige, eggshell etc. And paint squares a few inches bigger than the pictures in the red color to act as a mat behind the prints. That would give you the pop of color you're looking for and it's easy to change if you ever want to do that as well.
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