Choosing a frame is an essential step in any interior decorating process. Whether you’re redoing your home, or simply updating a well-loved space, decorating the walls with new and attractive art, photos, and decorations is a quick and easy way to breathe new life into a familiar room. One question that we frequently come across though, is how to make frames and wall-art work in rooms with busy or distracting wallpaper. With simple, white or neutral painted walls, it’s an easy matter of picking a spot and hanging the piece, but things become somewhat more complex when you have to deal with the intricacies and details of an overly busy background. Keeping things looking clean and classy is a challenge when there’s so much going on. But with these tips and ideas, you’ll be able to make your framed photos and art look at home on even the busiest wallpaper.

Contrast is Key

When you hang an image on your wall, you want it to stand out. By hanging it you hope to draw attention to it and make it a focal point or a showpiece. Busy wallpaper has a tendency to mute this effect, as the images you hang fade into the patterned background, rather than standing out prominently in their own right. In order to combat this effect, focus on playing up and highlighting contrast in order to make your chosen image stand out from the background. If you’re wallpaper is heavily patterned with detailed and intricate imagery, choose an image that is big, bold, clean and simple so that it’s geometric simplicity pops to the foreground. This room featured on Houzz shows this in practice. By contrasting the crisp lines and geometric edges of the wallpaper pattern with the soft brushiness and painterly quality of the canvas, the image pops out of the wall rather than being overwhelmed by the pattern in the back.

Keep Color in Mind

The above image is also an example of the next important thing to keep in mind when choosing an image and framing it for display on busy wallpaper. Color is the corner stone of any artistic endeavor, and in order to keep your art or image from becoming overwhelmed, you can choose colors that will make it stand out. The image above uses a dramatic blue to help anchor it against the coral and pink of the wallpaper. These vivid color contrasts have a pleasing aesthetic effect, and enhance the definition between the wallpaper and the painting even more. Choosing colors that are opposite from your wallpaper, as in the above example, or in this room are great ways to make your art pop, but this is hardly a hard and fast rule. This room features a black and white image on black and white patterned wallpaper, but the image still pops. This is in part due to the contrasting textures and style of the image and the pattern, but also because of what we will discuss in the next section.

Make the Most of Your Matting

Matting is one of the easiest ways to make an image stand out on wallpaper that would otherwise overwhelm it. Matting creates a barrier between the image and the patterned background, which helps to emphasize what you want on display. The black and white photo on the black and white wall that we showed above would blend into the wallpaper, but the designer has added a bold, broad, white matboard in order to bring the art to attention.

By focusing on contrast and color, while creating a barrier between your art and the background, even the busiest wallpaper can be a suitable showcase for your framed art and photos. Visit us today to learn more about how you can incorporate your own masterpieces into your home!