How to choose colors for abstract paintings (see client’s sofa)

Choosing artwork color is easier than you may think (hallelujah!). With today’s tips you can kick some ‘intimidation” tush and take the leap to bring art into your home. You’ll see what to look for when choosing color for abstract painting. I’ll share my client Barbara’s email to me and her living room photo showing her sofa, along with her dilemma, and my advice. Psst, spoiler alert -> I show 2 gorgeous abstract painting options.

BARBARA’S DILEMMA: I would like to buy a bold modern abstract for behind the sofa the living room.  I love this but know the color is wrong.  I contacted the artist and she said she is open to doing something similar in another palate which is great but I’m stumped.  I would like it to be cheerful and vibrantI’ve attached photos of the room.

MY REPLY: For the abstract painting, I suggest you use colors you currently have and loooove; such as colors from the pillows -> blues / grays / purple, along with introduction of new vibrant colors. Below are two options of color combos (with suggested tweaking) that you can use as a guide. I hope you love it:

OPTION (1) From artist Sandra Luks of Croatia:

art suggestion - sarabaraa

It has the gorgeous color hues of your current pillows, but I  would also incorporate MORE pink / purple colors in the painting for more vibrancy since you are looking for cheerful hues. Mosey on over here for a better view.

(OPTION 2) From artist Jen Ramos of New York:

art suggestion - cocoa and hearts

  • It has the vibrancy that you are looking for, but I would have it incorporate MORE OF THE BLUE + GRAY  tones of your pillows AND sofa
  • Link here for better view (or to her main page if link doesn’t work)


  • For any custom abstract that you pick, have them add a little splash of brown (so it complements your sofa color) bec pillows you may end up changing in time, but sofa you will have for a loooong time. See how Jen Ramos’s painting has a dark color to the left/top side of the painting, her painting also picks up the purple from your pillows. GORGEOUS subtle color.
  • Also, most artist are fine with having you mail them color swatches or (in your case) the actual pillow color.
  • Don’t be afraid of sprinkles of pink colors …think of it as vibrant spring flowers / youthfulness
  • Size: large, rectangular .. almost to the edge of your sofa (much longer than the current art print that you have in the frame)
  • Ooooh, don’t FRAME it, I personally think frames take away from the beauty of abstract paintings. Have them (if possible) stretch it on wood panels, or bring it to a store for prep.

Thanks for sharing your room photos with me (I loooove seeing how the room develops), keep up the GREAT work!


BARBARA’S REPLY: Hi Ada, Thank you, thank you, thank you!  It all makes so much sense :)  Especially the part about have brown highlights to tie it to the furniture.  I really appreciate your insight.  I loooove Jen Ramos’s work. Really light and fun. Thanks for explaining it so well.  I’ll keep you posted as it develops. Thanks again. Sincerely, Barbara

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