How To Decorate Your Home Like A Vincent Van Gogh Painting

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most prolific painters of all time. His work has inspired entire generations of creatives, and his effect on culture is unparalleled. According to Artble, Van Gogh is famous for his contribution to post-impressionism and his signature dramatic brush strokes that convey emotion. Van Gogh was mainly self-taught. He spent the early years of his career copying the work of other artists to master figure drawing and depth. Later, he started incorporating his signature color palette.

While Van Gogh is known for his famous oil paintings, he didn't rely on one medium. His landscapes often use muted colors and chalk, and he painted nearly 150 watercolors in his time. He also used a synthetic coloring oil paint developed for textiles (via Van Gogh Museum). These colors allowed him to achieve intense color palettes. No matter what medium Van Gogh used, he was obsessed with conveying light and depth in his work, even to the point where he would mix mediums to give additional shading or detail. Touches of Van Gogh's style are evident around the globe, especially in interior design. Here's how to decorate your home like one of his paintings.

Showcase small details

An iconic aspect of Van Gogh's work is his attention to detail. We can bring the same attributes into our homes by highlighting small intricate details in existing furniture or adding ornate accessories.

According to Artsper Magazine, historians believe we've been decorating with furniture since 3,100 B.C. In ancient Egypt, furniture was practical if you were poor but decorative and intricate if you were wealthy. Inlays and paintings on wood or ivory were signs of wealth. Additionally, symbolic details showcased wealth and favor to the gods. Later, furniture details displayed loyalty to the church and complemented the architecture. Detailing grew to include elaborate carvings, nature, and mythical symbolism and combined different styles of art and architecture. To bring this detailing into your home, paint an old wood piece to showcase ornate detailing while hiding imperfections (via Just The Woods). Additionally, you can place transfers over milk paint and fake the look of French provincial decor (via YouTube).

Liven things up with sunflowers

Van Gogh was known for his iconic landscapes and floral imagery, but none were as iconic as his depictions of sunflowers. According to Follow The Yellow Brick Home, there are many ways to decorate the home with flowers. They can be displayed on a mantel, printed on textiles, or placed in a vase at the entryway. While sunflowers are common in the fall, it's sometimes harder to find fresh sunflowers during warmer months. To remedy this, you can decorate with fake flowers and create mixed arrangements with sunflowers.

Artificial flowers can look authentic when they're high quality and staged correctly (via Love Our Real Life). For example, if you plan to place the flowers in a vase, using foam in the base will help them appear fuller. If you plan to use a clear vase, you can use acrylic water or clear glue to give the appearance of water.

Pick a color palette inspired by your favorite painting

Van Gogh uses bold colors in many of his iconic pieces. According to LiveAbout, Van Gogh was one of the first painters to deliberately use color to capture mood even if the colors were not realistic to the scene. When he started, Van Gogh used earth tones, which were accurate to the type of subjects he picked. However, as the impressionist movement progressed, Van Gogh used bright hues to depict the effect of light.

Playing with color palettes is a great way to incorporate Van Gogh into your home. AI generators like VANGOGH can create color palettes for you, or you can take your favorite piece of work and pull colors from it. Designer Patrick Mele believes color palettes should blend throughout a home, telling One Kings Lane, "When you're in the middle of the foyer and you're able to see all the other rooms throughout, you have the same family of colors repeated but in different ways in each space."

Mix different woods and stains

A common trend in Van Gogh's interior paintings is mixing different wood tones. Popular styles like zen and japandi feature earthy elements and wood grains. According to Chris Loves Julia, using just one wood tone in a room can make the space look flat. In contrast, layered wood adds depth to the home, making it feel warm and cozy. When decorating with wood, remember that everything does not have to match perfectly.

If you want to blend wood tones, focus on the dominant hue and build around it. In most cases, this would be an exposed hardwood floor or a wall of kitchen cabinets. You can match the undertone and vary the shades throughout your space. For example, warm woods complement each other, while cool tones can clash with warmer finishes (via Room & Board). To remedy this, apply a cool or warm stain to a contrasting piece or paint the furniture.

Hang up a gallery wall

In "Bedroom in Arles," Van Gogh painted a small gallery wall above the bed. You can apply the same idea to any room in your space. According to Studio DIY!, the perfect gallery wall should feel personal to the individual and reflect your unique tastes. However, you can ensure your wall looks beautiful with a few simple tips.

First, art should match in style, color, or size to help give the wall a cohesive look. Repeat a color at least two or three times to make everything look like it belongs together. Additionally, repeat art styles two to three times. For example, you can hang up two photographs and two drawings or two drawings, two texts, and two photographs. Before hanging photos, trace the frames onto butcher paper and tape them to the wall to test layouts before nailing anything permanently to the wall (via Darling Darleen). Hang your gallery wall above a credenza in the entryway, above a staircase, or in the hallway.

Strike a balance in your space

Many artists, including Van Gogh, intentionally create balanced pieces. In interior design, balance is one of the most popular tricks to make a home look expensive and relaxing. According to Stone Gable, to make a room more balanced, divide it down the middle and visualize where the room is the heaviest. Ideally, a room should be centered visually. If a room isn't centered, one of the easiest ways to fix it is to address the scale and proportions of items in the space. For example, an overstuffed sofa against a wall can make a room appear congested, while a tufted sofa moved a few inches away from the wall looks inviting.

Lighter items without texture have less visual weight (via MyMove). Instead of placing heavy pillows on a couch, opt for off-white and cream cushions or to go for a satin material rather than velvet.

Incorporate an eclectic mix of chairs

To achieve a Van Gogh vibe, showcase odd or eclectic-looking furniture. Van Gogh was known for depicting chairs off in scale or detail. While it may be challenging to track down wonky-looking chairs, you can showcase a statement chair in the same way you'd display statement art. According to Liven Design, you can play with patterns that complement chairs, or mix things up with dramatic shapes, like wingback chairs, to create visual interest. You can also decorate using bold colored chairs and use those colors as accents in the room.

Pair club chairs with large sofas or reading nooks (via Interiors Online). Slipper chairs are smaller in scale and can go in bedrooms or areas that need a chic focal point without taking up too much space. When in doubt, decorate with the occasional chair. Accent chairs incorporate multiple elements and look good in any room.

Mimic the stars

If you know Van Gogh, you've probably heard of a little painting called "Starry Night." It wouldn't be a Van Gogh-inspired home without a few stars. To get the famous "Starry Night" look, you can add removable decals, incorporate peel-and-stick wallpaper, or paint a mural. According to Lovely Etc, if you paint a mural, you only need blue and white paint and some small brushes to create white dots in varying sizes. Additionally, you can use a projector to create a guide for a more accurate version of Starry Night (via Pillar Box Blue).

If you don't have room for a mural, you can also redo your flooring to feature a star detail (via YouTube). Or you can paint one using floor and patio paint (via Driven by Decor). If you cannot paint floors or walls, incorporate stars into your decor. For example, you can purchase a print of "Starry Night" and incorporate it into a gallery wall or frame a piece of fabric. Additionally, you can project stars and galaxies onto walls using a specialized projector or lamp (via Fractus Learning).

Decorate with blossom branches

Van Gogh is famous for his landscapes, especially the paintings depicting beautiful blossom branches. There are plenty of ways to incorporate this natural element into your home. Sanctuary Home Decor recommends trimming and placing branches in a vase or decorative bowl. The best blossom branches are about half an inch in diameter. To help them bloom and stay fresh, set them in lukewarm water and flower food (via Lonny).

You can also use artificial branches. Fluff and bend the blooms to make them look unique (via Stone Gable). Fake flowers often have crumpled-up leaves, or they all look uniform. Making sure everything has a natural bend will help your artificial flowers look more realistic. Use water in vases to make the florals look authentic (via In My Own Style). You can also display art and printed fabric with blossom branches or use Chinoiserie-inspired detailing in your home.

Display sculptural furniture

To add artistic flair to your home, showcase sculptural furniture pieces. These items have artistic value and are entirely practical, allowing you to interact with the art. According to Homey Homies, sculptural furniture can be an asymmetrical or angled chair or a hot pink couch shaped like lips. It can also be wood carved into a sculpture or statement side tables made of glass and acrylic.

Sculptural pieces are great for being a showpiece or fixture point of a room (via Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty). These pieces can help set the overall theme of the room and can even raise the perceived value during a showing. To decorate with statement furniture, pay attention to the scale of the items (via Etch Design Group). It's essential to make sure there is balance in the room. A sculptural couch next to a small coffee table will look out of place.

Go wild with string lights

In "Café Terrace at Night," Van Gogh fills the night sky with string lights. You can apply this look to your home to create the same warmth and dreamy atmosphere. According to 21OAK, strings of lights can light up an entryway or create mood lighting in a coffee table vase. You can also string up curtain lights in a room, add lighting to the edges of a vanity mirror, and use fairy lights as a makeshift picture display (via TipHero). Achieve this by adding clothing pins and photos to lights strung on a wall. Additionally, you can wrap lights around branches and hang them from your bedroom ceiling.

If you want to decorate outside, use string lights to create an intimate and cozy space. You can design a canopy by hanging string lights around a wooden post, nearby trees, or fence posts (via Bombay Outdoors).

Build a brick patio

You can build a brick-paved patio in your backyard similar to the roads Van Gogh paints. According to Costimates, the average cost for clay-fired brick patios is $6 to 11 per square foot and an additional $6 to 12 per square foot of labor costs. Since the average patio is 10x10, costs could range upwards of $1,800.

You can also install tiling outside to create a similar look that's more customizable based on your budget and uses (via Emily May Interiors). For example, Italian-style tiles commonly feature patterns that complement courtyards filled with earth-toned furniture. On the other hand, white tiles are contemporary and make an environment appear luxurious and glamorous. You can also purchase porcelain tiles that look like wood. These are ideal for homes with children or large pets because they're durable. Wood finishes can also match decking and provide the look of wood flooring without worrying about wood rot.

Don't shy away from skulls

According to the Van Gogh Museum, one of the lesser-known Van Gogh paintings was his painting "Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette." The piece, completed in 1886, was meant to be a joke. While skulls may not be everyone's cup of tea, they're a great way to bring some Van Gogh flair into your space.

Skulls add a rock and punk vibe while remaining chic (via Boston Design Guide). You can use them to accent coffee table books or display them on a mantel. Alternatively, you can use them as an edgy centerpiece on your dining room table or soften them with flowers (via Porch). Additionally, you can purchase a vintage silk scarf with skulls and frame it as wall art. To hang a scarf, ensure it's ironed and pin it to the back of an acid-free foam core board before placing it into a frame (via Remington Avenue). This tip will keep it preserved and protected.

Bring the outdoors inside

Van Gogh was famously known for his paintings of landscapes which featured muted colors and serene detail. According to Archiscene, featuring landscapes in your home opens it up and creates the appearance of a more spacious room. It's also a great way to add aesthetic value to a space and help tie in color schemes and decorative pieces.

You can also bring the outdoors inside with plantscaping. Plantscaping, also known as interior design landscaping, is the art of arranging plants in an interior space (via Blachford Landscape Group). For example, you could place floating planters on a wall filled with vines or building planters in empty spots. Plants are a big part of decorating an interior design space (via Nouveau Raw). When decorating with plants, focus on ensuring the plant receives enough light and water. Improper lighting will stress a plant out and make it sick or kill it.

Design a garden

Van Gogh was known for painting beautiful gardens inspired by greenery in Arles, France. Bring this serene natural beauty into your backyard by growing a garden. According to Marvin Gardens USA, the best gardens connect interior and exterior spaces. When planning a garden, observe the existing colors and choose complementary tones. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to design around architectural features in your backyard, like a pergola or fire pit, to help them stand out.

Before planting a garden, ensure it's near a hose and incorporated into the landscape (via White Flower Farm). It's essential to ensure that the plants you pick can grow in your area. Some plants are perennial in certain zones but can't survive winters or heavy rain in areas with colder climates. While you may not mind replanting every year, it can get expensive, and it's something worth considering when planning a healthy garden.