How Many Paintings Before Chic Turns Shabby?


Rococo art was more flirtatious than godly. Rococo interiors were more about wit than formality. When designers rediscovered Rococo in the 1980s, they had some new ideas of their own. What was old was restored while the new was given an antique coating. It was a marriage of styles that had never been seen before.

Choose shabby chic style for your interiors and pair your French country style cabinet with that splatter painting you saw at the gallery. Of course, even as you turn your living spaces upside down you’ll want to find a balance between sensational and satisfying.

Everything is always best when balanced, so if you have a busy living room with a bunch of bold shabby chic furniture, you might want to balance it out by keeping your walls plain and simple.

But what’s that you say? You just went out and bought a bunch of replica rococo paintings to fill your walls? You’ve seen those paintings depicting art dealers in the day just filling the walls with paintings from head to toe.

So when is too much art, too much art?


Let’s begin by looking at what you want your living spaces to say about you. Creating a home is about expressing yourself. Are you a neat freak or do you love messy piles and chaos that only you know how to navigate? Do you need Zen-like tranquillity or do you prefer cluttered and cosy? Most people probably fall somewhere in the middle. Having lots of paintings on your wall doesn’t mean you can’t keep the rest tidy, but if you’re seeking an air of calm, then limiting the art work is probably a good idea.


Playing with available light is important whether you prefer a postmodern lounge or a lavish shabby chic bedroom. The light that falls in the room will highlight your furnishings and can work to either make a space feel bigger or smaller. In the right light, a painting might be highlighted, whereas too many paintings can make a space feel darker. Of course some of that also depends on the colours used in the paintings. Bright colours make spaces feel bigger.


A wall filled by paintings depicting European winter scenes might not be a welcome sight on a cold day. That’s not to say that all paintings should be replaced to reflect the time of year, but certain scenes and colour patterns can work well to enhance a desired seasonal effect. Yellow is a spring colour, it might be wise to rotate your art around the house, because come Autumn you might not be that into daisies embellishing your wall.