The Willamette River divides the city of Portland, Oregon.

How to Design a Starry Night Room

by Michelle Powell-Smith

Vincent Van Gogh's 1889 painting "The Starry Night" portrays a dramatic scene of a vividly starry night over a rural French village. The shape of an oversized cypress tree unites the village and the sky above it. With its rich blue and varied blue and gold tones and expressive brushstrokes, "The Starry Night" can inspire the decor in a bedroom, nursery or living room.

Poster, Print or Mural

To create a room inspired by "The Starry Night," begin with a reproduction of the painting. The least expensive option is a poster. Posters of the painting are affordable and widely available, but the quality may vary. Prints are typically of a higher quality, with richer color and detail. You can also opt to have a mural painted on the walls, inspired by "The Starry Night." This option may work best in a nursery or child's room. If you opt for a large poster or print, hang it at eye level.

Color Palette

To create a "Starry Night"-themed room, choose a color palette from the colors in the painting. The painting includes various shades of blue, from quite light to very deep tones. The stars are painted in shades of bright yellow. While these tones are very bright and rather clear, the village and cypress are more muted. You might include deep browns and grays as neutrals in your room to pick up the colors in the lower part of "The Starry Night."

Choosing Furnishings

While a "Starry Night"-themed room will work with both traditional and modern furnishings, you should keep the colors of the painting in mind. The strong colors of the painting will pair best with dark wood tones, but will also work with simple, modern furnishings. You can opt for boldly colored blue or yellow upholstery, pale neutrals or dark brown tones. Metallics, particularly in shades of gold, also work well with the painting.

Framing and Accessories

"The Starry Night" can be framed simply, in a basic black frame, or you can choose a more period-correct carved gold frame. In a modern frame, a print of "The Starry Night" will pair well with modern furnishings. If you prefer a more vintage style, opt for an antiqued or gilded frame. While matting is optional for posters and prints, choose a simple mat if you opt for it. Choose other accessories for your themed room that coordinate with the print; however, there is no need to opt for items printed with the image of the painting.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.

Photo Credits