trend alert: art to dye for

If you walked into a room decked out with tie-dye, you could be excused for thinking you'd stepped back into the 1960s through some kind of wormhole. But dyed artwork and home decor is making a big comeback, and not in the way you might expect.

Tie-dye has its place

There is room in this world for tie-dye, but it's not on the walls of your brand new two storey home. Tie-dyeing t-shirts or bed sheets is a great activity to enjoy with kids, and can make for an afternoon of slightly messy fun in the backyard.

However, modern dyed art and finishes incorporate more organic than psychedelic tones and shapes.

Art to dye for

Water-based dye has an amazing ability to swirl itself into incredible patterns and shapes that are delightful to look at every time you see them. Some artists use this to create an abstract scenery or object, which could be the perfect look for your new dining room or lounge.

Big, faux ornate frames aren't the order of the day with these simplistic works of art - you're looking at straight, thin edges or none at all. 

Depending on the depth and tone you are going for, you could look for similar-themed works in ink, watercolour or even oils.


There are many ways to incorporate this look into your home that express your creativity and save your wallet some pain. You could buy some canvases and dye and give it a whirl yourself. Or if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, you could take to the walls with a brush. Of course this look works best on a light canvas, so white walls work best.

And no, we're not talking about having a many splendored radiance in every room - let's be a little more subtle than that. Subtle shapes, and wispy, smokey swirls can give a room an organic feel without the obtrusion associated with extra decorative items. This 2-D adornment can be easily achieved with one or two colours, and a popular way to do it is 'ombre'.

Ombre is a subtle fade from one colour into another, and you've most likely heard your hairdresser using the term to refer to hair that fades from dark at the roots to light at the tips (almost the opposite of highlights). The word is of French origin and is also often applied to fingernail treatments, which is simply a faded French manicure.

Using this fade technique you can easily give a room more depth than it had before. The key to ombre in home decor is to have the lighter colour at the top, so that the room seems to open up. Dark corners near the ceiling can make a room seem small and cramped. If applied correctly and with the right colours, this method of wall-painting can make your ceiling volume seem greater, a definite plus in single storey homes with high studs, resulting in an even roomier feel.

Of course you can apply any of these techniques to cushions or furniture for less drastic incorporations of this to-dye-for decor trend.

Need some more inspiration? Check out our 'Art to dye for' Pinterest board!