Have you ever agonised over a piece of art, wondering if other people will respond well to it or whether it’s the right fit for your room? While it’s common to feel like you need a fine art degree or a certain number of hours clocked-up in museums and galleries to make good choices, this is simply not the case. Come with us as we demystify the process of buying art for your home, freeing you up to choose pieces with confidence.
Buy what you love
This is the most important thing you can do when buying art for your home, so don’t second guess yourself. Art is so personal, so subjective, that it’s not a matter of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ but what’s right for you. Take note of what you’re drawn to and which pieces make you feel something, and use this as your primary guide for purchasing. Don’t let yourself be talked into a piece either: if you only have half-hearted affection for something now, chances are you’ll resent buying it down the track. Simply put yourself around art and let your gut do the rest.
Paintings are by no means the only kind of art on the market. Art can take the form of photography, sculpture, macramé, mosaic, and even furniture, like a beautifully crafted table or a thick, hand-woven rug. So, while your walls are a great place for arty investments, other parts of your room are also ripe for adornment, and including different mediums and points of interest helps give your home rich dimensionality and next-level character.
Scale is one of the most important factors when it comes to furnishing any room, and art choices should be no exception. A tiny painting on a cavernous wall will look out of place, as will a giant sculpture in a room with more modest furniture. In other words, consider the space in which your art will hang or stand, as well as which pieces will be around it to get the best fit.
Invest in quality framing
If you’re hanging a drawing, painting or photograph on your wall, take time to consider the framing. The way you present your piece can really elevate its look and feel, helping it stand up and out in your space. When in doubt, black, white, and metallic frames never go out of style and can be used to amp up or dial down the visual impact as preferred. While wooden frames can look beautiful, it’s important to take note of any other wood you have in the room so you end up with a complementary pairing rather than something jarring, like a dark mahogany frame in a room with blonde timber floorboards.
Not quite right? Always ask
If you fall in love with something but it’s not quite the right colour or size for your space, don’t be afraid to ask the artist if they’ll do a custom piece. It’s a common practice and artists are usually flattered – not put out – when they’re asked to create something special.
Don't be afraid to make bold choices
Art is all about expression, so don’t let a room’s neutral colour palette or sophisticated feel hold you back. Juxtaposition can actually work in your favour here, so don’t be afraid to make eclectic or irrational choices based on pieces you love. For example, contemporary pieces look great in traditional rooms and vice versa. Similarly, contrasting colours help your art stand out in a room, making it a real focal point. Just make sure the contrast is the right kind: ideally the piece of art in question will feature colours that sit on the opposite side of the colour wheel to those already in your room, making it a pleasant pop rather than a distracting presence.
Always be on the lookout for inspiration
That piece of street art you love has been created by someone who’s likely selling prints. That painting you’ve saved on Pinterest is probably for sale through an online store. If you have a favourite place, like a spot you go to watch the sunrise or a special corner of your home town, check if there’s a photographer making a living out it with beautiful images. In short, don’t confine your search to galleries and artists’ studios: there’s a big, wide world of creativity out there, just waiting to be explored.