9 Tips For Buying Art For Your Home

July 31, 2015
9 Tips For Buying Art For Your Home

Above artwork, Coco & Creme Living Xavier Framed Art

Choosing art was so simple as a child. Posters of celebrities, pictures of friends and colourful drawings usually graced your bedroom wall. We’re not kids anymore, we’ve grown up and have had kids of our own. However, something is lacking, and our walls are bare and boring...

Nothing brings more interest or life to a space than a fascinating display of artworks, tapestry or an unusual composition of paintings or prints. However, even the best of us find the idea of purchasing art for the home intimidating. Questions constantly plague us demanding answers: what style to choose? Sculpture, painting or print? Where to place it? How much to spend? Where to buy from? And on, and on it goes. It’s no wonder people often end up confused and empty handed.

So how as an adult, do you successfully choose and style art without looking foolish? Don’t worry House of Home is here to help! We’ve come up with 9 guiding tips for purchasing art for your home that applies to any budget. So take a deep breath, have a cuppa and let us help you.

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Here are our 9 Top Tips for purchasing the right art for your home.

1. Do Some Research

The first thing you need to do is read and look! Educating yourself about the different styles and forms of art will be of great assistance later on when you’re at a gallery or art space. We suggest visiting galleries or museums and reading magazines and publications and browsing online. Look at the different periods and forms of art and note down what you like and don’t like. This will give you an idea of the beginnings of your personal taste. Try not to seek others opinions during this stage. Choosing the right piece is a very personal decision, and you may become overwhelmed by other people's opinions.

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2. Decide On A Location

Next, look around your home. Art can be displayed effortlessly all around your home and not just on walls. Don’t limit yourself to walls, look at floor corners, bed heads, empty voids, shelves and table tops. Walk around your whole house and identify any empty spaces that perhaps need some TLC. Don’t forget to sit down and view areas at that level. As mentoioned, art doesn't just have to be found on wallls, art can also be placed low, leaning against walls.

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3. Look At Your Space

Once you have identified the area in you home that could do with some artwork, be sure to identify any repairs that may first be needed given this will now become a focal point to the room. If you’ve chosen a wall check for unsightly cracks or markings that might need covering up. Fabric panels, tapestries and large paintings can be used to hide these. If your space is dark, lighter coloured art might help bring a brightness to the room. Looking it over firstly will also help determine if the space calls for a single piece or a collection. For example, on top of dressers or tabletops may look odd with just one item sitting or floating about it.

This brings us to scale. A large canvas frame on a narrow wall might look overwhelming. Remember the museums you visited? With all the art work effortlessly laid out? Our suggestion is cut out the shape of your piece and BlueTrack it to the wall, this will help you visualise how it will look. Hanging four pictures might look good in a hallway but in small spaces it may look cluttered. A collage or cluster of prints will look more organised in small spaces, but remember to do this successfully your best to consider works of varying sizes.

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4. Set a Budget

Once you know where you’re going to place your artwork, you should have a rough idea of the size or scale you will need and inturn this will help you determine a budget. Setting a budget is essential to purchasing art, there’s no need to be extravagant in spending as this may lead you to resenting the piece for the money spent. A smart purchase is one that is within your limits that you won’t regret, you should be able to find something beautiful whether your budget is $25 of $2,500.

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5. Colours / Themes / Collections

Remember when you took all those notes on what you liked and disliked, it’s time to reflect on those and determine if there is anything that stands out. Take these notes and look at the space you want your art piece or pieces to go. This will help you decide what to look for when you’re ready to purchase. You might already have a theme running through the room, and you may want your art to compliment this or you might want it to create a discord and have the piece make more of a statement.

6. Where To Shop

At this stage you may have already found something to display in your home. If you haven’t, don’t be alarmed.. As you go about your daily life, take inspiration from your favourite magazines, stores, cafes, blogs, websites etc. Look around them and note any art you find appealing, don’t be afraid about asking for details about the artist. Go to established galleries or Auctions, but be aware that it’s ok to negotiating, just brush up on purchasing etiquette before you dive right in. Other great places aside from traditional galleries or auctions, are online art stores that specifically curate collections that can be shipped conveniently to your home. Businesses such as Discount Art Shop, United Artworks and Direct Art Australia are great places to look for beautiful and distinctive pieces, from a variety of artists and sources, don’t be afraid on the internet. It was made to make our lives easier, so get clicking and scrolling!

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7. Buy What You Love

This is perhaps the most important tip when purchasing art. You want to choose art that reflects your personal taste and one that matches your personality. Art is supposed to create emotional responses, make you think and ask questions. If the piece you’re staring at brings up childhood memories then it’s perfect for you. Even it speaks to you but you can’t articulate why, that’s going to be a better purchase than a piece that someone told you was ‘nice’, that you may regret in a few years. Just remember that everyone’s taste is different, so don’t get offended if your neighbour doesn’t share the same thoughts or tastes.

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8. The Importance Of Good Lighting

If galleries and museums show you anything about art, it’s how necessary lighting is. Any piece of art, whether a canvas painting, sculpture or vinyl decal it should have good lighting. What you need to decide when you have your piece is how you are going to light it. You can use artificial gallery style lighting or natural light, it just depends on the space. Will it get a lot of natural sunlight? If not, do you need to install down lights or track lighting? Remember to not place pieces in direct all-day sunlight, just like plants, too much sunlight can ruin and devalue your art over time.

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9. To Frame or Not To Frame?

Lastly, once you have bought your art piece, you need to consider framing. This is completely up to your own discretion. If you have purchased a large canvas piece we suggest leaving it bare as framing these can be costly, and most artist will continue to paint around the front edges of the canvas. If you do decide to frame, steer clear of frame colours that compete with the colours in the piece. You want people talking about the art, not the frame it’s sitting in! For paper artworks such as drawings, digital prints, sketches and watercolours we suggest conservation mounting. This will protect your piece from outside elements like humidity, which can damage the paper. Choose neutral colours for the mounting boards as bright whites can throw the look of the piece. For sculpture, look at stands, ornate ones can give the “museum” look, if you don’t want this, side tables, shelves and stool make for excellent ways of elevating sculptures. If you found a tapestry, you can pin it to your wall or you can hang it from a rod. Use real tree branches for a more rustic look.

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The last thing to remember is that art is a personal choice and can be interpreted in any way. Everyone’s view on art is subjective and different and there are thousands of opinions waiting to whisper in your ear. Just remember to take your time, stay within your means, know what you like, then consider it in your space. Make sure every piece speaks to you personally that way, you will begin to establish a beautiful collection seamlessly.

So what are you waiting for? Happy collecting!

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