Tips For Buying Art

Buying Art For Your Home

There is a reason art galleries feature soaring white or gray walls and bright lights. Seeing a piece of art against such a vast blank background makes everything about an artwork seem a little bit more special. Similarly, take a look at any design magazine – the most striking images often include stark white walls or massive brick backdrops that allow the featured rug/chair/lamp/bed to stand out as much as possible. When it comes to art, you could dump a can of paint on a blank canvas and it would look great in that kind of an environment.

Few of us have homes like this. And since we live our day to day lives in our homes, there will inevitably be at least a small amount of clutter in most of our homes’ rooms. So, try these two approaches when buying art for your home:

  • Pick a sterile space for your art. Bathroom or kitchen walls often work well with art. Often, the colors in kitchens and bathrooms are more neutral and the design features cleaner lines and a more sterile look (after all, that sense of sterility helps us feel that these spaces are clean, and everyone wants a clean kitchen and bathroom!). Sterile, neutral, clean spaces are great for art.
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    • Pick a less-cluttered space for your art. This could be a dining room wall (dining rooms tend to be less cluttered than living rooms), a wide hallway, or even a large piece of furniture. Beds and sofas tend to dominate rooms and can provide a large enough backdrop for a piece of art to stand out.

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    • Buy large art. No matter what your home looks like, and no matter how cluttered it is, a large piece of art will stand out. Any piece of art that is larger than standard will become an immediate focal point. Lots of people have art that is around 2’x3’, or sculpted figures that are around 12”-16” tall. A painting that is 4’x4’ or a sculpture that is at least 2’-3’ in its largest dimension will do the trick. Even an oversized pillow will work.
    • Don’t confuse art with décor. You might have a beautiful French Country living room and you’re looking for something for your wall. In this case, a whimsical painting of a rooster is probably more décor than art. If you want to add some art, think about the elements of art that will fit into the space. Maybe look for a piece with even value and lots of space that gives a sense of serenity. Or maybe pick something that has color and texture that is warm and inviting. Taking this approach will give your room a level of sophistication beyond matching décor.