How to buy original art for your home
When it comes to buying original art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder
A gallery-wrapped oil painting on canvas or pre-Colombian terracotta sculpture would create that just so home décor you’ve yearned for.
So what’s stopping you from buying them?
If your reasons are not having a degree in fine arts or as much money in the bank as Bill Gates, you might want to reconsider. Thanks to the Internet and tips from the pros, understanding how to buy original art for your home is within your reach.
Think Outside the Medium
If you think artwork means paintings only, you’re missing out on other art mediums that deliver a distinctive aura. It simply depends on the mood you’re aiming for.
A formal room with inspirational furniture can benefit from the depth created by a figurative sculpture. A spacious game room in your finished basement would look great sporting an over-sized three-dimensional mixed media collage. If your understated living room could use some oomph, consider hanging an oil painting of a vibrant landscape. And black-and-white photography adds drama anywhere you put it.
Being open to other mediums means
you don’t end up with the same décor from room to room and visitors thinking
you ran out of ideas.
Criteria for Choosing
Whoever said, “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes,” surely meant to inspire DIY home decorators not to fear buying original art. Professional decorators agree there’s only one rule for making the right choice: if you love it, buy it.
Maybe you’re attracted to a landscape because it transports you back in time to a cheerful occasion. An impressionistic painting might remind you of mom’s flower garden. Or a metal figure fits nicely into your collection of tiny sculptures made of old watch parts.
Apiece of art doesn’t have to be valuable or sought-after to be worthy of your purchase. If it speaks to you, stirs emotions, reminds you of a loved one, that’s reason enough to make it yours.
No Limit to Sources
Your sources for original artwork are limited only by your time and energy. Most artists want to profit from their craft. They jump at the chance to exhibit their works at festivals and in galleries, which for decades had been an art collector’s go-to vendors.
But today there is the Internet. And many artists have accepted that it’s hard to sell anything without going digital. This is a huge plus if you’re accustomed to shopping online and an even bigger plus if you dabble in other social media outlets. Consider following your favorite artists’ Instagram accounts for updates on their latest pieces.
And if you don’t yet have favorite artists, the Internet can help you find some. A Google search for “art websites” will return platforms that categorize artists by specialty and location. If your budget is limited, you can filter search results by how much you’re willing to spend. Many websites showcase original art selling for under $30. Other sites offer online tools so you can “try on” art pieces using an uploaded picture of a room in your home.
Of the many factors that will determine the type of artwork you select, where you look for it is surprisingly decisive.
Size Really Does Matter
This is one rule of decorating you can't ignore. The last thing you want is for the abstract painted wood sculpture you just ordered to be too large for any wall in your home.
And that principle goes for more than just the dimensions of wall paintings. The steel-cast swan statue you spotted in an art gallery takes your breath away. But if it’s going to make your vintage white side table topple over, perhaps you should keep looking.
Before selecting any piece of art, consider its size in relation to where you plan to put it. Ask yourself, does it fit the overall size of the room? What physical constraints—furniture, other artwork—make this a bad choice? For example, a 72” by 50” painted wood wall sculpture will look foolish hanging over a loveseat that’s a quarter of its size. And if your living room is on the small side, say 10’ by 16’, opt for a table sculpture rather than a life-sized Mystical Mermaid statue that consumes every inch of floor space.
When selecting your home’s art décor, a little expert advice can stop you from wasting two paychecks on a bronze bust better suited to a museum.