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How to Choose Art to Decorate Your Home

Updated on February 17, 2013
Photo from Supermodels exhibition 2008.
Photo from Supermodels exhibition 2008. | Source

Original Art for Your Home

Choosing art to decorate your home can be an exciting and a daunting prospect all in one. There is so much amazing and original art available via the internet and art galleries that the thought alone can be overwhelming. In order for the process to be as painless as possible, you need to be clear on exactly what kind of art you like. Once you are clear on that, you can figure out how you want it to fit in with your interior design plans and how the art will be shown off to maximum effect.

What Kind of Art do you Like?

Are you a fan of painting, sculpture or fine art photography? If it is paintings you are after, do you like abstract art or are you more interested in realism? Does figurative work interest you or do you prefer landscapes and paintings of animals? Are you interested in the old masters or do you prefer the work of more contemporary artists? If you like photography or sculpture, ask yourself the same questions. Are there any particular artists that you like? Once you have established exactly what you like, start off by searching the internet for art which is similar.

Gorge your Senses with Art

Once you are clear on what you like, start to look at as much art as you possibly can. Go to exhibitions and openings which relate to your areas of interest. Visit galleries, museums and artist studios if you can. Look at art in free public spaces such as restaurants, big banks and libraries. Go to art fairs in your local area and talk to gallery owners and artists alike. This will enable you to refine exactly what it is that you want.

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The Internet

The art you end up buying will be heavily influenced by your budget. Set yourself a budget that you can realistically afford and stick to it. If you are on a tight budget, say a few hundred dollars or pounds, Ebay is an excellent place to find affordable art and purchase directly from self representing artists. One thing to be careful of with Ebay is mass produced reproductions from countries like China. There is a trend of mass copying work from Ebay and undercutting self representing artists by selling the work at ludicrously cheap prices. Apart from the fact that this harms serious working artists, the work is often not of a good quality anyway.

If you have a bit more money to play with, say a few thousand dollars, up to a maximum of say $20,000, websites like Saatchi online are a good place to search. You can find work by established as well as emerging artists. There are also a number of self representing artists on there. Both Ebay and Saatchi Online enable you to search for the specific type of art you are interested in. Saatchi allows you to search by color, subject, style, price and a lot of other search parameters, meaning that you can easily narrow down your search according to your specific preferences.

Take Measurements

No matter where you end up buying, be 100 per cent sure of the size of the space you want the art to go into. For example, if you have wall space where you know you want to hang your dream painting, measure it and work out what size the painting needs to be in order for it to still have an impact, while allowing enough white space around the edges to allow the work to breathe in the space.

Graduate Art Shows

All art colleges and universities do final year exhibitions where the graduating artists exhibit and sell their work. You can find beautiful work for a fraction of the price it would sell for in a traditional gallery setting. In addition, you get to meet artists who could be the stars of the future. You may find that you end up buying the work of an artist who goes on to become a star in the future, meaning that the work could be worth a lot more in a few years.

Original Oil Paintings for the Home

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Colors

You don't have to pick a painting which exactly matches the colors in the room it is going to hang in. Saying that, choosing a painting or other piece of art whose colors pick up on some of the boldest colors in the room can help the painting to feel as though it belongs in the room, while still allowing it to retain it's individuality within the space. Be careful to allow the art to have its own space though. If the room is crowded and cluttered with too many other colors, objects and furnishings, it can take the spotlight away from the art and make it difficult to enjoy the art as it was intended.

Placement

As a rule of thumb, paintings should be hung so that the middle of the piece is at the approximate eye level of the viewer to allow them to fully appreciate the art. Sculptures can be placed on tables, pedestals or the floor if they are big enough. It is important to note that these are guidelines only. There are no rules. The best thing you can do is experiment to see what pleases your eye most. It is your home and ultimately you will have to live with the art you choose.

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    • SaffronBlossom profile image

      SaffronBlossom 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I am about to move into my first home, and I will definitely be using these ideas to pick my art! Thank you. :)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you! These are all good ideas. Choosing art can be daunting! When I lived in the Chicago area, one of our local libraries would let you "check out" paintings! You could take them home and put them on your wall for a week. What a great way to try before you buy! Up+