Artwork can add a lot to your home, from both investment and décor perspectives. Deciding what to buy can be an overwhelming decision, especially for a first-time buyer:
Will it match my space?
What type of frame?
Should I get an original or a print?
What’s the difference?
There’s a lot to consider, especially if you are going to be spending a significant amount of money. Read on for tips to help you make an informed decision about purchasing and displaying artwork.
Find Out What You Like
You might feel like you “don’t get it” or are worried about what other people think. If you don’t already know what type of art you like, check out some museums and galleries (including online ones) and talk to collectors. Art comes in many forms including paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and pottery – become familiar with various mediums, styles and time periods. And don’t get caught up in what other people think or trends. Buy what you like and feel emotionally connected to because you are the one looking at it every day!
Investment vs. Décor
There’s a difference between buying art as an investment and a piece that you simply enjoy. Experts caution against first-time buyers purchasing art as an investment since it’s tricky to predict the long-term payoff. If you decide to go the investment route, consider buying from an emerging artist. It’s easier to purchase art that you love – all you need to do is figure out if the price is worth the passion you have for it. Of course, it’s possible to love your investment piece, but then you might not want to sell it! Art does not have to match your interior! An eclectic mix of mediums, styles, sizes and frames can add interest and depth to your current décor.
Original or Print?
An original piece was created by the artist and is the only one is existence. A print, on the other hand, is a copy of the same piece created through a print-making technique. There are pros and cons to each. An original ensures you have a unique piece and has higher value – but is more expensive. A print is cheaper to purchase and still has value (especially if it a limited-edition print) – but it isn’t one-of-a-kind and will likely have less value.
You’ll probably only get one crack at an original piece, so don’t hesitate if you know you love it. If it’s pricier than anticipated, see if you can pay in installments. If you are going to buy at an art auction, try to attend a few before you plan on making your purchase. You can get a feel for the flow, be better prepared, less overwhelmed and increase your chance of snagging the piece you want.
Making the purchase is only the first step! While art doesn’t have to necessarily match your space or other artwork, there are a few things to consider:
- Think of art as an important part of your space and not just a space-filler
- Hang paintings and photos at eye-level
- Use frames in interesting ways – enhance a small piece by using a thick frame or use a modern frame to update an heirloom piece
- Create a gallery wall – this helps unify different pieces and tell a story
- Consult interior design experts for tips specific to your space