Buying art can be intimidating. You want to end up with a piece you love, but you also want something that will stand the test of time. You also need to think about space, budget and finding a piece that fits within your current decor.
To eliminate some of the confusion, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the perfect piece of art.
We asked Chelsea Neman and Jordan Klein, founders of The Tappan Collective, to share their best tips for buying art for your home. “People often feel overwhelmed and lost when they make the decision to purchase art,” the Tappan team says. “They can’t decide what style or genre, what colors, how big or how small, or how much to spend. There are many factors that play into the decision.”
Learn about what you like
When it comes to figuring out how to dress up a blank wall, many people simply say they don’t know anything about art and don’t even know where to begin, but the first step in buying art is learning what you like. “An easy way to narrow down your artistic style is to just go to a museum and see what kind of art you’re naturally drawn to,” the Tappan team advises. “Do you go straight to the bright pop Warhol or do you fancy the romantic Impressionist paintings? These types of questions build a foundation for figuring out what it is in art that you are personally drawn to,” they explain.
Make a note: Always remember that art collecting and purchasing is a very personal experience, so it makes sense to feel out what you’re attracted to before buying.
Choose a timeless piece
Just because you saw something similar in a magazine doesn’t mean you should make a purchase.
“Trends are something to avoid when purchasing art,” warns the Tappan team. They compare art trends to fashion trends, which have a tendency to be fleeting. Whereas that classic trench coat or little black dress will always look good, that neon headband might not be on the top of your must-wear list for long. “Trends come and go, but style is forever.”
So what makes a piece of art timeless? “A timeless piece of art has a certain depth and meaning to the viewer, not just a surface value beauty,” explains the Tappan team. “Other factors play into this as well: technical skill, thought provocation, viewer engagement, a clear vision, compositional balance or an evoked memory. Not all of these qualities are essential in defining a timeless piece, but each contributes to it.”
Consider the room
The room where your piece of art will hang may determine the style, size and the type of piece you purchase.
- Living room: This room is for entertaining, and everyone who comes into your home will see the art that hangs here, warns the Tappan team. “You have the option to make a statement in this room or you can keep it conservative. Keep in mind this is going to be the most viewed piece of art that you will purchase.”
- Kitchen: Your best piece of art won’t be going in the kitchen. “This room is for cooking, and the temperatures will fluctuate. Consider pieces that don’t require as much conservation,” the Tappan team suggests.
- Bedroom: This is the room to really let your personality shine though, says the Tappan team. “Be true to your personality. It can be minimal and zen, or bright and cheerful — whatever puts you in your best mood or inspires you to get up in the morning.”
Once you’ve made your purchase, you want to hire a professional to hang it. You do not want your new investment to be crooked or off center on the wall.