The right piece of art can transform your living space, start conversations and put a daily smile on your face – as well as being a canny investment. But if you’re new to buying contemporary art for your home, where exactly do you start?
Say you’ve given your home a makeover, decorated with a colour scheme that’s tasteful, muted and easy on the eye, refreshed your soft furnishings and put down a lovely new floor – but you feel there’s something missing. Adding some contemporary artworks to the mix could be exactly what’s needed to put your stamp on the décor and bring it all to life.
Choosing art may feel like a tricky task – what will work in your space? will you grow tired of a piece and how do you know it’s a good investment? While some of these questions are difficult to answer, the best way to start shopping for art is to jump right in. But first, read our guide to buying art for your home:
1. Getting started
Start by setting a budget, for the whole project and each piece. You might hear some eye-watering figures bandied about the contemporary art scene, but great art doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive.
Think about the mediums you’re interested in, whether painting, photography, sculpture or installation and consider the type of work that appeals; abstract or impressionist, for example.
2. Going shopping
Start visiting galleries and having a good look around. London’s art fairs, such as Frieze in October or the Affordable Art Fairs in spring are worth a visit too. You can easily research the type of work you like online these days, as well as by following artists and galleries on Instagram. Graduate shows from the major art schools are also worth a look – you might pick up an early work from one of the stars of tomorrow.
3. Finding the perfect piece
Choosing a piece of art is very much an individual decision. It can be about an emotional response – you may know instantly that you love a work and can’t live without it.
Be brave. If you like something, but it’s by an emerging artist or in a medium you’d never considered, go with your gut feeling. It’s often better to buy a great piece by a new artist than a lesser work by someone more well-known.
4. Think about size and scale
A large canvas can give a room the wow factor, and a small piece might look swamped by a big area. However, remember that the right artwork can really lift a space, even if it’s quite tiny. Don’t be afraid of leaving space on your wall to allow people to pause and focus on the work.
5. Go mixed media
Mixing it up can work too, so think about displaying smaller pieces alongside each other even if they are of different styles and periods.
If you’re truly looking to fill your home with art, vary your mediums with the odd bit of sculpture or some ceramics. Wall art doesn’t have to mean paintings; there are some quirky and interesting 3D pieces these days, which you can hang. If you’re sticking to a budget, consider one or two original pieces alongside limited-edition prints or photographs.
6. In the frame
Never underestimate the importance of your frame – it can make or break the impact of your artwork, so find a good framer. Use non-reflective glass for a true view of the work at any time of day and keep your frame simple. Pick frame and mount colours that feature in the painting for optimum effect. Don’t hang paintings too high on a wall – keep to eye height so you don’t need to strain to take them in.
7. Around the house
You can find appropriate pieces of art to enhance every room of the house – from dreamy abstract bedroom canvasses to a piece of bold typography for your kitchen. But the living room is possibly the space where you’ll be giving most thought to your art acquisitions.
The advice is to have fun with your living room walls, and don’t feel under pressure. Make this room the focus of the pieces you love – they’ll be great conversations starters when you have guests round and help brighten your winter evenings. Remember not to limit yourself to paintings, and don’t try and make the art fit your colour scheme. Instead let the room feed off your prized pieces by adding colours that complement the artworks’ hues.
Filling a house with art can really turn it into a home, but if you haven’t found your dream place yet, and you’re looking in Wimbledon, Coombe, Richmond or Kingston, contact us today to discuss our current portfolio of stunning properties.