When I show my work at art fairs, one of the things I find most interesting is seeing how people respond to the art and make a decision to buy a piece. For some, this is a clear and simple process (usually for experienced art collectors because they've had a lot of practice!) For others, especially if it's a first art purchase, picking out art for your home can feel confusing... like how will I know it's the right one?
Choosing art for yourself can feel like something other people are good at (i.e. the lucky ones that have a degree in interior design) but out of reach for *regular* people. So I wanted to hop on here and give you a few of my best tips for choosing art to decorate your home. Let’s demystify the process of choosing art for your home that you will LOVE for decades to come.
Why art? From a practical perspective, art completes a space and makes it feel more finished and thoughtfully decorated. But more important than that, art can serve as a way to surround yourself with things you love. Nature art especially can be a simple way to allow more beauty and joy of the outdoors into your everyday environment, and into your life overall. So many benefits. Ok, onto the tips:
1. Pay Attention to What You Like
Start paying attention to what you like looking at. Look around on Pinterest, take a trip to an art museum, etc. I know that expressive nature paintings stir positive emotions for me— things like happiness, internal rest, expansiveness (you can shop my original paintings here). I know when I visit an art museum I'm drawn to the Impressionists. It's about becoming more in tune with the things you naturally like. When someone buys a painting because they love it, they're in tune with what they enjoy, or they feel connected to the artwork, which takes us to the next tip:
2. Find a Connection
Art can help us connect more deeply to things that are already a part of our story. This can be a literal connection (like a landscape of your favorite national park) or a more abstract one, like when an image reminds you of the beauty in ordinary things. Maybe the connection is with the artist—you like the artist's approach to life, or how they interpret their subjects on canvas. Or sometimes the connection is as simple as "I really love this piece" (which is enough by the way). Enjoying art, at its root, is about some sort of connection.
3. Think About Context
Consider where the artwork will be displayed. How big is the empty wall? What is the context of the room (colors)? And more importantly, what are you wanting from the artwork? Something restful or inspiring to look at every day? A statement piece/conversation starter? Knowing the context of the empty space will help you make a decision you're happy with in the long run.
(Note: thinking about context is important for large spaces, like above a fireplace. Smaller artworks can be used to accent nooks or shelves, and don't require advance planning in quite the same way.)
4. Consider Your Budget
There is something really special about owning the original art that the artist lovingly handcrafted and put their story and experience into, and being able to experience the texture and color nuances that are unique to an original. But if a large original painting is out of reach for you, there's creative ways around this. You could purchase a small original painting and pair it with some family photos and small prints as part of a gallery wall. Or you could buy an art print (mine are available here) to hang over your desk, a bathroom wall, or in your entry. I'm a firm believer that beautiful art can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of budget.
5. Make a Decision
I find decision-making to be pretty daunting at times, so I use a simple hack: give yourself a specific timeline to make a decision (like 2 days or 2 weeks), put a note on your calendar, do your research/thinking, and when the "decision date" comes, make the decision and decide it will be a great decision. (You'd be surprised at how this lowers the anxiety of decision-making!)
Or if you can't find the art you're looking for, consider ordering a custom piece that will be perfect for what you have in mind (check out my commission service here).
You Can Have Confidence
It's possible to have confidence in choosing art for your home, and enjoy the feeling of a beautiful, well-decorated space. Applying these tips, you can confidently purchase art, and start experiencing the beauty and joy that artwork brings into your everyday life.
Hope you found this post helpful—feel free to share it with anyone you think might enjoy it!
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Thanks for being here, and here’s to inviting more beauty into our everyday.