How much are you able to spend on your art collection, and how quickly do you need to buy it? Can you collect it piece by piece over time, or you will be unhappy until your house is fully decorated?
Your answers to these questions can help you determine where to start your searching. If your budget is lower, you may want to limit your search to local art fairs, estate sales and overstock stores. If it’s larger, perhaps check out galleries and auctions.
Whatever your price range, you may want to consider consulting with a decorator. A decorator should be able to help you identify what art might suit your needs and be able to work within your budget.
Ignore Price Tags
Wait – what? That doesn’t work on a budget.
That can be sort of true, but you deserve to have art that you love. Do create a budget, but once you’ve determined your price range, shop places that have artwork you can likely afford. If you’re looking at price tags, you may dismiss the perfect piece because it’s too inexpensive. If you feel indifferent about a painting at first glance and then notice it’s pricey, you may start seeing it in a more favorable light. Perhaps you’ll feel that you must have it (because you can’t), or that it must be great because other people have deemed it great. When you are hyper-focused on price, you often end up missing “the one,” or ending up with a piece you quickly tire of.
If the piece you fall in love with is out of your price range, it might not be forever. Make note of the artist and keep her work on your wish list. Also, check to see if the artist has created other, less expensive pieces, or if she is willing to create a commissioned piece that is more affordable.
Think About Style
What type of home do you live in – contemporary, Craftsman, art deco, Cape Cod, colonial or Tudor? If your taste runs to a contemporary home, you’ll likely want to avoid stuffy, traditional galleries. If you have a traditional Tudor, you’ll likely want to avoid avant-garde art shops.
Think also about the type of furniture you have and your color schemes. Some artists will argue that you shouldn’t consider the décor of your home when choosing art – that the art is the most important aspect of a room and will stand on it’s own. I’m not convinced that’s true. You don’t want to end up with the pastel landscape painting of your dreams that clashes with just about everything in your art deco home. It won’t do you any good to have a sculpture that lives in the attic because you can’t afford to redecorate the living room to complement it.
Good luck out there, and have fun with it! I hope you bring home “the one.” Where’s your favorite place to shop for art? Share in the comments!
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