Where to start, Buying Art……

Art is a passion of ours at Ava Rose Interior Design, however, I’m not that person who you see stood in front of a painting at the Tate Modern for hours on end, moving their head from one side to the other. Most of that Art goes way over my head. I don’t “get it” and it doesn’t evoke any feelings within me, other than confusion or bemusement. Art should make you feel something & mean something to you, whatever that may be.

Although I love Art, I always find it the hardest thing to specify for clients. It is so personal, like giving a friend perfume or jewellery for a birthday gift. What inspires me wouldn’t necessarily inspire someone else, even someone I know well. What isn’t my style is the show home approach to buying Art. Where the main consideration is to find a piece that ‘compliments’ the room. If a piece of Art does compliment the room then great but this shouldn’t be the driving force behind choosing a piece. It isn’t there to blend or compliment but to make you feel something & that’s why its so hard to buy on behalf of someone else. 

Define your Style

To start narrowing down your search, think about what style of art you like. Is your style classical or contemporary, abstract or photographic? Do you prefer landscapes or figurative, colourful or mono? There is so much choice out there it can be overwhelming, so start by narrowing down your search. What other pieces do you have in your home that you love / have meaning to you? Have you seen anything at friend’s houses or does anything catch your eye on social media? Once you have defined the style of Art you like, think about where it will be displayed…

Consider the Space

Where in your home is the Art to be displayed? Which room; Living Room, Bedroom or Home Office for example, may influence the style of Art you choose. Something inspirational for the home Office versus a piece that is calming for the bedroom. Also consider the size of the room including the ceiling height. A moderately sized print of a pencil drawing would be lost in a large Living Room with high ceilings, whereas a big canvas / oil painting would provide impact. It’s also worth thinking about other items in the room; furniture, for example, and the style of other pieces, but don’t be confined by this.

Art, in my opinion, is elevated from furniture & other items. It is often a stand alone piece, a talking point, hence ensure it has meaning for you or you’ll have no story to tell! The final point to mention here is the lighting in the room. Will the Art have it’s own light source (angled downlight for example) or will it be lit by more general lighting within the room. If there is strong natural light in the room, the artwork may need some protection. Framing the art behind glass will offer more protection to a piece from UV rays that can cause paint to fade over time.  

Tessa Houghton

Consider your Budget

Once you have determined the style of Art you like and the space it will be displayed in, you’ll need to consider your budget. Art can be an investment but doesn’t need to cost the earth. Consider smaller, up and coming artists or even art graduates. Alternatively, if an original piece is out of scope, consider limited edition prints and have it framed by a good quality framer. 

Loui Jover

Do your Research

Once you’ve decided on a style, size & price, ensure you do some research into where to buy. Most cities & towns have art galleries that are good to visit. If they don’t have what you’re looking for listed, they may be able to suggest some artists that fit your brief. Alternatively, there are many reputable online sources, such as Saatchi Art, Artfinder & Graduate Art. Do take time to check out the small print though to ensure the artist gets to retain the bulk of the cost as opposed to the trader!

Happy researching!

Love Jane xx