Itching to cover your walls with fabulous works of art, but unsure where to start?
FOLLOW this 5-step guide
The thought of buying something beautiful and meaningful to hang on your wall, and which you’ll love for years to come can be incredibly exciting… and just a little terrifying.
1. What’s your intention?
It’s an important initial step that should trump any considerations around whether or not an artwork suits a room’s palette or decor. Ask yourself ‘Where will the piece be hung?’, ‘Do you have a specific wall space in mind (the dimensions of which will have to be respected)?’ and ‘What are you trying to achieve with the piece – for example, are you trying to add energy, nostalgia, a talking-point or a sense of relaxation to a space?’
The answers to these questions will lay the foundations for your art exploration.
2. Know your budget
Don’t walk into a gallery and fall head over heels in love with what you soon discover is the most expensive piece in the place, only to then lament over having to find a more affordable (and not quite as appealing) alternative.
The cure for this affliction is to set the budget parameters early and never lay an eye on what you cannot afford. Online browsing can really help with this, as it allows you to filter your results for budget.
3. Keep a scrapbook It’s often hard to define what we love, and this can be the toughest thing about selecting art – it’s such a personal exercise. Often when we collect images of the pieces we respond to, we start to see a pattern: a penchant for dynamic paintings, colour or abstractions, for example.
4. Discover provenance Whether it’s furniture, art or accessories, you will find that you get the most enjoyment from a piece when you can fully appreciate its context and origins. Discovering information such as what it’s made from; where it comes from and who made it will give you a greater level of enjoyment of your artwork, and will trigger a more personal connection to it. Plus, it can be a great conversation starter when you have guests over. Sometimes pieces are meaningful to us because of their visual beauty or simplicity. However, the things that require us to scratch the surface for deeper value often offer the most in terms of significance.
5. What is your visceral response? This is probably the most important point, and one that has nothing to do with reason or logic. When you’re looking at a piece, what does your gut say? It’s true that the best works of art often reflect a bit of ourselves back to us in a way that evolves gradually (as we do), allowing us to receive evolving meaning over time. However, if you have no initial rapport with a work, experience tells us that generally time cannot improve on first impressions.
So, do you love it? If the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’, the next step is working out if that feeling is going to last. It is recommend a cooling-off period of at least two weeks to test your commitment.