Whether you’re new to the process or a longtime collector, purchasing art is thrilling. Step into the world of artists and galleries with interior designer Nyla Freeand revive those tired walls.
Step 1: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Art galleries are commonly located tightly within particular neighbourhoods, making them a strolling destination and an excellent way to enjoy an afternoon. The more artwork you see, the more you’ll define your tastes and interests.
Step 2: Don’t Be Shy
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Frequently, gallery owners keep inventory beyond what hangs on the walls. It’s perfectly fine to inquire about a favourite style and even a price point that works for you.
Step 3: Buy What You Love
Listen to your heart when purchasing artwork. If a piece elicits an emotional reaction—a childhood memory, family vacation, or perfect moment—you’ll know you’ve found something worth purchasing.
Step 4: Attend Openings
With a party in full swing and a glass of wine in hand, a gallery’s intimidation factor is diminished. In addition, it’s a great way to meet the artists and hear about their process and inspiration. Ask to be added to the mailing list of favourite galleries.
Step 5: No Need to Match
Matching artwork to decor is not wrong, however it isn’t necessary either. Adding interesting combinations and little surprises reflects confidence, infusing a room with personality.
Step 6: Collected Approach
No matter the period or style, collecting art requires time and education. Enlist the help and advice of art enthusiasts and dealers who can help you build on your knowledge.
Step 7: Gallery height
Hanging photographs and paintings too high creates an unwelcome distance between the viewer and the artwork. Installing pieces at gallery height (54″ to the centre of the artwork), or designer height (6″-12″ from top of furniture item) is best.
Step 8: Budget Wise
Think of original artwork as an investment in your home, something that increases your living enjoyment. Prices vary widely and frequently there are payment plans available. Shop college and university art sales to get great pieces at relatively low cost.
Step 9: Bring Art Home
Indecisive about a particular piece of artwork? Most galleries allow pieces to go out ‘on approval’, allowing you to view an item in the space before committing to a purchase. Some galleries offer a rent to own option.
Step 10: Open Walls, Open Mind
If you love a particular artist but have a specific concept in mind, you may want to commission an original piece. It’s fine to make a suggestion but often it’s best to allow for artistic freedom. The result may differ from your original thought, but speak more profoundly to you in the end.