How to Buy Art: A Guide

Tara Dickinson
6 minute read

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Art Selection For Every Room In Your Home


Defining your personal style of art sets the stage for the beginning of your art collecting career. If you are unsure of your style preferences, a visit to your local library is a perfect place to begin. Head to the art section and select any photo book that grabs your attention. Exploring the various styles of art, from classical to impressionism, to surrealism, cubism, expressionism, and everything in between will allow you to define what styles you resonate with and feel most moved to continue exploring.


Another hands-on way to get a feel for the type of art you enjoy is to visit art studios, galleries, art shows, and museums in your area. Don’t be shy in these venues. Curators, artists, and owners love talking to people about the art they are displaying or have created themselves. When you find a piece that you're drawn to, exploring the creative minds and process behind these creations only enhances the enjoyment or exploration of that art for you.

Guide to Buying Art

Questions to answer when building your collection:

  1. What attracts you about the work?
  2. Which emotional feeling does the work trigger in you?
  3. Does the composition inspire you?
  4. Do you appreciate the historical context of the work?
  5. Do the artworks in your collection complement each other?
  6. Where will you display the work?

And remember, don’t limit yourself to just two-dimensional art, i.e. paintings, pictures, and flat framed pieces. Remember to look at sculpture, installations, collections, pottery, glass works, and so on. It is difficult to define ‘art’ because the expressions of it are so diverse. Let yourself be open to all methods and means that others have chosen as ways to express their inner visions and emotions through artistic expression.

Starting Small

Rather than choosing one large piece to dominate your space, a more manageable way to get started on your art collection is to designate a gallery wall in your home or apartment. This is also more budget friendly as large pieces can be extremely expensive. Selecting smaller pieces and creating a presentation wall, like a mini gallery in your home, allows you to evolve and change your display as often as you like. If you are more comfortable with an organized feel, sticking to a certain color palette or main theme in your art selections will assist in maintaining that consistency.





Whether your workplace is at home or another location, your office or workspace is where you can showcase your personal style. This is a canvass for your creativity to bloom and where you need to be inspired on a daily basis. The art you choose to hang in the workplace can be the difference in how you express yourself every day. Would you feel more relaxed and at ease in a room with personal, motivational, and inspiring images/pieces or with blank, sterile walls? This is an easy answer but one you may not have considered. So take the time to choose the art that will surround you day after day with care. Tip: use floating shelves or ledges to place your art thus providing you the freedom to rotate the items more often.

Living Room

As it will likely be the room with the most traffic in your home, the living room can sometimes seem like a daunting task to decorate when expressing your artistic style. When thinking about what you want to display in this room, consider that you are setting the tone for your whole home, as well as the overall feel that will be conveyed to your guests. Do you showcase talking pieces; a display of heritage; or possibly political art? Consider letting family members each choose something special that represents their passions and place together as an art collection. There is no incorrect method; choose what gives you joy.



Another room that might get overlooked when considering where to place works of art in your home: the bathroom which offers an ideal location as the art can be the focus of the room. Besides functional appliances, there is not much else happening in bathroom decor. Adding elements of art gives visitors a focal point. It can also easily define the mood of the space by choosing what images, color tones, or patterns you wish to highlight.


Although one of the most used areas of the home and often referred to as the heart of the house, the kitchen seems to be a forgotten place to display works of art. This move alone can elevate the kitchen space to another level and enhance the mood you want to convey. Is your kitchen a hangout hub? More modern or homey? Filled with children or the place for conversational adult dinner parties? Whatever the main focus, there are similar themes of art that can enhance the purpose. Some options that might work best include bright, more fluid impressionistic landscapes; or sleek digital prints and cubist sculptures. And sometimes whimsical and fun pieces are called upon to keep emotions running positive for chaotic families. Images of food and cooking implements are also perfect complements. Botanical prints are especially idyllic for kitchen decor as well.



The ideal place for quiet and introspective pieces, the bedroom calls for more calm and relaxing, or spiritual and inspirational art. Large-sized, abstract, and with soothing tones work well for your place of rest and rejuvenation. Landscapes or prints of landscapes in simple frames also lend themselves to a bedroom environment.


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