How to choose art for your home

It’s the question that I get asked the most and it's a great one, but I’ll demystify it because I don’t think there is a straightforward answer.

First off it I think it depends upon your reasons for buying art in the first instance. I don’t think I’m being facetious by saying that sometimes in the art world there can be a tendency to over intellectualise the choices involved. And whilst it should not be negated, it can leave some people feeling precluded if art as a subject matter is not an area of expertise.

There is a myriad of factors involved when deciding what to buy for example, if it’s an investment bought purely for resale purpose, ideally to realise a profit, it is a transactional decision guided by market forces, realised auction sales etc etcetera. Thus, the purchasing rationale from the outset is less likely to be a decision driven by emotion.

Alternatively, if it’s being bought as a family heirloom, a treat or for an anniversary then there will be numerous emotional factors at play. My husband and I have been buying art as our wedding anniversary gift to one another for over 20 years and not only has it been a great way to build up a collection it also evokes lovely memories.

Undoubtedly what to buy will be affected by trends. For example, Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary Art by famous artists and selected artworks from these periods are a historical reference and encapsulate the Zeitgeist in an aesthetic way. Artwork in these contexts are statement pieces, regarded by society as the cream of the crop and if this is your preference you can't go wrong and are onto a winner so to speak.

But for me there doesn’t have to be rhyme or reason involved. Budget is obviously important and not to be overlooked and if you can, buy original pieces of artwork. In addition, buy from emerging artists, because they are the stars of tomorrow. 

The beauty of art is that I don’t think people react to the same piece of artwork in the same way because invariably the subject matter, genre, colour palette or medium will resonate on an emotional level that is sometimes hard to explain. 

I don't think we need to explain or encapsulate why we are drawn to a particular piece and there's immense freedom in this. Ultimately, I say buy what you love because buying art for your home is akin to being in a long-term relationship, you will see it every day and ideally you should love it.

Happy decision making!