How to choose artwork for your home

Artwork home

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when styling your home is what kind of artwork to feature on your walls.

While cushions, sofa colours and knick-knacks add great accents to a room, it’s the artwork on your walls that will often make a statement or set the tone for your environment. So how do you pick a piece of art that you love, is a perfect fit for your style – and is also a great investment?

Choose something that you love

The most important factor in your decision-making is that you have to love the piece – after all, you’re going to live with it every day!

While this might not be the only factor in your choice, it should be a cornerstone. You might be drawn to piece because of the colours, or the subject matter – or simply because it connects with you emotionally in a way you can’t explain. If that’s the case, this is a great start. If you look at art and don’t feel any particular connection, I suggest taking the time to look at more art – even if it’s just online. One will eventually speak to you.

Don’t just buy a piece because you think it’s a good investment. Sure, that can be a factor but point 1 is way more important. Just think of the poor guy who spent $2.5 million on a Brett Whiteley painting – only to discover later that it was a fake and is now effectively worthless. If you truly love a piece of art, it will always been worth it to you.

Will the dimensions suit your space?

Purists will tell you that you should buy a piece of art and then create a space to showcase it. Well, purists don’t always give the most practical advice!

If you have a wall that’s screaming for an artwork, chances are you need the artwork to be a certain size in order for it to fit well with the rest of the room. If you buy an artwork that’s too small for a space, it can become dwarfed by what’s around it – and it loses impact and significance.

If you’re not sure, stick bits of newspaper on to the wall in dimensions of the artwork so you can see how it will sit with the surroundings. Or adjust the placement of your furniture to help showcase the artwork. If you can’t do any of that, commission the artist to create a piece in the dimensions you want.

Do your research

This doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You can start your research online – even just with Instagram. You can get a real sense of what’s out there when you go beyond interiors magazines. Often these only feature artwork that will go with the colours on the magazine pages being designed at the time. Sure, you’ll discover some great artists that way but it’s a very limited pool. Make sure you go outside that pool and explore some galleries, shops and sites you don’t normally visit.

Track the artist

Once you’ve bought the artwork, it can be useful to follow the career of artist in the future. So get on their mailing list.

You should do this for a couple of reasons. First, chances are you’re going to watch their career go on an upward trajectory and that’s going to mean your artwork is likely to increase in value. You may love it so much that you never want to part with it but it’s a great feeling to know that you are sitting on an appreciating asset.

Second, some artists give special pricing – or access to artwork before it’s released to the public – to their collectors. So get on their list and you might find yourself turning into a savvy collector.

Article by Valerie Khoo. 

About the author

Valerie Khoo is a Sydney-based visual artist  and curator who creates artwork that inspires you to let your creative self emerge. Her pieces evoke a sense of joy and positivity in their infusion of colour, texture and movement, with each one telling an inspiring story to help you connect with your creative soul. Her original art and prints are available at the Valerie Khoo website