How to choose the right art for your new home

Moving into a new home can be stressful, but once the unpacking is complete and you have settled in, the fun can begin. Choosing art for your new home is both exciting and confusing: should you choose traditional pieces or opt for something more contemporary, like a piece of modern African art? Below are some helpful tips on how to choose the right art for your new home.

Consider scale

The scale of your wall art can make or break the room it is in. When you look at a piece of art, you should always consider the scale of the piece in proportion to the rest of the room. Standard sized pieces are ideal for those renting or who plan on moving the piece around regularly.

Having a small painting on a white expanse of wall would make a room look out-of-kilter, as would having a large piece that takes up the majority of the wall space. Look for wall art with measurements between 30 cm and 120 cm as these are easy to accommodate in almost any sized room.

Should the art suit the room, or the room suit the art?

When buying art, the best way to choose something is to listen to your instincts. If you love it, you should buy it, but you may find that when you hang the piece you have chosen, it does not suit the room.

If you find that your new favourite painting does not suit the room you imagined it in, try hanging it in different rooms of your house: it may fit perfectly into a space you did not think of. If the painting does not fit into any other room, try rearranging the designated room around the piece to make it look more symmetrical and proportioned. Remove patterned wallpaper if this helps, or invest in a picture light.

To frame or not to frame

Some canvas pieces can be hung without a frame and still make an impact. This is ideal for interior walls that may not be able to carry heavy weight, such as drywall or chipboard dividers. However, if you do choose a frame, be sure that it ties into the location of the piece and is a continuation of the work rather than a contrast.

You will need to consider the interior style of your home before choosing a frame. If you are a lover of antiques, look for antiquated frames for your art, and for more modern homes look for simple frames that continue the minimalist elegance. As a rule, paintings should be hung with the centre at eye level, so be sure to check where this is with the curator or gallery.

If you go bold, keep the room neutral

You may enjoy an eclectic style with your decor, but if you choose to go bold with prints or sculptures, be sure to keep the rest of the room neutral. This will balance out the bright colours or patterns, and allow the eye to focus on the art and not the clutter surrounding it.

Abstract artwork is often bright and bold, and requires the rest of the room to be more subdued, much like what you will see in a gallery. Be sure that the piece is not hung on a patterned wallpaper or that a sculpture is kept on a monotoned surface, to avoid creating visual confusion and clutter.

Look for art from emerging artists

When you go out looking for art to hang in your home, look for galleries that are exhibiting art from emerging artists. Buying from emerging artists means that you will be investing in a piece that is unique and will gather value over time.

Visiting these galleries will also open your eyes to what art is currently on the market. You may find an up-and-coming artist that speaks to your soul, someone whose art would fit your interior design choices. Another perk of buying from a relatively new artist is that the price of the piece will most likely be much less than that of an artist who is established in the art world. You will be able to buy a premier piece of art without having to break the bank.

Choose a budget and stick to it

Purchasing artwork can become expensive, which is why you will need to draw up a budget and stick to it. Whether you choose to splurge on an exciting piece from your favourite artist or remain thrifty with a piece by an emerging artist, do not go over your budget.

Not only will you be able to buy the exact piece you want, but sticking to a budget will allow you to accommodate the piece by choosing a frame or rearranging the room. Drawing up a budget that includes these aspects is wise, as you will not battle with unforeseen expenses once your art arrives in your home.