Choosing Art for Your Home

 

We sometimes get asked to choose artworks when designing clients' homes. This was a case with our recently completed project in Wandsworth and we would love to share how we chose artworks for our clients.


This is a big topic and I am not an art expert or am trying to be one. There are lots of good articles out there around this topic (here is one from IDEAL). Choosing art is also totally personal and subjective, and there is no right or wrong answer. We are sharing why we chose what we chose for our clients and to our greatest delight, the clients loved them!

Unless you have some art pieces you inherited as an heirloom, you typically have a space first before thinking of buying an artwork. And unless you are a professional in the art world or grew up surrounded by lots of artworks, the task would feel a bit daunting or scary even, like how I used to feel.

Like everyone else says, you have to buy what you like when it comes to buying art. But if you are not comfortable taking a big plunge, you could start from buying a small print to train your buying muscles :)

 
 

1. What should I be looking at?

Mr. Client and Mrs. Client each had a break-out room which they wanted us to decorate.

Mrs. Client already had this Art Deco design inspired drinks cabinet for 'Her Room' and this was a starting point.

His and Hers Havens, Drinks Cabinet

She also dreamed about a gorgeous pink sofa but she hadn't found 'the one'.

With a yet-to-found pink sofa and the art deco drinks cabinet in mind, we went for a hunt for an artwork above the sofa.

The first question to ask is always 'how do you want to feel in the room?'

With the feminine art deco theme, I could have suggested Art Deco fashion photography or illustration, the sort of thing you would find in VOGUE archives (see what I mean here). They are gorgeous but it didn't feel right. It didn't feel my client. We didn't want that direct connection to Art Deco, just a reference to the era with geometric shapes and lines. We felt abstract paintings would fit better in the space and the artist I had met in an art fair came to my mind.

Caroline Collom is a British artist based in Sydney and her tactile oil paintings have the most gorgeous colour combinations. They make me want to eat them - strange thing to say about oil paintings, I know! You could read where Caroline draws her inspirations from here.

 

I really liked this piece called 'Hazy Moments'. The blush pink and various shades of green make such a beautiful combination. The client fell in love with it, too. I knew it's hung vertically. I knew the original artwork was out of our budget, but I approached Caroline anyway.


... and she said YES to turning it into a print, although it is not something she usually does.

Hurrah! - we found 'the one'!

Caroline Collom, Hazy Moments
His and Hers Havens, Hallway
 

2. Where should I be looking at?

As I mentioned, I met Caroline at The Other Art Fair in London. Going to an art fair is a great way to find artworks as you get to meet artists and ask behind the scenes stories. I met Alice Sheridan, whose artwork we recommended for the client's hallway, in the same art fair.

Another well known art fair to find great affordable art is... well, called Affordable Art Fair.

I also love going to artists' open studios. There are lots all year around and I cannot count even just big ones but there is one coming up this week in Wimbledon Art Studios. Again, it's a great way to meet new artists and artists' work spaces are sooo inspirational!

Another option is going to graduate shows of art schools and meet emerging talents there.

The only way to find out what ticks for you and what grabs your emotion is to experience them.

Other than meeting artists in person, there are gazillions of art sold online. Our favourite is Saatchi Art. The budget in the master bedroom didn't stretch as much as the living rooms and we found this limited edition photography by a Scottish artist Lynne Douglas on Saatchi. This was captured in in a remote beach of southern Iceland at dusk and perfectly captured the mood we wanted to create in the master bedroom.

 
His and Hers Havens, Master Bedroom
 

I hope this gave you a plenty of idea on where and what to look for when you are choosing art for your homes.

If you need any help, please get in touch!