1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME – Before you begin you need to start with a ‘blank canvas’; I’m sure if you had booked an art consultant or interior designer to make their recommendations you’d tidy up, so make this your starting point. It is also a fundamental feng shui principle that de-cluttering your environment will de-clutter your mind. If you don’t have the time or the job is too big call in an expert.
2. THINK LIKE A GUEST – Now walk through your home imagining you’re a visitor or guest so you can understand the logistics of entering your home for the first time and what impression or atmosphere you wish to create. Important areas from a guest’s point of view are: the entrance (this is their first impression) the path from the entrance to the main living/entertaining area and an outdoor area if you have one. Look for what you think they would notice: as you enter your home, is it obvious where the kitchen/living areas are from the entrance; are private rooms or areas such as bedrooms ‘on show’ as guests walk through the house to the living area. Can any outdoor areas be seen from the main living area?
3. DETERMINE ZONES – This time, when you walk through your home again, think from your own perspective and classify it the following zones; entrance (front garden, path, front door, entry) traffic zones (hallways, gardens) formal entertaining (dining room) informal entertaining (family room, games room) function-specific zones (home theatre, kitchen) private zones (bathroom, toilet, bedrooms) business zone (home office, studio). This will assist you to think about where to place art plus what purpose or mood you wish to create in each zone.
4. MAP WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE ARTWORK – List each zone and room and table the atmosphere you wish to achieve and the number of artwork to suit the space.
5. DO SOME RESEARCH – Through your own research you will feel more confidence to make an informed decision when you discuss your needs or view art with an art consultant, interior designer, gallery manager or artist. Plus as you regularly go back to research you will gain an increased knowledge about art and therefore a deeper understanding which will only enhance your appreciation of your collection. To begin:
‘Google it’ search online about art buying advice and tips
Browse online art galleries
Look for articles in your local newspaper about local artists, exhibitions and galleries
Visit local Art Galleries
Talk to local gallery managers and artists as you meet them
6. LIST YOUR PREFERENCES (STYLE, SIZE, MEDIUM) – Return to your planning chart again after your research to put in your preferences of style, size and medium. Style refers to if the artwork is classified within a broad category such as Abstract, Traditional (landscape) or (figures), Surrealism, Pop Art, Impressionism, Digital Art marketplaces, Still Life, Realism and many more.
Size mainly described as dimensions in centimetres. Also be aware if the dimensions include framing or not. For an average home artwork around 60 x 80 cm would be considered a medium size and 80 x 130 considered a large size. Obviously this is completely subjective and the best thing to do is get the measuring tape out.
Medium is what the artist used to create the artwork. For example, oil means oil paint, acrylic means acrylic paint, watercolours, ink, pencil, charcoal and many more. Mixed Media is simply when an artist mixes mediums together. For example, some artists bind Acrylic paint and a texture medium (sand) together.
7. SET YOUR BUDGET – A fundamentally important step, however also be sure you’re expectations are realistic, your earlier research should assist you in this area. This is important because if you ‘blow your budget’ then you are not going to view the artwork with a positive frame of mind but rather a resentful one. Also, ask if flexible payment options are available. Most galleries and art consultants offer payment plans over a 3 to 6 month period or an art rental service so you can ‘try before you buy’.
8. RAISE YOUR OWN AWARENESS OF INVESTMENT POTENTIAL OF ART AND ARTISTS – When beginning a home art collection it is good to remember you need to live with the artwork therefore it needs to be appealing to you. However you can also begin to consider the future investment potential of the artwork you’re purchasing. At the most fundamental level, check the artist is active i.e. is regularly producing new work for exhibitions and awards, have won any awards, received any reviews of note or are apart of art investors collections. This is important if your art collection is later to be considered as part of your investment portfolio and if you decide to on sell any of your collection in the future.
9. LESS IS MORE – Often when you’re in the middle of this process and you’ve found a style or artist you simply love you can become quite excited and simply want more, more, more. While this is great, you also want don’t want to ‘overdo’ it. Simplicity in most things is always a good rule including art. Therefore if you are deciding on three pieces for the one room and you simply can’t decide on the final third piece. Then, purchase the two you’re sure about and either hire the third or just take some time to think.
10. PURCHASE YOUR ARTWORK – Now you have completed your planning and research which has built up your confidence to go purchase the art that is right for you and your home. Remember you don’t have to do it all at once. It can be a gradual process of building up your art collection – a journey you can enjoy. Or if you don’t have the time, simply rent a collection and purchase the ones you love and continue to rent until you have all the pieces you want.