3 Things Designers Consider When Buying Art

3 things designers consider when buying art

Purchasing Affordable + Original Art

Buying art is a mysterious and challenging process even for professionals. When I see so many blank walls, I see a missed opportunity to express yourself, add character and interest, and to bring a little excitement to your space.

Don’t be intimidated

There are two considerations when purchasing art – one, don’t assume that good art is expensive and two, know what you like. Both issues can be put to rest by spending some time with art. Visiting local art galleries and museums can be an easy and low-commitment way to start developing a sense of what your taste is and understanding why you like what you like.  Sites like Artsy and 1st Dibs make it increasingly easy to purchase online. Many galleries will allow you to take a piece home on loan to see how it looks in your space. A favorite artist, medium or subject – for example, favorite and meaningful places you’ve lived or traveled – along with price point, are good ways to begin a search. Art schools have fantastic exhibits of student and faculty work – all of which is incredibly affordable, and libraries and local galleries are great resources for art and don’t require the time and energy of an exhibit at the Met – which can exhaust even the most fervent art lover. When in doubt, your children’s art can bring a boring wall to life when framed to display it with the love and respect it deserves.

3 things designers consider when buying art

There are 3 things to consider when buying art: the first is the scale of piece relative to the wall and the room in which it’s hung. Very large pieces demand adequate viewing space. Consider grouping small works together to fill a space that may be too large for a single small work. Next, consider how you respond to the work, you’re going to be living with this work so the subject matter, colors and overall mood should be pleasing. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from works that challenge you. Some works constantly invite the viewer to look at them in a new way or approach a subject in an unconventional way, while other works may be appreciated solely for their use of color or pattern. Lastly, whether you are looking to start a collection, or buying something purely as decoration, there is no right or wrong. Let what you love be your guide and the rest will fall into place.

Shop like a Pro! Here are some examples to inspire you! ​

These charming works on paper by Andrew Zimmerman, available on Artsy.net and from the Deep Space Gallery in NJ, are less than $300 each. SO fun and an interesting way to add color and pattern to a room. Buy one to add an unexpected pop to a small wall or purchase several and hang as group… I imagine loving them hung as a group of 3 or 4 in a kitchen and breakfast will never be boring again.

Think beyond paint and paper and consider a textile. This beautiful, handmade Floral Suzani would be a perfect way to fill a large wall (90”x 60”). Embroidered with delicate silk and a cotton backing, it is anything but `ho-hum…’

Suzani’s were traditionally made by Central Asian brides to be part of their dowry. In our mass-produced, technology saturated lives, adding handmade, unique pieces to your space adds character, visual interest and personality to a room. A good framer will be your best friend when it comes to making sure it’s framed right, to keep it protected from light and dirt, and to make sure it can be hung it with ease. Available on 1st Dibs for less than $600 this piece will add a pop of color and a dose of culture to your space.

Is an #artcrush real? If so, the beautiful, light filled paintings of Connecticut artist Holly Lombardo are my current crush. “The Light Beyond,” (below) makes me feel like I’m looking out the window from a house in the woods. It evokes a sense of optimism and anticipation for warm weather, sunny days and happy memories yet to be made. 

I love how she captures the way the sunlight sprinkles the trees, evoking the abstract beauty of the natural world.  Her paintings range from $1200 and up. Available at J.Todd Galleries in Wellesley, MA. Jtodd.com

Picture of Debby Katz

Debby Katz

Debby Katz Interiors celebrates the connection between environment and well-being. Debby's design philosophy is simple - honor the identity and uniqueness of each client, focus on function to design spaces that improve the way people live in their homes and infuse each space with beauty, honing in on thoughtful details and carefully curated pieces.


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