LST participated in an article about designing an art gallery at home, offering advice on how people can find a style of art that fits their home. Reprinted with the Permission of Porch.com.
A gallery wall at home filled with beautiful artwork can make an empty room have warmth, color, and personality. There are many ways you can prepare your home art gallery to create a beautiful space you, your family, and guests will love. This guide from experts will show you some helpful tips on designing and preparing the best gallery at home. Read on to discover how to prepare your space and fill it with a range of artwork that is meaningful to you.
How can people find a style of art that fits their home?
“Our best advice is for people to visit as many art galleries, museums, online art gallery websites/storefronts, etc., to determine the style of art that they like. Usually, unless people are buying art for an investment, they will tend to buy art that fits their home decor, either in style or color scheme. Shopping around to as many outlets as they can, people are bound to find art that they can work into their home or make their home work with the art.”
What people should know about buying works of art at an auction?
“Whenever possible, preview the objects in person. Generally, you will be allowed to handle the items or have them shown to you, so you can see the back of a painting, or the underside of a desk, and even examine a vase under UV. If, when looking, you see something that you are uncertain about, ask. This is the safest way to be certain you are bidding on a lot that you will truly love. Just like people, some objects are very photogenic, and others, well, not so much. If you just can’t preview in person, send a proxy who you trust, or be certain to request a condition report for each lot on which you want to bid. You should never be shy about asking, and if you don’t understand all of the terms used in the condition report, ask about those too. Be certain you read the full description and condition notes carefully. Watch an auction of a similar format (whether live or online) at the house you wish to bid with, prior to becoming a bidder. Keep in mind that your bids will likely be subject to a buyer’s premium and sales tax, so know what these rates are so you can calculate your maximum bid well before the auction begins. And STICK TO THAT NUMBER! It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of auctions. If you bid and win the lot it is yours. You don’t want to be the victim of buyer’s remorse, and an auction house will not cancel your purchase just because you were too enthusiastic in raising your paddle.”
What are the key considerations for displaying your art in the proper way?
“There are two key considerations when it comes to displaying art to its best advantage: placement and lighting. You want to place art in a space that will accommodate it, leaving space around the art so it doesn’t feel crowded. Ideally, the art will be displayed at about eye level. We typically hang art so that the center-line of the art is 60″ above the floor. but this height can be modified based on personal preference. Lighting is critical. We recommend a warm or neutral LED spotlight shining on the art from above, at least 36 inches back from the art, and far enough above to allow the entire image to be illuminated evenly by the light.”
Connection Between Artwork and Hardwood Floors
“Artwork establishes the mood, energy, and personality of a room and so can the choice of hardwood. If abstract artwork in bold, bright color needs to be the focus consider a floor of natural hardwood (no stain) in oak. The bright, pure wood tone provides a natural setting and won’t compete with the modern energy of the art. For a room featuring a beautiful landscape in jewel tones consider a deeply stained hardwood in classic mahogany or oak. The vintage feel of the floor will set a mood of warmth and harmony, a perfect setting for the art. If the art is modern yet organic in layers of cream and white a monochromatic color palette for the walls and floor can set a calm but dramatic tone. Select a simple grained hardwood floor (maple or white oak) in a subtle shade of beige. The soft, simplicity of floor will add light and space to the room. Today there are lots of hardwood floor color, character, species, and finish options, take the time to select the right one to best reflect the personality of the space.”
How to Create a Family Art Gallery with Kids?
“Art making lowers stress and improves focus for children and adults alike. Our society has turned the word “artist” into an intimidating label that has to be earned – but really, making art has benefits for everyone! Here are a few tips to make art-making time enjoyable for you and your family:
-Keep your supplies handy: create a dedicated corner stocked with essential supplies so that art time can be done in bite-sized doses. This makes clean up easier, too!
-Balance the arts and crafts: some projects focus on process and others on product. Mix it up!
To make a gallery at home, select pieces that have some elements in common. It could be the colors or the shapes, or anything that speaks to you. To “frame” your artwork on the wall, use brightly colored or patterned washi tape to create temporary “frames.” This way, the artwork can be changed out easily when someone creates a new favorite piece, but the washi tape “frames” keep the wall looking neat and sharp.”
Tips to Start Collecting Art on a Budget
“Follow/subscribe to your favorite artists, as many of them have studio sales or flash sales and sell their work directly, even if they also have gallery representation. Art prices are generally not negotiable – however you can always inquire about payment over time, and I’ve seen some artists offer sliding scale prices on their work or discounts for purchasing multiple pieces. If prices are “on request,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are expensive, so go ahead and ask if you are interested. Certain factors can result in more affordable art, such as the medium (a work on paper that has an edition of multiples might be more affordable than a painting), whether the artist is emerging vs. more established, the scale of the piece, etc. Shop around and look for art in lots of places! You can find affordable pieces online, in galleries, in cafés, and even in a flea market.”
Advice for proper illumination of artwork at home
“A combination of natural, ambient, and focused light provides beautiful illumination of your artwork at every time of day. LEDs are ideal for artwork lighting since they last longer than other light sources and don’t emit infrared rays, UV rays, or heat. The heat produced by halogen and incandescent bulbs can damage art over time. Unless you’re highlighting a vignette with portable lamps, the best artwork lighting is as invisible as possible to allow the art to shine.”
What are the essential factors to consider when shipping artwork?
“According to the art logistics experts at Fine Art Shippers, proper packaging with the use of high-quality art packing materials is the most important factor when shipping artwork nationally or internationally. Each piece should be professionally packed, and in many cases created in wood, to arrive at the destination in perfect condition. Another important factor is the experience of the company that is entrusted to ship art. It should be a reputable art logistics service provider able to handle art the way it deserves.”
What factors should you consider when decorating your home with art?
“When considering artwork for your space, it’s not only important to keep in mind the piece’s overall style, but the size and scale as well. A 48×60 dramatic bold print will have a different impact than a 48×60 serene watercolor with muted colors. Ultimately, the artwork in your home should make you happy and love to look at it, regardless of the style.”
How to blend artwork styles for an impressive display?
“Many people think that you need to hang with a theme in mind. I do not necessarily agree with that. You can hang a modern work next to any contemporary work, and it will look great. I see no reason why you can not hang a Picasso next to a work by Ellsworth Kelly, or a Warhol next to a Motherwell. Most important is you need to read the room, its decor and wall-size is a big factor.
I am a huge believer in empty space around the artwork. The work needs to breathe. Unless it is a series of works, I try to leave as much space around the work as possible. It’s true that too much space is not good either, you really need to eye it, but negative space around a work definitely makes that work stand out. Sticking to a single theme when hanging can make the room boring. I want to look at each work individually, and be intrigued by it.”
Tips On Buying Art Directly From An Artist
“Buying directly from an artist offers you so much connection to the work, the creative process, and to the artist directly. I get to mentor thousands of artists in selling their work online, and I can tell you, that purchase means SO much to them! When you find an artist’s work that you admire, first check to see if they have a website. If so, there may be artwork for sale on there which makes the whole process quite simple. If there isn’t any available work on their website, follow them on Instagram and join their email list so you can be amongst the first to know of any fresh artwork. Spend some time on their site or Instagram, reading about the artwork, enjoying the images just like you would if you were to see their work at a gallery. When you feel a special attraction to a piece of artwork, you can either purchase it on their website (I recommend sending an email to the artist letting them know how excited you are and to discuss delivery options), or you can inquire about the work on Instagram, over email, or via the submission form on their website. Your purchase is going to mean the world to them. As someone who has sold hundreds of paintings over the years, I can attest to this! It’s such a special connection between you and the artist.”
Tips for Displaying Sculptures in Your Home
“Large sculptures can be the focal point of a room simply placed, free-standing in your space. They can be close to a wall or in the middle of the space to allow a view from all angles. Smaller sculptures can accent a table or shelf, a minimal, modern floating shelf can perfectly house a bold sculpture and make a statement.”
How to choose the right piece of art for your living room?
“When choosing the right art piece for your living room, a few things to keep in mind are size, color scheme, and style. What kind of wall space are you working with? Whether it’s one statement piece or multiple pieces, making sure your art decor is the right size will help ensure it’s a perfect fit. Incorporating artwork with tones that complement the color scheme of your space is also key to creating a cohesive and blended design. Lastly, consider your design style and the style of wall art you want to hang to complete your living room, and of course, make sure it is a piece that you love!”
How to choose the right size wall art?
“Although there is actually no right or wrong, and it ultimately comes down to personal taste, the main consideration for choosing the right size for wall art will be space available where to place the artwork. You can put a large artwork on a small wall and a small artwork on a large wall and it will look great – this may depend on the actual artwork. What really makes an artwork look effective on a wall is having sufficient space around it so that the artwork can ‘breathe’ and that the artwork balances with any nearby objects such as chairs, drawers, plants, and lighting.”
Tips for choosing the right glass art for home décor
“One of the most fabulous things about collecting glass art is that glass is pretty tough, you can clean it with Windex, put it in a sunny window, and be assured that it will not fade or develop cracks. The history of the Glass Art Movement is fascinating, and learning a little bit about the story that unfolded beginning with Pilchuck Glass School provides a window into the world of studio glass art. You can search for podcasts, books, and Youtube videos as well as visit galleries and The Tacoma Glass Museum. Then you can decide if you want to buy glass art that shows a high level of skill, or expresses a concept from the mind of the artist. Glass art is gorgeously displayed on a coffee table, a fireplace mantel, bookshelves, floating shelves, or custom designed display fixtures.”
How does the content of art collections affect the mood and atmosphere of a home?
“Art is a continued experience. The unique content of the art people choose for their homes speaks to the interests and perspectives of the residents. In turn, any artwork people can identify with will make a home feel more like their own.”
How to match furniture to the art in your home gallery?
“The best way to match furniture to your home’s artwork is by choosing a neutral tone in the artwork and purchasing furniture in that neutral shade. This way your artwork will be the centerpiece of your room and won’t be competing with your furniture. Always think about what you want to catch someone’s attention when they walk into a room. If you have a bold-colored sofa and a bold painting, it will be too confusing and busy. Always let one piece of decor do the talking!”
How to use landscape paintings in modern decor?
“Modern decor is very much on-trend right now. Crack out the stemware because 2022 is the year that interior design lets timeless statement pieces SHINE. You will see the world of brilliant impressionistic landscapes paired with great pieces from popular modern furniture purveyors such as the Article of Herman Miller. It’s all about having you tie things together and let the colors and textures play. There are no rules, only what sparks joy. There is a reason that landscape artwork has consistently been the most coveted for decades. It inspires and brings in an element of life to your design space. If you let a knock-out piece of art that you love take the lead there is no going wrong.”
Amy at The Erin Hanson Gallery
What are the essential factors people should know about NFT Art?
“NFTs are similar to a certificate of authenticity, but digital and recorded on the blockchain. The problem with digital art is that it can be infinitely copied and you never know who the owner is. That’s why people were hesitant to buy digital art. NFTs solve this: They allow you to distinguish a copy from the original. And they prove, through the blockchain ledger, that you own it.”
Essential tips for collecting regional art
“When collecting regional art, the artist, size of the piece, and medium are all important determine value. If it is your first piece ask questions of the gallery and most importantly, buy what you like.”
Tips on budgeting for buying fine art
“Much like budgeting for any other substantial purchase, take a look at your finances and determine how much per month you can set aside towards a fine art fund. It doesn’t have to be much, even an extra $100 a month would give you $1200 towards a piece of original art. Or determine how much per month you could pay towards a piece you love. A lot of people don’t know this, but many galleries are willing to set up a payment plan with you or use a third party, no interest financing service like Art Money which allows you to pay for the piece at no interest over 10 months. And start small. You don’t have to purchase a $5000 piece right out of the gate. Galleries will often have a wide range of price points for any type of client budget. Additionally, change your mindset. Begin to think of art as a necessity, not a luxury.”
How to Incorporate Art Into Your Home Décor
“Buying the perfect work of art for your home starts with identifying the size that you need and setting a budget for what you are willing to spend (hint – you don’t need a lot of money to afford original art!). Once you have those two things in mind, you can begin to look for artists through local arts organizations or online through galleries like PxP Contemporary and on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Notice what catches your eye whether it is figurative art, landscapes, a still life, or a colorful abstract piece. You can look for art with similar colors as your existing home decor, but ultimately, I’d suggest buying what you truly love rather than what matches your couch so that you’re happy to make the investment and so that you still enjoy the work even if you move.”
Tips to keep good records of your art
“We often suggest keeping a physical file of purchase invoices and a digital file of works. The digital file should include images of all works and a spreadsheet listing them by artist, title, medium, size, purchase price, from whom purchased, and current value. This document can be easily updated every couple of years or as needed by your insurance carrier. Scans of appraisals and valuation letters can also be kept here. Lastly, because some artists’ signatures are not easily legible, we suggest mounting a biography in an envelope to the back of each piece. A copy of the original invoice can also be kept here. This way if anything should happen to you or the digital files cannot be accessed family members and estate trustees will have a starting point and some knowledge of each work.”
Most common mistakes to avoid while buying art at a gallery?
“A common mistake when buying art is not knowing the artist well enough, or at all for that matter, which is important for determining the value of the artist’s work and cost for the art. The buyer needs to have an understanding of the artist’s career, both past, and future, in order to make the correct investment. Another common mistake is not knowing what type of art you want. When art buyers don’t know what kind of art they want or like, they end up buying artwork that really isn’t their style. Buyers need to know what type of art they like, and a reputable gallery will ask questions to get a better sense of the buyer’s personal tastes and direct them to the right art choice and investment.”
What are the different types of artwork according to the space of each house?
“Traditionally art lovers choose different styles for each room. For example, one of the most popular styles for a living room or dining area is a large abstract painting to display above a sofa or dining table. Abstract art adds an instant focal point to any space and is a great conversational piece. In a hallway or entrance, you can be a little more creative with a gallery wall that reflects your personality and interior style. As we all invest a little more in rest, we have also seen a big demand for seascapes in bedrooms with soothing blue and white tones, to enable you to unwind at the end of the day. We also love pairing botanical art to bathrooms to bring the beauty of nature indoors.”
Most common mistakes to avoid while buying art online
“The most common mistakes to avoid when buying art online usually come down to purchasing from trusted sources. There are a number of websites and online platforms to purchase artwork from but the quality of work sold may differ significantly. Disappointment can be avoided by purchasing original artwork directly from the artist, or gallery website. Purchasing art prints is a cost-effective way to obtain the artwork you love, and many emerging artists use online print companies and marketplaces to sell their work. If you decide to buy art prints online, be sure to purchase from sites that have a good reputation among customers and can show evidence of the quality of their prints.”
Tips to keep in mind before investing in art
“1. Do the research: They are many sources. Auction prices are now transparent, and you can check Artnet or Askart for ether artist’s last history of auction records.
Make sure you love the work and want to live with it, for many years. If not, maybe the piece is not for you.
2. Like stocks trading on the Stock market, there are rising and falling values for artists…so try to construct where the artist price curve is and in which direction it is going.
3. Don’t be penny-wise, pound fooling: Buy the most expensive, and best work you can afford. Usually, the artist’s best works will increase in value significantly more than lesser works.
4. Evaluating a work: Is it signed? Is it a good year for the artist in their career? Is the piece representative of the artist’s main theme of work? Often revise the artist’s style and approach. Check the provenance very carefully.
5. Evaluating an artist: Did the artist have museum shows? How much work is in public collections? Has the artist been recognized in the past? Why and why not? What galleries represented the artist? it is very difficult to make an artist famous if there was no interest or visibility in their past work, for many years.
6. Many leading collectors focus their interest on a special period, and thus, can grow an impressive collection in that specific sector.”
How to choose the Right Frame for your Artwork?
“Resist the urge to overcomplicate the framing process. Your goal is to showcase the artwork without overpowering it or distracting from it. In general, your best option will be to opt for simple and minimal. Slim boxy frame profiles in black, white, and natural wood finishes are versatile and stylish options that will enhance almost any artwork effectively.”
What you should know before buying art from a new or unknown artist?
“When adding artwork by an unknown or emerging artist to your collection a possible increase in value over time should take second place in the decision-making process. It’s more important that you truly enjoy the piece. Building a relationship with the artist over time is another key factor. You are not only supporting an artist financially during a crucial time in their career but also giving them a huge mental boost. Be a good patron and share some photos with the artist showing their work in your home”
What are the benefits of curating an art home collection?
“Collecting art for your home brings many benefits. It will bring you happiness and joy every time you look at the works. It connects you to a moment in history or an artist’s story – and gives you stories to share with your friends, your relatives, and your professional networks. How you found the piece or why the artist created it and more. And collecting art may show your creativity and individuality and indicate that you support artists and creative expression while providing beauty for future generations.”
Tips in the cleaning and maintenance of art frames
“The best way to keep your frames looking their best is to dust them regularly with a feather duster or microfiber cloth. If your frames need a deeper clean, it’s best to take them off the wall for easier access and to help avoid any accidents. You can wipe them with a slightly damp cloth but avoid spraying any water or cleaner directly on a frame with a mounted picture to ensure that no moisture gets inside the mounting and damages the image. If you’re going to use cleaning products on your frames, it’s best to carefully take them apart and make sure you’re using suitable products for the frame materials. To maintain the structure and durability of your frame, make sure you’re using the correct hanging hardware for the type and size of your frame. Keep an eye out for any sagging or bowing, and don’t be afraid to reinforce your frame corners with brackets.”
Tips for making sure your art sings!
“-Hang art in groupings for a stronger visual impact. Several small pieces in an attractive group can feel more interesting than hanging art spread out or too far apart.
-Hang art in relationship to the furnishings that are under/around it
-Lighting! Always make sure you have enough light on your art to show it off properly.”
Seattle Art Source
Top tips to paint your own gallery wall art
“Create the art that makes you happy and avoid following fashion simply for the sake of it. Be true to yourself. Include a variety of mediums from ink sketches to watercolors and oils. This eclectic mix will stay fresh for longer. Add found art as well as your own. Work from other artists that are special to you will create a meaningful sanctuary for you too. Consider lighting such as warm spotlights or cool daylight LEDs. Lighting adds a lot to the mood of your gallery.“
Tops Tips for Sustainable Art Collecting
“Many artists now recognize the importance of sustainability. When considering investing in a piece of art, take time to search for pieces that have been created from recycled, or sustainable supplies. Another factor to always consider upon purchasing art is how it will be delivered to you. Despite the convenience of air cargo, planes emit a little over 53 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile, a primary greenhouse gas that contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. A more sustainable method to consider when ordering items for delivery would be sea cargo, a suggestion that may be offered to the seller as it is usually cheaper than air cargo in many cases.”
Top tips for the correct treatment and maintenance of paintings at home
“When living with artworks of varying ages and mediums, it’s important to make note of the surface.: look for subtle cracking and lifting in oil paintings, as well as looking closely at a painting’s surface to see whether the colors seem yellowed. If you notice any of these changes, it’s advisable to have them examined by a conservator. In the case of gilded frames and objects, please be sure to instruct the cleaning staff not to clean them with any chemicals. Gilt surfaces should only be cleaned with microfiber dusters and delicate cloth.”
Ways to display art without putting holes in the walls
“There are a number of reasons you want to display art without putting holes in your walls. It might be that you’re renting an apartment and want to avoid damaging any surfaces. Perhaps you have an old home with brittle walls that are at risk of cracking. Whatever the reason, there are good options for displaying art without putting any holes in your walls.
-Command Strips: Command strips aren’t an ideal solution for hanging art, but they are a viable alternative to a hanger and nail. They’re also easy to find and are relatively inexpensive. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind, however. Firstly, they’re less secure. Secondly, there’s also some risk that you’ll peel some paint off the wall when you remove the command strip, particularly if you remove it incorrectly. Overall, if your artwork weighs under 3 pounds and isn’t of significant monetary or sentimental value, command strips can be very useful.
-Leaning Art Against the Wall: Another method for displaying art without putting holes in your walls is to simply lean work against the wall. This can be a particularly effective approach if you have floating shelves or mantles, which pull the artwork up off the floor. Bookshelves and desks are also a great way to put the lean technique into use.”
You can find the original article HERE.