We hear over and over again in the gallery, phrases that convey expectations and misconceptions when approaching buying artwork. We are strong believers in leaving all such expectations behind and trusting your visceral reaction to works of art. Likewise, with regards to hanging artwork, remember that it is your space, and there are no rules but your own aesthetic ones. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when placing artwork on your walls; as long as it looks good to you, then that is all that matters.
Here is a list of common misconceptions, along with helpful tips, when approaching buying and placing artwork in your home:
Myth #1: "I need something big and bright to bring some colour into my space."
In this day and age of neutral spaces, people think that the colour in the room should come from the artwork. This is problematic especially if the individual is drawn to a more neutral or monochromatic palette, but feels that their space needs some pop of colour. We say: buy colourful pillows or throws as they are an inexpensive investment, and you can always change it up if you get tired of the colour or pattern. The important thing is that you buy the art you love -- colourful or not.
Myth #2: Artwork should be hung within the decorative panelling/moulding.
There is great hesitation about hanging art over panelling or decorative moulding. Though it's a matter of personal taste, we think hanging artwork over panelling adds interest to the space, and looks just as good.
Myth #3: "I need a horizontal piece over my couch."
Think outside the box. Don't limit yourself to a horizontal work of art for a horizontal space. You can place a square or vertical piece in a horizontal space. You can also do a grouping, two pieces, or a salon-style display. Remember, it's about holding the space, not filling the space.
Myth #4: "I need to pick art that matches my colours."
We've been witness to clients presenting us with fabric swatches and paint samples for 20 years, and we always encourage them to put them away and start with a fresh outlook when looking for artwork. Again, you want to buy the work of art that you will love, no matter what your wall or couch colour is. In the end, you don't want your space to look like a catalogue. Sometimes contrasting colours look better.
Myth #5: "My friends have to like my artwork."
Getting a consensus on artwork is nearly impossible. Remember, you are the one living with it. Buy what you love and stand strong. This may be particularly difficult if your partner (whom you live with) doesn't feel the same way. In this case, we suggest taking turns buying what you love, rather than compromising on a work. That way, you won't feel lukewarm about your collection.
Myth #6: "I need to fill the space over the mantel first."
Buy the art you like and put it up. Especially if you are just starting to collect, you limit yourself if you concern yourself with particular spaces, like those main spots that need that "statement piece." You will put too much pressure on yourself to find the perfect work, and in the end the mantel will remain empty.
Myth #7: "I need a very large piece for that massive blank wall."
It is a daunting task to tackle a huge wall, and a major financial investment as well. Break it up! Think about doing a series of works, or an eclectic grouping. Divide up the wall to create a few interesting vignettes (over furniture, or not). And remember: a smaller, bolder piece can hold a space better than a larger, airy one.
Fact: Images of fruit do not have to go in the kitchen!
You can put your artwork anywhere you want; there are no rules. In fact, food-themed works may seem too predictable and expected in the kitchen.
So there you have it. A list of misconceptions all to say: buy what you love and put it anywhere you want.