Anew home is a seductive blank canvas to an art consultant like me – empty walls and corridors waiting to receive an injection of personality that the artworks you select will give them.
So, where do you look, what should you spend and how can you know what will suit your home best?
The secret to finding the ideal statement piece starts with the responses you give to the following four considerations – audience, space, textures and colours, and purpose.
•‘Audience’ relates to the question of who the artwork is actually for? Is it a personal audience of you or family only, or should the piece shout ‘look at me’ to all who visit your home?
•‘Space’ considers the size and functionality of the room your artwork is to occupy and enliven, along with its architecture and light sources, so the canvas, sculpture or other work can radiate the importance you assign to it, elevating its surroundings and not competing with them.
•‘Textures and colours’ looks at what else occupies the space – the walls, flooring and furnishing – that must also be factored into your selection process. Your standout piece must work in the space where it is placed. Ignore its surroundings and watch a stunning piece fade into the background, its impact dulled by competing influences.
•And finally, ‘Purpose’ asks the dual questions of aim and aspiration – what is your reason for wanting a statement piece in the first place, and is there anything about your preferences and personality that could help to identify that perfect piece?
These four considerations are often just the starting point of a far more detailed assessment of home and owner to determine just the right shortlist of pieces.
Fine art comes at a price. Therefore, to ensure that you are making the right decision from an aesthetic and investment perspective it’s important to consider three further things:
What do you like? Even if your fine art purchase is primarily an investment decision you still have to like what you buy for your home. So, it makes sense to research your preferences, to make a shortlist of your favourite artists, to visit exhibitions and galleries to surprise yourself by viewing new genres and mediums in order to challenge your perceptions to decide what will work best for you.
What do you know? Some believe you need to become an art expert to find just the right piece, but once again this is a matter of preference. Understanding an artist, their works and the value of their pieces can help you to make good investment decisions, or to distinguish the original from the prints, but then again there are professionals who could help you with that.
Where can you find it? Some of my favourite places to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon are art fairs, such as the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, London, auction houses like Christie’s where individual pieces and entire collections can be found, local galleries and even pop-up venues that occasionally have some surprises to offer. Then again, as a self-builder, you are likely to have looked for guidance from professionals throughout the process – an architect with the same vision as yourself, maybe an interior designer or even a landscape architect to perfect your new home inside and out – instructing an art consultant has similar logic attached to it, someone who can help you to make the right purchase to make your new home uniquely yours.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to finding the perfect artwork for your new home, but my tips for a fine art novice would be to know your budget so you don’t get too carried away, start with a single standout piece for your home and see how that sits before considering the collection that may later evolve from it, and finally, that fine art should always enhance a space, not compete for attention with a clutter of varied furnishing and decor. Good luck in your search.
Look Book: Artwork & Sculptures
Art is an expressive form. Many may wish to adorn their self-build in colourful, abstract hanging pieces, while others may prefer the subtlety of a more delicate piece.
1. Sunny Day, Artfinder, £7511.97
2. Sunny Winter, Artfinder, £1104.85
3. Wild Dog ceramic sculpture, Sable & Ox, £1950
4. Etude 116, Artfinder, £3107.39
5. Ring Tailed Lemur and Twins ceramic sculpture, Sable & Ox, £2160
6. Baby White Rhino, Sable & Ox, £3000