Buying a new piece of art is a “Made it!” moment that really makes you feel like a responsible adult. Art is an investment in the traditional sense, and having it in your home also pays off through all the joy it brings your space every day.
However, shopping for “professional” art—and figuring out how to style it—is one of the more complicated aspects of DIY design. Your room’s color palette, its layout, and, of course, your personal tastes all come into play. And then there’s the intimidating question of where to even start shopping, especially if you’re on a budget.
Luckily, we live in a world where great art is more accessible than ever. Artsper, a startup representing over 25,000 new and established artists—Picasso, Dalí, and Keith Haring, just to name a few—is proof that fine art is for everyone. They work with 1,800 galleries worldwide to offer over 170,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photos, and prints at prices as low as $50, making them one of our favorite sources for original, affordable art.
To help give you some ideas of what to look for and how to incorporate it in your space, we put together a quick guide of the top things to consider when shopping for and styling art. Let’s get started.
You don’t need deep pockets to start collecting art, but just like any other purchase for your home, it makes sense to decide on a reasonable budget before you start shopping. Believe it or not, $100 is plenty, especially for fine art prints, photography, or drawings.
Also, think about whether you’re mostly interested in simply enjoying art, or treating it as an investment that will appreciate in value over time. If it’s the latter, take some time to research artists’ careers, and browse the marketplace for works in the same medium and style.
But either way, always buy what you love! For a brief overview on art pricing, check out Artsper’s guide. Measure twice, cut once is just as applicable when buying art as it is when hanging wallpaper.
For wall art, it’s always helpful to use painter’s tape to mock up the size of a painting, photo, or drawing before you buy it. It only takes about a minute to do, but it will give you an immediate sense of scale before you buy, which is especially helpful when you’re purchasing art online.
Identify the right space
Look around your home to identify blank spaces or areas that feel under-decorated, this can help give you an idea of where you want to add art and what your size constraints are. If your living room feels full, hallways, stairways, and entry ways are all good places to start branching out.
If you’re working with limited wall space, or none at all, consider investing in a sculpture that can add a pop of color or some visual texture to a bookshelf, desk, or tabletop. Artsper has unique sculptures in lots of sizes to suit your space and many are surprisingly affordable.
Here’s a guide to buying art on a budget, because not everyone can break the bank, but everyone can have a dope ass crib.