Buying art – what, how and where

May 16, 2016

You don’t have to buy what’s on trend, but seeing art in a room can help you work out what may fit with your style

If ever you’ve watched The Block or Reno Rumble you’d know that art plays a huge part of interior designing a room. If you’re looking to add character to your home or preparing it to go on the market, art can change the way your home feels.

But what makes good art?

Taste is subjective so what someone considers to be good art is entirely individual. However there is a general consensus that art should be pleasing to the eye, evoke emotion or feeling from the observer or deliver technical skill.

How do we know what’s on trend?

If you search Instagram with #interiordesign #wallart or #homeliving, you will start to recognise the same prints, colour schemes and framing popping up across the feed. You don’t have to buy what’s on trend, but seeing art in a whole room can help you work out what may or may not fit with your own personal style.

And where do we get it?

Art at the market Photo: @alishaarts
Art at the market
Photo: @alishaarts
  1. Look local & make a day of it

Artists rarely make enough money to live on, so buying from a local artist not only helps them to develop a profile—because you’re sure to tell people who you bought it from—but it also supports your community. You never know, you could be buying from a soon-to-be famous artist! Map out the places you can shop for art in your area – galleries, retail outlets, markets, as well as some parks or cafes. Spend time with a loved one indulging your senses with art, food and the outdoors.

  1. Check out the many websites offering originals and prints

Bluethumb is an avenue to search direct for Australian art. Popular websites like The Block Shop, Zanui, The Canvas Workshop and Temple & Webster will be selling mostly on-trend pieces combined with commercial choices. Etsy is also a great online avenue that can offer customised works. If you’re open to all styles from around the globe you can search through Fine Art America and Society6.

  1. Hire a consultant

You could hire a consultant, like an interior designer who can give you access to art that is not offered directly to the public. They can also assess your home and make other styling recommendations. If you’re not confident about choosing art this could be a wise choice, keeping in mind that it’s a service – so be prepared to pay for it.

Pop-up shot Photo: @jayfeater_art
Pop-up art shops
Photo: @jayfeather_art

Shopping Tips

  •  Why are you drawn to it? Do you love if for what it is, or are you trying to fit with a trend? Ask yourself if you will still love it in 12 months time.
  • Carry cash. Although we all like to shop on a budget, sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. When you fall in love with that piece, ensure you’ve got the cash as not all markets or displays have EFTPOS.
  • Ask questions. Regardless of where you buy your art from you’re entitled to know the details of your purchase. Does it come with a certificate of authenticity? Is it an original? If it’s a print, is it a limited edition? Is it giclée quality (archival ink used on archival paper)?

Want my advice?

You have to love it. At the end of the day, it’s your residence, and how you make it feel like a home is up to you!

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Kris Sheather

Kris Sheather is a writer, graphic designer, award-winning digital artist, publishing manager of Ormiston Press and a busy mother of two.


Her motto: life is short, eat the cake!