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Choosing Fine Art For Your Home

You’ve bought a home and contribute regularly to a 401K, but there are other opportunities for investment. Fine art is a $64 billion market, with a mere 25 contemporary artists accounting for nearly half the market, according to Investorplace.com.  The pandemic popped the art bubble, so now could be a good time to invest. 

Buying art has a lot in common with buying a home. Every piece of art is unique, just as every home is, so don’t think of it as a commodity unless you’re buying an index such as Artprice.com. It’s an asset that you use and enjoy daily, so you have to choose a home and art the same way – as something you love that will help make you happy. Like homes, art takes time to appreciate. MoneyUnder30.com recommends holding on to fine art for at least 10 years or including it in your estate planning. 

Just as you researched neighborhoods, types of homes and market conditions before you purchased your home, you can do the same with art. Put the time and the effort into educating yourself about art. Most art retains little to no value, but if you read art books and magazines, attend art shows and museums, look online at fine art galleries, you will slowly start to develop your tastes. Like your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional helped you buy the right home, you can work with an art advisor, interior designer, gallery owner, or an art collector to help you make the right art-buying decisions. 

Perhaps you simply want a fine piece of art to complete the ambiance you want in your home and you aren’t so worried about the investment aspect. TheSpruce.com offers a number of tips to help you choose your first piece. Keep the following in mind:  

Buy what you love. You’re going to be looking at the painting, sculpture, or other art form every day, so choose something that will make you smile every time you see it. Choose for the emotional effect you want. Art can be calming and soothing, or it can be energizing and lively, so how do you want yourself and others to feel in the space?  

Art is a focal point. Give the art the prominence it deserves by selecting the right piece for the area it will hang or be displayed. A colorful painting hanging over the living room sofa is the first thing guests will see and can stimulate conversation.  

Choose the right size for the space. Size does matter so you don’t want any art piece to overwhelm a space or go unnoticed because it’s the wrong size.  Visually, a painting should be approximately 2/3rds the width of the sofa, the bed, and the dining table. Sculpture should be on a strong support such as a fireplace mantle or heavy table. 

Colors don’t have to match. If you’re choosing an art piece for color, make certain that you love it on its own merits. Colors in a painting don’t have to match the furnishings, but they should complement your interior design. 

Don’t be afraid to mix eras. Mixing contemporary art with traditional furnishings can add excitement to your décor. Choose furnishings for comfort, but choose art for the mind. 

Don’t overspend. Don’t overpay for a popular artist’s work for investment’s sake. Tastes change and evolve. Generally, larger pieces appreciate more than smaller works (with the exception of Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa) but you can start with something affordable and live with your choice for a while. Your tastes will change so save some for the next purchase.