Instant Expert: Taking the Intimidation Factor Out of Buying Art

instant expert buying art ethan allen
Art is an essential accent to the home. Here's our simple tips to buying art without getting intimidated.

Art is a very personal thing: it's a reflection of you on the walls of your home. But, discovering what style of art you actually prefer can be intimidating. Why? You're overthinking it! Art is one of those, go with your gut, buy what you love deals. Don't believe us? We spoke with Miller Opie, Senior Director of Hard Accents at Ethan Allen, for her tips on simplifying the process for first-timers.

Get educated: Before you purchase art for your home (and no, you should not just go with what matches the couch!), head out to local galleries and museums to start your own opinion on the subject (you can turn it into date night!). Art is incredibly subjective: you may love an abstract painting while your S.O. prefers photography, or figurative painting. But before you get into a fight over who is right, just remember, there is no right or wrong when it comes to art—it's all about preference. The more art you see, the easier it will be for you to recognize what you like and what you don't.

Do your research: Whether online or in person, start learning about particular pieces of art that you're drawn to. Learning the backstory about the piece of art—why it was created, what inspired it, will build an emotional connection to the piece of art.

Establish your budget: As with other purchases for your home, you also need to set a budget for art. You may find the piece for your living room wall, but it could be well out of the ballpark range of affordability. Setting a budget will help you narrow down which artists you can seriously consider. Just remember, great art can be inexpensive, especially if you go with an emerging artist.

Buy what you love: This is the single most important thing to remember when purchasing art, because you will be living with this piece of art and need to love it every time you see it. Yes, art can be an investment but that's only with a very small percentage of works, therefore, buy what makes you feel something!

Keep documents: If you're buying an original piece from an artist or gallery, ask for a certificate of authenticity or provenance. This states the work's origin, artist and value. This document will also be crucial for insurance purposes, in case you choose to do so. Tip: While you can obtain coverage via your current homeowner's or renter's insurance, there are companies that specifically insure works of art.

Photo courtesy of Ethan Allen

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