Buying Art: How to choose the right painting for your home

Buying art can be tricky. This post outlines the most important considerations when choosing a painting for your home. And some mistakes people make when buying art.

Hanging original paintings can dramatically enhance a room. Bad art can horribly destroy a space.

Of course, we all want our homes to look fabulous. But some homeowners really struggle to get the art right when refurbishing, renovating or building their new home. Choosing the right painting for your home is an important decision.

Point 1. This post will help when buying art and help you avoid experiencing any visual awkwardness. It will help you walk into your home, look on the walls and have a pleasant feeling of satisfaction.

“Raw Beauty” painting by Simon Brushfield (2004) Oil & Acrylic on Canvas. Private Acquisition

But some homeowners think they might save on costs by making their own abstract art. I have seen this cheap solution work well. But, I have also seen some horrid artwork hanging on home walls.

Warning: An awful piece of abstract art has the potential to bring a home down to a very low level of aesthetic appeal. It often creates visual awkwardness for inhabitants and visitors alike.

So, if you want to cut corners and go the cheap and nasty route for the walls in your home, then this article is not for you.

But if you want to do things with excellence and purchase the right piece for your wall, then read on.

The following are a list of some common mistakes people make when buying art and furnishing their walls.

  1. Some people think about abstract art, “ Oh, my child could do that ”. So they buy a cheap canvas and paint it themselves. Abstract art created by amateurs has the potential to ruin a room.
  2. Too many cheap option art prints on the walls can make a home look like a poster shop.
  3. Too many ‘happy snap’ photos all different sizes and shapes in no particular order, creates a disorganised messy home.
  4. Some walls are so cluttered with all sorts of kitch artefacts visitors feel visually assaulted, dazed and confused.
  5. Some walls are too bare making the house feel soulless and empty.
  6. Some walls lack visual balance depicting no thought or careful planning.

Point 2. The key to your success in hanging the right painting is firstly, being clear on what art you like. Then figuring out how it can best be displayed in your unique home.

Described as one of the most beautiful galleries in Australia, the Convent Gallery in Daylesford has sold many conceptual paintings of mine to customers with beautiful modern architecturally designed homes. By conceptual paintings, I am referring to an example below titled ‘Red Wine’.

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‘Red Wine’ by Simon Brushfield (2009) Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 1.8m x 1.4m (Sold Private Acquisition)

These conceptual paintings have been very popular in the past.

Probably because the idea underpinning the art communicates very specific emotions associated with the soulful feelings of drinking red wine. It’s rich character. Symbolic of the deep satisfaction a nice red can give.

Point 3. When buying art, it’s important to align the owner’s character with the character of an original painting and the room.

CASE STUDY: Recently, I completed a large commission for a painting to go into a tennis museum in Tasmania, Australia. The customer had very clear intentions. The personal character of my customer was focussed upon sport. In particular tennis.

During the initial briefing I was told, “Simon, the painting must compliment the cushions in the room”. This was great guidance because it provided a clear direction for the art piece. The finished product not only suited the cushions, but the entire room and museum. The customers were very happy with the final painting (pictured below) because it captured the character of the owners personality, but also the cushions.  In the customers mind, the cushions where people sit, were a major feature of the room.

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“Tennis in the Skyline” painting by Simon Brushfield (2012) Public Acquisition for Tuckers Tennis Museum, Tasmania Australia

Another example of complimenting the visual décor of a room or architectural space is in my painting below. These abstract works are titled my ‘Eucalypt’ series.

Post-Purchase Tip: Spotlights or track lighting turned onto a painting lifts the room and enhances a piece of art dramatically.

Again, people connect to the concept of my “Eucalypt” paintings. Not only does the colour suit a modern architectural building with polished floorboards, but it also expresses a very unique characteristic of Australia.

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‘Australian Eucalypt II’ by Simon Brushfield (2009) Oil & Acrylic on canvas 1.9m x 1.4m (For Sale $7,000)

When buying art, how do you choose a painting for your home? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below. If you liked this post, leave your email address in the box below and get them delivered directly to your inbox for free.