Emma Wood Interiors

Things to consider when sourcing art for your home

Art is a personal thing. When I buy art for our home it has to sing to me, I have to love it if we're to live with it. For many interior designers choosing art is the final dressing of room, but for me all too often it is the inspirational start. Many of my clients have hidden treasures of artwork that can inspire the creative process of a room. It may be the form of the subject or the colours and tones.


Not all of us have an extensive art collection that we've inherited and to be honest finding art you love can often take a lifetime. Unique gems can be found from the odd holiday here or a flea market there. Buying art should be a pleasurable journey and not necessarily an expensive one. Here are my tips for shopping for artwork to fill your home.

Whale Living Room Portrait

1. Before investing in new art, shop your own home This will sound funny to those who know me as I love to shop but before you go rushing out to spend this year's holiday budget on an auction bid, take a look at the art you currently have. Go to the attic and have a dig around. Could that inherited landscape be brought back to life in a contemporary frame? Can you arrange a collection of plates together and make a dreamy display? What about getting all those old family photos finally framed? Oh and the children's precious artwork projects - how can they be better edited and displayed?

With sustainability top-of-mind, we should all be considering, "before we buy more, what do we already have"? Tip 1: shop your own home.

Arts Drawing Room Mantel

2. ART. More than just paintings.
Photography, illustrations, woodblocks, etchings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, china….the possibilities of incorporating art in your home are endless. When deciding which art to use to fill a space don’t just choose the obvious watercolour landscape. Ponder what kind of art you really like? For me, I love to collect china pieces, especially by celebrated English ceramist, Claris Cliff. I display my pieces on bookshelves where I will see them every day and enjoy them. Tip 2: find your art passion.

Rectory Mantel 3

3. Consider colour, scale, material & setting It is important to understand the age of your property and the room you are buying art for. For example, artwork for a kitchen can be wildly different from a child's bedroom. Measuring the space you want your art to fill is essential. Finally, consider the palette. Are you looking for soft pastels, bold oils, or a pop art neon mix?

I always recommend putting all this information either on your phone or a notepad. Keeping this detail on you at all times is a good idea so that when you are away visiting friends for the weekend and pop into a local gallery, you have all your information to hand. Tip 3: Get organised.

Arts Writing Desk

4. Where to shop for art
There are many places to buy art. My favourite places are auction houses, antique shops, markets, and art fairs. To make a client's budget go further, I will also mix affordable pieces. Research online at places like Etsy, eBay, or Instagram. Up-and-coming artists are worth finding too. Visit open house art events and seek out art trails that are becoming popular. I tend to make connections with artists. Gallery owners have a wealth of knowledge and expertise and often provide art sourcing services. Finally, you can enlist help from a professional art buyer. Tip 5: do your research and go to varied places.


5. Don’t forget posters Prints have come a long way since the days of Athena. Displayed in the right frame, these can transform a room really affordably. There is a wide choice of places to buy them from. Online suppliers have vast catalogues of choice. You can buy by theme or by the artist. Many give you the option to buy with or without a frame. Auctions, car boot sales, antique shops, Etsy, or direct from artists and galleries are other great places to shop. Tip 5. Spread your budget further

London Wall Art Detail

6. Mounts, framing, lighting & hanging is art in itself Now that you have found the piece of art you love, it may require the final finishing touches of choosing mounts, frames and hanging it correctly after all there is nothing worse than an ill-framed painting put up on the skew! Enlist the help of an expert framer and they will guide you through the process. Tip 6. Don't forget the finishing touches

Arts Red Sofa With Art

7. Have fun, there are no rules - make your own art. With the explosion of online courses, there is no excuse not to create your own masterpiece. Choose from weaving baskets, tapestry design, ceramic classes, the list is endless. Above all have fun. There are no rules, just play!

Emma x

To see more of my projects and how I used art in them please click here to view my project page.

If you would like help with your home or commercial project do get in touch.