• MelanieThomasDesign

How to pick art:the basics

Chances are that if you've landed here, I don't need to explain why picking out the perfect art piece is integral to your interior design. BUT if you really want me to spell it out --


Rarely do I ever pick out art AFTER the design starts. Often, it is the nucleus of the idea that drives the momentum for the rest of the room or house. And the more open-minded you are in the beginning, the more room you have to stretch and grow into other areas like wallpaper and paint (lessons 2 and 3!).

And I'm surprised how often art is an after thought in many design projects. I've overheard people say "I don't have a budget for art" or "Good art is hard to find." Both of these can be very, very true statements but I am here to help you figure out both if you find yourself in that predicament.

Where to find art

Art can be found anywhere. Art can be your child's doodle, a pressed flower, a candid photograph OR purchased. The beauty of art is that it is completely YOUR interpretation of what is beautiful. Even if it's an oversized iron clock from Pottery Barn (a little judgment here). The point is, it is yours to interpret as you wish.

My number one piece of advice for picking out art is to TRY and stay away from mass produced pieces. Read: big box store prints. They tend to be impersonal and are the first to be shelved in the garage once your style changes. If you do buy art from a big box store, I would recommend something utilitarian, small, black and white OR all of the above. That might come in handy with your gallery wall!

Here is my list of go-to art sources:

1) Chairish - www.chairish.com

2) Saatchi Art - www.saatchiart.com

3) Etsy - www.etsy.com

4) FilmArt Gallery - filmartgallery.com

5) Your local flea market. Mine is RoseBowl Flea Market, every second Sunday each month, rain or shine.

6) LUMAS - www.lumas.com

That's it? That's it. And trust me -- there are plenty of options as you can see:

Some of these pieces are more pricey than others, but nothing totals more than $1000. And if you're buying art for your home that is supposed to last and give you joy for years and years, it's worth it.

However, many of these pieces are around $100 -- and some of them come framed already!! I'll give you a second to figure out which ones are below $200 and which ones are $1000.

Did you guess?

This group of artwork was all LESS THAN $200. The blue portrait actually came framed! And the huge green painting is over 65" tall. I did have to get that mounted, but still -- that's quite a lot of painting for such a small amount of money. I have tons of other paintings that are part of the $200 club, but you can see here that you, too, can find art that doesn't break the bank.

Need more help? Contact me about helping you pick out your next art piece. I have hundreds of pieces on stand by, ready to go up on your wall!


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