How to buy art for your home: tips from interior designers

By Charlotte Fletcher

The most exciting thing about investing in artists is being able to see your investment in your home and being able to look at it and appreciate it every day. Choosing the right piece for a room or knowing where to place the chosen piece can sometimes be tricky but it shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Interior design experts, Michele Atijas and Amber Friederichs, directors at Yohan May Interiors have extensive experience of dressing homes, designing beautiful rooms all over London, and regularly incorporate art in their projects, including the work of MTArt artists. We asked them how to ensure art compliments the interior design, what to think about when including art as part of your design and how to have art in a rental property.

How do I choose art for my home?

If you already have an interior scheme, look for artists whose work will compliment your style – so think about colours, shapes and textures. If you haven’t started decorating your home then you might like to choose a work that you can design a scheme around. A larger piece is always beautiful hanging in a prominent position and will create the illusion of more space in a room. For example, I have one of David Aiu Servan Schreiber’s larger pieces from the Planet series, which creates the illusion of a higher ceiling in my living room.

Image credit: Veronica Rodriquez @vr_interior_photography

It is always pleasing to the eye when the art in a space connects to the design, and this can mean both matching and contrasting. For example, if you have a neutral and minimal interior style, then a bright colourful work could make such an interesting contrast.

Some people like to have a lot of artwork covering their walls, whilst some prefer one or two pieces that make a statement. If you like a lot of art, then you will look to cover all the walls in your home. I prefer symmetry in design so I would be looking to create balance and also get a bit creative with some clusters. If you prefer minimal design, then a large piece above your sofa or fireplace is always so beautiful. If it’s your first investment, then consider putting your special artwork on a wall you will be looking at regularly so you can enjoy it! The same goes for sculptures, they need to be seen! If you have the space, consider purchasing a pedestal to display it and go all out with a light source to highlight it.


What should you think about when buying art?

It’s important that the art you’ve invested in is safe and won’t get damaged so make sure that, if it’s wall hung, it’s secure and professionally installed. If it’s a sculpture, ensure it is stable and can’t be knocked over. Measurements are important, so if you are buying a work for a specific wall check the measurements will work. And if you have children, consider installing a clear acrylic case around the art to protect it from tiny humans and their toys.

Should multiple pieces of art in a home have similarities?

The most important thing is that you love the art in your home! It is aesthetically pleasing to see a connection between the art and the way a home is decorated, however you can also have contrasting elements that will work well together. Usually, some similarities will be nicest but if you look at Marines’ art house, she has so many works from different artists and it looks spectacular.

How do you ensure that artworks look their best in the room?

Design is all about balance and harmony. A space will look flat if there is no contrast at all, even if it is different textures within the same tonal colour palette. And if you are unsure then you can always seek advice from an expert; it is so important to love the art you invest it and to make it part of a cohesive design scheme.

If you are renting somewhere, how can you make art a part of the design?

Veronica Rodriquez @vr_interior_photography

A very good alternative to hanging is to lean art on a shelf, like a fireplace mantle or shelving that is already in the property. This is a really cool look anyway and can work well depending on the size of your art. If that is not an option, you could try the adhesive wall hanging systems that are sold by 3M Command, they can easily hold up to 5kg. If your artwork is particularly heavy or difficult to hang, I would always seek professional advice from a picture hanging service – they may have other solutions to keep it secure and damage-free on the walls.

If you are moving property and the new interior design is a blank slate, what are your thoughts on buying art first? How would you design a room around the artwork?

Personally, I love this idea as it gives you a lot of freedom to showcase your artwork. For example, you could highlight a work with two wall sconces either side or angle a light source at it. You could also select fabrics that highlight colours and textures within your new art for your furniture and soft furnishings. First, you would choose where your art will hang/be displayed and then plan your furniture layout around it. It is a great opportunity to create a spectacular atmosphere.


Image credit: Jennifer Moyes @jennifermoyesphoto

Yohan May Interiors is a personalised, stylish and professional home staging agency with high design enhancements including a bespoke interior design service, customised furniture packages and a curated online boutique.

For more interior design advice, contact Michele and Amber at Yohan May Interiors.


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