OK, a bit of a strange one, but stick with me on this one! Art for the Home Office is a great idea, it fulfills a few criteria for trying to create the perfect environment for work to get done. It can reflect your taste, create a stimulating area for your most productive of thoughts and potentially could even be an investment for the future.
So, what if you know nothing about art or how to go about buying art, you don’t have a clue what would ‘work’ in your own space, or you’re curious to find out a bit more? then read on……..
You Like What You Like……….
I hate art galleries…….there I’ve said it……that is a bit of a broad statement because, although I hate art galleries, I do like a nice piece of art and I think that it’s a shame that art is too often hidden away in sometimes a pretentious austere atmosphere, when art should be looked at and discussed. The empty echoing rooms that art is usually displayed in with their wooden floors and high ceilings can be an intimidating experience for someone new. I prefer seeing art in coffee shops and tea rooms where people are chatting away and you can look at a painting without feeling like you have to like a certain piece because it must be good as it’s in a gallery.
Art is so subjective that your opinion is as equally valid as the art curator. Fine, the art curator might come up with a thousand words on how this piece juxtapositions with the piece it’s sat next to, but at the end of the day they are relying on their gut instinct – do they like it? If you don’t like a piece then you’re not going to spend any time looking at it or want it being in your house so don’t waste any more time on it and move on.
The best way to go about it, if you are going to be buying from a gallery is to have a project. Take some photos of the space and take some measurements so that you have a good idea of the size of painting or installation that would fit into the space. It maybe that you have a specific colour that you want to highlight in the room, or just something that brightens up an otherwise dull wall.
Online is by far much easier -not least because you avoid the intimidating curators – as you can have a great look at available art before deciding. Another benefit of going online is connecting with artists directly, being able to follow them on Instagram and see what they are producing may well be better in the long term. They may have an up and coming work which would be perfect for your space – and may be open to deal directly cutting out a gallery completely. So don’t be afraid to take some time following artists you have found online and find out a bit more about them. It may be that they have an ideal that you completely agree with or when you follow them you find out they are open to doing commissions which could be perfect if they are able to produce a unique work specifically made for the space – plus you have a great story and know all the background to the artist you have on your wall. You may even become a collector!
You Know How Much You Want to Spend ……
Budget is also a factor when it comes to choosing a work of art for your home office space. Set a limit to how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to haggle with a gallery if you are dealing with them, they will probably be keen to sell and may be open to a bit of a drop, you have nothing to lose. Also don’t be afraid to suggest discussing directly with the artist. If there is someone you really like then it may be possible to suggest staged payments rather than one big payment. Artists are likely to be less ‘driven’ by money so may be open to receiving $200 a month for five months rather than $1,000 right now, especially if you really love the piece.
If you’re looking for a particular piece to fill a space then be sure to keep an eye out for suitably sized works. A painting of 40 inches by 40 inches is going to look far more impressive (if you have the space) than a 20-inch by 20 inch painting in the same space.
On-line works well for budgeting as there a lot of on-line galleries such as Artsy, Saatchi Art or Uprise Art which have options to filter to a budget. Although it’s nice to look at some “high end” galleries don’t forget about the likes of eBay for art pieces. You may be able to pick up second hand bargain or even a new piece by artists who sell. Etsy also has a great selection of artists to go through.
Art Fairs are another way of finding at decent prices and with a variety of artists, styles and sizes it’s more likely that you will find something that is suitable and that you really like. Search on-line for up and coming art fairs, local small galleries or even check out a few local coffee shops who sometimes have local artists on the walls.
Remember that if it’s positioned in line of sight you’re going to be spending a long time looking at it so it’s important, and even more so, in a home office to pick a painting that is inspiring and that can give you different aspects when you re look at it. the important thing is to buy something that you love and it will be rewarding you for years to come.
Ideas for Some Alternatives…………
So if you’re still not sure what you want to put on your walls but wasn’t something then a few alternatives to buying original art for your home office wall space are:
- How about an antique map – they always add a sense of history and would look nice in an office space.
- A print of a favourite painting rather than an original may be an alternative – no point in trying to find something new if there’s something you already love.
- Collection of objects which inspire or you really like – Star Wars Lego builds anyone????
- A portrait of someone inspiring, whether famous or personal may be just what you need in your home office space.
- Pictures connected to what you do – several photos whether randomly or aligned (depending on your preference) would be a good option – may not so much for accountants!
- Family pictures are always a good option and groupings of them look great.
- A picture of your next holiday destination – there’s nothing (especially just now) like looking at where you’re soon going to be heading to inspire you to dig deep and keep working knowing you’ll be relaxing on that beach soon.
- there are loads of those inspiring quotes along with dramatic photos which are ideal for the home office to keep your spirits up, keep motivated and keep focused on the job in hand.
There we have it, just a few hints and tips based on my own search for some art for the home office. I have a couple of pieces around the room – I have an old map which belonged to my father (he drove a tank in the WW2) and depicts the 79th Armoured Divisions progress in France which is very inspiring. I also have a wall of masks which I have collected from some of my travels around.
Do you have any wall art in your home office that you would like to share then please feel free to get in touch in the comments or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As ever, I would love to hear from you.