4 Expert-Approved Tips to Help You Build an Art Collection

Living room with soft blue art piece.

Chelius House of Design

One of the best parts of decorating? Selecting artwork that livens up your space and brings your aesthetic dreams to life. But, it’s normal to feel stuck when it comes to building a collection from scratch.

We turned to top designers for their tips on selecting art, building your own personal collection of pieces, and what to keep in mind when shopping for your future gallery wall or statement artwork.

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Get Personal

Don’t feel pressure to follow the latest trends—your artwork should embody you. “I like picking pieces that reflect who I was, who I am, and who I hope to be,” designer Angela Wilson Lee notes.

Think beyond the obvious locales when it comes to shopping for pieces, Lee advises. “Artwork that fits the walls of your home can be found in a wide variety of places," she says. "My favorite spaces to get great art are small neighborhood shops, because they tend to have more unique items that range in sizes and price points.”

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Let Your Collection Evolve

There’s no need to rush and create the perfect at-home gallery in the span of a month or even a year, according to designer Leah Alexander.

“From my experience, starting an art collection is a mixed bag,” Alexander explains. "Age, taste at the time, and budget are big determining factors when choosing what to buy. Over time, as one pursues art further, taste becomes more refined, the eye becomes keener as to what looked good together in a gallery wall or in a room together.”

It’s normal to change the art you have on display as your style evolves. And over time, you can save for more valuable pieces or even one-of-a-kind creations.

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Mix and Match

If you'r planning to hang a gallery wall, you should always choose pieces that are meaningful to you. “Buy what you love,” designer Elizabeth Stamos says. “The best thing about gallery walls is that they don’t have to match. Different styles can absolutely work together.”

Want to create some sort of cohesion? Opt for frames in a uniform hue, like all brass or all black, for example. And if you're seeking to add some vintage pieces to the mix, Stamos suggests shopping at estate sales and antiques stores.

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Support Your Favorites

Why shop big-box stores when you can support independent artisans whose work you admire? “I suggest purchasing prints from a few of your favorite artists, before graduating to original works,” designer Michelle Gage says. “This is an easy and affordable way to amass a mini collection in a short amount of time.”

Not to mention, you never know which up and coming artist will make it big—your affordable print could easily become an investment piece down the line.

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