Designer Profile

Studio Brunstrum

Chicago, IL
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Curating An Art Collection For Your Home

You don’t have to be an art expert to curate your own art collection. Choosing art is more about what calls to you and elicits a reaction, whether that’s joy, reflection, contentment or simple appreciation of beauty. I started collecting art about 10 years ago and have learned that it is an ongoing and rewarding process. An art collection brings a uniquely personal touch to my home, and it will for yours, too. Below are six tips to keep in mind when starting your art collection.

 Consider the Emotion and Atmosphere

Selecting art for your home is much more than matching your color scheme or finding a piece that complements your window treatments. Think about the mood you want to create and the room where you will hang or place it. If you’re choosing a piece for your home office or library, you’ll want something calming and serene, or that encourages creativity. If you’re buying artwork for your living room, dining room or family room, pick something that evokes passion and starts a conversation.

Presentation is Critical

The right framing and matting can elevate an artist’s work. It’s important to take your piece, even if it is framed already, to a professional who will help you select the appropriate frame – wood, acrylic or metal – and the appropriate matte and color to fit your piece.

If It Calls Your Name, Purchase It

If you feel irresistibly drawn to a piece of art and find yourself walking past it over and over, take it home! Even if you don’t think you have space for it, buy it and figure it out later. Good art should evoke strong emotions or memories, so if you feel a special connection with a piece, don’t pass it up – it might be gone later.

 Where To Find Art

There are many great places to discover artwork that speaks to you, and it’s rewarding to explore. Check out galleries, art shows and fairs, exhibitions, conclaves and studios, and go back periodically to check out what’s new. Part of the enjoyment is to build relationships with artists and studio curators, who will stay in touch when new pieces debut. Traveling is another great opportunity to buy art. It’s a lasting way to commemorate special occasions and take home a bit of the culture. When buying art, always take a photo of yourself with the piece you bought and the artist, if possible. Save the photo with your receipt and place a copy on the back of the piece. This helps to verify authenticity, as well as providing a nice memento.

Branch Out

You don’t have to stick to one color scheme, artist, medium, or style. Choosing artwork that you truly love will serve you much better in the years to come. Avoid selecting pieces just because they go together or because someone told you a particular artist is “the next big thing”. And don’t forget, art isn’t just for your walls. Explore sculpture, mixed media or fiber art. Display pieces on shelves or pedestals, or consider a free-standing piece. Be creative. For one of our clients, we commissioned an artist to create her metallic art in acrylic inserts fitted into niches in the atrium columns, below.

Take Your Time

 Building an interesting, varied collection takes time and patience. Give yourself the opportunity to discover a broad range of art from a wide variety of artists and locations. Find pieces that really speak to you, and don’t rush to fill all the blank walls and corners. You don’t want to settle for ho-hum pieces and then discover something wonderful later on.

It’s important to note that your taste in art is likely to change over time. Something you loved at 25 may feel completely wrong for you at 50. Allow your collection to evolve as you go through the seasons of your life. If something feels stale, don’t feel compelled to keep it. It’s a good excuse to find a piece you love now.