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Expert tips for buying small art

Expert tips for buying small art

If you’re an avid art lover, chances are you’re prone to buying art, big and small. And if you’re anything like us here at Artfinder, you buy art because you love it, not necessarily because it fits into the space you have. Small art can be a little tricky to incorporate into a specific area of your home, as you want it to stand-out and express your individual taste.

With this in mind, we picked the brains of Shannon Kaye, Director of Business Development for our partner, stARTup Art Fair. As a former artist, home improvement television host and interior style consultant, Shannon helps her clients create unique spaces built around personality, prized possessions and colour.

stARTup Art Fair’s upcoming exhibition, Small Works, celebrates art in all its forms, including small paintings, sculptures, drawings and collages.

Here, Shannon shares three ways you can use small art pieces to enhance your home and create your own unique design.

1. Curate small art to your advantage

Hanging smaller art pieces with similar themes gives strength and focus to a room.

We have mostly contemporary art in our house, but I’m also drawn to traditional still life pieces and love small landscapes, which can get lost on a wall. Since these types of works are traditionally hung in dining rooms, I gathered those pieces for my eating area. You’ll find an unfinished orange painting I bought at a church bazaar, a photograph my friend took at Versailles and my new favorite piece, a small landscape painting called ‘Estuary’ by Lynne McDaniel I bought at stARTup Art Fair.

In our hallway, most of the art is black and white with a few colourful pieces thrown in to add interest. On the main wall in our living room, you’ll find works mostly incorporating text and body parts. It sounds funny to write that, but the pieces came together organically as we began working on the arrangement.



2. Create special moments

Another way to use small art pieces to your advantage is to create vignettes. The power of vignettes is that they organise how we look at and move through a space. A few well defined moments can make the difference between chaos and calm. I like tucking small art pieces next to plants and table lamps to show-off their quirkiness and charm. On my coffee table I have an oil paint ‘parfait’ called ‘Midnight Snack’ by Maya Kabat next to an equally playful Pilea Peperomioides (houseplant).

We turned the pot belly stove in our living room - which doesn’t work! - into a jungle corner with greenery and sculptures that are rearranged regularly. And on the ledges of our stairwell, just two small art pieces anchor this unusual space.



3. Turn storage into a stage

Even the most practical of storage spaces can include small sculptures and other decorative pieces to give them more style. And here’s another bonus: when people see art on shelves and cabinets, they tend to keep them more organised and take better care of the practical stuff too. Win-win!

We keep a few heirloom pieces and ceramics within our open shelving dishes, and organise our bedroom shelves by ‘his’ and ‘hers’ with intimate art pieces on the cubbies in-between. We also keep an eclectic mix of sculptures, photos and art on our built-ins, choosing books by their colour to tie everything together.



Feeling inspired by small art?

*Images via Shannon Kaye

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