Expert Advice on Buying Artwork for Your Luxury Home

Today’s article was written by John Egan, editor in chief for SpareFoot, an online marketplace for self-storage.


Professional critics and casual viewers alike heatedly debate the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to art. Opinions and tastes abound, just as artistic styles do.

While experts may not see eye to eye on what constitutes museum-worthy artwork, they are able to agree on basic guidelines regarding the purchase of art for your luxury home.

1. Buy art that you like

“There are many art advisers out there, including myself, that purchase artwork to display in homes and offices who often push their own personal tastes upon the client,” said Reyne Haines, a Houston-based expert in fine art. “You have to live with the art, so you should at least like it. If the market for that artist fell out tomorrow, you would still enjoy having it in your home.”

Amanda Dunbar, owner of Dunbar Studios Fine Art Gallery in Dallas, said luxury homeowners gravitate toward artwork that exhibits great skill and workmanship. “They particularly like to connect with the artists creating the works and even enjoy seeing pieces during their creative process … a progressively more personal and intimate connection between artist and collector,” Dunbar said.

2. Be a bit adventurous

Buy what you like but “don’t be afraid of new artists. They are the next generation,” said Sandra Outland, gallery manager at Kittrell/Riffkind Art Glass in Dallas. “If their work shows an advanced skill set, then they are definitely worth keeping an eye on,” she added.

3. Resist the hype

While an artist may be touted as “the next big thing,” you shouldn’t buy artwork based on buzz alone, according to Dunbar.

4. Don’t play the match game

Never buy artwork to simply match your color scheme or your décor, said Jenna Pizzigati-Coppola, owner of New York City interior design firm Pizzigati Designs.

“Your artwork is, in fact, a piece of art meant to be showcased, and should be treated as such,” Pizzigati-Coppola said. “Once you start matching it to your décor, it loses its luster and almost disappears with the rest of the room.”

5. Figure out the framing

Jolene Hanson, curator and director of The G2 Gallery in Los Angeles, recommended buying prints without frames so that you or your decorator can select the appropriate ones.

“Framing is expensive,” Hanson said, “and to pay for it twice is unnecessary. It’s an important detail that can make the difference between a piece looking perfect and a piece looking out of place.” Set a budget and work within it to select the best artwork and frame for your home.

6. Don’t overdo it

“The French tend to cram as much art, fabric, and furniture into their living space as is possible—and often do it with surprisingly good taste,” said Beverly Solomon, creative director at musee-solomon, an art and design firm north of Austin, Texas. “However, my taste is more toward having well-chosen art that earns its keep. Balance, simplicity, and lack of clutter are the marks of our design work. However, if you have a chance to get great art at a great price, get it and worry about fitting it in later,” added Solomon.

7. Purchase carefully

Buy artwork from a trustworthy source, said Gina Samarotto, principal at Samarotto Design Group, a design firm in Poughkeepsie, New York. “Go to well-known galleries, and use the services of a respected designer to steer you to the right dealers,” Samarotto said.

Decorating the interior of your new home should be fun and exciting! With this expert advice, we hope to make it easier for you to buy artwork that complements the beauty of your luxury home. Visit our Pinterest page for more interior inspiration.

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