Home is where the art is!


The Affordable Art Fair returns to Bristol in September. Here's advice on choosing art to suit your home

The Affordable Art Fair returns to Bristol in September. Experts give their advice on choosing pieces to suit your home and décor as well as imaginative ways to hang work within your home

What should you look for when buying artwork for the home?

“Buying art is a fun and emotionally rewarding experience and no matter whether your taste runs to street art or more traditional painting and sculpture, you will find a piece that will stay with you forever, the key is to buy art that you love.

“As a personal and unique addition to your home, art can help you to express yourself and make a statement with your space. You’ll want your new artwork to look its best so thinking about where you will hang your work is an important part of your purchase. 

“Think about the space you have available in your home, not just the obvious above the sofa space – hallways are a great place for artworks, especially if your collection is growing!

“But if you really love something and don’t have the space, consider buying it anyway – after all, a beloved artwork will move with you from house to house, and perhaps be passed down as a future heirloom.”

Sam Gare,
Affordable Art Fair Director Bristol


What can art add to a living space?

“Art on walls really does give that all-important finishing touch – without it, even the most beautifully designed room can feel lacking. In my own home, I haven’t felt a room is truly finished until I’ve filled the walls with favourite prints or paintings, and when I’m designing a room scheme for a client, artwork is always as much of a consideration as furniture and colour schemes. It’s like adding that statement accessory to an otherwise plain outfit. It adds that personal factor which speaks about you as an individual and hopefully brings joy and sparks happy memories upon viewing it.”

Jo Thornhill, Interiors stylist and author of Home For Now


How can you centre your room’s décor around one hero piece of art?

“If you’re looking to use a single piece of art as a statement, go large-scale to stop it looking lost, or centre it on a smaller wall such as a chimney breast so it looks to scale within its space. It can feel a little contrived to choose artwork purely as an afterthought to co-ordinate with your colour scheme, so think about your artwork early on to allow your room design to evolve around it. Whether to match or clash is a personal choice – if you have a bold print you might prefer to keep the rest of your decor neutral, so it can pop out, and possibly just pick out a few cushions or accessories in complementary colours, or simply embrace the clash and enjoy the eclecticism. Often people make the mistake of hanging art too high on their walls, leaving it feeling disjointed – aim to hang so the top third of the piece is roughly level with your eye line, or if hanging directly above a sofa or bed, go even lower for a more intimate feel.”

Jo Thornhill,  Interiors stylist and author of Home For Now


What wall colours would work well with the certain artworks?

“Keeping walls white or light does of course offer you a complete blank canvas so if you like your art to be the star of the show, or enjoy regularly switching things up, this might be your best course of action. Ever-popular grey, however, can be a wonderful backdrop- if your artwork has a white mount this will really pop out and bold colours in particular come into their own against a dark background, allowing them to really shine. If you are decorating your room specifically around one statement piece, try picking out a colour which features in around one-third of your artwork, to help the room feel co-ordinated and balanced.”

Jo Thornhill, interiors stylist and author of Home For Now


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