Buying art can be an intimidating prospect, but it doesn't have to be. Gone are the days of being sniffed at if you didn't know your Monets from your Michelangelos. When it comes to filling your home with pieces that make you smile, there are a few criteria but none, you'll be glad to know, have anything to do with impressing anyone other than yourself.
Yes, there are practicalities to consider such as what is my budget, where will I put it or when can I invest, but when you're ready to get rid of those blank walls, it's time to have a little fun.
You'll want any purchase to fit in with the style of your home but it is important to not get too hung up on appearances - buying art should be an emotional experience too.
Organiser of the Edinburgh Art Fair Mike Smith said: "Buying art often has an emotional angle. If something speaks to you, ask yourself why. Could this be a good emotional investment?
"If you have a space in mind that you'd like to find an artwork for, you need to think about the colour scheme, size, shape and atmosphere but it's important to give yourself time. Don't underestimate it."
When browsing, it's important to cast your net wide so you get a feel for your personal taste, which is why a visit to the Edinburgh Art Fair (EAF) in November could be where you meet your perfect match. With more than 60 galleries exhibiting thousands of works by hundreds of artists over three days, you will be exposed to artists, mediums and styles that will open your mind and help you develop your own style. Here are five helpful tips on buying art for your home.
1. Choose from the heart and don't be too set on what you want before you get there. Speak to the gallery owners and art experts exhibiting at EAF, who will be happy to discuss their artists and will be able to help you consider exactly the right painting, print, photograph or piece of sculpture for your needs.
2. With artworks going for between £100 and £100,000, there is something to suit everyone's budget but if you've fallen in love with something that breaks the bank you can still take it home thanks to the Own Art Scheme. The interest free loans allow borrowing of up to £2,500 repayable over ten months.
3. If you're swithering between two pieces that have captured your heart, then ask about their backstories. Every piece of art has a tale to tell, even if it is just finding out more about the artists. You want the art in your home to be conversation starter and what better way than to be able to answer any questions others' may have.
4. Buy art that transforms the atmosphere of a room. Artworks can significantly help with evoking a certain atmosphere. How would you like people to feel in your bathroom/kitchen/bedroom? Why not have both a space and mood in mind before you purchase. Does the artwork help create an atmosphere that you would like to convey?Could the artwork provide some serenity in your bathroom or some bright energy in your kitchen ?
5. Be open to new styles. With the wide range of galleries, there is bound to be a new technique, style, material that you've not seen before that jumps out. By being open minded about what style you usually like and by exploring the diverse range of work on display there's potential to find something really exciting.