Q. I want to buy some art for my new home but it’s not something I’ve done before and I don’t know where to start. (Helen, Wiltshire).

A. Purchasing art, much like jewellery, flowers or presents, can be fun, exciting and, more often than not, spontaneous. The best purchases are often made when you’re not trying to find something, but out of the blue, you stumble across the perfect piece that makes your heart sing.

The pleasure we get from having paintings in our homes often starts with the enjoyment of choosing them. You get to throw yourself into the creative world of not just art, but interior design, creativity and harmony. There are no rights and wrongs – then it’s all about your own personal taste. Some people buy a painting because they fall in love with it and others specifically look for something to fill a space on the wall.

For some the interior styling of the home is important when choosing art and for others, it isn’t – the purchase is made purely on a connection with the painting. Purchasing a piece of art is such a personal experience, it’s almost impossible to provide a set of do’s or don’ts, so our golden rule is… go with your heart and make sure you feel a connection with the art you buy.

Don’t try to like it – you either do or you don’t. If you need more than one piece don’t be tempted to buy them all at once. And definitely don’t be influenced by friends and family – this is your picture, your choice and only you will be living with it.

Do this and your pictures will give you years of enjoyment. Remember, if you love the picture but something is making you think twice about how it will fit into your home, a different frame can make a huge difference. A contemporary painting can look stunning in a traditional frame – if chosen carefully – and visa versa.

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