4 Important Things To Look For When Buying Wall Art

June 24, 2019 3 min read

tips for buying wall art

It's happened to many of us: We see a pretty artwork online or on a store display, and we think it would look great in our home. But once we order it -- surprise! -- the total price is way more than expected, or the piece looks much smaller than we thought, or the quality just isn't worth it.

Avoid these nasty surprises when you take an artwork home. Look out for these four essential things before you purchase any wall decor online or from a store.


1. Are you sure about the size?

Two important size considerations are scale and unit of measurement.

Scale refers to how proportionate the wall art is to its surrounding objects. Some art pieces may look nice in the store, but when you hang it above your couch, for example, they might look too small or too big. Interior designers follow this guideline: artwork should nicely cover about half of a wall, and if you're hanging it above furniture like a sofa or a bed, the artwork's width should be 3/4 of the furniture's.

This means you'll want to measure the surrounding furniture in your home before you buy the wall decor. Keep in mind the unit of measurement. Is it inches, centimeters, feet? You want to be consistent with your units. A wall decor that's 24 centimeters wide is slimmer than one that's 24 inches wide.


2. What is the material or medium?

The medium matters a lot in the price, quality, and maintenance of an artwork. At the top of the price scale are canvas paintings (actual paint lain on canvas). They usually cost more, primarily because they're one-of-a-kind and could later turn out to be valuable investments. Canvas is also a durable material that can hang on your wall for generations.

On the other end of the scale are prints, whether they're photography prints or artwork prints. They're cheaper, but preserving their ink colors and the paper takes more effort. Plus, prints are usually mass-produced, especially if you're buying them from general decor stores.

The happy middle ground -- and our highly recommended medium -- are canvas prints. They're beautiful, durable, and inexpensive. Look for canvas prints that use premium ink (they're long-lasting) and are already stretched over a wood frame (ready to hang). Even better, find a customizable canvas print that you can personalize and make unique.

Wall art pictured above: Customized Pet Portrait Premium Canvas


3. How is the lighting?

Good lighting is an industry secret that helps retail stores sell. Some wall decor pieces look fabulous in storefronts and in online product shots because they are well-lit, with the perfect color tone to boost.

Now, consider the lighting in your own home. Is it similar or not quite? Visualize how the wall art would actually look like with the illumination in your living room or bedroom. If you're not confident, ask the seller if you can view the artwork in another area in the store that has similar lighting.

Wall art pictured above: "You Call It Chaos, We Call It Family" Premium Canvas


4. Is the seller trusted?

This is crucial especially if you're shopping for wall art online. The internet is a minefield of bogus sellers and decor stores. Don't just go with the seller that has the snazziest website or the most incredible guarantees. Look for a store that actually has customer reviews and ratings -- and read the reviews for yourself. 

Another way to measure the trustworthiness of the shop is through referrals, especially from friends and family. If you happen to see a well-made wall decor in a friend's house, don't hesitate to ask them where they bought it.

Wall art pictured above: "In All Things, Give Thanks" Premium Canvas


We hope these tips help stop you from throwing your money down the drain in your quest for good wall decor! If you need more help in choosing wall art, we've compiled some essential expert tips here. Or if you're ready to shop for wall decor, check out the customer-starred pieces at GearDen.com! Happy decor shopping!

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