So I shouldn’t buy original art to match my couch?

I have been creating and selling my art for many years. My favorite art sales are to those who buy my work because they connect to it. original mixed media painting

What should you look for when you are looking to buy original art?

Might seem like a dumb question right? Like the answer is obvious…… The truth is you would be surprised at how many people look to buy original art based on what will match their couch… I have been creating and selling my work for many years and dealt with a wide variety of clients I can say there is a better approach. I know, as an art maker and an art collector that if the buyer does not have an emotional response to the work, a real connection to the art they will not be happy with the painting long term. Also, as a designer I completely understand that people want to buy what will look good in the room they are looking to buy art for. When someone is out looking for a painting with a paint swatch or a pillow in hand though, they tend to nit-pick every shade in the painting as if every color has to be exactly the same as their pillows rather than actually looking at the painting itself. I want people to learn how to marry the need for the right color with the gotta have it feeling… be brave, look online, in galleries and at local artists…art shows etc. It may take time to find the right fit, but you won’t regret it!original art

So you like it. But is it love?

So, you like it because it matches your couch, but is it love? Love and art together mean you will be happy with it for a very long time. Just liking it means you may get tired of looking at it. Remember the art you buy is going in your home, you will see it daily. It’s a long term relationship… I have both made and lost sales by asking my clients to look for art to buy with this in mind. It is very important to have a happy customer. As much as I, like every other artist, want to make sales it matters to me that the customer loves what they take home with them, even if I’m not the one making that sale. So, with that in mind…. It is OK to have a blank wall for a time, you will be thankful for taking that time to find the right fit.

I tell my customers that if they buy what they love then it will go in the room they are filling because generally people have a style and color palette they are drawn to. As a designer and artist the colors do not have to blend exactly with the pillows…. matching does not always mean EXACT…. buy it for love not identical color match and I promise you will be happier in the end!

Where do I start?

watercolor paintngTry looking locally, you may have an artist in your area who creates work you will fall in love with. If you don’t find what you are looking for look in galleries close to you. (Or not so close, take a day trip or find galleries while on vacation). The art from a studio should cost the same as galleries. Galleries do not like artists to mark their art down when selling outside the gallery. They will likely discontinue representing the artist if they find an artist discounts the work when they make sales on their own, so don’t be afraid to go into a gallery. Many artists know this and understand that marking work down is shooting themselves in the foot…. they don’t want to lose their representation……so go into those galleries!!! Sometimes you can even negotiate the price a little when buying from a gallery… not always, but it’s not unheard of. Look online as well. You may find a great piece of art outside your own area this way. The only downside is you have to assume that the quality of the art will be good… you may ask for snapshots of side, back or cropped photos that will show everything. As an artist I would be glad to email snapshots to a customer interested in one of my paintings. The quality should be good, usually will be able to spot if it is not, but there is always an exception- if you are spending the money to buy original art online it is worth it to ask questions and get extra photos to ensure you are getting a good product….


Look locally, look online and find the art that sings to you, the art you fall in love with.
Please feel free to leave comments. Who is your favorite artist? Leave us a name and website. We are always interested to see new and beautiful works of art!

6 thoughts on “So I shouldn’t buy original art to match my couch?

  1. As an Interior Designer of 40+ years, I can sure identify with people carrying around swatches and wanting to match every little shade, tint, color and/or style in a piece of art to them. You hit the nail on the head! The most difficult message I ever struggled with when helping clients select art for their homes was to get them to buy with their HEARTS, instead of with their logical brains assisted by those swatches! You are SO RIGHT … buying art is to acknowledge you will be creating a long-term relationship with that piece so you do need at least some emotional attachment to it. Yes, it is an accessory to enhance a space but it will be there, with you, for years to come. Every time you view it, it will add a fuller dimension to the room as well as increasing the complexity of your relationship with it! Follow your heart; love it, and know it will amplify that in your personal space. You don’t get tired of art that touches your heart the way you would if you merely bought something because it matched a color box on a swatch. By the same token, similar colors WILL appear more alike when they are separated from each other by neutrals or contrasting hues … in other words, an object of similar, but not exact, coloring (i.e., a painting) to a specific upholstery fabric, for example, will appear to match the colors in that fabric more closely if it is found nearby and separated by a bit of distance rather than being on it or right next to it.

    So, ‘bravo’ for telling it like it is! Let your heart and emotions guide you in the acquisition of artwork and accessories, instead of heading out to a nearby store and buying half a dozen ‘objects d’art’ that match the swatches just to fill up the space faster …. nothing more personal than the art you invest in for your home! You have a great selection and variety to offer on your site!

    1. thank you for taking time to visit my site and comment. In art classes we call it repetition with variation – why the color or pattern does not have to be exact, but similar is enough. Thank you also for confirming from another designer’s perspective that buying from your heart will not let you down. also, I have found throughout my years as an artist and especially in custom framing that people are generally drawn to a color family anyway so if they look to buy with their hearts the art they buy almost always fits the color family they just decorated with- even without the swatch.

  2. Hi Corey, I can honestly say that anytime I have went out looking for a piece of art to put up in the house, I have never given any thought as to whether or not it goes with my cushions or my blinds or carpets etc.

    I go looking for something that I like and that jumps out at me. I may then see if there are colours within it that would match in with my colour scheme of the room I am planning to put it in.

    It must be hard to get art that has exactly the same colours as perhaps your cushions are. Your are so right when you say that you should go for the piece because you fall in love with what it is not because of whether or not it matches what colour of cushions or blinds you have.

    1. it is incredibly refreshing to hear of people searching with their hearts! I have been painting most of my life and selling my work for half my life, for the past 20 years. Also, for almost 20 years I have been a custom framer. With art and framing it is really surprising how many people come in with pillows, swatches, dishes etc. and wanted me to match framing to what they brought in rather than the art they were framing or the same swatches looking for the exact color match in my studio for a painting. It is stressful to watch…. wanting to beg them to see through their hearts and not swatches – I have seen that approach more times than I can count! thank you for your comments and I am so glad to know that you focus on what makes you happy rather than for just certain colors! have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you for visiting my site. I will be putting some more posts with items on etsy… so much to write about, so little time! have a wonderful day and check back for the etsy store soon!

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