6 Expert Tips for an Art-Filled Home

Need direction buying and showcasing fine art at home? Local art and design experts Jackie Armour and Mary Ann Cohen offer helpful tips

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Photos by Brantley Photography, Courtesy JMA Interior Design

Invest in What Matters

Jackie Armour of JMA Interior Design advocates collecting what you love or feel a connection with. “You’re looking at it daily, so it should make you happy,” she says. Purchasing fine art as a financial investment can be tricky and is best left to experienced collectors, adds Mary Ann Cohen of MAC Art Galleries. On average, art returns 7.6 percent to investors each year, according to the online market database Artprice.

Go Big and Bold

Scale and proportion matter when choosing art, which is why Armour and Cohen take a “bigger is always better” approach. An oversized art installation or a striking gallery wall works in most settings, especially spaces with high ceilings and an open floor plan. The right piece will contribute to the overall design concept, sync with other artwork, and highlight complementary hues and textures. “Don’t limit yourself,” says Armour. “I would put an Andy Warhol in a bedroom if I felt it fit the overall feeling of the room.”

Have a Game Plan

In her gallery, Cohen hangs artwork at the standard 57 inches off the ground but recommends clients display works at eye level. Hanging is a two-person job, so enlist someone to lend a hand. Armour suggests arranging, measuring, and photographing artwork first on the floor and then reproducing that plan on the wall.

Test-Drive Before Buying

If a piece is inciting your heart to sing but cautioning your wallet to wait, ask the gallery if it would lend it to you for a few days. “It’s very common practice because buyers often want to live with something to see if they love it or not,” notes Cohen. If not, “then we take it back and maybe suggest something else to try.”

Utilize Technology

Design pros like Armour use Photoshop and AutoCAD software to virtually stage art around a residence, but there are plenty of options available to novices. Websites and mobile apps like ArtPlacer, ArtRooms, and WallApp let users drag and drop art into uploaded room images to create realistic previews. “It can be
challenging to visualize something you cannot see, which is a huge hurdle these tools can help overcome,” says Armour.

Think Outside the Box

Frames and shadow boxes are excellent solutions for preserving and exhibiting memorabilia and precious keepsakes. Armour has framed everything from old sheet music to vintage golf clubs. Personal items like these also make for terrific
conversation starters.

Shop SmART

Angilen Gallery and Studios, 150 N. U.S. Hwy. 1 Suite 3B, Tequesta; 561.745.6775

Artlantic Fine Art Gallery, 109 N. Coastal Way, Jupiter; 561.654.9081

Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery, 373 Tequesta Drive, Tequesta; 561.746.3101 (reopens December 13)

MAC Art Galleries, 4601 Military Trail Suite 101, Jupiter; 561.429.4829

Onessimo Fine Art, 4530 PGA Blvd. Suite 101 Palm Beach Gardens; 561.355.8061

Studio E Gallery, 4600 PGA Blvd. Suite 101, Palm Beach Gardens; 561.799.3333

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