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The definitive guide to choosing, displaying, and caring for your art collection

The definitive guide to choosing, displaying, and caring for your art collection
PHOTO: Unsplash

Choosing an art piece is very much like falling in love. For some, it’s a tingle at first sight. For others, it might be a captivating painting you go back to visit again and again in a gallery because you can’t get it out of your mind.

While artistic works can be subjective, they add plenty of character to a home. So, whether you’re thinking about making your first purchase or already own several pieces, here’s what to consider when purchasing and displaying art. 

1. Choosing your artwork

Size and surroundings

The first practical consideration should be the dimensions of the artwork and whether it is proportionate to the furniture and walls. If you have a spacious living room with a statement sofa, for instance, an even larger painting will balance the look. Paintings that are too small may be lost in the space of a wide wall.

The effect on the space

What are you hoping to achieve? Bold colours and oversized pieces will dominate a space, so it’s best to display such statement pieces by themselves.

If you’re looking to purchase an addition to an existing gallery wall, evaluate its size and colours so that it doesn’t overwhelm the other pieces. Also, if the other artworks are mostly in pastels, it’s best to purchase a similarly light-hued painting so everything is in harmony.

2. Displaying your artwork

Weight of the artwork and frame

When displaying a particularly heavy piece, double-check that the nails or wall hooks you’re using can take the load. You do not want it to come crashing down. Alternatively, hire a professional art hanger who knows the best materials and methods for hanging art based on its size and weight – a worthy investment if the artwork is expensive.


When positioned over a sofa or bed, a large painting can frame the furniture beautifully, pulling together the look and creating a focal point. Elsewhere, its statement-making power jazzes up empty walls.


If preserving the artwork is a priority, keep it away from direct sunlight. Constant exposure can fade the pigments over time. For added protection, consider investing in a frame with museum glass that filters out UV rays.

3. Caring for the artwork

The environment

Apart from hanging it away from direct sunlight, one should also pick a spot where the temperature is consistent and it is not exposed to excessive humidity. A stable environment helps extend the life of a painting. So, avoid areas with high levels of moisture such as bathrooms and under air-conditioners.

Regular maintenance

Just as you would regularly service your car’s air-conditioner, it’s recommended that your art gets checks to ensure it’s well maintained. This minimises damage due to environmental conditions over a long period of time.

ALSO READ: Affordable art in Singapore: Where to get budget-friendly prints and paintings for your home

Get a smoke detector

Smoke can damage art, regardless of whether it’s from a fire in the house or wafting in from a distance. Experts advise installing a smoke detector within 30m of your artwork.

This article was first published in Home & Decor.

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