London's Affordable Art Fair:forget mass-produced prints, there's a better way to decorate your walls without breaking the bank

Like everything in life, choosing the right piece of artwork for your home is simple when you know how...

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Affordable Art Fair, June 

Buying art for your home is like finding a life partner: you have to fall in love at first sight, get to know it a little and then decide if you can live together.

Because, even if you’ve found your dream house, it won’t feel like home if you sit staring at blank walls.

Finding good quality art has never been easier thanks to the Affordable Art Fair which arrives in Hampstead on June 16.

With prices starting at £100, it is like Frieze but for people on an average salary, with high-profile galleries touting their newest and most exciting low-budget wares.

An enormous tent full of new and intriguing works, the Affordable Art Fair is like speed dating for anyone interested in emerging artists.

But how do you decide if an artwork is worthy of a second date – or even a life-long commitment?

“When choosing a piece of art, the most important thing is to find something that you want to live with,” advises Luci Noel, director of the Affordable Art Fair.

“It may be a significant purchase, but you’re going to spend years looking at and enjoying it, and so my advice is to buy what you love and what excites you.”

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You need to be practical and consider if the piece you’re interested in will work in the space you have in mind, or even get through the doors, but your decision should basically be instinctive. Do you love it?

“The art we like really says a lot about us and is one of the best ways to add some personality to a living space,” says interiors stylist Rebecca Nee.

“Adding artwork to a room is also a great way to introduce colour without redecorating. It can instantly brighten a room or even provide a contrast to existing furniture and colours.”

Don’t think about it as an investment unless you want to display the work in low light, out of reach where it cannot get damaged.

It must also fit in with your lifestyle and if that means kids, mess and the risk of a toddler’s crayon, choose accordingly or store it in the attic.

“Art represents something different to everybody, it’s a complete expression of ourselves and can provide an escape from our everyday stresses,” says Noel.

Don’t worry about clashing styles, colours or patterns when choosing. Interior designer Joanna Thornhill says: “Try not to be too literal. If you have a green and grey colour scheme, don't feel you must incorporate art in those colours per se.”

“If you like the current Memphis interiors trend, for example, bring together a selection of pieces featuring graphic motifs and bold patterns and it should all hold together well, regardless of colour.” 

Affordable Art Fair, June 


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