Art News

7 Helpful Tips for Buying Art As a Couple

Among the many great joys of moving in together, buying a new home, or upgrading your square footage is decorating the space together, as a couple. When it comes time to decide on what will hang on the walls, more often than not, couples don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye. If you’ve been there, believe us when we say: most partners do not have the same taste in art. Art is so deeply personal, and often the reasons why we are drawn to certain pieces over others can be difficult to articulate. For this very reason, and in case you’re in the market for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift…. we surveyed our Art Advisory team for some helpful, how-to tips on shopping for art as a couple.

Check out our curators’ advice below – or skip to #5 and we will be happy to assist

1. Start Small

Compromise is much easier when the stakes are low. Launching your joint art collecting venture with smaller, affordable pieces is a great way to open a dialogue around your individual tastes without the pressure of committing to a big, more costly artwork. Buy a few small artworks together first, and there will be less surprises when it comes time to decide on a large, statement work.

Browse Affordable Originals for $500 and Under

2. Set Some Ground Rules

Another way to mitigate surprises, is to set some basic ground rules around future art purchases. Are there a few colors, styles or mediums that you both really love? Perhaps you are both fans of street or pop art, or even more generally, like artworks with bright colors – focus on the similarities in your tastes and agree on these as guideposts. That way, when you stumble across an artwork that strikes you, or you’d like to gift a piece to your partner as a surprise, you’ll have a sense for what’s fair game and what might require some discussion.

3. Focus on Your Shared Interests or Experiences

Do you both love the beach? Have you shared a memorable trip to Paris? Are you similarly smitten with cats? You’re sure to find common ground around artworks that celebrate a shared passion, or depict a place you have fond memories of together. What better way to commemorate the interests and experiences that bring you together as a couple, than with an artwork that will forever remind you of them. A great way to go about this is to purchase small, affordable artworks while traveling. These pieces are wonderful keepsakes, and it’s somehow always easier to agree on a work when you’re in the bliss of being abroad.

Pont Alexandre, Paris Nadera Benmansour
Recall fond memories of your trip to Paris with a dreamy urban landscape like this watercolor painting, “Pont Alexandre, Paris” by Saatchi Art artist Nadera Benmansour, $439. (Image: Saatchi Art)

4. Take Turns

Let him pick this time, and you pick the next. Whether you want to rotate each Christmas or Chanukah, or each make an annual birthday selection, taking turns is a great way to build an eclectic and varied art collection. Bonus: you’ll get to learn a lot about your partner’s tastes in the process, making you far better equipped to gift them an artwork they’re sure to love in the future.

5. Seek Professional Guidance

We offer free Art Advisory service to all Saatchi Art collectors. Our trained curators can be a wonderful resource for couples who are ‘stuck’ on deciding their next art purchase. By carefully considering your Art Advisory brief, works you have added to your ‘favorites’ on Saatchi Art,  your styles and your budget, our curators can recommend a range of artworks specially tailored to your joint needs and likes. Our curators can also arrange for special commission pieces, which can be a wonderful shared experience for you, your partner and the artist.

Art Advisory Saatchi Art
Original paintings by Saatchi Art artist Kelly Puissegur, (L) “Saturday Afternoon.” (R) “The After Party.” Check out Kelly Puissegur’s portfolio here. (Image: Saatchi Art)

6. Divide and Conquer

An alternative to taking turns is simply divvying up your domain. If you spend all your time in the kitchen, and she spends the majority of her time in the living room, why not be the art curator of those rooms, respectively? The joy of finding an artwork you love is being able to see it everyday in your home. Maximize your enjoyment by picking pieces for the rooms you spend the most time in, and let him or her do the same.

7. Learn More About the Artist

Do some research and read up on the artists’ whose works you appreciate. We created series like One To Watch, Inside The Studio and Meet The Others to provide this helpful context to interested collectors. When you jointly discover an artist’s inspiration, and learn more about their process and their story, this shared knowledge and perspective can often unify your opinions and feelings about an artwork.


One To Watch artist Joshua Armitage at work in his studio in the U.K. Check out Joshua’s artworks for sale on Saatchi Art. (Image: Luiz Stockler Photography, courtesy of Saatchi Art).

About the Author

Caitlin Bray is the Marketing Manager at Saatchi Art. She studied History and Art History at Yale University. Her mother is a fine artist and her dog is a mystery mutt named Louise.