Discussion: Selling Art at Home Interior Stores

I recently received an email from a blog reader asking about showing and selling artwork in home furnishing stores:

A friend of mine who is an interior decorator has asked me to do some art for a high end home interiors store here in Fayetteville AR where I live. She works there and is trying to add local art to the store. This seems to be a great venue for me but I am wondering what the benefits and the pitfalls would be?  I have noticed that they have asked for art that is mainly contemporary and in certain colors that fit the home interior trends. All of the work they have is $2500 and below, most of it in the $1000 range, and many of the pieces are quite large and simply done. Some of the art are art warehouse prints that the owners of the store have bought and framed for sale. Eventually they are wanting to have less of the warehouse art and more of the local original art.

I know you have always operated a gallery but what have you heard about selling art at home interior stores?

Denise S.

Fayetteville, AR

I had to reply that I hadn’t worked much with interior stores, but I promised to post the question to the blog community to see if other artists had experience and input.

I can certainly see the appeal of working with such a store – it would seem that their clientele would be complementary to ours – people looking to furnish their homes. The artist’s I’ve heard talk about showing in these kinds of venues, however, didn’t report great results. My father showed in a high-end Scottsdale furniture store for several years without a single sale, and I’ve heard other artists who felt their work was only there to accent the furniture.

I have been approached by such stores in the past asking if I would like to show gallery work in their showrooms and I’ve always declined. For me, the added complexity in terms of tracking inventory in another location, along with the liability of having my artist’s work in another business were major factors. I also know that selling art takes a trained salesperson, and though these showrooms are full of salespeople, selling art is different than selling a sofa.

But perhaps the equation is different for an artist. If you aren’t yet showing in galleries or participating in shows, exposure in an interior store would certainly beat no exposure at all. I would also suggest that it would be better to display the work in a showroom that has in-house interior designers (and it sounds like this is the case in the situation Denise describes above) who can influence their clients to consider the art.

What do You Think?

Is it worth considering showing your work in a home interior store? Have you had experience with this kind of venue? What advice would you give to someone showing in a furnishing store for the first time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.

54 Comments

  1. I may be wrong, but it used to be that there was a generally understood difference between “art” and “decoration.” But I suppose that I do use art as decoration – unless I think about it – I actually use my house to “show” my art – and my friends’ art – rather than use my art to accent my furniture – and if a couch doesn’t go with a painting that I am going to hang, and there’s no other place (I have a small home) for the painting and there’s no other place for the couch, there’s no question about it, the art is more important than the couch, even speaking decoratively – and that’s why my tiny living room no longer has a couch. I don’t know if this applies to showing my work in a furniture store, but an acquaintance once asked me if I could do this painting that she “loved” in her living room colors. I told her to re-paint her living room.

    1. I have shown my work in various venues. In my opinion unless there is a financial motivation for the sales person to sell the art with the sofa, it probably won’t sell. A typical mass produced reproduction can have a two to three times markup, leaving the store a nice profit. If an original piece had that markup, it could be priced higher than the sofa that is being purchased.

      1. Dana, you make a very important point here about motivation to sell. Commissions have to be made. In my experience if a Designer comes to my studio to buy artwork, they usually add 20-30% to the client, understandably less then a gallery. But featuring a local artist can be made into an event (reception at the beginning of a new season ie Spring when people usually accessorize their homes)) which can also elevate the store’s taste level to the public. This could be nurtured into a unique opportunity for both parties think of it as a collaboration maybe for 1 year. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    2. Great comment I love your attitude it is inspiring, I needed to hear that its tempting to make alterations in pieces for people but I am never happy doing it or with the end results. Thank you!

    3. It seems to me this would have been a good chance to get a commission by asking what colors she loved and offering to do a similar piece in your style with her colors. Maybe you do not do commissions but for someone willing to work out the details of a commission contract it would have been a very nice opening.

      1. I totally agree with you on this! I often have conversations with my artists about whether they should”sell out” and do what a client wants, rather than do what THEY want to only do! My reply is, “Do you want to eat”? Sometimes on our path to doing exclusively what we want to do (in art), opportunities arise to “work with clients” on commission pieces, because that is exactly what the client is asking for — to recreate your style/design in her colors! What’s wrong with that?? Many years ago when I was a custom artist in Southern California, I worked by myself with private clients and also with interior designers creating art and custom interiors for their clients. To some artists, I “sold out” because I was not doing “my art”! Really? I most certainly created “my art”, but using a palette in the colors of the homes or businesses. I made a TON of money “selling out” and I’ve always been glad that I did! No, I don’t necessarily have my work in galleries, per se, but it is in frames in hundreds of homes and businesses and also on walls, floors, ceilings. “My art” became an integral part of the lives of my clients as I worked with them to create a custom mural for a children’s room or even in the kitchen. As I look at my portfolio from time-to-time, I smile with the memories of this very personal art that we created together.

        This is not so dissimilar as the “White Tents” that come alive in Scottsdale every winter — the most successful artists there develop a relationship with the visitors who may buy a finished piece of their art, and then “commission” the artist to do many more later….I have heard of some artists making upwards of $300k from the show due to their ability to develop relationships with their 10-12 “patrons”! Selling art really is about developing a personal relationship with the buyer, and understanding what they really want/need and how that can be matched up with the art…or create new art for that need!
        Jason certainly is a master at the “art” of selling and engaging people….and one reason why we are on this forum! So…..I happily “sold out” by commissioning myself to buyers, and had lots of business as a result.

        As for putting my art into interior design stores themselves — I like the person;s idea of creating a special event around it, an “artist opening” if you will, as that is another item to put on your CV and in your portfolio! I’ve personally found that the arguments against original art already stated are mostly true IF it’s just going to be stuck in the store with out fanfare or working with the interior designer with commission work– the original artwork becomes more expensive than the furniture, as they are not a “gallery”. However, if you have PRINTS to put in the store, that my be a different animal altogether….

        1. I agree with everything you say. I work with clients or designers on commission pieces and I always see it as a challenge and it’s exciting. I never saw it as something negative quite the opposite, I look at the environment where the piece will be dispayed and draw my inspiration from it so at the end this is all me in the painting. Of course I would never do something that is outside of my style. Also the relationship that you create with your client, because it gets much more personnal, is amazing to me. As for furniture stores why not put limited edition prints.

  2. I have shown and sold art through interior design shops. Most art sold to interior designers does not conflict with the furniture or design of the room, so only neutral vs “statement” art will sell there. I had luck with my spray paintings which were also sold through art galleries.
    Presently, my gallery in Florida is working with an Interior Designer. At first she wasn’t receptive to my Art, but he sold her on a drawing and now she wants more for another home she is doing. However, I am refusing to comply with only the certain colors she picked. I am NOT doing upholstery fabric!

  3. Great post Jason! I agree with you, selling art is not at all like selling furniture. And I do believe they do it mainly to decorate the showroom. All your points are spot on.

  4. We all do art for different reasons. If you truly want to sell and be professional, doing this occasionally as an experiment, isn’t a terrible idea. That is, if your ego will let you do it. I have tried it a couple times with local small design spaces. Sold one piece in two years. For me it was nice to get new eyeballs on my work–people that would never buy in a gallery, but would visit a showroom like that with the INTENT to BUY.
    It seems like your original blog letter had a personal relationship with this showroom. For an individual artist keeping track of that inventory, it’s not too difficult. But I can see how a gallery with pieces all over town would be a pain.
    Some artists don’t do commissions that weren’t their idea. I love to be presented with new palettes and try to make them work. ( I liken it to a stand up comedian that has a bad crowd and wins them over). But some just don’t. I like all my paints. I feel like I’m neglecting them if they don’t get to shine occasionally.

  5. I think it depends on what type of artist you are and what your goals are. I am always reading comments by artists lamenting the mass produced deco art that seems prolific and competes for their sales. Furniture stores (and other home stores) promote this idea by stocking this stuff and I applaud this business for at least trying to support local original art. . If original art is shown as part of the homey experience, I can see artists benefitting – only like you would a show at a cafe or restaurant or such. I can see it work where the artist may want to be promoted and even do an in-house type of show – even a meet and greet type of thing where the art is not simply there to help the furniture look good but where the art and artist IS the feature. Given this opportunity I would be sure that this type of scenario is part of the deal. I would also put a time limit on it unless the furniture gallery outright purchases the work for resale in which that is different type of agreement altogether.

  6. I think this is a venue that I would certainly explore. After all, art in a home really enhances the room it is in, and cane certainly become the showpiece of the room. I’m AOK with it. I want to be a selling artist, not a starving artist. Pam, fiber artist in Nashville

  7. I have considered approaching high end home decor stores myself from time to time, and the two objections here that I find highly likely as well as compelling are: 1, the store could be using the art as a means to highlight/accent their furniture–much in the way that Spotify makes money selling ads using music as free content–and, 2; selling art takes different skills from selling a sofa. While I personally think sales is sales, I think someone selling the art needs to know how to talk about it. In fact, the home decor salesperson has probably been schooled in how to talk about the furnishings he/she is selling.
    However, I don’t think it cheapens one’s work in any way to show in that kind of venue–if you like the look of the store and your work is a good fit, why not do it and treat it like an experiment? I also think that building your relationship with that store and its staff is the best way to get a sale–the sales staff will become more comfortable speaking about your work and when they like and know you, they become invested in you, the artist which makes it easier for them to recommend your work.
    I’ve been working on building connections with interior designers in general because they are professionals who repeatedly help people choose art for their home. And if it’s a choice between my work sitting in my studio or being out in public, I’ll choose public.

  8. Putting my art in a furniture store as part of the display staging does not seem like a sound use of my inventory. I know of no one who has done this (or might even consider this).
    I have not personally sold art through an interior designer, but have several artist friends who have. The key for them is building relationships with the designers, who are working with specific home owners or corporations to buy art. The customers explain to the designers what they want; the designers relay the information to the appropriate artists and foster a relationship between the customers and the artist for a commission. Customers seeking abstract painting go are directed to painters; customers wanting highly textured textile art are directed to fiber artists, etc. The designers get a percentage equivalent to that of selling in a gallery and they get happy customers who become repeat collectors for both the designer and the artist. The artists have another commission and sale on their books and look forward to future business with the designers.

  9. I do work with one local interior design store that sells an eclectic mix of furniture, art, kitchen items, linens, etc. They put great effort into staging their store having an in-house designer. They display my framed giclee prints only, ranging in size up to 20 X 24. They usually sell 5 to 7 per year so I am happy with my working arrangement. They also host artist shows every weekend throughout the summer in their beautiful garden courtyard.

  10. A high end modern furniture store in Seattle approached me a few years ago. They took my large paintings and would create a room themed off my art. For a while they sold my paintings every few weeks. Sales where great. Until their hot sales guy, who happened to love my work was lured away to another career. Then sales went flat. This is why I always make sure that a gallery or location has someone who thinks my work is the cats meow. I have to be honest, I have not tried anymore furniture stores since.

  11. I have never displayed my work in a home furniture store but, years ago I did set up a booth at a high end home show in a convention center. It was a well run show but, I learned that the people visiting the show where not my target market. I think it’s important to always to think about how you are presenting your work to people. If you feel that your work fits into the home decor market than maybe a furniture store would be a great place to show. My work tends to attract people interested in emotion, color and energy. It is not the easiest market to find. I’m slowly finding that sharing my thoughts and work in progress seems to connect with people best.
    I think it is important to try different ways to show and market your art, especially in the beginning. Then as you learn and get a deeper understanding of your work you’ll start to ask “Is this a good place for how I want my art to be viewed?” I often think art is a gift to the world and how I chose to wrap (display, show, share, ect.) it, reflects how and who will receive it and be willing to pay for it:)

    1. Thanks for this great post. It prompted me to visit your website, and I have to say, you have done an excellent job of presenting yourself, your process, and your work there. I am just starting out with my website, and have already learned lots from you!

  12. I recently visited a mid century modern furniture store with an interior designer. The store had a number of wonderful abstract paintings by a local artist. The designer asked all about the artist, got her contact number, visited her studio to see other work and posted photos for the designers’ social media followers to see. Don’t assume the only people visiting the store are homeowners looking for sofas.

  13. Have never done it. I did,, however, hang a show in my friends’ bike shop and had sales. Also, I’ve painted paintings to a fabric swatch. I’m happy to translate a painting to something my client is delighted with. And they share their happy experience with their friends. What I can’t do is paint in someone else’s style. In our working studio our clients love brainstorming with us on site. Guess everyone wants to define their art for themselves. In this new art market I’d say go with it if the shop feels right and the art is a fit.

  14. I haven’t done this myself except in a gallery in a design showroom in San Francisco. There I did sell work on and off and they were great at paying! That said I think if an artist were to strike a deal with the showroom to “host” a show of your work there it might prove more lucrative.

  15. West Elm, a national brand under the Williams Sonoma umbrella, has been a terrific supporter of local artists and producers for some time. Many of their stores host pop-up sales featuring locals. Our nearby store (and perhaps others) also select a featured artist to hang work in the store throughout the season.

    I had a pop-up in the store in July, and am their featured artist currently for fall. While sales at the pop-up weren’t spectacular, and I have yet to make any contacts as the featured artist, I went into it expecting this, but knew there were other benefits. It was a yet another wonderful opportunity to put my work out in the world and have some engaging conversations with visitors. It’s also good practice for other larger shows or gallery events. It was also an opportunity to collect email address and grow my marketing base which may turn into future sales.

    Even if I don’t make a single sale as the featured artist, it is still excellent exposure, and I can turn it into other benefits also. For example, it allowed for a few more social media posts about the showing, and it’s a nice boost to my credibility (and self-esteem!) to say that I’m a featured artist at a well-recognized store. It’s only cost me a handful of hours and displaying a few pieces that I may get back at the end of the season if they don’t sell. Considering everything I’ve learned and gained from the experience, I would say it was a valuable investment overall, and it’s all part of playing the long game.

    1. Nathan, I’m with you on the wonderful opportunity that West Elm provides local artists. After having a couple of pop-ups at the Country Club Plaza store, I have now signed up to have some of my prints available year-round as part of their KC Local model line. The pop-ups always were well worth my time and effort, and I have enjoyed a number of commissions from people I met by being there in the store.

  16. I am a fine art photographer so I can reproduce my work. Therefore it does not hurt to have it hanging in a store because it does not tie up one of kind art such as a painting. I have sold a half a dozen pieces ( ~$450 each) over the last 10 years at one store with a 30% commission (subtract my production cost also) – hardly worth it. When you walk into the store the sales person does not ask if you want to buy art and is not knowledgeable about selling art and may not know anything about yours. It’s really there to make the store look good. On the other hand it might be better than sitting in my storage unit. I would not do it with one of a kind art work – eg. sculptures, paintings, etc…

  17. I’ve sold two pieces in the past few months in a high end furniture store. The salesperson who started having local artists has been great, she has a real passion for art! However she is leaving and I will probably take my art out of the store.

  18. I admit I haven’t read all the comments yet, so this may have been covered. My first thought is if they are buying warehouse art, why can’t they buy yours? Unless, like was mentioned, they’d rather decorate the store free instead. If they buy it to sell, they have more incentive to sell it!

  19. I have recently begun showing some of my work at a boutique home decorating store. So far, they haven’t sold any of my paintings, but they are hosting an open house soon and have invited me to do a demo during the event. I said I’d do it, because – why not? I’ve only had the work there a few weeks, so maybe it’s too soon to tell. I’m only showing my small paintings there, i.e., 12 x 12’s, so really, they look best in groups. I’m currently thinking about offering discounts for 2 or more paintings, which might help. Wish me luck.

  20. For 2 years, my pastels were shown at a local mid-high end furniture store owned by 2 interior decorators. They sold 2 small pieces; one of those pieces was “sold” to a friend whom I was with when she bought it. It took them 2 months to pay me for that piece. The furniture was handsome, the mass produced art on the other hand was awful. They were willing to work with local artists, but they didn’t understand the difference between poorly conceived and executed paintings and thoughtfully composed art that has been executed well whether the art is abstract, painterly or realistic. Professional salespeople in art galleries are knowledgeable about the art and artists. Altho my art was beautifully displayed I finally gave up on the whole notion. I also purchased product from them as I believe in supporting businesses that support my efforts, but it seemed like a losing proposition for me.
    If you know the people you will be working with and believe there are potential sales to be made, I would take the plunge! I would ask for a written contract that details the commission percentage they earn, when they pay their artists, where your art will be displayed, if your art is insured under their business policy, and when they will want you to rotate in new art. I would ask (insist!) to make a presentation to the sales staff….tell them about your process, your artwork and especially about you! Help them make a connection! As Ricco DiStefano above said, you want them to think you’re the cats meow! Leave them your bio with photo – several copies – in plastic sleeves so they can easily find the information. I recommend you find an excuse to visit the showroom every 2-3 weeks to see how your art is displayed, if something needs to be adjusted or repaired, or if you detect a problem. Good luck! I hope it’s wonderfully successful for you! I know this can be a profitable venue for artists.

  21. I have never had my art in a furniture store but I have made a substantial amount of sales doing original oil pieces for several interior designers in my local area. Most of the time they need/want a certain subject, or a very large piece, or maybe an odd shape to match a certain odd wall space. It comes about by the designer introducing me to their client and I work directly with the home owner. The transaction is the same as doing a commissioned piece.
    I believe the reason this has worked so very well for all involved is the location I live in– a famous winter desert resort area where snowbirds have a winter home and money flows easily. Many times the transaction is worked out via phone and email so everything is in place when they arrive for the winter.
    I started this type work in the 1980’s by accident when I did a painting for a designer friend who was in a pinch because another artist let him down and it mushroomed from there. Financially it’s been wonderful to me. I will say it imperative you have an above average handle on producing a professional product..in other words …you have to know how to paint, and how to work with people.
    Best wishes to all artist !

  22. I believe the skills needed to produce quality art are different than the skills needed to sell the art work. Those are two different jobs. I know many really good artist who can’t sell worth a darn. I have worked with interior designers/decorators and have found it to be a win / win situation good for both us and good for the buying client. However big furniture stores, even high end stores that is a different story. Remember the sales personnel are usually paid pretty close to minimum wage. They don’t take the time to get to know the artist and usually have minimal training in how to make a sale. They really don’t have a steak in making a sale of a quality piece of art work. Usually the inventory of art works has the “Made in China” label. No thanks, I don’t want to display my work with mass produced decoration from China. I suggest artist should stay away from the big furniture stores.

  23. We should make a distinction between retail stores and an independent designer or decorator pushing your work. I’ve done both; with retail, I more or less wholesaled my work … you pay up to 50% commission to galleries, don’t you? The difference is you are paid up front instead of having your work languish in a gallery on consignment. You get a paycheck when it sells … the same amount if you had wholesaled it to begin with.
    I do not display my work on consignment (except galleries and one very small museum gift shop). An artist should have the same wholesale/retail relationship retailers have with their vendors, in this instance furniture, lamps, and rugs. Motivated customers go to that store specifically to furnish their homes, some serious patrons, others simply buyers. Does it matter if they buy your work?
    My relationship with a designer and a decorator is completely different. The designer does not have a showroom, the decorator does. They do staging and introduce pieces to their clients on approval … at times it has been my paintings and giclees. These two dynamic women have sold more pieces (plus a commissioned piece) for me in the last three months than anyone. Their commissions are less because the client is paying for their overall services.

    1. Jackie,
      Thanks for your input. What commissions do your designer and decorator take? Do you reduce your retail price by that commission amount and allow them to resell to their client at your retail price?
      Do you then receive confirmation of sale details, such as an invoice with amount paid and collector contact information? I would be interested in others weighing in on discounts and process in selling to designers out of the studio. Many thanks! Elizabeth

  24. Most interior design stores are so full of stuff that you can’t see the trees for the forest. One’s work becomes lost with a lot of “decorative art”.

  25. Personally, I would have the store buy the art out right, maybe for a wholesale price. If they can buy pictures to go in their venue that they are going to resell, then they should be able to buy the painting then resell it for a mark-up. To me, it sounds more like “free art”.

  26. I had my work in a furniture store for a few years. When I was making brightly coloured abstract landscapes they sold like hotcakes. Once my paintings evolved to more challenging abstractions, sales slowed, but still I made several sales a year to people who had seen my work in the store then found me via my website and bought directly from my studio, even after the store had closed.

    I had no qualms about selling through my studio without offering a commission to the store, which is a different arrangement than I have with my galleries. They did not promote me at all — my paintings were just one more product to them, though I do think that my work sure helped with their staging. And when the store closed my work, even though it was on commission and we had a written agreement, got lumped into their close-out sale and I lost several older paintings. I don’t know if I would do it again, though I do show annually with an interior designer and have no qualms at all selling through her. Most people have to live with the art they buy; just because it suits their decor doesn’t mean they don’t understand it.

  27. I once showed my work at a home consignment shop. I didn’t expect much because my work was pricier and higher quality than much of what was there…but to my surprise, one day they called to tell me a piece had sold…I believe it was to a woman from Korea, but that was all they would tell me. Oddly enough, shortly after that, they called and told me to come get my work because it was too high priced for their clients. Huh?! They got 50%! But, you know, it was kind of a long drive, and I didn’t think they really deserved that high of a percentage, so I gladly retrieved the rest of my work. Still, a sale is a sale, and I have been in a few galleries that performed less well.

  28. Just a note, no matter where your art is being displayed, make sure there is a contract that spells out insurance details, commission details, etc. (personal experience, paintings can “disappear” or get damage, especially frames)
    Now when a non-gallery location offers to display my work, I offer them a rental program.

  29. If a furniture store is genuinely interested in selling art, they need to add second tag to the furniture item with the artist’s website and a photo of work to complement the artwork on the wall, so the customer brings it (the tag) home in case they want to add a painting to accent the new furniture. But, that’ll be the day! So no, I wouldn’t go there with my artwork. As you pointed out Jason, they’re about selling furniture, not art.

  30. Early in my career, Jason, I had a decorator come to my home to look over my art…she was an acquaintance and was decorating a cabin in the mountains for a client. They wanted a few pieces that reminded them of “home” and I had a few landscapes of “home”. I sold two or three pieces at a very low price point to which I am sure she added her commission. I was thrilled to even sell, especially at that point in my early career! First and last time that ever happened. The beautiful art gallery that I am in now is owned by a decorator and her family; however, when she is in the gallery her focus is completely on the artwork and the artists! I consider this a huge bonus!

  31. Jason,
    There is a wonderful side of town that is on the opposite side of where our gallery is located; those residents really don’t see a need to cross town to buy art. To capture that business, we partnered with an upscale interior design store on that side of town which is owned by a talented designer who sees great value in showing original art to clients who merely come in to shop. Now she is starting to put our art in her designs, which was the goal in the first place. It has become an important component of our business, and is much less overhead than putting in a second location.

  32. If I was going in to buy furniture and I see the whole complete floor design and the picture was in the grouping. I could see myself wanting the entire thing.

    When people fall in love with a look they want to duplicate at home. That painting might be the icing on the cake. It truly is to your advantage since you the local artist works there. I say go for it.

    I also like the idea of them possibly having you be a spotlight to feature you one weekend as a local artist to draw people in their store.

  33. I have work at an Interior Living Store…although the sales are not steady, when they happen, it is usually a large piece or multiples (I find it to be one of the few locations willing to take large work). I also use it to show work that has seen the walls of my galleries and still deserves an opportunity to be seen. Because it is not a traditional gallery situation the typical business model does not apply.

  34. Our biggest interior design store is having an art contest here. They want art that is both Italian and Southwestern to go with Italian furniture. Interesting! It is not my type of thing, but a challenge. I don’t think of it as something being shown on the walls of their store. I think of it as something being shown in a home along with their furnishings.

  35. I once participated in a local show the venue of which was a restaurant. I didn’t sell anything, but at the time it seemed like a potentially useful way to have my art seen in the community. The restaurant had a pleasant decor, was reasonably upscale, and this was also a locally advertised exhibition. The furniture store is a different issue entirely — not an advertised venue, basically just a place to put one’s art and not exactly an exhibition. That in itself lessens the interest in placing art in a furniture store. But Dana’s comment above points up a different negative issue. The art in furniture stores is typically mass-produced prints, often rather ornately matted and framed, not only with a high mark-up but with by far most of the cost being the matting and frame — or it consists in giclee prints on canvas. Original art work, priced so as not to insult the artist is going to have a difficult time matching the price-point of the reproductions and prints in the store. Add that to the fact that the furniture store isn’t a venue in which people actually expect to find fine art and the prospect of displaying one’s art there has more negatives than positives.

  36. Many of the artists who responded above critically commented about home furniture and decor retailers and even interior decorators selling mass market prints, which I think all of us would agree is very poor taste and so contrary to their selling a “unique look for your home.” Mass market prints look so cheezy. It should be incumbent on us artists and galleries to encourage decorators, regardless of their retail outlet, to sell ORIGINAL ART. Is that sofa an original Ralph Lauren sofa, or a copy? And yes, the ORIGINAL ART may be as expensive as that original sofa, and that is ok. Look through Architectural Digest and other home decor mags to see gorgeously furnished rooms with questionable art or even no art on the walls. This is a huge gap in the decorator business that they are not selling gorgeous, ORIGINAL ART, too. This should be a very good market for artists, and I don’t understand why we are not doing well in this space! And if you are an artist’s agent, here is an opportunity to penetrate an underserved market.

  37. This is a question that I never would have thought of. A venue that I never would have thought of. I am so grateful for the person who asked and all those that answered. Obviously from the answers there are variables that make it worthwhile for some. Whatever ways we decide to get our art out into the world the artist has to be ok with that regardless of what anyone else thinks. Whatever venues we choose it all takes hard work and courage.

  38. I actually have lots of experience selling my art through high end interior stores, and for me the problem was not that it wasn’t selling well. In fact, my paintings sold much better in those stores than in the small and rather insignificant galleries that had any interest in exhibiting my art at the time. But… years later I regret the choice I made selling through this channel. I sold an enormous quantity of paintings, but nobody knows my name in the art field. There’s no way that a gallery will ever be able to see you’re a successful artist and so, at one point you hit a wall. But…if revenues are your main concern and you don’t care much about building your name and hence over time increase your prices, then I would recommend it. It worked for me so why wouldn’t it work for you? Just make sure that the furniture matches the price range in which you normally sell your art and choose a shop that you know does well and gets lots of visitors.

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