Love art but don’t know how to start building your own collection? As daunting as the art market might appear, you don’t have to understand all aspects of the industry or spend millions of dollars to have a personal collection in your own home. Not only will art make your living space more colorful and interesting, it will offer your home’s guests interesting conversation pieces. With a little luck and research, you could even build a collection that increases exponentially in value.

If you’re ready to get started, here are five tips for how to plan, build, and display an art collection that will be enjoyed by you, your loved ones, and guests for generations to come.

1. Find artists on Instagram

With its focus on imagery, Instagram has become popular among both established and new artists as a way to amass followers and sell their art. In fact, we’ve even discussed in a prior post [put link to blog article about Instagram artists] some great artists to follow if you want to curate your Instagram feed beyond the repetitive selfies that most people post. You’ll likely come across some fascinating pieces that are within your budget and inspire you to continue collecting from new and emerging artists. It’s a great way to find artwork that you can imagine being in your home for many years without having to pay art auction prices.

2. Find inspirational pieces

Many established art collectors often buy pieces based only on their expected worth or how much they are likely to increase in value. This practice drives up art prices and puts many pieces out of reach for art lovers who don’t have millions to spend on acquiring their collection. As a novice art collector, your first focus should be finding art that inspires you, art that moves you and that you find beautiful, or art that puts you in a positive state of mind. This is the true purpose of art at its core and buying art for personal aesthetics will make your collection all the more important to you. You’ll be surprised to discover how adding color, beauty, and inspiration to your home will go a long way in putting you in a better frame of mind each day that you view it.

3. Consider a similar style from a lesser-known artist

If you have in mind a certain style of art that you want to own, consider finding a similar example of it from a lesser-known artist instead of struggling to afford something from an artist who is more established. Not only will you end up with artwork that inspires you and is the exact style you wanted, you’ll also feel great about supporting a new generation of artists who are trying to make a name for themselves in the art world. And you never know—you could very well get lucky and discover art that increases in value the longer you have it.

4. Make the right frame choice

For your newly purchased artwork that requires a frame, it’s important to ensure that the focus remains on the art itself, rather than the frame. Frames that are overly ornate or wide could detract from the piece, drawing the viewer’s eye away from the intricate details of the art, which is not something you want to do if you’ve just invested money in building your art collection. Also, getting the piece framed at a professional framing shop will keep your art well protected and help you avoid costly mistakes that could happen when attempting to frame it on your own.

5. Location, location, location

Once you find the perfect pieces you want to collect for your private art collection, the next choice is where to place them in your home. If the size of the artwork you’ve purchased is relatively small, you’ll probably need to place several pieces together to achieve the look you’re going for. Also keep in mind that it is a common tendency for novice art collectors to hang the artwork to high. A good rule of thumb is to hang it approximately 144 cm (57 inches) from the floor, which is the average human eye-height. This is the standard typically used in art galleries and museums, and will create a sense of balance since your entire collection will be approximately on the same visual line.

Above all else, it’s important to remember to build a collection that speaks to you and adds ambiance to the space. Whether you’re buying photography, paintings, drawings or sketches, the process and result of acquiring a personal collection will be an enjoyable pursuit that invites great beauty into your life, and into the lives of those who see it.