When collecting art is your profession as well as your passion, it’s likely to be reflected in your personal space. This is evident in the private home collection of Terry Koyman and his wife Caroline. While Terry is the director of Koyman Galleries, a family business started by his father 50 years ago, his wife is the “minister of the interior,” and they cleverly combine their love of art and home décor.
After recently renovating their house from top to bottom, they took the opportunity to review their artwork collection and showcase their more current tastes. Terry explains that he loves several artists and Caroline has her own favourites, but they both adhere to the same concept of collecting art in the home: buy what you love!
When advising new clients on the process of buying art or starting a collection, Terry encourages them to walk through the gallery of about 170 artists and take note of who stands out to them. “After narrowing it down to 10 or 15 artists, chances are they are all going to have a similar look,” he says.
Buying and collecting art is an emotional process not to be dictated by décor, but it’s always a bonus if the artwork complements your wall colours or furnishings at home. Having a connection to a painting enables your eye to integrate it into a room setting and fit your space. A white backdrop is ideal for hanging art and is the colour scheme to which Terry and Caroline both gravitate. Their vibrant collection stands out beautifully on the white walls and all white décor in their home.
While Terry admires Caroline’s affinity for floral paintings, his art preferences are slightly different, so they take the same approach to collecting art as Terry offers to his gallery clients: “If you are buying as a couple, we go with the philosophy that one has to absolutely love the painting and the other one has to like it. It’s not common for a couple to love the same piece of art, but once it is in your home environment, that like will grow. You will see more depth to it, more quality, more nuances, and once you live with it for a week it rarely goes back!”
When it comes to collecting art, Terry advises against buying as an investment and to think of artwork as a potential family heirloom to pass on for your children to enjoy. He notes that, hopefully, the art will increase in value which often happens when an artist passes away. But his message is consistently to buy art for personal tastes and a fondness for the work.
To display art in their home, as opposed to gallery walls, the Koymans go for an uncluttered look that highlights individual paintings. They never hang artwork in groups or mix different artists on one wall. Large pieces are hung on large walls, and as all painting are either square or rectangular, Terry emphasizes the need for art to be proportionate to the shape of the wall – whether large or small.
He also believes that every wall should showcase a painting, even those in unusual and unique locations. “We have a triangular space under our staircase, and filled it with a large painting that fits perfectly. Art can be placed on any unusually angled wall, and generally should be hung four to eight inches above a piece of furniture.”
Trends in framing have caught up with the Koyman’s philosophy of placing the emphasis on the art and showcasing it as a personal expression. Today, low-profile float frames and unframed canvasses have replaced ornate framing styles. It’s a simpler approach that Terry supports to ensure that the merits of your art collection are displayed to full advantage.