SANDRA_DI_LEO_WIND_OF_CHANGE So you loved the look of the model suite, but now that you’ve moved in the place is looking a little drab. What happened to the zest that seemed to be naturally occuring when you were touring the model?

You need to add a little life to your new home, but how? Express your personality by peppering artwork throughout your space!

Maybe you’re a fan of impressionism or abstract art. Perhaps you don’t have a clue where your allegiances lie! Luckily, an art degree is not a prerequisite for decking out your new home with great paintings, sculptures and photos.

Toronto-based artist Sandra Di Leo says a little bit of research is all it takes for people to figure out what styles they prefer.

“I think people really need to do some research and look into certain styles that they can relate to and connect to, says Di Leo. “I don’t think it’s wise to just buy art for the sake of buying art, whether you spend a little or a lot, it’s going to end up being a waste of money if you don’t like it.”

Primarily working in the abstract medium, Di Leo has been in the business for years, creating works that reflect her own memories. Having an emotional connection with the piece is something Di Leo says she believes is key when finding artwork for your home.

“If you’ve had a connection with a piece and you’ve had an experience with it then it’s a representation of you,” says Di Leo. “It’s like any type of thing that you purchase for your home, it represents who you are and what you like. I think when you put something on your wall you should be excited about it and you should love it because you’re going to be staring at it everyday.”

A common trend in new developments is chic, modern units with white walls and white furniture, which acts as a blank canvas for each resident to make the space their own. Adding art is the perfect way of achieving it, a trend that has been happening in Toronto for over a year according to Di Leo.

“People are using colour accents to accentuate the architecture and interior design,” says Di Leo. “You can bring in colour through art and through accents such as cushions and throws, people have been taking more risks in terms of those elements and when you see it all together it’s beautiful.”

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When considering buying original art, many people think that a massive price tag comes with each piece, a misconception that Di Leo says is very common.

“I think if you’re starting your collection and you’re not a major collector, you can spend a smaller amount of money and still be happy with some amazing pieces,” Di Leo says . “You can purchase work from artists who are mid-career or are emerging and make a fantastic investment and not have to spend 20, 30, or 40 thousand dollars.”

Purchasing from an artist that is serious and that will continue to grow is another tip from Di Leo. When purchasing from a serious artist, you’re not only buying something that makes you happy, but the piece is a financial investment as the worth of that artist’s artwork will continue to grow.

According to Di Leo, it’s important for condo buyers who are interested in collecting art to get a jumpstart on it right away.

“It’s important for condo buyers to start collecting early because by the time they upgrade to a larger home, they’ll already have some of their favourite pieces,” Di Leo said. “Even if it’s just a few small pieces I think it’s so rewarding to have those purchases, especially when you have a new home and get to decorate it, you really get to know your style.”

Here’s a list of 5 spots in Toronto you’re sure to find awesome original artwork, no matter your budget!

  • Art Interiors – Forest Hill Village

    A great little shop that lets customers browse the racks like regular retail stores, although it may take a bit of sorting, customers are sure to find amazing pieces with price tags anywhere from $20 to $7000!

  • Leslieville Flea – Leslieville

    The flea market takes place the third Sunday of each month and features unique vendors that have salvaged oddities and vintage items, sometimes you can even score a great antique! Artwork is reasonably priced and ranges in different styles.

  • Kid Icarus – Kensington Market

    One of the best places to get indie contemporary art in Toronto, Kid Icarus is a print shop/retail store that is filled with original Canadian art.

  • Ontario College of Design – Downtown

    OCAD will hold events throughout the year where art can be purchased from students. Not incredibly expensive, it’s a great way to support the school and its students.

  • Bloor West Village Art Tour – Bloor West Village

    Probably the coolest of the bunch, artists that live in the Bloor West Village area open the doors to their homes to strangers who are interested in purchasing their work. You can tell what houses are participating by the little signs set up in front of each house.

For more information on Di Leo and her artwork or to book an appointment visit sandradileoart.com.

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