Photo courtesy Colleen Waguespack

Designer tip: Colleen Waguespack on selecting artwork

A home’s art collection, says Colleen Waguespack, interior designer and co-founder of Fig & Dove, can say a lot about the homeowner while helping to dictate the overall style of the interior decor. The right piece can instantly transform a room for the better or even change the mood of the person looking at it, be it a painting, photograph, sculpture or ceramic. But art galleries can often be intimidating, Waguespack says, mostly due to the overwhelming variety or the ominous lack of price tags on the work displayed. That’s why Waguespack often recommends working directly with a designer to help pick out the perfect piece.

“My approach to art placement starts with selecting several pieces that are the right scale and style for that particular space,” says Waguespack. “Then, with my clients’ personal taste in mind, I send them links to specific artists from different galleries. This allows clients to get a sense for whether an artist’s style is something that resonates with them. We then narrow down the artists that they are drawn to and set up gallery visits so that they can see the art in person. A gallery visit is an integral step because it enables you to see more than one piece by that particular artist and gives you a sense for a wider range of that artist’s style. At the same time, the texture, tone and other visual components of a piece of art never translate nearly as well online as they do in person. If it is an investment piece, a visit to the artist’s studio and an opportunity to meet the artist in their workspace gives the buyer a more personal connection to that piece. Every piece of art has its own story, and hearing it directly from the artist is invaluable.”

Once a relationship has developed, she says, galleries are usually happy to assist in letting potential buyers sample art in their home by taking it on approval.

To learn more about Waguespack and her designs, visit and