Vanessa Francis founded her firm, Vanessa Francis Design, in 2003. She previously worked in human resources before changing her profession to something she is truly passionate about, interior design. After feeling stressed out and not enjoying her job, she started yoga classes and eventually became a yoga instructor. It wasn’t long after that she realized her true calling was designing interiors. Vanessa has always found a place for art in her life. She has carried this tradition into her family life and even hangs original art in her daughter’s room.
When did you become familiar with art?
My parents weren’t avid collectors but they did have a few pieces of original oil landscape paintings from local artists. When we were young, my sisters and I loved to play the game Masterpiece. The object of the game was to collect the most paintings with the highest values. That’s when I first heard about masters like Van Gogh, Renoir, etc. I was intrigued. I remember doing a speech on Monet when I was in fifth grade. I was introduced to art in different ways and it always interested me.
What is your biggest consideration for picking art for the home?
Buy what you love and don’t try to match your decor!
Why not match?
Because it looks too staged and matchy matchy. Try to change it up so that it doesn’t look so ‘decorated’, you want it to look more ‘collected’.
What was the first piece of art you bought?
It was a poster from an art gallery in Paris when I was backpacking through Europe after university. It was being given away for free, but I still consider it my first piece of art.
What is your advice on how to start an art collection?
Start with a gallery wall where smaller pieces of art can be mixed in with black and white photographs for an interesting and inexpensive mix. I have one in my daughter’s room where I show her own art work and covers of her favorite books. Over my sofa I have a collection of things – the poster I got in Paris, pictures of my parents, an abstract piece I painted as well. I have original art from a variety of places. It’s important to have a collection of paintings and photographs that mean something to you.
What’s your number one tip for making an interior pop?
Don’t buy everything at once. A room that comes together over time with interesting pieces always looks great.
Does good art have to cost lots of money?
Absolutely not! The most I have spent on an original art piece was $600. There are so many wonderful online resources which bring a range of works to new and seasoned buyers. Bloggers have become big in the art world. I find a lot of my art online through bloggers. A lot of them are becoming artists and opening up shop. Online outlets are a great place to find original art.
What kind of art do you buy and where can we find it?
I’m a big believer in limited edition prints. I love going to outdoor markets. Otherwise, I find my art online.
Why buy original art?
Because it’s just that, original. People think that art is expensive, so they end up going to a retailer and buying something mass-produced with no soul or meaning to them. These pieces have less life and energy than the brush strokes and vibrant colors of original paintings. I like art with soul.
Vanessa’s guest pinboard can be found on the Zatista Pinterest along with her personal comments on how art from Zatista can be used in your home. To learn more about Vanessa’s company, check out her blog Decor Happy.