So you’re all moved into your new New York City apartment. Those walls are looking awfully plain. Now it’s time to start adding some color and character to your new space. Wondering how you can start adding art to your walls but don’t know the first thing about art? You’re not alone. Whether it’s just you making the decisions or making them with your other half, you have many options at your disposal. This is NYC after all. Begin the process with an open mind and realize you might have to compromise along the way.

1. Ask Your Family

There are several reasons why you may want to start your art search within your family. For one, you might have an artist in your family whose art you may want to salvage from someone’s basement or garage. Maybe they’re still alive and no longer practice, or they’ve long passed on, only to have the art be stored by some distant relative. This type of art, if it reflects your style, could develop into a piece with a lot of meaning for you.

Secondly, your family might have art they’ve collected that they want to pass on to you. Sometimes art makes its way into storage, only to be remembered when someone asks about it. Don’t hesitate to ask. You never know what you might come up with.

A decent-sized piece of art helps bring a room alive and helps to tease out other colors in the room.

2. Support Living Artists

Get to know artists by seeking them out. Whether you meet artists at local fairs and events or get connected through mutual friends, there’s nothing like getting to know an artist whose work you appreciate and then actually pay for their work. You’ll always remember that purchase, and it will be a fantastic way to start your own personal collection. Also, you’ll suddenly feel personally vested in the artist’s success, as it will have a direct impact on the value of your piece.

Photo of an artist in Central Park

An artist is Central Park displays his work for purchase.

3. Go to Flea Markets

Flea markets are few and far between in New York City, but when you do happen to pass by one, make sure to check it out. You might be surprised by what you can find, particularly when it comes to art for your walls. As more flea markets make way for condo developments, your ability to find things at these venues will diminish over time, but there’s always an opportunity to find diamonds in the rough. Flea markets are an exceptional opportunity to find bargains on art, whether its paintings, photographs or vintage posters worth framing.

photo of nyc street fair

NYC street fairs usually offers lots of posters and art work at affordable prices.

4. Go to Galleries

Art galleries can give you an opportunity to get your first exposure to an array of artists. Galleries exist for entry-level buyers on a budget as well as seasoned collectors with money to spend. Galleries will often hold events to feature new collections and artists. To learn more about which galleries are having events near you, I would recommend checking out Artsy. Even if you can’t afford the art, it doesn’t hurt to go to gallery openings and get the exposure. It might help inspire you to find what you’re really seeking out in the price range that works for you.

Photo of woman in art gallery

Head to a NYC gallery to possibly catch an up-and-coming artist’s work.

5. Create Your Own Prints

With the powerful cameras in everyone’s pockets these days, you might be inspired to take your own digital photographs and turn them into physical prints. You can then take these and have them framed. Whether they be pictures from your trips, family or simply pictures you snap up on any given day, these can be a fun way of bringing character and a personal touch to your apartment.

It doesn’t always have to be a painting or poster. Tapestries and decorative wall masks make for visually interesting objects.

6. Consider a Digital Frame

You probably remember when digital frames started coming out about a decade ago. They were your standard picture frames, allowing you to carousel through pictures you took on your digital camera. Technology has greatly advanced since those days.

Last week I had the opportunity to interact with the Depict Frame, which is billed as the “World’s First Museum Quality Digital Canvas.” I was blown away by the resolution quality and the curated art collection from which I could select. It truly felt as though I had museum pieces in my presence. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just looking to continuously change up the art on your wall, this frame might find a home on your wall.


Art is a personal choice, much like choosing the neighborhood and apartment where you decide to live. Art provides your home with warmth and character, so take your time when deciding on which pieces to invite into your new home, and also know that you have an endless array of options on where to look for art that fits your style.