Buy art if you love it!
I personally think the very best way(and for me the only way) to buy art is to simply buy something because you love it. If you love it, it can't be the wrong thing. If you love it, does it matter if you don’t know a lot about art? If you love it – you won’t change your mind. If you love it you'll find a way to make it work in your decor. Don't be put off by all these fears if you love something! Find something that makes your heart "sing" when you look at it. You want to sit and stair at it. You want to immerse yourself in it. You want to touch it! Find art that makes you feel like this and you'll never regret your decision.
If you are concerned about the price of investing in art, think of it this way: If you spend $100 on art you love, and you keep loving it for even 5 years – you've spent only $20 a year on it. That breaks down to .04 cents a day. That's by far one of the most economical ways to make your room "sing" to you when you enter it. Try getting a sofa for that price! And art can do more for your enjoyment of a room than almost anything else.
How much do we spend a day on coffee or other luxury items? I know I spend more then .04 cents a day on coffee! Something that is going to be so visible in your home, and hopefully bring a smile to your face every time you see it is worth a little bit of investment.
If you're afraid of it not going with your decor, I've written some previous blog posts on the topic starting with:
Choosing Art for your Home: Part I
These are just my thoughts on the issue. What are you willing to splurge on in life? Do you even consider $100 for art a splurge? Have you found art you well and truly love? Something that "sings" to you?