My partner and I recently bought our first home and are now in the long, slow process of renovating it. My mom wants to buy us a housewarming gift of artwork to frame and hang on our walls. I'm not sure how to handle this - I personally try to refrain from buying things like this for people unless it's something I know they like (eg, a friend of mine collects a certain type of pottery) or they've specifically asked for it. Something about home decor is very personal, and I think it is very difficult to buy for people unless you know their taste to a T.
There's a few reasons why, although I am touched by the gesture, I would rather not receive this specific kind of gift.
1. The place is very small, and we already have a lot of artwork to put on the walls (when we actually strip off all the disgusting wallpaper and replaster them, that is). In fact, some of it will probably wind up being sold, as I don't think we have enough room for it.
2. I live overseas, so the piece would have to be shipped here, and I would need to pay for it to be framed locally. Picture framing can be expensive, and right now every spare penny is going towards repairing a leaky shower and a kitchen that is in dire need of replacing.
3. On the point of knowing someone's taste - Mom likes a specific style of art and while I think it's lovely in her home, which is decorated entirely in that style, it is not to my personal taste and it would look very much out of place in our home. She sent links to a few art websites that carry prints from the artists she likes, so I can pick one for myself. This sounds great in theory, but the ones I've seen so far are all in this particular style, and neither my partner or I are keen on them. She's even suggesting the types of subjects I could choose, eg, a painting of three women, to represent me, her and my sister. (My sister has been estranged from my mother for over a decade, which is a whole other can of wiggly things.)
I suppose I could just let her buy it and not hang it - the chances of my mother visting my new home are very slim as I always come back to the USA for visits - but I hate the idea of her spending money she can ill afford on something that I may not even be able to hang up. Plus I'd feel guilty because I know she wants me to have something that reminds me of her. It would be cruel to stick it in the attic, even if she was never the wiser.
Would it be rude of me to suggest a different gift? My mom is insisting on getting us something, and she seems to have her heart set on this. (Really what I need is a new toaster but I don't think "Aw Mom, I think of you every time I eat a bagel" is quite what she had in mind.)