Wallet Friendly Art that Really Makes a Statement

I love a beautiful collection of art in a home. It adds so much interest and gives so much insight into the kind of person a home owner is. Whether it’s modern abstract paintings, traditional oil still lifes, pop art photography…I could go on and on. I’ve been in so many houses (my husband’s a realtor) with breathtaking artwork…the kind it takes a lifetime to collect…and almost a lifetime to afford. But let’s face it, I’m not filling my house with artwork that costs as much as my car anytime soon. The true value of art is in the eye of the beholder. For me, it’s the ultimate accessory in a home and I’ve found a way to do a little “collecting” of my own without comprising my paycheck. Here are a few tips (and photos) I have to share.

1. Vintage/Antique/Hand-me-Downs: I’m lucky on this one as my mother-in-law owned an antique store at one point and her storage house is full of great finds. She’s always showing up with something new (but very old) for us to use in our home like this…

If you aren’t lucky enough to have some great vintage/antique pieces in the family, go find some of your own. Check out what’s hanging out in our bedroom…

I discovered these two antique ceiling tiles from a pile o’ crap in the back room of the antique store just down the street. I paid $15 a piece for them and they fit perfect on this wall. Now to you, these may not be “art”, but to me they are. Someone designed them, someone made them, and the “well loved” look of them as I like to call fits in just perfectly with our taste and decor.

2. Etsy: Etsy.com is another great place to find original artwork from paintings to drawings to mixed media as well as vintage prints of anything from birds to botanicals to primitive cars. Which is what you see here.

I purchased these vintage car prints on Etsy and had them custom framed to go above our sofa. They are one of my favorite finds. It’s easy to search by category or just type in what you’re looking for and whether it’s handmade or vintage. The inventory is simply limitless and your chances of finding something you like are high. And for the most part, prices are great because your are typically purchasing directly from the artist and not paying any kind of gallery fees.

3. DIY: A theme you’ll hear alot on this blog is “do it yourself”! I recently starting photographing again for the first time in a long time. I got some great shots of local landmarks in our town (I’m a sucker for vintage theatre signs) and turned it into this… (excused the blurry photo please)

I found a frame that matched beautifully with the wine rack below and great linen matting and saw it as an opportunity to showcase some of my own (amateur) work. Most of our guests are surprised to learn it’s something I did myself. It’s not hard for anyone to take a camera our and get some great shots…so the next time you’ve got a wall to fill, look to yourself for a little inspiration. (Shameless self-promotion…you can check out some of my photography at www.photonest.etsy.com )

4. Local Art Festivals: This is another great way to purchase art without paying a gallery fee. We just recently had an local art festival in our neighborhood park where I purchased this.

It’s a charcoal and pencil sketch on recycled burlap mounted to a salvaged cabinet door. How’s that for eco-friendly? I bought it from a local artist for less than $100 and part of the proceeds went to benefit a local non-profit. So I helped someone else and I helped my bare wall at the same time. I actually just relocated this piece above the desk in our guest room to make way for the new artwork I purchased for our dining room. I will post photos once they are hung!

So that’s it, loyal readers, those are my tips for filling your home will beautiful art and banishing bare walls forever without squandering your unborn child’s college fund! Let me know if I can ever suggest local sources in Birmingham for you as I spend alot of Saturday’s scavenging for new, unique pieces for my home!

~Katie

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