Five brilliantly affordable places to find art for your home

Whether your style is minimal and sleek, with one bold piece dominating your home space, or you prefer an eclectic mix of prints, artwork and canvas on your wall – art is a very subjective point of discussion.

Since we moved house and unwrapped the art we brought with us, I’ve realised that I am definitely a maximalist when it comes to the pictures I put on the walls. There is no way around it – I love clusters and groups of things altogether.

But I am also sentimental, meaning a lot of our old stuff isn’t probably what I would choose now, but I love it, so it’s staying and working with the new.

And while I love art and would LOVE to be able to splash out on original works, I don’t have that kind of money.

So here are five brilliantly affordable places I have found art for my own home.

1: JUNK SHOPS

vintage2What’s that saying? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Here’s another saying, lock me in a junk shop for an hour and I will find something to buy.

Charity shops, vintage stores, thrift shops, antiques barns – anywhere that sells old stuff, head straight for the pictures. If nothing else, you might find a cheap bargain with an amazing frame you can re-use. The two little pictures above didn’t look much stacked up with lots of other things, but give them some space and they shine. The fact they are in a pair adds to the impact.

vintage1

I’m a sucker for any kind of floral picture and this slightly twee oil painting in a dark wood frame will look modern and cool once I’ve hung it with a group of different prints. The beauty is all in the mix of art.

love

And these LOVE letters caused me to slam the brakes on while driving past a junk shop in Harwich, Essex. They were in the window and I, well, LOVED them. The shop owner suggested they may have been from a Beatles exhibition, but a reader got in touch on Instagram and said they were from an old window display in Accessorize! Grouped together on our staircase, they give real impact and goes to show the beauty of shopping somewhere a bit different.

2: GIFT SHOPS

paper

I have two children who both have a way better social life than me. Therefore, I now own a wrapping paper and card drawer. But looking for wrapping paper holds another useful purpose. Over the years I have found countless gorgeous sheets that are WAY too nice to destroy with sticky tape and poor folding – so I bulk-buy cheap RIBBA frames from IKEA and hang them up as art.

The selection above are some of my most recent purchases – picked up on a weekend’s trip to the Cotswolds at the Burford Garden Company, cost £1.75-£2.75 each. Check out places like Oliver Bonas, Paperchase and independent card shops who might have an in with a local artist.

3: YOUR OWN CAMERA

camera

I know what it’s like. We live in a world of digital images and are overwhelmed by how many we have. And how on earth can we get them in some semblance of order so as our children will have SOMETHING to remember us by when we’ve gone?! Speaking of children, if you have any – or indeed animals you’re particularly fond of – you will http://www.bestxanaxcomparison.com feel four times as overwhelmed by the number of images you’ve taken of them on your phone, your camera, your Aunty Doris’s Facebook images etc etc

But you’re bound to have a whole stash of digital images bouncing around within your iCloud or Flickr account, or even on social media, that you absolutely love and want to save for posterity.

My tip is to have a regular folder clearance – let’s not be sentimental, you don’t need 45 similar versions of a particular event, so delete, or back-up and put into folders. I have a ‘TO PRINT’ file on my desktop so anything particularly lovely that I’d like to frame goes in there.

If you have access to Photoshop, you can sharpen, play around with the colour or fix blemishes on your images before getting it framed. Or try the VSCO app on your mobile phone, which does similar.

I recently found The Framed Picture Company (does what it says on the tin) and had these images (above) framed. You upload your image onto their website, then go through the process of choosing the frame you’d like – and there is quite a choice. It does that clever thing of showing you exactly how your image will look in whichever frame and mount you choose.

4: ETSY

etsy

This is a TREASURE TROVE if you don’t mind a scroll. There are digital downloads, there’s original watercolour artists, there’s sketchy stuff, you can find crafty folk who will create a bespoke design for you – and there are lots and lots of monochrome, typographical prints.

It was scrolling through that led me to Honeymoon Hotel, and it was instant love. My husband tends to leave me to it when it comes to the house decor, but for some reason (TUH!), he wanted to be involved in the artwork selections. ‘I Carried A Watermelon’ was vetoed (really sulked over that one), but we both LOVED ‘Rapper’s Delight.’

Shop owner Honey was so helpful sorting out the right size for me, sent the image digitally and I sent it to The Picture Frame Company again to be framed.

I also favourited Concepción Studios, who do really cool retro film posters (if you’re a Wes Anderson or Star Wars fan, you’ll love them!) And also check out Lila + Lola – their cacti prints would look brilliant in a cluster and they also have very cute animal heads that would be perfect for kids bedrooms.

5: PRINT CLUB LONDON

print-clubPrint Club London is my online happy place. I love checking out the new art, I love the whole idea behind it – the workshop, the limited editions and the group of artists available on there.

It’s obviously the most expensive of my choices here, but compared to lots of art sites out there it is incredibly good value and offers a really exciting mix of styles. Plus, investing a bit of money in a fantastic picture that will cheer you up every day is worth it in my book!

I’m a big fan of Dave Buonaguidi and own this print, which I just need to frame. But I have also just ordered this special limited edition of his called ‘Bruce Would Approve’ (with profits going to The Samaritans) because it will be our new family check-list!

Have you found any art gems? Please share if you have!

 

 

  • Comments ( 9 )

  • avatar
    nADINE

    LOVELY POST, I’M ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT FOR AFFORDABLE ART AND YOU HAVE some great tips (THANK YOU!) particularly LOVE THE RAPPERS DELIGHT PRINT, I MAY HAVE TO GET THAT ONE… i KEEP AN EYE ON PLANETPATROL, AND I’M CURRENTLY ADMIRING SOME OF THE BEAUTIFUL SCREENPRINTS THAT MONIKA PETERSEN HAS AT THE MOMENT. NEWBLOODART IS ALSO A Great site IF YOU WANT SOMETHING ORIGINAL, they DO have a PRICE filter SO YOU CAN DICTATE BUDGET, REALLY EXCITING artists featured.

    • avatar
      Erica

      Oooh loads of brilliant ideas here, thanks so much Nadine! Logging onto New Blood Art right now! x

  • avatar
    Holly Crocker

    Fab Post!
    & I agree about charity shop finds – i found the most amazing framed 1940s os map in my local one for a tenner!!! and it has all of cheshire so so much of what is my life now, it’s pride of place in the living room.
    beyond that i am all about the photos. our wedding is all over our house in prints in some way!

    • avatar
      Erica

      I LOVE an old map – that’s such a lovely thing to frame. Whereabouts in Cheshire are you living? I’m from the Wirral originally, so not far away! x

      • avatar
        Holly Crocker

        I’m in Northwich now, not an amazing place in itself, BUT there are LOTS of lovely places to visit from here. My dad’s fam is from the wirral – i spent many a childhood day on the very flat landscape on my bike – i grew up in north wales in llangollen so the flat was very welcome!

  • avatar
    sian gwilliam

    Loved this post Erica, I did the wrapping paper trick when the kids were little, and there are some lovely maps & ladybird books you can find out there. i also have a pile of instagram photos that i had printed via square snaps which i’m waiting to put in a large frame. guess that will be in 2020 the way I am going juggling work here xxx

  • avatar
    sian gwilliam

    LOVED THIS POST ERICA, I DID THE WRAPPING PAPER TRICK WHEN THE KIDS WERE LITTLE, AND THERE ARE SOME LOVELY MAPS & LADYBIRD BOOKS YOU CAN FIND OUT THERE. I ALSO HAVE A PILE OF INSTAGRAM PHOTOS THAT I HAD PRINTED VIA SQUARE SNAPS WHICH I’M WAITING TO PUT IN A LARGE FRAME. GUESS THAT WILL BE IN 2020 THE WAY I AM GOING JUGGLING WORK HERE XXX

  • avatar
    Charlotte

    Hi Erica!
    Which size of print did you go for in the Rappers Delight from HoneyMoon Hotel? I have been wanting to purchase as a housewarming gift for my partner but mostly because i love it so much myself!

    Thank you!

    • avatar
      Erica

      I think it was A2 size! Ask Honey from the store which size I got as it changed a few times!! X

Leave a Reply

TOP