And these days, curating art for your home is easier than ever. Local artists abound, discount retailers make quality art affordable and websites give us unlimited options to adorn our walls. Or you can literally take matters into your own hands and become the artist.
Purchase from Local Artists
If you live in a city with an art school, check the schedule of events for student exhibitions. You can buy original works for much less than prices at commercial galleries. And who knows, you may end up with a piece from an unknown who becomes a famous, well-respected artist!
Attend art festivals in your area. They are great sources for up-and-coming artists. Art festivals allow you to meet artists face-to-face and develop an ongoing relationship with them. Ask to be added to their email list and follow them on social media. Don’t forget you have the luxury of negotiating price especially if you wait until the last hours of the event.
If you are lucky enough to live in a city that houses an artists’ colony, you could have the opportunity to meet them in their studios. Most artists are happy to give you a behind the scenes look at their work and inspiration. If you can’t afford one of their completed pieces, you may be able to purchase a rough sketch or conceptual rendering.
Big Box Retailers
Those on a really tight budget know retail stores can be your best friends when selecting art for your home. Sure, they sell reproductions, but if you are looking to fill your walls with beautiful art and not spend a king’s ransom, stores like Target, Kohl’s and Ross can’t be beat. Discounters offer a wide selection of styles, media and subject matter—at prices you can afford.
If you're not ready to invest the time it takes to physically shop for prints and posters, you can do so from the comfort of home. A growing number of online art purveyors sell everything from posters and canvases to signed and numbered prints. The sky is the limit and it is all categorized by style, color and type for your convenience. These are a few of our favorites:
- Art.com has the biggest and best selection of budget posters and prints, in our humble opinion. You can find it all—from Hello Kitty to Jackson Pollock. They will also mat and frame your purchases or put your selection directly on textured canvas for that gallery look.
- Minted is a hip and modern indy artist collective. Their offering is constantly changing and features on-trend art prints that you’re unlikely to see on any of your friends’ walls.
- 20 x 200 Prices start at $24 and go up to $10,000--whatever your budget can withstand. 20 x 200 has been introducing art and artists to collectors since 2007. Their limited edition prints are done with archival ink on cotton rag paper. Each print comes with a sign and numbered certificate of authenticity from the artist.
Channel your inner artist and snap some photos of the things you love, take them to the local copy center have them enlarged and frame them or simply mount them on sheets of foam core. There are also online sources that will take your photos transfer them onto canvas.
Paint an abstract in 30 minutes or less! If you have some left over colors of latex paint or tubes of oils sitting in the closet, use painter’s tape and section off squares and rectangles on a large painter’s canvas. Fill in the blocks with colors that coordinate with your room. You’ll have a stunning painting—a la Mondrian—in no time at all!