Having moved countless times in the past decade, I’ve grown to appreciate a minimalist look to the decor in my home. The stuff we’ve chosen to keep and hang on our walls is stuff we truly love.
There are so many great choices for art, there’s no need to default to cookie cutter motel room-style art. An added bonus? So much of it can be done frugally.
Here’s a peek at some of the art in our home (and art from our previous apartment overseas), along with some very cool ideas from others around the blogosphere.
1. Letter wall
Our last name begins with O, which is an easy letter to find on the cheap (think oval-shaped frames). But it’s still not too difficult to find just about any letter in unexpected places.Photo by Kyle Oxenreider
Most of our Os were found in random shops here and there. Craft shops sell some you can easily paint or decoupage; you can also print a large-sized letter in a nifty font and frame the page. Several of the smaller letters on our wall are actually Christmas ornaments, and most recently, I found several at Urban Outfitters.
2. Circle art
And this one was in our kids’ playroom:
We had to leave them with friends because they just don’t pack well for an international flight, but I plan to make more circle art wherever we land next. It’s an easy way to pack a punch of color, and it’s fun to make, too.
3. Fabric on canvas
Squares of fabric are also an easy way to add color to a wall. Simply stretch a piece of fabric onto a canvas (or simple wood frame) and voila — instant art on the cheap.Photo by Kyle Oxenreider
These are fat quarters from my local fabric store, stretched (and masking taped!) on to square wood frames found at Goodwill for $.75 each.
4. Children’s book printsPhoto by Kyle Oxenreider
Kids’ books have the best art. The best. And since I can’t bear to tear pages out of our beloved library, I simply scanned some of our favorite books and printed them on high-quality photo paper.Photo by Kyle Oxenreider
I then spray painted a collection of thrift store frames in blue, yellow, and red for original, meaningful art for our kids’ bedroom.
5. Blankets and quilts
About a year ago I had fabric scraps and cloth napkins that I couldn’t bear to part with, but they didn’t really have a specific project destiny. So I quickly stitched them together, backed it with a simple sheet, and sewed ribbon loops on top.
It hung on our kids’ bedroom wall, but they were allowed to play with it anytime they needed a fort or flag. When they were done, they just hung it back up.
6. An original painting (signed by the artist, I’m sure)Photo by Meredith
It works well because Meredith first painted a blank slate of white over the original, and because it’s so huge — it makes such a modern yet sentimental statement.
7. PlatesPhoto by The Nester
Nester at Nesting Place wrote awhile back here about using plates to decorate your home. Mismatched plates are abundant finds at thrift stores, and put together as a collage, they can look classic, modern, vintage, or funky.
Plate hangers are easily found at craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.
8. Embroidery hoopsPhoto by Amanda Soule
Amanda at Soule Mama, handmade genius, has some of her family’s embroidery projects and simple fabric swatches hanging on her walls with simple hoops serving as the frame. Original and frugal.
9. Framed scrapbook paper
In our previous apartment we displayed scrapbook paper in simple frames from Ikea (also shown in the top photo). You can also use wrapping paper or wallpaper and achieve the same look.
10. Wall dotsPhoto by Jessica Levitt
I bought the cake circles for this when I first saw it on Jessica Levitt’s blog, but never got around to creating it (moving overseas and having a baby will do that to you). If you have a needle and thread, fabric scraps or fat quarters, and cardboard, you can easily make these wall dots!
Instant color, and easy change for seasons and moods. Love it.
11. Travel and concert souvenirsPhoto by Sharilyn
Instead of celebrating a great concert or memorable vacation with a t-shirt or side table tchotchke, why not buy art? You can find the coolest concert posters, maps, travel advertising, and city logos in unexpected places. Check flea markets and thrift stores on your travels, or check online at one of your favorite musicians’ website for promotional materials.
Last week, Sharilyn at Lovely Design gave a tour of her walls, and she has one of the most amazing, personal poster collections I’ve seen. Check it out and be inspired.
12. Your kids’ scribbles
Yep, those daily productions from crayons, marker, and paint can become sweet little works of art with the right display. Frame them in inexpensive frames and hang them at kids’ eye level, and you’ve got a gallery they can show off.
Rotate their art every few weeks to keep things mixed and to display their artistic progress (read about more ideas on what to do with that plethora of kids’ art).
13. Support artists and buy their artArt by John W. Golden
Yes, original paintings are expensive. Prints of paintings are not. You can find some high-quality, low price artwork and photography on Etsy — some of my favorites are:
- Sarah Jane Designs
- Orange Studio
- The Wheatfield
- John W. Golden (he’s got a BOGO sale going on right now)
- Fall Down Tree
- Cabbages and Kings
- Belle and Boo
I also really like the posters at The Poster List. Good prices, too.
So there’s really no excuse for run-of-the-mill artwork hanging in your home — the options are endless.
What’s your favorite frugal, original way to spice up the walls in your home?