Friday, February 4, 2011

Starting Your Art Collection

There comes a time in life when posters tacked on the wall just don't seem "grown-up" enough anymore, but for a lot of people, the idea of buying "Art" (in the traditional sense of the word) can be overwhelming.  It is often very expensive and out of the budget of many younger people, in particular.  But it isn't all that hard to build an art collection if you keep your eye out and think outside the frame.  Here are some of my tips on finding inexpensive art for your home without sacrificing style and inspiration.

It is so important that you love your own art. Who cares what anyone else thinks?  Art is one of the most important parts of any room and it can express personality almost like nothing else.  It sometimes represents something sentimental or sometimes art represents a dream of yours.  And chances are, if you have decorated a space yourself, your art will naturally mesh well.  Don't worry too much about "matching" or "coordinating." 

Take a look at this room from the house in the movie Something's Got to Give.
Source: Hooked on Houses
The piece of art above the mantel really changes the personality of this room- in a really good way, in my opinion.  You wouldn't necessarily expect it, but it works.

My first piece of advice about art is that you should buy things you love.
Sorry for the weird shadows. Photographer, I am not.
I purchased this piece in Paris.  It is a Parisian scene done in ink on the back of a metro ticket.  I can't remember how much it cost, but it couldn't have been that expensive.  I love looking at it and I just think it is so cool and unique.

My second piece of advice has to do with framing.  Framing can be the most expensive part of art, especially if you go the custom route.  My advice is to hit-up Hobby Lobby when they have their half-off frames sales.  (They have this for their standard frames and for their custom framing.)  Don't be afraid to use a pre-made frame.
That is exactly what I did with this poster. I found the poster online and I bought it because it reminds me of a really special trip I took with friends when we were in France.  Cassis is a very small town so when I found this poster, I knew I had to buy it.

Instead of spending $100 (or likely more) to frame it, I bought a pre-made frame at Hobby Lobby.  I then had the people at Hobby Lobby cut a mat for the poster (this costs around $15, in my experience).  If you look, the top and bottom are thicker than the sides.  This doesn't bother me and I seriously doubt that most people notice it.  Framing this way saved me a lot of money and I think it looks as great as it would if I had spent triple the money to have a custom frame made.

Speaking of pre-made frames, try Target and Walmart.  A lot of times they have frames with great mats.
I think I got this frame for around $20, which is a bargain.

My third piece of advice is that you shouldn't be afraid to ask family members for old art from their houses or the house you grew up in. Sometimes, they may not have liked the piece or they might be tired of it.
This piece was in my dining room growing up.  I asked my dad if I could take it and he said yes.  Most of the time, people are happy to see their art go to the home of a young person who is just starting out.  Now, its not generally a good idea to ask for an incredibly valuable piece of art from someone or an incredibly sentimental piece, but in this case it worked out.

My last piece of advice is to look in unlikely places for art. When you go to an antique store or a quirky gift store, you are likely to find great art.  You might think that it is out of your price range, but it never hurts just to look!  Especially in antique stores, you can find some great deals! 
I bought this at a sort of upscale shop and I was sure it would be way too expensive, but it was only $30.  I'm so glad I looked at the price tag! 

Good luck with your own art collection! Remember to buy things you love- someone else's opinion doesn't matter! 

1 comment:

  1. Great entry! I hadn't really thought of the customer matte idea! I love the look of matting and its certainly better than having a custom frame done!


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