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How To Elevate Your Home With Artwork

Buying art can be a rite of passage. That first time you invest in a piece that isn’t a thumb-tacked poster from your college bookstore feels like, “Yes, I’m an adult now! I am an art collector!”

Original art can run from a few hundred dollars well into the six figures, and that’s not always in the budget (someday, right?).

But it's possible to get a gallery-worthy art look on a thrift store budget. Below are six design tips, tricks and hacks for you.

There’s No Limit to What Is Considered "Art"

Unexpected, everyday items can be turned into budget-friendly, large scale art with a bit of imagination.

For example, you can use an antique door and woven rug from Facebook Marketplace for budget-friendly wall art. What’s better large-scale art than a woven rug? There’s so much texture and character. Look for a 5’x8’ rug, then attach it with nails to a 1x4 piece of wood screwed into the studs in the wall behind. Pronto!

Scour Sites Like Etsy for Original Oil Paintings

One of my favorite moves is to search for oil paintings on Etsy as a way to purchase original art on a budget. Many times, shipping is free even if it’s international so don’t limit yourself to U.S. sellers. The paintings are one of a kind for less than a few hundred dollars. Landscapes and still life paintings are always winners, but I have a soft spot for portraits. Frame your find with thrifted frames, or splurge for custom framing, and your art will stand out as one of a kind.

Find Motivated Sellers

My biggest sources for art have been thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace. You’re always going to find the best deal on Facebook Marketplace as most people selling items there are looking to move things quickly so they’re pricing to sell. Also, with the option to have items shipped, there’s more opportunity to find art pieces not just in your general area.

Frame Book Pages in Affordable Frames

Craft stores, Target, Walmart, etc all have good frame assortments with affordable prices. Filling the frames with old book pages, downloadable printables (from Etsy), etc is a cost effective way to fill the frames with consistent or themed art. When using frames of different sizes, the possibilities are endless in terms of where frames can be sourced. Thrift stores, flea markets, and Facebook Marketplace offer endless options for inexpensive frames.

Stick to a Common Thread

One of the best tips I've learned regarding art is that it shouldn’t be constrained to one space and should be able to move around your home. So now, whenever I'm looking for new art for myself, I try to find a commonality among each piece whether its composition, color, style, subject, etc so there’s freedom to swap and move the art from room to room or on a gallery wall.

By having a common thread through the artwork, it can make your space feel more cohesive and intentional—especially if you’re on a budget! For my apartment, most of the art has some connection to nature (i.e. landscapes, florals, etc) and can be moved around fairly easily since each piece compliments one another.

Work the Facebook Marketplace Algorithm

Okay, algorithms change ALL the time so don't quote me on this but secondhand shopping platforms like Facebook Marketplace are great places to search for original art. Search terms I use include: large art, wall art, original art, oil painting, original painting, abstract art.

It does become easier to find your favorites when the algorithm gets to "know you". Save/bookmark items you like—even if they’re out of your price range—because then Facebook will get to know your interests better and start suggesting similar items to what you're looking for.

- Raph




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