Smart Art

Decorating your home can be very pricy. Very. One inexpensive way to update and decorate your home is with art.

Now, I like a Monet as much as the next person but I know how expensive art can be. Below are some budget-friendly hacks, the ten “P’s” for finding cheap art that can greatly enhance the look and feel of your home décor.

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  1. Photograph amazing moments. I was given a photo of one of my granddaughters a while back. Someone had captured an image of her frowning, simmering angry even. But she looked fierce and wild and the file of the photo was big enough to enlarge to poster size. I had it blown up into a canvas that holds a cherished spot in my living room. I did the canvas in black and white, enhancing the moody angst of the image against a blue-gray wall. Very impactful. Everyone who enters my home comments on it. Warrior baby, the photo, along with my grandchild, is one of a kind.
  2. Photograph amazing places. If you can snap a picture of an amazing location while on vacation or even while on your weekend hike, this can be your money shot. I happen to drive across country with a friend a few years back, someone who had never seen the Grand Canyon so when we visited, I took scores of pictures and a number of them were turned into amazing art that graced my office until a friend needed art to donate to a charity auction. I kept two that ended up as oversized art in on of my bathrooms but the rest went toward helping the fire victims of Santa Rosa. I like to think my vacation paid it forward.
  3. Plug-in to Big box store discounts. I don’t just replicate amazing photos at will. I wait for deals from the photo department of my local big box store. Same goes for the local art and framing store. Framing can be extremely expensive so I wait for deals.
  4. Plumb local talent. I personally do not have the fine motor skills or the talent to draw or paint but I have friends who are extremely talented. Consider approaching your local art department of a nearby university and asking to see portfolios. You should be able to commission what want for dirt cheap. Consider yourself a patron of the arts.
  5. Paint it like Pollock. A cheap canvas and some tiny balloons filled with paint. Splat. I’ve seen some great abstract works of art come out of this sort of activity and am planning on trying it with my grandkids some day.
  6. Purchase On line. You can get some really fun and funky posters for very cheap on this site and others. I found a small print that was pure vintage Kauai that I adore and it cost just $5.
  7. Pound the pavement at flea markets. Plaques, old kitchen tools, 1930 industrial molds, maps from the past, I’ve bought all of these and more for very cheap and used them as art.
  8. Peruse nature itself. Be sure it is allowed before you collect but sea shells, leaves, flowers, all can be used as art, bringing the outside in.
  9. Pick thrift stores. You can score cheap frames and even some fun art at thrift stores. Keep an eye out for the unusual and funky. You may not find that famous artist sketch as some like to claim but you can buy and collect groupings of cool and vintage pieces such as salt and pepper shakers, blue and white print Asian vases, even kitschy plastic statues. I have a friend who collects funky little plastic cacti that are proudly displayed on a shelf in her kitchen.
  10. Pilfer treasure from local garage sales. Old frames, funky pictures, even combing through estate sales for one-of-a-kind art. I once found a painting, circa 1940s, of a glamourous redhead. The woman in the painting strongly reminded me of my grandmother in her heyday so I bought it for next to nothing and framed it when I found a deal at my local framing store. My parents once bought me back a vintage postcard from some tiny antique store in Paris. They gifted it to me because the image was a dead ringer for yours truly although the postcard was decades older than I was at the time. I framed it and everyone asks who did the art of me. Such a great story and amazing art that was essentially a gift.




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