I am all about eclectic, bargain art, whether that be searching for unique paintings on eBay, strolling through flea markets and antique fairs, or finding little shops on holiday. I love that a home can become a beautifully curated, and very unique art gallery.
Personally, I like to arrange our pieces in a mish-mash manner and in many instances, I even remove the frames they come with and just perch the canvas on the mantle rather than hanging them. Or, sometimes I look for a frame separately (recently I found one for £10 at a charity shop for a little oil painting that now hangs by my desk).
As someone who has recently renovated and filled two homes with a lot of art, I consider myself quite an expert when it comes to finding it on a budget, so here are some tips for you:
1. Set a budget. Silly as it may sound, it is important to set yourself a budget before you start looking for art. This will help narrow your search and prevent you from overspending.
2. Decide what you like (and need). Especially if you are decorating an entire home or a room and you don’t need just the odd piece of art. Take the time to figure out what types, styles and sizes of art you like and that will best fit your space. I always rely on mood boards and Pinterest is my absolute go-to. But I do love to gather inspiration from decor magazines and books too. Yes, I always buy on instinct and impulse, but – I also go in with a bit of a plan. Our downstairs powder room is covered in small print wallpaper and I wanted to cover it with fairly small paintings and pictures that work together well. They are a hodge-podge, a mix of antique, vintage and new, but the tones of brown and blue run throughout, and tie it all together like a little collection.
3. Check out these online art hotspots. These are some of the websites I love to browse when I am looking for budget-friendly art: eBay, Etsy, Artfinder, Domenica Marland, The Happiness Collective, Artfully Walls and PSTR studio. If you’re looking for antique or vintage art, eBay is your best friend. For example, by searching eBay for ‘oil on canvas’ or ‘Swedish landscape’ you can find many hidden treasures – the more specific the search, the better. And I always love the surprise of it, I never know what I’ll find!
Etsy has lovely contemporary art and is great for supporting small businesses and artists. Artfinder offers a wide variety of paintings, photography, sculptures and limited-edition prints and you can immediately browse only art that fits within your budget. And the same goes for Artfully Walls, a user and budget-friendly spot for buying eclectic quality art. Domenica Marland is a young art dealer who sources and sells affordable artworks by young, contemporary artists. The Happiness Collective offers original, limited edition, fine art prints already framed and ready to hang – just brilliant. Lastly, PSTR studio has a great selection of amazing posters and I love their vintage-looking ones, especially their aperitif and cocktail prints.
4. Keep calm & browse. Everyone likes to see the final result right away, but finding art is a form of art itself and it takes time. Search online, visit thrift shops, antique fairs and vintage markets – it’s so much fun rummaging through all the stalls. And don’t forget to haggle, especially when buying multiple items, you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Happy shopping!