Collecting art can get expensive and take up a lot of space, but everyone can find affordable, high quality art and decor if you look in the right places. Whether framed, larger than life, or DIY, you can create a space that represents you, and on a budget!
I live in less than 400 square feet with pretty limited wall space as it is, but it’s hard for me to live anywhere without art. So despite getting rid of most of my possessions, at least 1/4 of what I own is still art and decor – and I will try to fit it in, anywhere and everywhere.
One of the first things I look for in art is quality of the medium. Thick or quality papers for posters are a must – none of those posters we all had in junior high that rip easily and scuff and scratch when touched,. Their ugly, glossy sheen still haunts me!
Secondly, quality of art. This will depend a lot on taste but no matter what your taste, there will be print quality to look out for. You don’t want a blurry image or one with bleeding lines. Look closely at the art before you buy it, especially when buying online.
Third, size of the art can be pretty important and is something that has thwarted my purchases many times! Since I want a lot of art and I have limited space, I can’t get anything too large that doesn’t bend or fold. 11×14 is about the biggest prints I get, and I don’t have too many of those. I collect a lot of 8×10 and postcard size art from artists all over the country. Small art can still be of high quality, signed, framed, the works, and you can fit them just about anywhere!
Here are 5 of my favorite types of art, and several of my favorite artists!
1. New Orleans Map Poster
New Orleans is probably my favorite US city, and not just because of Mardi Gras or Bourbon Street, but because of the people, the architecture and micro neighbourhoods. I have several pieces that represent this great city, but my most recent is this gorgeous map from Modern Map Art. I was actually really impressed when I received it, the maps are printed on nice thick paper, great for hanging alone or framing, and the inks and lines are perfection! I could recognize many of my favorite neighbourhoods and even the street we stay on when we visit.
I don’t think I’ve ever sen a darker black printed on paper. The poster is completely matte and completely non reflective, so it’s perfect for any room in the house, no matter how much or little light the room gets.
The best part about Modern Map Art is that you can build you own map and in any combination of colors. You can zoom in on a big or small city, a lake, the Grand Canyon, wherever you feel represents a place you love! The also make phone cases and throw pillows.
2. Wall Sized Tapestry
Although we don’t have a ton of space, we have one large wall that we can’t hang anything on due to the surface. However, Thanks to the optional bed that comes down with a little motor, we can hang a giant scenic tapestry on that wall and dream and dream while we work.
It’s also great for outdoors, made with a durable and water resistant polyester. It makes an excellent sun shade when we have guests over and want to enjoy the weather. The print is detailed and colorful and brings so much life to the room!
You can find this tapestry and many more on etsy at LostInNature.Etsy.com.
Tapestries work great for ceilings, beds, backs of couches, over windows, stairwells and more. They may seem too big for your space if you’re in a small space like us, but really they’re so versatile that you can’t go wrong!
3. Fun Art Prints
I love to have some color in my home to perk things up a bit. In the summer it can get pretty dark as we try to keep the sun out so it doesn’t get too hot inside. We depend on two things for our sanity until we can get outside and enjoy ourselves – music, and colorful art.
Overall I have about 12 photos hanging around wherever I can fit them. Some are high art, black and white film photos, but many are colorful, moody pieces that keep my spirits high!
I found all of these pieces at LostKatPhotography.Etsy.com – made by a full time traveling artist!
4. Pieces From the Road
Whether you travel much or not, it’s a great way to collect either post cards or small art from your vacations and road trips. Nearly every gift shop in every small town or big city will have something made by a local artist, or in the least a unique post card.
I collect both postcards and tiny art from our travels and I’ve found some of the best stuff in the most unexpected places.
Each piece fits in small spaces and gives me a smile every time I walk by.
We’re vegan so we love the battle animals by Andy Herod of Asheville NC. We ride motorcycles so we definitely collect motorcycle art, and we’re total science nerds, so we love the scientist poster! It can be a hunt at times to find just the right thing, but I find myself buying tiny art for friends and family whenever I don’t find something for myself.
My postcard collection is from my visits to Mexico and Barcelona – back in the early 1900s, people would get their own formal photos made into post cards to send to family. I love that whole concept and have collected quite a few now just looking at antique shops and street markets!
5. Signed Fine Art
This collection can be a little more tricky. I just happen to have found some amazing pieces that I love and didn’t break the bank getting them. I’m usually tempted to protect them rather than hang them up but I’m getting better. It’s better to appreciate them than let them waste away in a cabinet. My problem is that I can’t frame anything in glass without risking the glass breaking and damaging the art. You see, our tiny home moves (it’s an RV if you haven’t guessed yet), so I depend greatly on the strength of 3M tabs for now.
My favorite signed piece is from one of my favorite artists, Shane Pierce . It’s an image I bought at a Comic Book Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’ve since help crowd fund a book of his and received both an additional signed print and a copy of the book – building a collection can be time consuming but so worth it. It makes an impact when you support your favorite artists, for them and yourself. I’m a fan of things but never to the extent where I get involved, unless it’s an artist whose work I love.
I hope I gave you some great ideas for decorating your home! Don’t worry about what goes with what at first, just collect what you like – art collections take on a life of their own!