April 6, 2010

"Art" Doesn't Have to Be Expensive to be Lovely

I've heard people tell me over and over that they are afraid to hang things on their walls because they:
a) don't love the art they have (I'm sure you have an inherited thing or two you'd rather throw out!)
b) don't want to create nail holes for something they only kinda like (understandable!) and
c) don't have the money to invest in fancy limited editions (not to worry!)

I think there is a lot of undue pressure surrounding the ol' hammer and nail routine.  It seems to have a sense of permanence.  Like once it's up, it's there for good.  Not true, my friends!  My theory - if it makes you happy, hang it.  If it doesn't, put it in the closet for a rainy day (you might be able to use the frame for something else one day).  And if it's up for a while and it stops making you happy, switch it up.  Worst case scenario - if you make a mistake, patching a wall with spackle and a little touch up paint is easy!  And, the alternative, having nothing on your walls... is downright BORING. 

Art doesn't have to be expensive either.  Don't sit around and wait until you find that PERFECT piece for over the mantel.  Rip out calendar pages with pretty artwork, your favorite passages from books you love, maps of places you've been, postcards, wrapping and decorative papers, collages, fabric swatches, newspaper articles, photos, you name it.  Commission a friend who's an artist to paint you something.  Whatever it is, throw a pretty mat around it, find a frame that you love - and get it up on the wall!

I found these adorable 4 inch square collages from Paper Violet Studio on Etsy for $8 a piece.  I fell in love with their little details and hand stitching.  I got the white wood gallery frames from Pottery Barn, hung them four in a row down a hallway, and voila! - instant one of a kind artwork that looks chic and was totally effortless.

 These vintage maps were from a 2008 Cavallini calendar.  I love this company.  They have tons of designs and themes, and each monthly page is a truly a work of art.  I liked the vintage feel of the maps, and I made sure to choose the places we'd visited - Italy, London, Australia, and Paris.  I got the frames from an art store, and ta-da! - a unique and easy framing montage to line the narrow walls on either end of the windows... and even better, a great reuse of paper I would have otherwise thrown away (good for gift wrapping small boxes too!).

 Did the same thing here with pages from a William Morris (one of the very first wallpaper designers!) calendar I got at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston several years ago (2010 edition is available now if you are interested).  Art museum gift shops are another great place to find frame-able things of beauty.  And places like Paper Source, The Paper Studio, and Paper Mojo sell gorgeous paper selections by the sheet that would look incredible in, say, an antique, distressed wood frame.

Bryson and I found these tiny postcards on a street corner in Ravello when honeymooning in the Amalfi Coast.  They are a series of sketches from the small towns we visited.  I still remember how beautiful it was the day we stumbled across the street vendor selling these. I truly adore looking at these postcards every day and being taken right back to that moment.  Paired with these bold matte black Oxide frames from CB2 - they look fresh and feel modern. Que bella!

After all, you have your whole life to collect one of a kind, expensive artwork.  And as you do, you can easily pepper it in with the other framed masterpieces you've created.  Mixing the expensive and the affordable, the fun and serious, and the modern and traditional makes an eclectic and unique statement.

So don't waste any more time.  Figure out what you want to frame, grab those hammer, nails, and measuring tape - and get on your way to easy, affordable wall art that is the perfect expression of wonderful YOU.  Your walls will thank you!  And send me your pictures!

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