Great art has a reputation for being fabulously expensive, but that needn’t be the case when it comes to home decoration. If cost is holding you back from adding art to your bare walls, keep scrolling to see eight budget-savvy ideas for finding quality alternatives to expensive art.
1. Rent Art
If indecisiveness is keeping you from taking the plunge, consider renting art for a fraction of the asking price. UK–based Rise Art, which ships to many major countries (including the U.S.), lets you borrow original art for a fixed monthly fee starting at £25 ($35) a month. For a stateside option, San Francisco–based GetARTUp also offers an art rental service starting at $55 a month.
2. Buy Art Online
Thanks to the Internet, you can now browse fantastic art from around the world without leaving your seat. Popular places to search for prints online include Society6, which also offers framed prints, and DeviantArt, the nearly 20-year-strong online hub for creatives that makes ordering or commissioning prints from specific artists easy. For original art, Etsy has earned a reputation for offering one-of-a-kind pieces at reasonable prices.
3. Make Your Own Art
Delving into the world of DIY art can seem intimidating if you don’t feel creatively inclined, but thanks to the proliferation of tutorials on Pinterest and step-by-step YouTube videos, finding affordable easy and art projects has never been easier.
4. Get Creative With Framing
Almost anything can look like a polished work of art with the right framing. Whether it’s a sheet of wallpaper, a piece of fabric, or keepsake clothing, these items placed behind a frame can become a room's instant focal point.
5. Download Non-Copyrighted Images
Fantastic high-resolution images can be found in Creative Commons for free. Many of NASA’s pictures belong to the public domain; we’re particularly fond of their space travel posters specifically designed for free download and printing. In recent years, many incredible historic public domain artworks have also been uploaded to the Internet and are freely available, such as those put forth by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty.
6. Visit Your Local Thrift Shop
Interesting art, vintage frames, and even authorized prints can turn up at your local thrift shop or secondhand store. In the image below, a collection of plates sourced from thrift stores were used to decorate a kitchen wall. Likewise, keep an eye out for flea markets or garage sales for more budget-friendly finds or check out estate sales for potentially nicer pieces.
7. Attend a College Art Show
Support the up-and-coming talent by checking out art exhibitions held by your local university where you can find real gems for a bargain.
8. Head to IKEA
The superstore king of home furnishings is also home to a collection of prints with incredibly low prices. Available online and in store, these affordable artworks can be paired with budget-friendly frames also sold through IKEA.