Art does not have to have a big price tag to make a big impact in your home.  Yes, there is plenty of artwork selling for hundreds, thousands and even millions of dollars, but if you’re not investing in it, you can easily find inexpensive art to decorate your home on a budget. 

Use the following guidelines to help you pick out art that will complement your décor and not break your bank:

Decorate the Room First

Don’t run out and buy the first piece of art that you can afford.  Wait until your room is almost complete, then look for the perfect piece in your price range.  The right artwork can pull together a style or colors in a room.  Make your art selections at your leisure, looking for pieces that inspire or speak to you and fit with the overall theme of the room.  Shopping for it is half the fun!

You Call THAT Art?

Art does not necessarily need to be a framed painting.  What about those photographs you took on your last vacation – have them enlarged, add a standard-sized matt and some complementary frames and group them together for an inexpensive art display.
Turn your collection into art.  Do you collect antique plates?  They can easily be hung together in a grouping on a wall for an innovative art display. 

Get creative – even a collection of country primitives can be displayed on a wall for an inspired look for a country or primitive décor.  One of my favorite inspired collection displays was by a friend who collected old woven baskets.  She hung them on her plain white walls in the kitchen of her rental apartment.  She couldn’t paint nor make holes in the walls, and didn’t have much space to store her collection, so it was the perfect decorating solution.

Art Themes

There are times when the type of home, apartment and even your location will help inspire an art theme. If you are deocrating a cottage, you may want a more more rustic, woodsy feel to your place and may choose art with natural themes such as canoeing, shimmering lakes and pines. If you have a ski chalet, you could choose art that reflects the mountains, alpine lakes or skiing. One of our readers shared the following experience to helps illustrate this.

"We were so excited to buy a beach-view apartment and wanted to offer it as a vacation rental herzliya. As far as decorating went, we started out by painting the whole apartment white. It is a small space on three levels and we wanted to make it feel larger. The secondary color which we used for the bedding, throw pillows, dining room chairs and even the mugs was easy: sea blue! And when it came to choosing accessories, we featured sea shells in large glass bowls, wooden panels with inspirational sea quotes and we even found a buoy with the words 'Welcome Aboard.' It was the sea outside our windows that inspited the decor choices, making this project fun and easy!"

Displaying Your Art

Don’t try to fill empty wall space by ‘sprinkling’ pictures in each open area, you will end up with a cluttered mess.  Instead, create an imaginary rectangle on your main focal wall, which will usually be the wall facing the entryway.  Now put together a grouping to fill the space.

Remember to hang the main portion of the display, or any piece of art, at eye level.  One of the most common mistakes in art within the home is hanging it too high.  You shouldn’t have to stand on your tippy-toes to look closely at a picture!

Where in the World Did You Get That?

Try flea markets, yard sales, consignment shops and auctions to find art to fit any budget.  Just make sure it’s appropriate for your room style.  Some helpful hints:

  • Floral artwork in carved, light-colored frames fit in with a cottage style.
  • Black and white photos framed in simple metal frames work well in more contemporary or modern settings.
  • Country themes, weathered wood, antique or old fabrics go well in a casual country style home.
  • Landscapes, botanical prints, and floral still life pictures fit into a more traditional interior decor.

Decorating with art doesn’t need to be expensive, just get creative and make sure it’s something you love, that’s what art is all about.