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How to bring affordable art into your home

Filling your home with art doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Try these tips for adding interest to your walls without raiding your wallet

How to bring affordable art into your home

David White & Mark Russell Houzz Contributors

Brought to you by Houzz

Introducing art into a home can be daunting, as many of us assume it’s costly. However, you don’t need to invest in original art; instead, simply look at what you already have to create simple yet impactful displays. Check out these 10 ideas to get you started.

East London Flat

Download prints

If you’re stuck for inspiring prints, then head online to the many websites that allow you to download digital prints for free or just a couple of pounds. The prints then get sent to you in PDF form, so you can either print them out yourself or have a printer do them for you. Once you have your image, simply choose your frame and you have a contemporary piece of art!

Try more ways to create an artistic wall display

Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill (Cico Books, 2014)

Turn unsightly appliances into works of art

Many of us have areas in our homes that aren’t the most attractive – shabby store cupboards or boilers that stick out like a sore thumb. So think about turning these into works of art. Decoupage techniques or simply applying wallpaper to the area will help to disguise the basic appliance or cupboard underneath, while creating a clever artwork you’d be happy to show off.


Exploit small, simple frames

You can grab small frames for less than £1 from DIY, homeware or high street discount shops. This means a grouped arrangement of art can make an impact without breaking the bank. If you want to hang a lot of frames and are worried about damaging the wall, or perhaps you rent and are limited to what you can hang, try hanging strips, such as those by Command, which can be picked up in many homeware stores. These act as little Velcro devices that don’t damage the wall and can easily be removed. There are no nails in sight, so for any DIY-phobes, this is a perfect option!

Wilderstein Holiday Tour

Display your tea towels

This is a great idea for a kitchen – or any room for that matter. Tea towels are not only practical, they often host some amazing designs. So instead of keeping them tucked away in a drawer, think about displaying them, using either hooks or, as here, an oversized grip clip. For a more rustic look, hang them with simple wooden clothes pegs, which you can pick up for buttons!

Argyll Place

Frame your records

We’re huge fans of using vinyl records and their covers for art. When we moved in together, Mark had already compiled quite the collection, which we now have lined up along a shelf in our hallway. Many of us already have some old records kicking around, but if you don’t, you can pick them up in charity shops for next to nothing and will find the most wonderful cover art to suit all tastes and styles. You could even collect a selection of your favourite artists; we currently have Janet Jackson, Prince and Justice taking centre stage in our flat. You can buy square record frames for as little as £5 from places such as Tiger.

Chalk it up for an ever-changing display

If you’re a creative type, then this one’s ideal for you. Blackboard paint (you can find it for around £6) is the perfect solution if you want ever-changing art. You decide how much of the area to cover – it could be a whole wall or an A4-sized panel – and then let your imagination go wild. This one is a little trickier if, like us, you rent, so do make sure you get permission from your landlord first. Or why not try applying blackboard paint to a large sheet of MDF or plywood and simply propping it up?

Belmont House

Frame your mementos

Are you, like us, a bit of a hoarder? We love collecting tickets from gigs, theatre trips and our travels. It may be you’ve pocketed some lovely shells from a recent trip to the beach, or maybe you’ve had a gift passed down that you don’t want to lose at the back of some drawer. Take your mementos and frame them – in deep box frames if they’re 3D – to create memorable and sentimental pieces of art that make for great talking points.


Create cover art

Vintage magazine covers, like old records, are fantastic pieces of ready-made art. Simply remove the covers from the magazine (with a Stanley knife, ideally) and frame them to create a wonderful display. A good way of bringing your new artwork together is by colour-blocking or sticking to a theme. For example, a monochrome selection in black or white frames will pack a punch.

Dabble with decals

Wall stickers can be picked up cheaply from many online retailers and are a great alternative to committing to wallpaper. A breeze to apply and easily removed, stickers can be found in a host of designs suitable for every room and family member. If you have a bit more of a budget and want something more substantial, check out Surface View’s collection of wall murals, which includes contemporary designs as well as old masters.

Explore more ideas for creating a feature wall

Contemporary Bedroom

Show off your swatches

Fabric and wallpaper swatches are a purse-friendly way to create some lovely artwork. If you don’t have swatches, most retailers will have sample lengths or cuts at great prices. Place in a series of matching frames for an attractive display.


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