Art Collecting on a Budget? Try These Ideas

Art Collecting on a Budget? Try These Ideas

Buying art isn’t just for big spenders — art collecting on a budget is more common and possible than you think! When considering purchasing art for the first time, there is no one right way to start. For many of us, the first dip into art collecting won’t be dropping money on a huge piece. We’ll typically start small, taking into consideration of budget and accessibility. How much can we spend right now? What might we be able to acquire in the future? Art collecting on a budget is easy if you know where to look. Keep reading for some tried-and-true tips for decking out your walls — no deep pockets required.

What to keep in mind when art collecting on a budget

 

Find your focus

One of the first steps to art collecting on a budget is understanding what you are looking for in new art. Is there one style you hope to stick with, or are you hoping to diversify your collection? 
 
Check marketplaces online for new artists, as well searching on social media. Many artists have sites or stores where art can be bought and sometimes will field questions and sales through their social media. 
 
Offline, attend gallery shows for debuting artists and see what new art and design catches your eye. Art auctions and estate sales are also great places to find previously loved pieces in great condition. Along the way, keep notes about what art styles you keep coming back to as you refine your search. Once you decide how to focus your art collecting, you’ll be that much closer to the perfect piece in your price range. 
 

Calculate your art collecting budget

Figuring out just how much you can spend on art is crucial before making the first purchase. There are many factors involved in the hunt for art that may add up in price. Make sure you find the details on the piece that can affect the cost, such as the material, size, and more. Photography or prints may be more low-budget options, but don’t forget the cost of framing if you go that route. Factor in either professional framers or the cost of a frame into your budget before you start looking for the perfect piece to be displayed.
 
art collecting on a budget

Graham Earnshaw’s “Trippin’ Bunny” photograph has the feel of an abstract investment piece at a fraction of the cost.

Once you’ve set your art collecting budget, filter out art in your hunt that is already outside your budget. This can help keep you focused on the pieces that are available to you at that moment — instead of getting your heart broken by falling in love with a piece you can’t afford! 
 

Decide on a statement  – or many!

When considering your budget, are you looking for one piece or many? Sometimes, one large statement piece is a better investment in the moment than trying to figure out an entire house’s worth of art. Take your time in deciding on the perfect fit – art is not going anywhere.
 
If you are considering multiple pieces at once, think about if you can purchase from the same artist. This can create cohesion in a room or through multiple spaces, all while cutting your search time down.

 

Where to look for affordable art 

 

Check your mementos

Items we’ve collected over the course of our lives can become part of the art on our walls. Photographs, notes, letters, postcards, tickets, and even items of clothing are all mementos that can be framed and displayed to create a more personal arrangement. Gallery walls are a great way to mix together what is already in your personal memories as you grow your art collection. Do you have an array of records with stellar covers or vintage film and TV posters? Consider grouping them together to make a statement and show off your collection. 

 

Consider artist prints when art collecting on a budget

You’ve found it, the perfect artist that captures the style and tone you want in your own space. Everything about what they create is perfect – except for the price. Don’t let this deter you. While dropping top dollars on new art isn’t as accessible to you now, many artists nowadays offer a range of options to own a piece of their work.
 
giclee print of a much larger, more expensive piece can be much more approachable when considering art on a budget. While not the original canvas or photo, prints offer a replication on paper, easily framed and hung in a variety of spaces. Depending on the ideal hanging spot, different sizes of prints are offered in both paper and canvas. Explore Artepreneur’s Giclee Prints for your perfect print fit. You can also contact an artist directly or through a seller’s contact to see if they offer prints or other options to collect their art at lower price points. Set alerts for your favorite artists on social media so you’ll be the first to know of any studio clearance sales or discount codes.
 
art collecting on a budget

Giclee prints like Lisa Fernández Karlsson’s “Art Revolution” are an affordable way to start your art collection while supporting artists.

 

Research open access art

Walking through the galleries of any major art museum can be inspiring, especially when looking for some of your personal favorite pieces of art. Finding those pieces in the halls can feel magical. You might even want that piece, whether Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych, but will have no way of getting it in your home.
 
Many major museums offer art search tools to view their permanent collections online. Many museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Art Institute of Chicago, allow you to search for permanent collection pieces through an open access filter. Art that is open access can be downloaded and duplicated for free. Search for your favorite pieces to include them in your own space.
 

Take advantage of the museum freebie

Strolling through a museum, and checking out the work available to view is a great way to find inspiration for art. Museums are also a great way to collect items for framing, creating both a display piece as well as a memory.
 
Next time you visit a museum, see what is available to take home with you for free – gallery booklets, maps, postcards, posters, and newspapers are all up for grabs. These items can be cut, formatted, and framed, all for the low cost of the visit. And be sure to swing by the gift shop to see what other affordable options are for sale. 
 

Dive into DIY

Some of the best art to start conversations is the art you create yourself. The cost of a DIY art piece is up to you and how much you would like to pay for materials or a class. Not only do you get to learn and develop a new skill, you can take your creativity home.
 
There are many places to find classes: local museums and community centers, as well as independent artists or collectives. Classes in painting, printmaking, pottery, photography, or textiles are great for creating work that you can be proud to display in your home. Over time, you can really dive into a new skill, all while building a collection of your own art.
 
 
Art can transform your space, adding light, color, and texture in a variety of ways. Art also doesn’t need to break the bank. There are affordable ways to start building your collection, so begin finding what inspires you. There is no right or wrong answer to what art you want – only what ignites your own creativity.
 
 
What tips do you have for starting an art collection on a budget? Let us know in the comments how you factor budgeting into your buying.
 
 
art Guide

Kendall Shepard is a writer and advocate located in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing on ending mass incarceration can be found at fortunesociety.org. Her other work has been featured in Artemis and District, as well as at the LA Fashion Festival.

Room Upgrade: Do’s and Don’ts for Dreamy Wall Art Above Bed

Room Upgrade: Do’s and Don’ts for Dreamy Wall Art Above Bed

There’s perhaps no more intimate spot for your treasured artworks and keepsakes than in your bedroom. When it comes to wall art above the bed, indulge your desires, and don’t be afraid to get personal: Guests will rarely see this private sanctuary, which means you could decorate with artworks you love that you might not normally display in areas of your home where there’s more foot traffic.

Whatever you choose, take care to keep in mind what your bedroom should be for: A calm, peaceful place to unwind and relax. Sleep experts say one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting those recommended seven to eight hours per night is to prepare your environment. Your bedroom (and its walls) should not be overly busy or cluttered.

Instead, this intimate room should function primarily as a stress-free zone designed to help you unwind and relax, not a place where your mind whirls over time with worry or to-do lists. Try to keep your bedroom as tech-free as possible, make sure your mattress, pillows, and sheets are comfortable for you, and select a soothing color palette that harmonizes with any wall art you choose. 

Could your bedroom walls use a refresh? View our list below for dreamy ideas to get started.

Do’s and don’ts for wall art above bed

 

Do:

  • Choose one large focal piece: If you were looking for the perfect excuse to invest in or commission an oversized, one-of-a-kind statement piece you’ll love looking at every day, consider this your invitation to go wild. Try one focal piece, and go big or go home — especially if you don’t have a headboard, a large piece of wall art above the bed will act as a focal point for the room.
  • …or a pair that match: Two artworks of the same size hung side by side will give a pleasing feeling of symmetry and are perfectly on-theme if you’re partnered. Celebrate your connection by going double or nothing.
  • Try some hot text: For a graphic moment that literally makes a statement, a cheeky banner, word art or even a neon sign is a fun and flashy way to showcase your sense of humor and style. Pick your favorite quote or mark your initials in unexpected lettering, including from reclaimed signs.
Wall Art Above Bed

Antique salvaged metal letters broadcast this couple’s love for each other.

  • Bring in texture: Adorn the space above your bed with upcycled architectural elements. A small collection of woven baskets adds an element of natural texture in a neutral palette. Other options for 3D art above the bed includes richly woven tapestries, rugs, macrame wall hangings or a dreamcatcher. For rustic homes, a pair of antlers or a wreath that swaps out with the seasons brings the outdoors in.

Don’t:

  • Select a busy color palette: Interior designers recommend avoiding bold colors like oranges and reds in rooms where you want to unwind since those shades are often associated with high energy. Keep the color scheme soft and soothing to invite yourself to drift off to dreamland.
  • Make arrangements that are too cluttered: Keep groupings, like gallery walls or large collections of similar prints, to a minimum. Too many pieces of wall art above the bed could contribute to a feeling of chaos and clutter rather than the serene atmosphere you want to create.
  • Pick objects that are sharp or heavy: Mirrors and 3D sculptures are all lovely to look at, but you must consider whether they’re liable to land on people while they’re asleep. Similarly, shelving where you prop various options or framed prints may not hold your artworks securely enough to keep them from falling. Keep reading for more ways to maintain style while taking necessary precautions.

How to hang wall art above bed

For safety, it’s essential to nail the artwork selection (pardon the pun) above your bed — especially if you live in an earthquake zone. You’ll want to consider factors from the weight of the artwork to the frame to how securely you can mount it to the wall.

Opt for lightweight pieces, like canvas and woven wall hangings, over heavier artworks or sculptures that could cause injury if they fall. Whatever you choose, consider ditching glass. Plastic can be less expensive while still achieving the same look.

Wall Art Above Bed

“Whirl” by Aaron Santos Boyd-Rochman gives the feeling of a textural element while remaining safely 2D as a high-quality print. Win, win!

Does the frame have sharp corners or edges, and is it made of metal or heavy wood? Above the bed may not be the best place. Keep your artwork unframed, select a safer (and likely cheaper) material, or choose a frame with rounded corners.

Size matters, too. With the average queen bed at 60” wide and a king at 76”, keep the magic formula in mind for choosing the correct canvas size and aim for a width between 0.66 and 0.75 of your bed size. However, we’ve seen artwork that’s sweet and petite work in this area, as well, so long as it is hung at the correct height.

The same rule of hanging artwork at eye level applies, even if you won’t be standing in front of the piece because it is displayed over your bed. Also, remember to hang artwork approximately 5” to 9” above the headboard if you have one to avoid having your art “float” too high on the wall.

This might be the perfect occasion to have your artwork professionally installed. If you go the DIY route, be sure to use picture mounts or nails and screws with weight limits that can adequately secure your piece.  

Key takeaways

  • Your bedroom is a place to get personal. Select artworks that speak to you and consider spending more on an investment or custom piece.
  • Art in the bedroom should be soothing and contribute to a feeling of calm rather than clutter or chaos.
  • Along with traditional artworks, there are many options for wall art above the bed, including woven wall hangings, baskets, and other upcycled or reclaimed natural elements that add texture.
  • For wall art above the bed, put safety first: Avoid objects or framed artworks that are sharp or heavy, forgo the glass, and make sure your precious pieces are securely installed.
  • Some measurements to consider include selecting wall art that is of a width between 0.66 and 0.75 of your bed size, hanging artworks at least 5 inches and no more than 10 inches above your headboard, and placing artworks at eye level.

 

Allison Stice

Editorial director and writer Allison Stice covers art, design and culture. Her work has been published in The Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, Savannah Magazine and more.

Is Original Art Too Expensive?  Try a Giclée Print Instead

Is Original Art Too Expensive? Try a Giclée Print Instead

Have you ever seen an original artwork that you would love to see hanging on your wall only to find that the price was out of your reach?  You wouldn’t be alone — the gap between a budget and a beautiful piece has stopped many aspiring art buyers from starting their collections. 

But, if finding an original work of art seems like a pipe dream, there are affordable and elegant alternatives at every price point. Enter the giclée print. Produced through a sophisticated process using professional-grade large format printers, specialized papers, and archival pigment inks to create a high-quality reproduction, many artists offer giclée prints as more affordable alternatives to original works. 

The combination of pigment inks and archival papers ensures that a giclée print will look as beautiful as the day it was created, for many years to come. To better understand what makes giclée prints so special, let’s look at how they are created.

 
How Giclée Printers Work

Giclée is a French term meaning “to spray,” which is derived from how a Giclée printer works. Giclée printers are essentially a high-quality version of an inkjet printer that you might have in your home. Prints are created by spraying droplets of ink onto the paper through small nozzles, just like a home printer. The difference is the spray nozzles on a giclée printer are much finer, able to deposit millions of ink droplets on every square inch of paper.

Giclée printers also have a wide range of printable colors due to their expanded set of ink cartridges. While most home printers have only four colors of ink (also known as CMYK, which stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) or up to eight colors when it comes to some photo-quality printers, giclée printers have 11 or more color cartridges. This gives them the ability to provide fine tonal gradations, subtle tones, and smooth shadows. Reproducing accurate tonal quality requires billions of colors so having more ink cartridges with varying shades makes a dramatic difference.

 

What does archival mean and how is it achieved? 

At its simplest, archival means that the artwork will last for a long time, without degradation or fading. Archival prints, including giclée prints, have two critical elements that determine the relative archival properties: ink and paper.

Giclée printers use pigment-based inks, which hold fine particles suspended in liquid. They have excellent inherent archival qualities, such as being weather-resistant, scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and fade-proof, as well as being more vivid and opaque than other types of inks. These inks are rated to maintain their vibrancy for up to 200 years.

A giclée print also requires archival paper specifically designed for durability. Giclée fine art papers, including printable canvas, are made with cotton, not wood as you might find in traditional printing paper or newspaper.  These cotton-based papers have coatings specifically developed for pigment-based inks with a texture and finish that give giclée prints a true “museum quality” feel and appearance.

Paper made from wood, like newsprint, also contains lignin, which is the chemical that holds the cellulose fibers together. Lignin also oxidizes and breaks down the paper easily. Newsprint paper, for example, contains 30% lignin and will darken and tear easily, and after a short time become hard and crumbly. That may be good for newspapers or other disposable papers that will likely find their way to a landfill or recycling center, but not for artwork you want to hang on your wall for a long time.

Giclée archival paper is also acid-free. Standard paper made from wood pulp is usually acidic and becomes increasingly so the older it gets.  It’s the acid that often turns paper yellow and causes it to become brittle over time. Acid can also leach onto other items in contact with the paper so if you are storing a non-archival print on top of an archival print, the acid from the non-archival print could end up damaging the archival print as well.  

UV light and heat can also speed up the acidic chemical process that causes the degradation of paper. You’ll often see the edges of old book pages that have been sitting on bookshelves exposed to light appear darker in color than the rest of the page. For a paper to be called archival, it must have a pH value between 7.5 and 10 so that acidity won’t break down the fibers. 

Archival papers also use optical brightening agents, or OBAs, that make them look radiantly white. OBAs absorb UV light and then bounce it back as visible light in the blue spectrum, which gives the appearance to the human eye of extra brightness, making a print look truly amazing.

 

How to inspect quality when buying Giclée prints online

While any image can be printed on a giclée printer, how close the image comes to the original artwork depends on how the image was prepared or captured into its digital form for printing.

Capturing the detail and texture of the original and ensuring that the digital image has the color accuracy, tone, and gradations of the original requires more than just a quick snapshot with an iPhone camera. It requires high-resolution cameras, and a proper lighting setup to ensure that all the details such as brushstrokes and texture are properly captured. The image must also be free from glare, which can be particularly difficult when photographing oil paintings, where the hot spots of shine coming off the painting can overwhelm the digital sensor. Poor lighting can also make the image seem uneven in shading and brightness or may even change the colors captured by the digital sensor. 

More problematic is using a camera that doesn’t have the resolution to capture an artwork at its original size. For example, assume the original artwork is 24×32 inches. To print an image that size on a giclée printer, the image would have to be around 60 megapixels. An iPhone 13 camera is only 12 megapixels. While you can increase the size of the photo with software, blowing up an image too large will create pixelation and blurriness as can be seen in the detail of the image below. 

Is Original Art Too Expensive? Try a Giclée Print Instead - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

Blowing up a low-resolution image can end up being blurry and pixelated

Unfortunately, when buying giclée prints online, assessing quality is often not possible by looking at the low-resolution images generally shown.

At sites like Artrepreneur, curators review each work before accepting the piece into the Giclée Print Shop. Potential buyers can also view a watermarked version of the high-resolution file we use to produce each giclée print so you assess the quality for yourself. 

So, if you are unable to hold the print in your hand prior to purchasing, be sure that the work is from a respected site so you can be confident that the quality of the giclée meets the museum-quality standard. 

Once you hold your giclée print in your hand and see it up close, you’ll know you have purchased something special. The prints have beautiful highlights, extended mid-tones, and rich shadows. The colors are rich and vibrant with crisp details, amazing color accuracy, and a wide tonal range that makes it feel like an original work of art, not merely a picture of one. Giclées are an excellent alternative to the original work and well worth the price.

Have you ever bought a giclée print?  Let us know what you think about them. 

Steve Schlackman

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art, law, and business. He is currently serving as the Chief Product Officer at Artrepreneur. You can find his photography at artrepreneur.com or through Fremin Gallery in NYC.

Pick the perfect canvas size every time

Pick the perfect canvas size every time

Style and substance matter when choosing artworks for your home, but perhaps the most important consideration is canvas size. After all, the perfect-sized piece could be the ultimate finishing detail to your interior decor. But a canvas size too big could overwhelm your space and make it look cluttered, while an artwork that’s too small won’t make an impact and could look, dare we say, unsettling.  
 
Make like Goldilocks and find out how to measure for the canvas size that is just right — and avoid spending your art budget on a beautiful piece you love only to bring it home and find it doesn’t fit your space. Grab your measuring tape and a calculator to follow our wall art size guide.
 

Consider your location

Before you buy, decide where you’re shopping for. Is it that large blank wall in the living room? Over your sofa? Perhaps a statement piece in the entryway? Or a small piece of art for your kitchen? We’re all about falling in love with that special piece of art. But it would be a real bummer to bring it home and have nowhere to put it. So before you make the purchase, make sure you have an idea in mind of where you want to place it. 
 
Another consideration is whether you’re shopping for a single piece or a gallery wall. If you’ve got a large space to fill and a smaller budget, a variety of affordable framed prints or canvas sizes in an arrangement might be the right idea. Instead of finding one larger piece with your measurements in mind, you could put together an arrangement in a similar theme, style, or movement that showcases your taste and personality (and keeps you from having to choose just one.) 
 

Measure and multiply 

Interior designers say wall art should fill 60–75 percent of the available wall space. To find out what canvas size you should choose, measure the width and height of the available wall space — which means only the wall space that doesn’t have design details like moldings or mantels or the part that is covered by existing furniture, like the back of your couch. Then multiply the number by both 0.60 and 0.75. Now, you have the range you can fill with one or a variety of canvas sizes. 
 
For example: If you have a blank wall that is 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide, you will then multiply both 5 and 8 by 0.6 and 0.75. The ideal height of the artwork would be between 4.75 and 6 feet while the ideal width would be between 3 and 3.75 feet. Shoot for an unframed canvas of that size and you’ve got some wiggle room when you take it to the framers. 
 
Hanging artwork over a sofa, bed, or mantel? Another measurement you’ll want to consider is that the width of the piece should be two-thirds to three-fourths of the width of the furniture or fireplace. That means you can multiply the width of your couch by 0.66 or 0.75 to find the best canvas size.
 
Canvas size

Regardless of picture or canvas size, the art should be hung at eye level.

 
Finally, you don’t want to place your artwork too low or too high. Hanging a piece of art at eye level is essential to enjoying your special piece every day without having to strain or stoop down to look at it. About 60 inches from the center to the floor is the ideal height you want to shoot for. If planning a gallery wall, consider the entire grouping as one piece to find the perfect center point. 
 

Visualize your canvas size

Now that you know where you want to place it and the ideal size the artwork or artwork should be, it’s time to picture the canvas size in your actual space before hitting purchase. 
 
Have you made up your mind on whether you’re going for a single statement piece, a pair of matching prints, or a gallery wall of smaller artworks? Time to decide, because the size of your canvas isn’t the only measurement that matters — how much space is around your artwork is important too. Give your artwork room to breathe to keep your space from feeling busy, but don’t space it so far apart that the arrangement feels disjointed and lacks unity. The space in between your artworks will contribute to the total of your magic number, so you’ll want to know it if you’re buying multiple pieces. For gallery walls, about 2-3 inches of space is a good rule of thumb. Keep it consistent across all the pieces for visual harmony. 
 
Another number you should have in mind is standard canvas sizes. Small canvases measure 4”x6” or 5”x7”, while anything below that is considered mini. Medium-sized canvases are typically between 8”x10” and 16”x20”. Large canvas sizes are anything 18”x24” and above. 
 
Square or rectangle? It’s up to you. The next step is to visualize each canvas size on your wall to achieve a look that is symmetrical, pleasing to the eye, and balanced. 
 
There are a few ways to picture how an artwork or an arrangement of pieces would look in your space that play to your strengths: 
  • Painter’s tape or sticky notes: Mark out standard canvas sizes directly on your wall by measuring and taping, then stand back to see if it’s to your liking. 
  • Photoshop or art placement apps: If you’re digitally savvy, tools like Photoshop allow you plan where you should hang your art and play around with gallery wall arrangements. With photos of the space you need to fill and the size of artworks you want to buy — or the digital files themselves — you can drag and drop to your heart’s content. There are also a variety of art visualization apps available for download that you can explore. 
  • Butcher paper: Try the old-fashioned way by tracing standard canvas sizes on butcher or craft paper and cutting them out. You can arrange the sizes on the floor before you tape them to the wall to see how they would look. 
Placing meaningful artwork in each room of your home truly makes your space your own. Along with subject matter, color palette, and other visual considerations, don’t forget canvas size when shopping for that perfect piece. It can make the difference between a room that feels busy and one with a pleasing design where you want to spend your time. With a couple of handy measurements and some visualization exercises, you’re halfway to finding that finishing touch. 
 

 

Key takeaways: 

  • Make a decision on which area in your home you’re shopping for and whether you’re going for a single piece or a collection of artworks. 
  • Aim to fill 60–75 percent of your available wall space while hanging the artwork at eye level and maintaining a consistent space around each piece. 
  • To find the magic number, measure where you want the art to go and multiply by 0.66 or 0.75. 
  • If going above your sofa or on your mantel, artwork should be ⅔ to 3/4 of the width. 
  • Keep your measurements handy when shopping in person or filter by size when purchasing art online. 
  • Practice arranging art by size with digital tools like Photoshop or physical ones like painter’s tape or butcher paper. 

What rules have you learned for choosing artwork that’s right for your home — and have you ever made any design mistakes because you forgot to measure? Share your stories and tips in the comments section. 

 

Steve Schlackman

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art, law, and business. He is currently serving as the Chief Product Officer at Artrepreneur. You can find his photography at artrepreneur.com or through Fremin Gallery in NYC.

Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste

Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste

Chances are your kitchen is one of the most-loved, and most-used, rooms in your house. It’s where you start your morning over a cup of coffee, where memories are made as recipes are passed down across generations, and where everyone seems to congregate during a party. It’s also often the first place to get an upgrade during renovations with new cabinets and countertops, gleaming hardware, or a fresh coat of paint. 
 
So why does it get neglected when it comes to kitchen art? If you haven’t already spruced your kitchen up with accessories, here’s your call to take this space beyond utilitarian and show off your taste. Selecting kitchen art that fits a few key requirements is an easy and affordable way to make cleaning your countertops a little bit more pleasant and to delight your guests on special occasions like holiday meals and dinner parties — not to mention buy yourself some time while you save for larger renovations. 
“Kitchen memories stay with us,” says Katie Crider Marlin, a designer with Leah Bailey Interiors and enthusiastic cook. “Art adds inspiration for what you’re there to do: rush around in the morning, check out in the evening, relax, drink wine, listen to the news, dance with your partner, make a mess, clean up!” 
 
Even if you’re not much of a cook, a sprinkle of kitchen art can spice things up — and make washing the dishes a little more special. Follow the recipe below for foolproof ways to decorate with kitchen art. 
 

MAKE SURE YOUR KITCHEN ART CAN GO IN THE SINK 

And by that, we mean it has to be washable. The kitchen isn’t the place for your most expensive or precious pieces. Not able are they liable to get splattered with ingredients when you decide to go all master chef, it could also be exposed to humidity, high temperatures, and smoke when your recipe goes wrong. Unless your kitchen is a place where you only store your takeout containers, stay away from the artwork you’d hate to see damaged. That’s why many people choose to decorate with dishes or ceramics. 
 “I never put a watercolor in the kitchen,” Marlin said. “Even if it’s framed well, I still get nervous.” 
But you aren’t confined to just decorating with plates. Beyond making sure any posters, prints, or more delicate pieces are tightly framed — moisture trapped under glass can cause warping and stains — you can opt for works that you can gently wipe down. No delicate gold leaf, please. And watercolor prints like Judy Isaksen’s “Citrus Slices” are still up for grabs! 
 
Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

“Citrus Slices” by Judy Isaksen

 
 

KEEP IT PETITE

Your typical kitchen is not the place for an oversized piece of art, which can create visual clutter and detract from other design elements. Most kitchens don’t have excess wall space to boot, making it hard to fit an enormous abstract. Instead, prioritize a feeling of peace, calm, and order in the kitchen. Smaller sizes work best. 
 
One exception is if your kitchen and dining area blend together in an open plan. In that case, adding a larger canvas or a gallery wall display above a table can help separate the eating space from where you prepare your food, giving each area its own distinct identity.  
 

PICK THE PERFECT PLACE

Where is the best spot to put kitchen art? If your kitchen features open shelving, try propping a framed poster, photo, or print among your dishes and kitchen equipment. If your cabinets don’t go all the way to the ceiling, hang a small collection of pieces in a similar size and theme to draw the eye upward and make your ceilings seem higher. 
 
Underused locations to display your kitchen art include on top of your oven hood, on the side of cabinets, or above the backsplash. Choosing an unexpected location for your piece will add a pop of visual interest and create an inviting moment that elevates your décor.
Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

“Winter Turnips” by Blaise Smith R.H.A.

 

SIMPLE IS KEY FOR KITCHEN ART 

As the world’s top chefs will tell you, the best food features peak-season ingredients treated simply. Keep that philosophy in mind when selecting kitchen art: This isn’t the space to place your most provocative, busy piece. Kitchen art should blend in with the style of your kitchen, instead of competing. 
 
Select kitchen art that draws attention to any unique or stylish features. A piece of artwork in the same or complementary color palette as your painted cabinets will enhance those features and make them pop. The same goes for unique tile or flooring. Understated selections that could work can still have a dose of humor, be cheeky, or even unexpected. Just keep it refined by paring down the color palette or subject. 
 
Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

“Orange” by Bill Chisholm

 
 

PICK YOUR FLAVOR

It goes without saying that a popular choice for kitchen art is food and drink. Whether the piece in question is a still life or an artistic twist on edible items, your favorite cuisine or beverage is a way to inject your personality into the space and add some whimsy. Utensils, crockery, spices and snacks are all up for grabs as inspiration. 
 
“I love a quirky vintage food related still life in a kitchen since they are a hard fit anywhere else!” says Marlin. 
Landscape art is another popular choice for the kitchen. No windows? Make one with a small-scale oil painting that feels vintage and represents a place you’d love to look at every day. 
 
Room Upgrade: Kitchen art that showcases your taste - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

“At Sunset Rock” by Eugene M. Rinchik

 
Consider experimenting with texture or natural materials. In the kitchens she designs, Marlin favors collections like vintage oyster plates, while at her home she uses wooden breadboards on walls and shelves to add warmth. 
 
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Does your kitchen get shortchanged when it comes to styling? Take a fresh look at your wall space and consider adding a piece of art to elevate your interior — even if you don’t have the budget to replace your dated décor just yet. With a few simple rules of thumb, you can add a dash of whimsy to your kitchen and make it the site of special memories for years to come.
 
What art would you have in your dream kitchen? Share your style in the comments.  
Allison Stice

Editorial director and writer Allison Stice covers art, design and culture. Her work has been published in The Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, Savannah Magazine and more.

Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway

Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway

You know what they say about first impressions. When it comes to your home, the entryway sets the tone for the rest of your decor. It’s the first glimpse your guests have of your place when entering your front door, and the first sight that welcomes you home after a long day. What do you want it to say? 
 
If your entryway is just the place where you stash the detritus of the day, like keys, shoes, and junk mail, it’s time for an upgrade. While there’s a place for practical storage solutions, don’t neglect the style factor in your foyer. By selecting the right artwork to compliment your entryway space, you can create an experience that beckons you and your visitors to come right in and stay a spell.
 

Make an entrance with oversized artwork

The entryway is the perfect place for big, bold statements. Invest in oversized artwork that expresses your personality and points to your color palette. You don’t need to have a dedicated entryway to try this design trick: Statement artwork works especially well in a small space. Deck out that sliver of a wall or the space under the stairs!
 
Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

Multi-layered artworks, like this mixed-media painting by Tegan Milan, add texture reminiscent of frescoes.

 
 Short on funds? A large-scale print of a photograph can save you cash while making a major impact. Aerial photography has the feel of an abstract artwork while simultaneously broadcasting your love of travel. In a traditional foyer, a contemporary photograph or print tones down the formality and adds some fun, and it blends in seamlessly with modern decor styles. 
 
Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

Photographer Graham Earnshaw captures the stunning clash of colors in Kimberley, Australia.

 

Go graphic with a gallery wall

A gallery wall helps define your entryway, giving it a distinct personality from the rest of your space — an especially important move if you’re looking to section off a foyer when you don’t really have one. So even if your front door opens directly into your kitchen or living room, a curated collection of small prints or photographs will make it feel like a jewel-box moment. Consider a similar theme, palette or aesthetic to pull the collection together. 
 
Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

Go for black-and-white by hanging this photograph by Kie S. in your vestibule.

 
 
Room Upgrade: The Art of the Entryway - Art Guide by Artrepreneur

Geometric shapes, like this print by Rick Ruark, make for visual interest reminiscent of wallpaper, which works especially well if you’re in a rental.

 
Custom with a mural 
 
Have a little bit more space to play with? Punch it up with a mural. Not just for accent walls or bedrooms, a custom creation that perfectly communicates your style can make a big statement in your entryway. View Artrepreneur’s services board or schedule a consultation with an art advisor for artists you can commission. 
 
Is your entryway a place you pass through without lingering? Along with rugs, lighting, and storage solutions like benches and shelving, artwork in the entryway is an expression of your personality. Whether you live in a traditional home with a foyer or in an open-concept plan, a small urban apartment or a house in the suburbs, consider what your entryway says about you!
 
What’s your favorite entryway design tip? How do you make a “wow” moment as soon as you walk in the door? Sound off in the comments below. 
Allison Stice

Editorial director and writer Allison Stice covers art, design and culture. Her work has been published in The Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, Savannah Magazine and more.

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