You don't need to be a millionaire to hang beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork in your home. Here are some suggestions for creating a collection that is personal and reflects your tastes, without the art gallery price tag.
• Memorabilia: Purchase an inexpensive shadow box and pillage your shoebox of special items such as ticket stubs, maps, photos, artifacts and other mementos from a memorable trip, show or person. If they're worth keeping, why hide them?
• Textiles: Fabric adds warmth and helps absorb the echo in a room. Look to quilts, tapestries, old linens, rugs, decorative tea towels, or any other fabric that's attractive, sentimental, an heirloom or meaningful in some way (including clothes). You can frame them, put them into embroidery hoops or hang them from rods on walls or display stands. Larger pieces may even be used as a dramatic focal point, such as a window covering or a bed's headboard. If the fabric is delicate or fragile and worth preserving over the long term, you may want to speak to a conservationist about how to protect it properly, but otherwise have at it!
• Children's art: The bold, naïve style and bright colours of children's artwork is often the perfect complement to a family home. Your child’s crafts and paintings, once framed and displayed with pride, may be far more meaningful than purchased art.
• Found objects: Almost anything that you find beauty in can be displayed and appreciated. Look around for items with an unusual or attractive shape or colour (a coat of paint can help if necessary). Items that typically serve another function can be repurposed as art as you design your room. Do you have a button, shell, camera or wooden box collection? Old silverware or plates you can hang? Architectural drawings or site plans? A derelict wooden door with window panes that can serve as a frame for other pictures or paintings?.
• Family photos: Housed in old photo albums and in your computer files is a whole art gallery waiting to be appreciated. To make groupings of photos most cohesive and effective, hang your collection together and keep one element consistent throughout, such as the frame or mat style or colour, or by converting all the pictures to black and white.
• Typography: Letters and language can make a powerful DIY home design statement. Put those computer fonts to good use and create your own images. Whether on your home printer or at a copy shop, you can print out favourite sayings, names or initials, or simply all or part of the alphabet to frame and hang in interesting ways.
Have fun with it! Click here for more tips on decorating your home on a budget.
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