A well-placed work of art can certainly set off a sparse wall, punctuating the style of the home, as well as its inhabitants. Adding affordable art pieces to complement other furnishings is also a smart choice for displaying a home for sale or tenanting, adding to the polish and appeal of your property.
What your art says about you is no longer limited to price as much as to placement and interior design cohesion. Decorative artwork is more affordable than ever and appeals to a wide variety of styles and tastes. Real investment art pieces will always have their place in a home, however for the budget-conscious there are plenty of options for up-styling your abode at a fraction of the cost.
Before you dive in, there will be some limitations to what you can achieve on a budget. Follow our guide for acquiring your next frugal, yet fabulous, art investment to get the most out of your interior design.
Fine art investment does tend to ascribe to the you-get-what-you-pay-for theory. If a couple of hundred dollars or less is all you have to invest, don’t expect anything original or renowned (but you just never know). Stay realistic and you’ll avoid accidentally overspending, or having unreasonable expectations of what your budget can achieve.
Keep an eye out when you’re shopping for other household furnishings. High Street homeware stores, such as Adairs or TK Maxx, and some interior design shopfronts often have complimentary art prints to go with their installations and displays. These are usually reasonably priced and will likely come framed or mounted.
3.Step back in time.
Regularly check in with vintage stores, flea markets and op shops. Dusting off an historic beauty is a cool experience. Not to mention reframing a vintage piece in a modern style could save you hundreds.
Don’t limit your search to traditional art stores or locations. Coffee shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques sometimes curate a collection by local artists for a steal. These pieces will add a hometown vibe to your decor and can support your local art scene immeasurably.
5.Keep it in the family.
Got a stack of kids’ artwork piling up in various drawers and cupboards around the house? Try looking at it with fresh eyes…. You never know how a colourful finger painting might look a million bucks in a fresh white or wood-look frame, hung in a study or kitchen to brighten a blank wall. Or if your mini-Matisse has a particular flair, get to know your local framer who can preserve special pieces in a bespoke framing style. The artwork itself is free, which allows a budget for better quality framing.
6.Want cheap? Think cheap.
When it comes to affordable art, know how to cut savings where it matters. Displaying your artworks can be a cost-saving opportunity. Major chain stores often have perfectly presentable framing options to house your prints on a budget. Larger stationery stores supply unique clipboards and quirky press studs that can be cheap, yet funky options, even as a temporary measure while you save up for a proper framing job.
Harness the power of the world-wide web, where major buyers can offer affordable art at a discount by letting go of the shopfronts and retailers. Some simple starting platforms include artloversaustralia.com.au and saatchiart.com. These are two of plenty of online art dealers, so get surfing and find yourself immersed in original fine artworks for a real bargain.
8.What a trip!
Regional art shows, small metro art festivals and specialist gallery exhibitions are often wonderful places to find an original work by an up and coming artist – or even more renowned artists who are looking to support community art projects through the sale of their work for the fraction of the regular price. If you’re prepared to make a weekend of it, book a short but overall relaxing vacay to your art destination. Treat yourself to an overnight stay in a fancy guest house and kill two birds with one stone: use the opportunity to chill out and ready yourself for an art hunt and gather that will evoke the memories of a wonderful weekend, decades down the track. After all, evoking feeling is what art is supposed to do.
Some starting points include:
The Other Art Fair, Melbourne 2-5 May 2019
The Packsaddle Exhibition, Armidale Regional Art Gallery, NSW, is held every October and exhibits new and reputable artists selling a variety of works for a smaller price.
Locally speaking, the Cooks Hill Gallery offers exhibitions and sales of original art central to Newcastle life and lifestyle.
9.Think long term.
Sometimes, affordable art will reveal itself in a piece that is not necessarily cheap, but that is timeless. If you see something you love, and that speaks to your home, the setting and your taste; even though it may be a bit above your original budget, consider how the piece may affect your home and your enjoyment over the years you will own it. If you love it enough, you’ll save money down the track – as you’ll never want to replace it!
Lastly, consider signing up for a fine art short course. Not only will this benefit your brain and your spirit; most courses that run for several weeks can cost as little as $200, include materials, and will provide you with a finished product created under the guidance of a professional art teacher. The best bit? You can place the piece in your home and feel proud of your achievements. Get in touch with local art schools such as The Arts Emporium at Lambton, Aimee Dobb Interior Designer Resin Art Day Courses, and The Art House Studio has a great Friday Coffee Creatives, for example.
The best news is that art acquisition is no longer reserved for a few. Using our clues as a starting point, we are sure there’s a special piece of affordable art just waiting to find a hook in your home.