I love a print. There is barely a speck of wall in our house that is not filled with a frame and piece of “artwork.” Now I use quotations here, not because of my tastes, but because I always use the term “artwork” loosely due to the vast range of work that fills out home. When you have up to 40 prints on display per room, they can’t all be original oil paintings; you’re going to need to economise somewhere. So I have figured out ways to fill my walls for all kinds of budgets.
WRAPPING PAPER ART
One of my favourite hacks is using wrapping paper as artwork; not only is this cheap as chips (literally) but it also is a fantastic way to build collection of larger artwork. I started using wrapping paper as art while living in rental properties and it is something I have kept up as I’ve found more and more amazing prints. My current favourite website for finding some great patterns is Present Indicative; there is a phenomenal choice and they are a total bargain with prices from £2.50
Or in fact any kind of greeting card makes fantastic “artwork” and being small, artwork of this size is essential for a well formed and varied gallery wall. Naturally postcards and greetings cards can be picked up anywhere on your travels, adding a personal touch to your art curating. I also like to find postcards online and I have been amazed at the variety you can find on Red Bubble. Now their choice is so wide, you really do have to be prepared to commit some time to searching. However, you will be richly rewarded and find some really great pieces. They frequently offer discounts and multi purchase incentives meaning I rarely pay more than 90p per postcard on their site. BARGAIN!
Now I’m talking beginning to invest here, so I am not talking mass produced prints made from stock imagery; I personally am not interested in artwork like that. You end up seeing the same thing everywhere and tend to be printed on low quality paper and have poor finish to them. Alongside all that, they are not necessarily cheaper. I’ve tried with artwork like that in the past and have always ended up disappointed and not happy with the “mainstream” look of it.
I recently discovered Nine By Nine, an online art gallery and boy do I adore this companies concept and what they are doing to support up and coming independent artists. Corryn and Adam started the company after moving into their home and finding that a lot of online print shops offered an overwhelming volume of choice that made it impossible to chose therefore finding a gap in the market “we wanted something that wasn’t going to be up in loads of peoples homes, but on a budget” says Corryn, “the more we researched the more we liked the idea of selling limited edition art prints by up and coming artists. it was important to us to retain a premium product with a low price tag; Nine By Nine was born with signed artwork starting at £40.”
I picked out the beautiful print above by Andrew Charles. I have to say the quality is exceptional. Prints are clear, crisp and printed using an archival Giclée method on 210gsm Hahnemühle matt paper; they don’t feel like a print at all, they feel like you’ve got your hands on an original and I just love that they are not mass produced.
Through extensive research Corryn and Adam curate 9 exclusive and limited edition signed prints each month. As well as selling their artwork, Nine By Nine include and interview on their website for each Artist meaning. I love that as it goes beyond the commercial opportunity and seriously supports new talent to have a platform to reach new audiences. See below some of my favourite discoveries through Nine By Nine; all of which are still available on their website.
For the remainder of 2018, Nine X Nine are offering Project Home Design readers a 15% discount! Enter the code PHD15 at the checkout. Valid until 31st December
Another recent incredible discovery is that of Ink and Drop. Founded by 2 couples Marc and Roma and Johnny and Claire. Marc and Johnny both have a background in the industry running a creative design studio. They spotted a gap in the market for high quality, head turning prints that did not cost the earth and believe everyone should be able to have show stopping artwork in their homes. I was lucky enough to chat to Roma about the Ink and Drop concept who told me “all of the images are created in-house by the two designers,” says Roma “Where prints are photography based only 100% royalty-free images are used, and in the spirit of the whole company, always heavily tweaked to become our own and unique. 99% of the prints are designed from the ground up and can’t be found anywhere else“
One of the first prints the team designed was my personal favourite; the King and Queen. What really captured my imagination with the Ink and Drop concept was the in house design aspect, which means that their prints are fully customisable. This is a completely unique offering that I have not found anywhere else on the market, particularly not at the quality level that Ink and Drop deliver.
For the month of August 2018, Ink and Drop are offering Project Home Design readers a 15% discount! Enter the code projecthomedesignink at the checkout.
One of the joys of instagram has been to discover so many fantastic Artists as well as having a platform to chat with them directly. This has been such a great way to discover really unique pieces and artwork that I absolutely adore. It would be impossible for me to pick out just one favourite, so below are a selection of favourite artists that I have loved seeing their work evolve through instagram and collect key pieces.
This end of the scale I am not as familiar with from personal experience, I do however know exactly where I would start when we can harvest the money tree! My parents are keen art collectors and have some wonderful, cheerful artwork in their home that they have collected from various art fairs during their retirement. This is a great way to meet new artists as well as discover galleries that suit your artistic aesthetic.
Most artists will be able to create commissions for you; this really is the crème de la crème of art collection. This will give you a piece that is totally unique and an original and will become a real pride of place in your home. I know where I’d go for commissions in future…
Will Make Things is an artist specialising in gold leaf applique to architectural images, mainly maps. I have coveted Wills work ever since I attended the No House Rules event in the glorious home of Katie Woods of @comedowntothewoods. Katie has a huge print of Manhattan Island in her kitchen and the artwork really caught my attention; so meticulously detailed and impeccably produced.
In May of this year I was bridesmaid at my best friends wedding. I could not believe it when she presented me with a gift, let alone when I opened it to reveal a Will Make(s) Things commission. She had asked Will to design a print of my favourite Disney Park, Animal Kingdom. It is stunning and one of my favourite pieces of art in my home. It hangs pride of place in the hallway so that I see it every day. My goal is to build up more of these until I have the full set of Disney Parks going up the stairs; this may take many Christmases and Birthdays!
This is an area where I do economise a lot! I buy pretty nearly all my frames from The Range, where prices start from as little as £2 for a postcard size frame. While they have a good amount choice, when you are collecting gallery walls like we are its surprising how quickly frames can become repetitive. My answer to this? Spray paint!
I’ve sprayed frames yellow, green, red, copper, grey, gold, neon pink (my personal favourite) anything goes really! I tend to buy my spray paints in B&Q or the Range; the colour I get asked for most is the Neon Pink which is by Rustoleum and can be purchased in The Range, see some of my favourites below;
My key advice with collecting Art Work? Don’t get caught up in what’s “trending.” There’s a whole world of art out there and you don’t need to have the same as anyone else. Avoid mass produced “art” that you see everywhere and embrace supporting a wide community of talent. With so much better access to up and coming artists, you can support small businesses without breaking the bank. You can also find pieces that are unique and different that will make your house a home.