Friday, 18 November 2016

Fantastic art for your home for little to no cost

Our home is from the Georgian period - it has large rooms, high ceilings, large windows (a nightmare to get fitted curtains for) and an expanse of wall space.  Fantastic to look at but a nightmare to heat at times!  Whilst the windows are a good size, our home is west-facing which means we don't always get a great amount of daylight into the house.  As a result, we've painted pretty much all our walls white - this maximises the impact of any daylight coming in, and also seems to make the rooms appear bigger.

Another bonus of having white walls is that it makes any hung artwork really stand out.  And given the expanse of walls that we have, hanging pictures and artwork really helps to break up the wall space and give some focus and colour to a room.

As you know, I love a bargain and I love to be creative - as a result, I think I can count on one hand the bought-in artwork we have in our home.  Pretty much all of it has been made by me, and with a little imagination and a very small amount of money, you can do the same.  You'll have fun, it will cost you next to nothing, and you'll have some truly unique artwork for your walls.

A sneak peak at what I have to show you below...

Firstly, let's talk about frames.  I pick up most of my frames from - yes, you’ve guessed it -  charity shops.  You can get them for a song, a couple of pounds at the most. Often they'll be much better quality than the new ones you would buy from a store.  Don't be put off by the contents of the frame - you can easily remove and discard it when you get it home.  I tend to buy frames when I see one I like, rather than trying to match a frame to a particular idea I have at the time - I have quite a few 'in stock' and waiting to be used!  My particular fondness at the moment is for very basic, natural wood frames - quite 1970s in style, no detail to detract from the artwork, simple but effective.

So, here are a couple of ideas of how you can produce gorgeous and cheap artwork for your home:

If you see a lovely sheet of wrapping paper, snap it up; it has all sorts of uses over and above covering presents.  I have used wrapping paper to cover items in the past, including photo frames, and I've used it when decoupaging various items.  One of my favourite designers is Orla Kiely; much as I love her stuff I really can't afford most of it, however I did spot some of her double sided wrapping paper in a shop in Whitby.  I bought a couple of sheets which I think cost me around £2 each.  I framed a section of it, and it hangs in our living room, next to the Husband's grandmother clock.  Different eras but I think they look great together.

Antique clock and Orla Kiely wrapping paper - who knew?!

I think this must be one of my favourite designs of all time - so simple but so blinkin' gorgeous

You can buy painting canvases incredibly cheaply nowadays - the cheapest ones I've found have been in Home Bargains.  I've covered a couple of canvases with some funky retro material and made some great pieces of artwork.  Make sure the material is big enough to stretch around the back of the canvas and staple-gun it in place.

This orange bird fabric really pops against the white walls

Orla Kiely again!  I got this fabric on eBay; it's actually a former duvet cover, believe it or not

If you see a card or a postcard you love, frame them - they are incredibly cheap and effective.  I framed a postcard which arrived with an order I placed with an amazing designer called Rachel Powell - I absolutely love her designs, and the postcard was so cute I had to display it.  I backed the postcard with paper I'd cut out of a craft magazine.  I love it - what do you think?

Postcard by the amazing Rachel Powell, framed by yours truly

Lordy, she's soooo cute!

Our kids are constantly producing pictures, artwork, collages, at home and at school.  They are prolific and whilst some of them inevitably end up in the bin (I know, shocking isn’t it?!), some of it is just to good to let go.  And some of it deserves to be displayed.  The Girl made this saltdough heart when she was around 3 years old, at nursery.  I loved it instantly and box-framed it; it's been on our wall ever since. 

The Girl's beautiful salt dough heart, which hangs proudly on our landing

Both the Girl and the Boy love reading Horrid Henry and a couple of months ago took it upon themselves to produce a display of work based on the books which they attached with blu-tac to our landing wall.  I love it and I don't have the heart (or the desire) to take it down… 

What a fantastic display, right?  They took ages doing this and it's FAB

You can frame and display anything and everything.  Think outside the box, as it were…  For example, I've always wanted some Beswick flying ducks.  You know, the ones your granny used to have one the wall when you were a kid?   Even on online auction sites they sell for silly money and are way above my price range.  One day I was in a charity shop and came across a baby toy which had three yellow ducks on it and it got me thinking.  I bought the toy for a pound, snipped the ducks off it, found some funky retro paper in my stash and attached the ducks with super strong glue.  I now have some flying ducks, albeit a slightly kooky variety!

My flying ducks.  OK, they're not Beswick but I love them all the same

I love coming up with new displays for our walls and nothing stays in the same place for long.  Our walls are adorned with pictures, artwork and prints, the vast majority of which have been a labour of love for myself and my family, and I revel each day in the originality, fun and colour in our home.  I hope I've inspired you to have a go yourself.  Enjoy!

Just before I go, I thought you might like to see the amazing ceiling in our living room - this was one of the things that sold the house to us - isn't it just beautiful?

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.  That is all.

Old and new again.  The ceiling is over 130 years old; the ceiling light isn't.
It's from Ikea and cost £50 (a huge amount of money for old skinflint here to shell out)
and guess what folks?  It's still available in the store today

The ceiling and walls above the picture rail are painted, unusually for us, in grey, a fantastic colour for décor in this part of the world and much more forgiving that cream and beige, I find.

Bye for now  xxx

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