Hunting for affordable art for your home

Printable Gift Ideas

These gorgeous black and white prints will look great in a minimalist home. Designed by graphic artist Eleonora of PrintableGiftIdeas on Etsy, Milan. (Photo from Etsy store)

“Your order is on its way.” Now that’s an e-mail subject line that always makes me giddy with excitement. This time around, the order is coming from someplace more exotic than my go-to Chinese fast food joint across the street. It’s traveling 9,000 kilometers. Shipping from Istanbul to Manila. And I am so excited to unwrap it when it arrives in 5 days. More on the contents of this package later.

You see, I’m renovating my new home, and with that comes my absolute favorite part: decorating. For me, the structure of the home is like a blank canvas. The décor is what gives it color, texture, vibe and personality. I love to hang art on the walls. And this post is all about how my art hunting has led me to wonderful sellers all over the world. With online shopping, the world is your marketplace for affordable art for your home.

I was inspired by 2 posts in the Style by Emily Henderson website, How to choose, frame and hang an art collection , and The guide to a well hung gallery wall (IKR. That’s a gallery wall that’s worth a gasp and a double take.) She wrote about sourcing art pieces conveniently on Etsy. Yes, that wonderful online marketplace for all things creative.

I happen to like Etsy a lot. I have the app and have ordered some unique stationery from Etsy sellers in the past, but never thought of it as a place to buy art. I was pleasantly surprised when I browsed around. Absolutely wonderful pieces, from affordable to expensive, from reproductions to originals. Different styles from classic, abstract, vintage to minimalist, using different media. And you have all the freedom to choose the pieces that you really like and make you smile. As Emily said, there’s no one to tell you which is good art or bad art.

Vogue

This is a beautiful vintage Vogue cover poster from the 1920s reproduced by Wall Arty. I’m thinking of hanging this in the bathroom. (Photo from Etsy shop)

So after a lot of browsing, I settled upon several pieces. There’s this wonderful store from Istanbul, Turkey, Wall Arty, that sells really attractive vintage prints and posters.  Their vintage prints are sorted out in different themes like travel, movies, fashion, food, cars, motorcycling, sports, etc. They are printed in high resolution in the size of your choice. I was happy to see their buy-2-prints, get-1-free promotion for the holidays. (Prices start at around $16 or 800 pesos for the smallest poster prints size 11 by 14 inches.)

Southern Philippines

I was surprised to find this vintage Southern Philippines travel poster from Wall Arty, and I just fell in love with it. (Photo from Etsy shop)

I found another nice seller, Social Print, owned and curated by Jev Kucerenko from Riga, Latvia. He has a wide collection of fine art reproductions of works by masters like Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Vermeer, Warhol, etc. His pieces are licensed for reproduction and are museum-quality printed on canvas. He uses the technique called giclee (“zhee-clay” which refers to fine art reproductions using high-quality inkjet printing).  Imagine having a Van Gogh reproduction at just the price of a good sneaker. (By the way, Social Print’s shipping is free until 31st December. Prices start at around $19 or 980 pesos for the smallest canvas prints size 11 by 14 inches.)

water lilies

I am a Claude Monet fan, especially of his famous water lilies from his garden in Giverny. I think this would look nice in gold frame. Reproduction by Social Print. (Photo from Etsy shop)

ladies of avignon

If modern art is your thing, there are Picasso pieces like this Ladies of Avignon. Very striking. Reproduction by Wall Arty (Photo from Etsy shop)

Another wonderful product by Social Print are their photo collages. Just send Jev your favorite images, and he will transform it into a nice collage that he can print on photo paper or canvas of the size of your choice. Lovely way to display your memorable pics from Instagram. I am sure you can find local shops that can do the same photo collage for you, but shipping is free is so I’m taking advantage of this offer on Etsy.  (Shipping time varies per seller, from 3 days to 2 weeks or more).

photo collage final

Now you can hang your favorite Instagram photos on your wall. This photo collage was designed by Etsy shop Social Print. I think it will look great in a simple white frame.

abstract DYA

This simple but beautiful black and white watercolor abstract is by artist Danushka Abeygoda of DYAStudio in Perth, Australia. (Photo from Etsy shop)

There’s another seller I like, DYA Studio, owned by artist Danushka Abeygoda from Perth, Australia. I love her modern abstract prints, especially the black and white pieces using watercolor which will look nice in the living room. They would go really well with any minimalist home design.  Her pieces are even more affordable, because you simply purchase digital downloads of her pieces. Some of the digital downloads go for as low as $7 or about 300 pesos. Once you have downloaded and saved the file, you can just have it printed in the size of your choice and framed by your local shop. Inexpensive but attractive way to decorate your home with your own style. Can’t Wait To Decorate.

 

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Home

By Paul Henson

Monterey Bay, California. (Photo by Paul Henson 2015)

On land, or on the sea? On the hills, or in the valleys? Where is home? (Monterey Bay, California. Photo by Paul Henson 2015)

I used to think home was one place.  Familiar.  Comforting.  Safe.  Harking back to childhood memories. Attached to specific faces, people – family.

I was wrong.

It turns out home is many different places.  It’s not always familiar.  It can take us out of our comfort zones.  Unsettling.  It can be strange, foreign, new, terrifying.  Still, it can be home.

Have you ever felt the need to break free?  Moments you simply felt stunted, caged that you just wanted to create for yourself a new home?

Be careful what you wish for.  Life is listening.

A window opens.  Sometimes, a door.  Slowly at first.  Filtering in a little bit of light, a gentle breeze, through the cracks.  Enticing.  Newness beckons.  Fresh, exhilarating, liberating.

A window opens.  Sometimes, a door.

And sometimes – I suspect, oftentimes — the whole house comes crashing down.  Torn apart.  Blown away.

A flood of emotions:  Anger, disbelief, grief, sadness, heartache, pain.  More anger.  A little regret.  A little self-hate.

A deluge of questions:  What just happened?  Did I do something wrong?  What was all this for?

WHY?

You stumble through the debris.  Lost, dazed, confused and frightened.  Sometimes you try, but are just too paralyzed by fear.

Grand Canyon, Arizona. (Photo by Paul Henson 2015)

Finding home even on the precipice. (Grand Canyon, Arizona. Photo by Paul Henson 2015)

Finding your way

But help comes when you need it most.

A word.  A hand.  A shared tear.  They don’t take away the pain completely.  But sharing it makes the load just a bit easier to bear.

And then amidst all that is frightening, unfamiliar, uncomfortable and painful – slowly – you discover that home is many different places.

Home is in the smile, the outstretched hand, of a new friend.  The color of his or her eyes may be different but the tenderness is something you have felt before.

Home is in a song, a dance.  The words, the steps, are new but the pull on your heartstrings (or hamstrings) transport you back to fond memories.

Home is in a meal.  The flavors may be all new but the satisfaction and contentment in your heart and your belly are the same.

Home is…

Sometimes, you retrace your steps to your old home.  You see the old places, old people.  Sometimes, the familiar brings you comfort.  At other times it brings you discomfort.  Either you’ve changed, and they haven’t.  Or have they changed, and you’ve stayed the same?  It doesn’t matter.  There’s no right or wrong.

You look back.  You look forward.  You’re not quite sure what is ahead.  But you feel the ground beneath you is solid and safe.  You feel a quiet sense of accomplishment.  You exhale.  Your breath carried by the mist, the wind, into the sky, the sunlight.

Home is many different places.  Sometimes – oftentimes, I suspect — the old one has to come crashing down, get torn apart, get blown away.  Don’t worry.  That home is not gone entirely.  You just have to trust that you’re making way for something new.

***

Follow the author on Twitter @Paulhenson or Instagram @heaveninawildflower.