6 Great Ideas for Affordable Wall Art
Undressed walls give even the most beautiful room a sterile feel that makes the space seem more like a rental than a home. Here are six affordable ways to give your home’s walls a personal touch.
Stencils are a quick, easy and fun way to add interest to walls. Stencil a swirl of butterflies in a little girl’s bedroom or create a spill of morning glories tumbling down a kitchen wall. You can also create a wallpaper effect by picking a small design and laying out a repeat pattern to cover an entire wall. Though most stencils are done with acrylic paint, don’t overlook the possibility of working with oil-based paint sticks, which can be shaded, blended and layered for a subtler, hand-painted look.
Wall decals are a hot new trend in home décor. Like traditional decals, you buy the graphic and do the transferring yourself. Unlike decals of old, these are designed and scaled for wall use. The choices are almost endless, ranging from arabesques to birds on branches to ultra-modern geometric and Asian-inspired themes. Most cost less than $40 and, considering the drama and professional polish they add, deliver incredible value.
An entire world of alluring wall vases exists out there, from crystal vials set in holders that resemble elegant ironwork to wall pockets that embrace both country casual and sleek modern looks. For an extra pop of color, try a grouping of three pockets in bright, contrasting shades. Wall vases are also an effective way to update a room with seasonal foliage, and if you tire of flowers, longer lasting branches or dried arrangements work equally well.
A cluster of family photos can be a wonderful focal point or a total disaster. Photos taken by different generations over the years often don’t harmonize due to changing photographic techniques. A good way to unify pictures and make a dramatic statement is to scan the photos into your computer and use a graphics program to convert the scans to black and white. You can add additional interest to the prints by selecting details to hand tint. Regular colored pencils will do the trick and if you make a mistake, just print out a fresh copy to work with.
Yes, posters were done to death in the fern bars and casual restaurants of the past, but that’s no reason to abandon them. Get an updated look by choosing posters that confine advertising print to the top or bottom, then trim away the printed portion and frame the remaining image. Another approach is to move an empty frame over a large poster until you find an interesting detail to crop and frame. Both methods will give you fresh, fun art.
The Warhol touch
Who can forget Andy Warhol’s iconic prints of Marilyn Monroe in various pop art shades? You can get the same effect with your favorite photo. Scan the photo into your computer, open in your graphics program and play with the color settings to duplicate the print in four different shades, such as chartreuse, blue, violet and yellow. Frame them in identical frames and hang. This works especially well in a casual room with a photo that conveys a slightly ironic or whimsical message, such as the family pet.