If you're looking for ways to keep a nursery bright and happy without going overboard on the cutesy factor, artwork is a good place to start. Look for graphic prints, paintings, and posters with colors that appeal to kids and content that's adult-friendly. Here's our 'black book' of grown-up sources that might not seem like obvious options for kids' art, but actually have quite a few things that would fit right in with a child's room.
This brick-and-mortar and online store in Chicago was created as an extension of the über-popular Renegade Craft Fair, and they sell kid-friendly handmade prints from a large group of artists. This is Twilight, a digital print by Laura George for $20.
Threadless Print Shop
Chicago-based Threadless is a mainstay for hipster T-shirt shoppers, but they also carry prints, including a collection of bright and graphic artworks that are appropriate for kids' rooms. Shown left is The Infinite Doodle by Erica Strandberg, $25.
Every week, Providence-based Tiny Showcase produces a limited run of prints by a different artist. All their artworks are small and affordably priced, like this piece, Genoa, by Andrew Holder for $20. Buy a few in a series to decorate a nursery.
Lost Art Salon
San Francisco's Lost Art Salon specializes in vintage drawings, paintings, and photographs by forgotten or unknown artists. Prices are affordable, and the inventory is diverse. This is Lynda McNeur's 1971 monoprint, A Time to Build Up, A Time to Tear Down, for $295.
The Ross Vintage Poster Gallery
New York-based Ross carries thousands of vintage posters with themes ranging from classroom aides to sports. They don't list all their stock online, so contact them if you have a specific request. This is Castiglioni's Centenaire Horse Race, 1982, for $800.
Mollusk Surf Shop and Gallery
This is a bi-coastal surf shop and gallery with locations in SF, LA, and NY. In addition to boards and gear, they sell prints and photo art, including this $50 print by Serena Mitnik-Miller, entitled Serena Waves.
This gallery specializes in vintage circus posters created during Poland's communist era. As decorative items, these are reasonably priced original prints that feature gorgeous hand-lettering and vibrant inks. Shown left is 2 Horse Heads by Tomasz Ruminski, 1973, $325.
Textile Arts sells Marimekko fabrics and offers kits which allow you to easily create wall hangings from their most popular designs. It's a good option for large-scale affordable artwork for a nursery. This is the Juhannustaika Wall Hanging Kit, $100.
MoMA Design Store
Modern art is an often-overlooked choice for a child's room, but much of it is just the kind of thing that both kids and adults can love. The MoMA Store has a good selection of modern prints — this is a poster of Ellsworth Kelly's 1967 Spectrum, $19.
modern digital canvas
If you like the dramatic impact of a large, handpainted canvas but can't afford an original, this online store has a large-scale canvas printing service. Palma, shown left, starts at $199, and the cost goes up with the size.
Photo: Juhannustaika Wall Hanging Kit from Textile Arts