This DIY Art Hack Is Modern, Chic, and Ridiculously Cheap

updated May 3, 2021
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Every inch of Katie Dickens‘ studio apartment in San Diego is super dreamy and perfectly designed. Since she is working on starting up her own design business, Dickens considers her 500-square-foot apartment to be a laboratory of sorts for testing her design ideas before committing to clients. She’s spent hours looking for inspiration on how to make her design bridge the gap between comfortable and luxurious. A huge inspiration when pulling her space together came from hotels, and you can see that in her airy, light palette and her liberal use of textiles.

That said, one of the more notable decorating techniques in a hotel —  and any upscale space really —  is displaying large, unique pieces of art that create focal points within a room, which invite the eye to linger. Often, when searching for high-end art, the more abstract a piece is, the more expensive it can be, since it’s one-of-a-kind and hard to replicate. Knowing this, Dickens decided to DIY large art to serve as a visual anchor for her living area. “I made this art myself by splashing black paint all over the canvases with my eyes closed,” she said.

The tools for this DIY are pretty straightforward: a canvas, paint, and a paintbrush, but you could go the full Jackson Pollock route and even use a turkey baster to apply pigment to your piece! Of course, you can keep your eyes open, too, should you want a little more structure and control over what you create when you are flicking paint at the canvas. If you’re attempting this one indoors, you might want to lay down a drop cloth or towel if you’re going all out with the design. You can use any size canvas and any paint colors you like, and the resulting piece will be not only unique, but also fairly inexpensive to make, and potentially a nice way to tie the color scheme of a room together.

Since a studio is really just one large room, Dickens has rearranged this space “thousands of times” to try to make it seem separate from her bedroom area. Each area is stylish and functional for its designated purpose, but she says the living area is her favorite zone. I’m sure she owes at least some of that love to her homemade art.