The Secret to Finding Affordable Artwork is Re-Framing Your Mind — Here’s How

published Jan 18, 2021
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

Some designers will tell you that every piece of art you hang in your home should have some special meaning to you, but I disagree. I think the primary qualification for art is that you like it. The only mistake you can make when it comes to filling your home with art is choosing things from a design store that you don’t really love, and doing it just to fill a space or check a box and have that room “finished.”

Actually, there is one other mistake that’s easy to fall victim to: Assuming artwork has to be Artwork. If you love hand-painted watercolors and limited edition prints, that’s great. But if the thing you really love to look at is fashion shoots ripped from magazines, or a hand-written note in a card from a treasured friend, or just a t-shirt that makes you smile, that can be art too.

Taryn's Tips

Art doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, anything that makes you happy when you look at it can be elevated into capital-A Artwork. You just have to find a way to get it on the wall.

So that’s what today’s Cure assignment is about: Just getting one thing you love on the wall.

Day 11: Find and frame some art.

Find something you’d like to display in your home, then get it framed and hung.

The art you choose is totally up to you — the only qualification is that it should be something that will make you happy. It can be a piece you’ve had and loved for a while, but you’ve been dragging your feet when it comes to the part where you actually get it on the wall. Or it can be something you choose specifically for this assignment — whether that’s a new print you ring up online, or a treasured thing (menu, ticket stub, scarf) that you decide you’d like to frame and display. The important part is that you should love it and really want to use it to add some warmth, beauty and individuality to your space.

This assignment is open-ended, because everyone has different realities. I know many of you have artwork waiting to be hung up — rolled up posters or a small stack of prints — and you just need the nudge to get it done. Others will benefit more from the reminder that there’s artwork everywhere, if you’re willing to look, just waiting to be pulled out from some drawer or closet or cranny and given the place of honor it deserves.

Once you’ve found your art, the next part is to take whatever steps you need to frame it. Measure your piece. If you already have a frame that fits, or can find one locally and quickly, that’s great. If you prefer to have it custom framed, that’s great too — send it out or make the order today. (If you’re ok with acrylic instead of glass, I’ve found Frame it Easy to be fast and affordable — that’s where I order all my frames personally.)

The last thing I’d like you to do today is a bit intangible, but just as important: Make a commitment today that once your artwork is framed and ready, you’ll hang it up right away. This assignment is all about surrounding yourself with things that make you happy, and make your four walls feel like home.

If your art is something like a pennant or wall hanging (or you already have it framed, or you prefer not to frame it), you get to skip the framing step and just get it up on the wall today. How’s that for immediate gratification?

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure: