Knowing where to source affordable art means you have the key to filling your home with brilliant finishing touches. It's the lynchpin of all gallery wall ideas, the way to turn a house into a home, brimming with beauty and personality. A way to help showcase your own personal style, while completing your home with pieces of art you truly love.
Filling in gaps in your collection by ordering from grassroots creatives adds a feel-good factor all of its own, and as for how to painlessly throw your artworks together, well, we’ve got that covered too. What a gallery wall of affordable art brings to the home is a unique-as-a-fingerprint Museum of Me, giving you a peachy punch of pride and positivity every time you walk by.
The best place for graphic affordable art
“It’s a wonderful thing when you can have a piece of art for an affordable price,” says artist Margo McDaid (opens in new tab), of her range of original paintings, prints, collages and plates. Years ago, the artist also known as Margo in Margate challenged herself to a personal project: to paint a picture every day for 20 years, purely to see what transpired. Now nine years in, her signature style is well established: simple yet striking acrylic portraits of women – “real women I see around Margate,” she affirms ‒ who look irrepressibly sage and sophisticated. Expect maritime stripes, sharp bobs and glints in eye.
Best for statement pieces of affordable art
With good mental health high on our agenda, it could be uplifting for your gallery wall to have something that gives you a daily reminder of the value and intimacy of human connection. It’s a sentiment shared by People I’ve Loved (opens in new tab), a small printmaking workshop in California whose straightforward imagery and micro messages, from ‘We are not meant to be happy all of the time’ to ‘Universe, I am trusting in you’ don’t shy away from the messy, the complicated, and the ultimately beautiful, bringing a hopeful and calming aesthetic. These would sit really well in your home if you've been following our expert tips to creating a happy gallery wall.
Best for abstract art
Perhaps the most enigmatic of all art styles is abstract art, pioneered in the last century by the likes of Hepworth, Pollock, Mondrian and Rothko. Including a large piece of abstract affordable art on your gallery wall is a great way to spark reactions with bold shape and form without distracting from the figurative pieces in your cluster.
Bringing a genre that’s often exclusively priced into the affordable bracket, the work of Christopher Smith (opens in new tab) over on Etsy ‒ in prints, originals and commissions – is influenced by everyday objects and crystallised through geometric and colour compositions. “I’m also heavily inspired by nature,” says Christopher, "often leaving the city for the countryside to discover new shapes, light and sound.”
Best for affordable cartography
Being reminded of our very favorite places, even when we're not in them, is another way affordable art can help produce a warm glow inside. A letterpress city print from Archie’s Press (opens in new tab) is “a love-letter to a city,” says Archie Archambault, “capturing the most essential gestures and neighbourhoods that make the place ‘itself’.” Inspired by printed ephemera, scientific diagrams and typographic signage, the image is literally pressed into the paper, creating a highly satisfying tactile relief, the resulting look sitting well with any modern aesthetic.
Best affordable place to buy collage
Erm, is that a bird driving a car? It sure is, and with lashings of nostalgia and a love of botanicals thrown in there too, it’s classic of the collage art of Vivienne Strauss (opens in new tab) who works with historical ephemera she’s gathered from decades past. Buying an original collage is a great way to add interest and texture to your gallery wall, though limited edition prints are available too for even greater affordability. I
nspired by nature, films, books and actual life, Vivienne doesn’t confine herself to a single medium (oils, watercolours, paper, glue, fabric and photography all make appearances in her repertoire) and we love her artworks’ charming names, like ‘May had a passion for plants', or this one ‒ ‘Mad about saffron’.
Best place to buy affordable pop culture art
Everyone thinks their pet is the most handsome pet in the world, right? So it’s only right that said pet should make the edit – in a tongue-in-cheek way perhaps ‒ for the gallery wall. If you’d agree that nothing trumps the comedic effect of Rover in a ruff, or Patch as Pop Art (opens in new tab), ordering from any number of pet portraitists on etsy.com (opens in new tab) is where you need to head, so long as pet obliges by striking a pose for you to upload. If you’re feeling ‘Under Pressure’ to inject more pop culture into the gallery wall, a hand-pulled silkscreen print of pop royalty from Tiny Riot (opens in new tab) ‒ like this one of Freddie ‒ may be your ‘Kind of Magic’ (sorry).
Where to buy personalised portraiture
Pets, should you so wish it, can also be included in a family feature wall of Lucie Sheridan (opens in new tab)’s work, a fun illustrator who whips up a quirky and distinctive original ink portrait of you or your loved one, in her trademark freehand style. With a humorously strict NO SMILING PLEASE policy, Lucie undertakes commissions from photographs or in person on Zoom calls, but better still, if you’re UK-based, you can invite her and her portable live-art booth to your soirée to paint all your guests. With reference to her brand name, Rubbish Portraits, one sitter commented “It’s a massive con, as she can actually draw,” whilst another added “It really gives a flavour of me, without needing to be accurately me.”
Best place for beginners to buy affordable art
If you can’t reduce your taste in art to Google search words just yet, a bit of patient scrolling in a contemporary online art store is the place to start swiping left and right, so to speak. Drool Art (opens in new tab) adds win-win value by providing you with features like to help you find your style, whilst simultaneously backing young and emerging creatives, ensuring they get the absolute max from the sale price.“The success of selling my artworks [via Drool] has helped legitimise my craft,” affirms Alexander Khabbazi, architect turned graphic designer “[and] has left me with much more time to get my mind into the creative side of things."
Expert advice for creating a gallery wall
Knowing how to create a gallery wall means you're positioned to make the most of your affordable art. Interiors guru Coral Atkinson to share her top tips on achieving an easy-on-the-eye and cohesive display.
- To create a gallery wall, mix many different styles together but pull through a few colour themes to work with the room.
- Add in neon lights, mirrors and typography prints to mix with pattern and add interest
- I like to go for thin oak frames throughout the house which I source from H&M Home and Desenio online. Go for a mix of mounted and unmounted pics.
- Cut newspaper to the sizes of your frames and Blu-Tack on the wall, that way you can see how they all flow together before committing yourself. Plan for the most impactful pics at eye level
How do you decorate a dining table when you're not using it? 8 decor ideas for between mealtimes
Stylish, yet easy to move when it comes time to set the table, try these designer-inspired styling ideas for decorating a dining table when not in use
By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari • Published
I'm a coffee lover - these are the coffee gadgets I'm hinting to friends would make a perfect gift for me
If you're shopping for gifts for a coffee connoisseur, you can bet they'd be happy with these smart coffee gadgets - I would be!
By Hugh Metcalf • Published