As an interiors-loving girlie on a budget, I'm constantly searching for ways to elevate the items I own without transforming my checking account into a barren wasteland. Because if you're of somewhat limited means, knowing on what and when to splurge — things like rugs, bedding, etc. — is key to building a stunning, fashionable space over time.
That's why I love nothing more (well, almost nothing more) than a hack that makes my home look immediately more expensive at a fraction of the expected cost, especially when said solution is from one of the best home decor brands. If you offer me an upgrade I can make in seconds, one that takes my house and turns it into a million-dollar home, I'm all ears. And nowhere are these beautiful tips and tricks more abundant than TikTok, the algorithmic purveyor of trends and culture.
As I was scrolling the other day, I happened upon an excellent decor idea from a TikTok creator named Ben Nelson. And what I loved most about it wasn't that it was easy or inexpensive, which it was, but that it instantly elevated the art on the creator's wall. Immediately, his pieces looked as though they were plucked out of a museum or purchased from an auction at Sotheby's, and all it took was a $40 light from Amazon.
The hack to elevate your wall art
The two art pieces in the video above look like traditional prints purchased from a website like Society6 or Desenio; like much of what we consider to be the best wall art right now it's high-quality and aesthetically pleasing, but not, say, museum or auction-worthy. Immediately, however, the addition of the picture light changes the game.
I've linked a similar option to that used in the video below — each brass-finished light is available in 13, 16, and 20in sizing, though 16in is the default when you click into the listing. The unit is rechargeable, so you needn't worry about having batteries on hand, and the brightness is adjustable, so you can dim the display as desired. An automatic off-timer makes energy conservation a breeze, while a 150° rotating head means you can easily change the direction of the lighting. This would work excellently above traditional wall art, but would also illuminate something like a dart board or mirror.
Now you might be saying to yourself: 'I love this idea — if only I had some wall art to go with it.' Reader, I've got you covered. If you're in the market for a new portrait or gallery wall, consider my brand-new-just-dropped edit below.
9 stylish wall art buys
Meant to resemble swirling rivers, winding paths, or fluid movement, this contemporary piece is all about the journey and the roads on which it takes us. The ribbon of deep blue is luxe and polished, while the back-and-forth curls add an organic touch.
This framed print is a reproduction of original work from renowned painter Barry Lantz, who combines hues of yellow and brown to build an inspiring and earthly abstract scene.
For a bit of a textual change-up, this unique black and white print comes on a 100% cotton canvas, which also includes sewn eyelets for easy hanging.
Funky colors, imperfect lines, aggressive scribbles ... this portrait of a so-called "calm woman" has everything you need. And to be honest? I also love her outfit.
Price: From $279
You might not be able to afford an actual Picasso, but this long-exposure photographic print of him might scratch the same itch. An artist at work.
Crafted from solid acacia wood, this CB2 best-seller exudes organic and natural elegance.
Cowboy/girl motifs continue to dominate online, so it's only right to a piece that nods to that microtrend. This thin-line sketch with red accents does it right.
This still-life design feels almost surrealist in its perfection and subtle fish-eye POV. I'm drawn to every curve and reflection.
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Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.
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