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Art and Beauty

Art post for Week #3; Baskets & Poodles

By 10/28/2010January 23rd, 201732 Comments

Okay, I may be the only one in love with this blog party idea of posting inexpensive (or better yet cheap and cheerful) ways to create art for your home. But I really don’t feel like I’m the most creative person in the world when it comes to inexpensive art. Really. I would just love to buy beautiful and outrageously expensive art for my home and be done with it. So since I know that whatever you focus on expands – I’m continuing on with this party and hoping you’ll link up!

First, when I arrived at Barb’s lovely townhouse in North Vancouver this afternoon, this is the lovely setting that greeted me upon walking in the door. The baskets are from Zimbabwe and are called Tonga Binga. They are traditionally used to winnow grains. I love the way she arranged them on the wall as a fabulous focal point above the sofa. I neglected to ask her if they were expensive but it would be easy enough to find baskets this pretty (I hope).
I was there to discuss finishes for her kitchen (stone counter and backsplash/colour to paint the cabinets) as well the colour in her living room was not right (existing from the previous owner). The walls were painted BM Dijon (the lighting was not good to show colour so you’ll have to trust me) and both Bleeker Beige and Manchester Tan looked good with her sofa (which in this photograph looks pinky beige). The reason why the existing colour did not work was that it wasn’t repeated anywhere in the decorating of this living room.
This artist is local who although his art is famous around the world, still works as a fireman!
I loved the creative way she dressed up the ledge above the entry, an empty space that would otherwise be filled with vases (Too 80’s) with basket trunks and vintage luggage (below):
Above photos by Maria Killam
My favourite link from last weeks party is for a pet lover:
Red Door Home created Dog Silhouettes for her daughters bedroom and I loved the simple and graphic result! Click here to see how she made them!
Image via Red Door Home
Please post a link below if you have an inspired (and inexpensive) art project on your blog and next week I might post your idea! If you are an artist, please include a post from your blog which lists the price and link back to this post so everyone’s inspired ideas get read!
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If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me for on-line or in-person decorating and colour.

Related posts:
Cheap yet Happy Wall Art
Does your Colour Consultant understand Beige?
How to update an 80’s Kitchen with Colour
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  • Cherri @ SmartyPantalons says:

    I actually think it's a great idea too, this blog party. I want to participate, but I'm too swamped to get on the projects I need to do and would love to share. I've got some vintage books and odds and ends and a few boxes in the garage (hidden behind grandma's furniture we're storing!) full of nifty things I've been scouting at the thrift stores for the last couple of years. It's a whole range of paper/fabric/frame stuff that I've got big ideas for. But, like many people, those big ideas tend to stay in boxes in the garages for a while. Boo!

    Back to grading papers. Boo hoo.

  • angie says:

    We have been to Zimbabwe several times and have the same baskets! I use mine for storage though. Nice to see them hung on the wall!

  • Stephanie says:

    I love that she used something that was special to her to hang on her walls, rather than random art work that would fit the space. I despise those dust collector spaces architects put in homes, you have the big empty space and it just screams for accessories, but who wants to climb up there and dust them. She did a wonderful job on displaying unique and large pieces that won't have to be dusted as much as those 80's vases. You got me with the pet lover picture…

  • Donna says:

    Dear Maria, My link is to a post that was all about you though I wrote it some time ago. It was all about tablescapes and wall decor from items I picked up at re-sale shops and antique shops. All of it was VERY inexpensive. In fact, I recently bought baskets for my office supplies at our local thrift store.. .25 cents each! You could find all the baskets you would ever want..for pennies! Antique lovers know the real bargains, undiscovered antiques, are buried in with the outdated stuff, and wood shelves (like the one in the middle of my post) can sometimes be found at your local re-sale shop or thrift stores-then repainted. I plan to do a post next week with three prints I've picked up over several trips..all from local resale shops. They are all similar prints of botanicals for the bathroom. I'll be spray painting the frames so they match. Whether you want old frames, mirrors, prints, or just objects to group..this is a great place to start.

    This next week, I'll start doing a regular post to coordinate with yours if I'm working on wall art ideas. I guess my post on my art show entry won't's a Route 66 quilt that I will be entering this weekend. As a quilter, it didn't cost ME much..but it is wall own. :o) It will be up on Friday.

    You've definitely got me putting my thinking cap on. What a fun challenge! I'm sure some bright new ideas will come to me. My wall art is ALWAYS inexpensive. :o)

    xo Donna @ Comin' Home

  • Donna says:

    Maria, I re-posted my chat about decorating frugally since I talked so much about learning how to decorate from you. It was worth sharing again. :o)You've taught me so much this year.


  • Red Door Home says:

    I am thrilled you included the dog silhouettes from my daughter's room in your post – thank you! I am looking forward to seeing all the other creative ideas. This is a great idea for a linky party!

  • Kelly says:

    I too love artwork but can not afford too much(yet). I think photography is a creative, inexpensive way to have beautiful art on your walls. Thanks Maria- always love a party!

  • Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I love how she did the entry shelves with the basket trunks ~ that is a great way to think outside of the box {so to speak}! I have a piece to link up that was inspired by other blogs, but I thought it was a unique and inexpensive way to have something different on my walls. I will link it up. Great idea to share great ideas, Maria!

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, you can take a picture of something you love, a vacation picture or just favorite place to be and have it enlarged as great art.

    Joni, from Cote de texas has a post about a lovely artist that took these wonderful pictures of library and different huge interiors of places. She has them blown up into huge artwork for sale. I'm sure you saw this post. lol

    This sounded so easy to do and so personal too.


  • Anonymous says:

    Almost forgot about one important item you can decorate with. MIRRORS!

    I don't care for the plate things on the wall so much, that has been used so much this last couple of years. Mirrors have always been around and used for their needs, not as much design but now you can find them in so many different designs.

    I also saw some wonderful picture where a designer used wall paper that was bordered with molding. It was very pretty and unique.

    For me I don't want my home to look like my neighbors, I want it to be unique and for people to say, wow, where did you get that? Never seen anything like it before. I am sooooo not creative though so I have to leach these ideas. 🙂


  • Donna says:

    You can also use old frames of various sizes or fabric covered blocks. And I love photos used in various ways.. I couldn't sleep for thinking of all the unique ways to do wall art without spending a lot. I loved the silhouettes too. Timeless…and modern as well.

  • Lisa says:

    Love reading about other inexpensive art ideas. There are so many creative people and it makes a home so much more personal to use your creativity.

  • Shirley Peters says:

    Daily painters can provide wonderful small works that are inexpensive. A group of small canvases look good, and can become an art collection over time.

  • Shirley Peters says:

    Great web site… must browse deeper.

  • thewelcomehome says:

    I always love a challenge. When I was decorating this 6 bedroom beach house, I was operating with a strict (tiny) budget but I didn't want the house to feel like it was missing anything and I wanted it to feel inviting, warm adn personal. So I got creative with the art (and most of the furniture). My post tells the story behind some of my favorite (and most frugal) finds.

  • Chelsea@ThisFreshFossil says:

    Love the basket idea! We actually had a similar idea for our Master Bedroom – we hung up some dropcloth behind the bed to create a dramatic focal point, and hung up a big woven basket in the middle. We LOVE it! It instantly adds more drama and charm to our little tiny room.

    I posted a link to our tutorial on the dropcloth/basket headboard (which cost us less than $20), because I thought that using fabric as a backdrop for displaying art (and creating cheap and chic drama) over a wall could be useful to someone.

    P.S. We also have freebie art, too! 😉

    Fab link party!

  • Tammy@InStitches says:

    Thanks for hosting Maria ! I linked my spin art project, it was so much fun to do.

  • Edin's House says:

    Enjoyed checking out everyone's inexpensive art projects! Your client's baskets are lovely, and the vintage luggage, baskets & print on the ledge really speak to her love of travel – a perfect way to capture her personality in her home!

  • Catherine says:

    I'm going to cheat and share this suggestion here since it wouldn't really make sense on my blog right now:

    Towards the end of the school year, many high schools host an "Arts Night" in which students have the opportunity to sell their pieces. I don't know if you've ever had the chance to see high school art work, but some of those kids are insanely talented. Seriously. Last year I picked up a very cool painting (I've yet to get it framed… FAIL.) and there were so many other incredible pieces. I'm already looking forward to going back this year and it's only October!

    If you don't have ties to local schools that would alert you of this kind of thing, I would just call the school and ask them to put you in touch with an art teacher who could give you more information.

    Not only will you come home with an original piece of art at a very good price; you'll be supporting arts education and the kids themselves. It's like a win-win-win-win, if that's possible.

  • Kelly @ JAX does design says:

    I missed your other blog party installments, but I'll definitely be in next time I do an art project 🙂

    Love the dog silhouettes artwork 🙂


  • Nichole@40daysof says:

    Great idea for a post! I wish I had more original ideas. I'm definitely going to check out all of the other links.

  • Kristen says:

    Maria–great idea! I love creating inspired and inexpensive art pieces for my home. The project I linked to was a lot of fun, and is an artful reminder of a wonderful trip my husband and I took. Thanks again for the opportunity, and enjoy!

  • Sangeetha says:

    Hi Maria,
    I have been reading your blog for the past 6 months and its wonderful that you are sharing the things you have learnt with everybody. I read your blog every single day. About the inexpensive wall art, I came across this article in re-nest (ApartmentTherapy group )website.
    This one might interest you.

    I am not linking it in the Linkup tool you have provided, cos the ideas aren't mine.

  • TESOL certification says:

    I love your style and inspiration from the "native" look and feel of the room. The room has inspired me in many ways! We are planning to redesign our living room and we're going for bamboo shoots and wood crafted furnitures. The baskets will definitely an added accent for our our guest area!

  • barbara@hodge:podge says:

    Added my simple shadow box art framing special mementos as art. I am loving this linky party – great to see other's work.

    I love the bowls on the wall, stunning centerpiece!

  • barbara@hodge:podge says:

    OK- I added another link – one of my paintings 🙂

  • AB HOME Interiors says:

    How fun. I just love art. And I adore special art!

  • Bargin Corner Princess says:

    What a great room!! I believe it's called urban, right? *thumbs up**

  • Vanessa@decor happy says:

    Love the baskets and your client did a great job in hanging them. I'm linking up to a post on an art wall in my daughter's play room.
    (And that should be Happy with two p's!)

  • Dovecote Decor says:

    I do hang decoupage plates over my bed. Random vintage plates can look too sweet, but old platters work. I agree that mirrors are a fantastic way to fill a wall. I'm liking the over sized mirrors that look like casement windows. I've seen mirrored screens used to great effect behind a sofa. Brooke used some wonderful old salvage doors in a dining room recently that were very effective.
    Hope all is well,

  • L says:

    I linked up my framed New York city map–which is actually wrapping paper! The paper quality is fantastic, so it cost a whopping $4.50–expensive for a sheet of wrapping paper, but cheap for even a poster! (And I think the heavy paper, matte finish, and great printing quality look better than most posters!)

  • Peggy and Fritz says:

    I am an art fanatic. Not in the sense I can collect "fine art". I've always been on a budget but always manage to find great pieces. Art to me is something that moves you, makes you happy and when you see it you smile. I never had money so I use to go to flea markets and tag sales and look for paintings. I'm now into collecting female portraits and I never pay more than $75.00 tops. I also like classy nudes. I found one on Ebay for 99 cents – YES…of course, I have a good eye and all the ones I like are expensive but every once in a while if you look you will find something. i framed it in an Aaron Brothers brown frame – it looks like the expensive Pottery Barn ones and I got one for $12.99 buy one for a penny. Framing can be expensive especially for large pieces. I framed a 4' picture and it cost me quadruple what the poster did. A way to keep expenses down is to do collections of 3, 4's, or 6's. Look for books and tear out the photos, post cards are great. There are so many fabulous graphics now. I bought two post cards (nudes)of a local artist in CT – I couldn't afford her paintings so I bought two post cards, matted them and framed them and hung them in my bathroom. They look like $200.00 framed pictures but cost me total $29.99 each. The key is to look at everything like art. Books, postcards, Etsy is great, Ebay – just google what interests you. I just bought two ship paintings from shopgoodwill and both cost me less than $20.00. Another great thing is buying canvas's from an art store and taking colors you love and just randomly coloring the canvas in an abstract way and put three or six of them togther.

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