I love art. It can lift your mood, reflect who you are, and inspire you. And it totally transforms a room - I don't think there's such a thing as an amazing interior with blank walls (well, unless you're an ultra minimalist, but even then...)
But good art is normally expensive (as in, thousands and thousands). I'm lucky to have two large paintings by recognised artists, neither of which we paid for, mind you. I'd really like some more, but after our renovation I don't think there's going to be an 'art budget'! So what's the alternative? Well, I've been looking and there are heaps of really cool ideas for walls including mass photo displays, decals, paper garlands, tapestries, blackboard wall-stickers, mirrors, word press pieces, prints, vintage posters, and vintage maps.
Etsy is a great source of original art, plus prints and posters, often at really reasonable prices. And with the Aussie dollar this high, it's a good time to make a purchase...
I think these vinyl wall stickers at Urban Walls look really effective, with a similar effect to wallpaper. US$45 for 8 pieces.
This is an original 19x15cm oil painting at 'dailyportrait' for US$275. This shop also has lots of original sketches around the US$50 price range. The artist drew a portrait a day for a year, which is chronicled on his blog, and the results are up for sale at this Etsy shop. Cool, huh?
Dr Kennedy Jones' shop on Etsy has quite a few whimsical, retro-style prints around the US$30 mark. The obvious place to use them would be a kids' room, but I think they'd work equally well in a bedroom.
Letters - a little trite now, but essentially still a pretty cool idea. These ones are US$75 at William Dohman.
An understated but fun print from Made by Girl (US$12.75).
If you like fashion illustrations, have a look at silverridgestudio. I love these colours - very moody ($US75, Glicee print).
Cute word-art (US$25 at dazeychick).
Gotta love the colour saturation (US$24 'Pink Triangle' print by twoems).
200+ birds cut out from old dictionaries for US$3.00 at LoveTspVintage - just imagine the possibilities! Also airplanes and butterflies available. So cheap you could order, like, 900 birds and just roll around in them...
Large, vintage maps can also be displayed as art. A world map would be great in a lounge room (this one is US$275 at Vintage World).
Well, I could definitely keep going in this vein so I'm thinking, look out for 'art and alternatives' episode #2...