Banish Bare Walls: A Guide to Affordable Art

We know the scenario: You’re a few years out of college and starting to rethink your living space. You’ve finally purchased a proper bed frame. There should be hand wash in your bathroom. When friends come to hang out, the glasses they drink from all match (sort of). And sometimes you arrange a selection of deli cheeses on a slate board and present the spread to your guests. You’re an adult now, and have resolved to live like you mean it.

But there’s still something missing, something that thwarts your progress at cultivating a grown-up apartment. Gents, it’s time to wage war against bare walls. Artwork makes a room feel properly lived in, and gives you something besides Game of Thrones to talk about at your next house party. The good news is that filling empty wall space doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are a some great options:

Saatchi Online

Saatchi Online

Saatchi Online—think eBay for affordable art—was launched by London’s famous Saatchi Gallery back in 2007. There’s something for everyone, from B&W portraits to kaleidoscopic oil paintings. Original artwork starts at $100, while open-edition prints can cost as little as 20 bucks.

Artsicle

Artsicle

Try before you buy: a sage grown-up motto we fully support. With original artwork rental company Artsicle, you can get comfortable with a painting or photograph before pulling the trigger on a big-ticket purchase. Start by taking a quick quiz to home in on your tastes, then sit back and let Artsicle’s in-house curators suggest pieces for you. Monthly rentals start at $25.

Chasing Paper

Chasing Paper

Chasing Paper produces peel-and-stick wallpaper that let’s you punch up the look of your walls without pissing off your landlord. At just $25 for each 2’ x 4’ panel, Chasing Paper appeals to commitment-phobes and starving decorators alike. For a painless antidote to bare walls, stick a panel to a big piece of poster board and hang it.

Do-It-Yourself

Do-It-Yourself

A framed photograph of Ernest Hemingway holding a shotgun. For under $6. Primer Magazine proves that there are no excuses for empty walls.

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