Thursday, 19 February 2015

When You're Too Cheap for Original Art... (help me!)

The right artwork can really show off your personality and make your house feel like home.  

Sometimes Simple Cheap Dad and I stroll through galleries to look at all the pretty paintings.  Original art is pretty pricey though, and we've never been moved enough to pony up that amount of cash for art.  

Please don't get me wrong.  I think artists should be properly compensated for their work.  I understand that each piece takes time to create and that it takes years for an artist to develop their skills.  

But, our budget is tight.  So it's hard for us to justify the cost.  Especially since we've never really fallen in love with a painting.

The Simple Cheap Family Gallery

We do have art at our house.  Our Little Miss provides us with an ample supply of original art that we treasure.  All she asks for in return is room, board, and unconditional love.  That much we can work into our budget.

What's cuter than toddler art?
Our walls are covered with family photos, hand me downs from family, or artwork we picked up at a neighbourhood charity art sale.  We actually have stacks of artwork in the basement that we're not using.  They are nice, but they're not really us.  We'd like to be more intentional about our artwork.  But again, for now our priorities are on our goals.  So we don't have a lot of room in the budget.

For years we've been making due with other people's art.  It's never really fit our personality though, so we've kept accepting more and more art hoping to find something that really spoke to us.

It was cheap, but it definitely didn't simplify our lives.

Bilbo and unwanted art in the furnace room.

At this point, we've decided that we want some art that we truly enjoy.  It will feel good when we finally declutter all the art that doesn't speak to us (we tried selling it a garage sale when we moved in, but no one bit).

The Powder Room Reno

I may have mentioned it once or twice, but we're in the middle of updating our powder room.  The whole project started in the summer and we've been working on it at our usual speed.  Should be done by next summer.  

We're at the stage now where the finishing touches are going in.  We need to finish installing the trim, do some paint touch ups and then figure out where to put the hand towel bar.

We also need to figure out what artwork should go in there.  

This room needs art!

We had picked out a print of a flower that's been kicking around for a few years.  But it doesn't really seem to fit.  Nothing we have really seems to fit.  So, we've been on the lookout for new artwork.

I, of course, have been looking online for ideas.


I've come across Minted on other blogs in the past.  Usually showing their pretty wedding invitations or baby announcements.  But, as I found out, they also have a whole section on art!

The Minted art collection brings together artwork from independent artists from all around the world.  Art is chosen through a crowd sourcing system where anyone can vote for their favourites.  The winners get sold on  Minted is a US company, but ships to several countries around the world, including Canada.

I like the idea that I could support independent artists without blowing my budget.  Unframed 5x7 prints start at only $20. 

I Need Your Help

So far we've just been making due with what we've got, so I'm not very experienced with picking art for a particular space.  So I have some questions for you.  Please help me!

1. What style of art do you think would go best?
We've marked more than 20 pieces of art on Minted as interesting and our taste is all over the place.  What style do you think would work best in our powder room?




2. Where should we hang the art? 
I had originally planned to hang the art over the toilet, but everything looked a little odd next to the framed mirror.  My next choice would be on the far wall when you walk in.  But maybe the best spot is on the right wall so you can look at the art while you're doing your business.  What do you think?

3. What size of artwork should we pick?
In my mind I just default to an 8x10ish frame.  But, would it be better to hang a larger print or a collection of smaller prints?


Our artwork clutter has been bothering me for years.  We've tried to make due with what we have collected over the years.  But, I think now we're craving something that's more intentional.  More us.  

The powder room is the first room in the house that we've made our own.  It would be nice if we had some art that we loved to really put our personal stamp on it.  

Our priorities make it hard for us to afford original art.  But with quality prints available at reasonable prices, used art, or even DIY, there are options out there for any budget.

What About You?

Can you help me with my powder room decorating dilemma?

What's your approach to art in your home?

Have you ever used Minted in the past?  Would you buy art online?

This post was generously sponsored 
by the good folks at Minted.  

To see more of what Minted has to offer, 
check out