art + design

How to Buy Art for a Gallery Wall

We created a black and white artwork gallery wall in our dining room (see the makeover  and inspiration here.) I’ve had a bunch of questions on how to source and frame art so I wanted to put together a little guide on how to do it without spending a million dollars. (FYI-I did a whole post here on how to hang it all without nails!) For this project I wanted to buy affordable-yet authentic smaller pieces. About a third of it I already owned but most of it I purchased during a 4 month period. I knew I wanted black and white art and I wanted it to feel grown up, not cutesy, and not take itself too seriously. See all the details below:

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day Gallery Wall | Oh Happy DayiGallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Here are my primary sources with direct links below:

1. Flea Market. This is my favorite place to find affordable artwork. Every time I go I buy at least one new piece for my collection. The art is usually between $15-$35 (occasionally I’ll pay more if I really love it) and the best part is it is usually already framed. Not just some boring frame either, usually they are beautiful old frames with character. I have this theory that even cheap prints look way better when they’ve aged 50 years. One time I saw this funny Einstein on a Bike print at the flea market. It was big and thought it would look cool in an office. It’s a common print you can buy off Amazon but when it was in an old frame from the 60’s it looked faded and had an authentic looking patina, and it was $10!

2. Thrift Stores. I don’t like Thrift Stores as much because to really score you have to spend a lot of time looking (like popping in a few times a week.) Spending a lot of time=Major Scores. I still get lucky every once in a while but it isn’t as efficient. When I’m searching the art section I keep an eye out for cool frames too. Sometimes the art is a terrible print but the frame looks great. (It’s easy to get new glass cut and a new mat cut for around $20 at a budget framing store.)

3. Directly from the Artist. If I’m a fan of an artist I usually contact them directly and ask what prints they have available. By cutting out the middle man we get a mutually beneficial deal. I’m obsessed with these photographs from Paris photographer Valerie Dray.

4. Etsy. I have a love hate relationship with Etsy. You have to comb through lots of things you don’t want before you find the gems. They are usually reasonable priced and usually shipped unframed.

5. Edited Online Artist Marketplaces like: Minted, 20×200. These are great because they edit down most of the art for you. They tend to be a little higher priced but there are some really great deals to be found.

6. Make Your Own: When I was looking for Art for this particular project I found an abstract sketch in my son’s room that I really loved and thought it would be nice on the wall. (it’s the oval blob shaped thing on the wall in the white frame.)  He loves that I framed his art and I love that on a wall of  fancy art there is a 4-year-old’s drawing.

Framing |This deserves its own post but I’ll focus on this gallery wall here. For a project like this framing gets expensive quick. Here is what I did:

-I used frames I already owned. A few of them were from college, I switched out the artwork and they worked perfectly.

-Cheap Frames. Most of the frames I bought from Target, Ikea and Aaron Brothers. I like the Target frames, I think Ikea ones have been hit or miss lately. Avoid the Ribba line as all of mine have fallen apart but the other lines are still fine. Aaron Brothers has a few sales throughout the year, I bought several during one of those sales. When I want the frame to be a step up from the budget options I usually use West Elm. The quality is really nice. (If I’m doing really fancy I have them custom framed.)

-Mat Cutter. I would not recommend this option if you aren’t framing a lot of things at once. It requires patience and a bit of perfectionism. It’s a $50 investment and takes FOREVER but we cut all our mats ourselves with this handy little system. Most framing stores will cut a mat for about $10 so it really doesn’t make sense unless you’ve got a lot of art to hang. I bought this 5 years ago and it has more than paid for itself. We buy large pieces of mat board at the art store for $4 and can usually get 3-4 mats out of each one.

-Other ways to frame. Here are a few other posts I’ve done on how to create art and frame it: How to Make Abstract Art, Potato Print Artwork, Painted Words As Art, Make Your Own Picture Frame, & Floating Art Frame.

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Calculation

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Desert Diptyck

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

I Wanted to Describe You to Someone

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

You Blow My Mind Away

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Orange Hour, Ile St. Louis

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Dance Room

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Heads Collage

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Abstract Watercolor Print

Gallery Wall | Oh Happy Day

Beach Umbrella Print

Permanent Press Editions

Love these great prints from Permanent Press Editions. Puts me in a partying mood.

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9 by Novogratz Giveaway!

I’ve been a HUGE fan of The Novogratz for years. Their work has always inspired me. So, when they emailed to announce their new line at Walmart, I was excited to see it. The new line 9 by Novogratz is colorful, fun, and totally affordable. It’s great to see well-designed modern decor that isn’t expensive. The bedding is really great (I’ve picked out a few of my favorites below) I have my eye on some of those striped bed pillows. Today, in honor of the launch, we’re hosting a special giveaway. You could win over $450 worth of new product!! Click through below for contest details. And a huge congrats to The Novogratz on this incredible new line!

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Click through to see giveaway details!

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Paul Ferney + Furbish Studio

Paul Ferney just did a pop up shop with Furbish Studio of beach scenes. It just started today! They are going quick so go here to see!

Paul Ferney + Furbish Studio

Paul Ferney + Furbish Studio

Dot Wall DIY

Today I’m sharing how we made the giant dot mural in our studio. It is a really simple process to make, all we used was acrylic paints and giant sweet potatoes. I based it off of this project I made with potato dots from a few years ago. In our studio upstairs there is a big room with floor to ceiling windows. One wall we needed to leave blank for photoshoots but I wanted some sort of mural on the other wall. We want to have craft nights and classes (announcements coming soon!) and so it needed a little somethin’-somethin’ besides a blank wall. In the future I want it to always be changing and have different artists come paint it but for now we have our giant dot wall and we love it. The details for making your own are below.

Make a Dot Wall with Potatoes! | Oh Happy DayMake a Dot Wall with Potatoes! | Oh Happy DayMake a Dot Wall with Potatoes! | Oh Happy DayMake a Dot Wall with Potatoes! | Oh Happy Day

Click through for full instructions!

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