When I moved into my first apartment in New York City, it was your typical “I just graduated, and now I need to be an adult” space—the requisite Ikea furniture peppered with a mix of items from my childhood home and former dorm. But I wanted it to feel “complete.” Strolling through one of my favorite stores and the coffee shop where my coworkers and I would grab an afternoon pick-me-up, I quickly zeroed in on a black-and-white print. The print, which looks like abstract art from far away but is actually an image of a crowd of people, was a limited edition piece made specifically for the store, with only 100 produced, signed, and numbered. I bought it, framed it, and quickly realized that my apartment had just become a home. (Thanks, Saturdays NYC.)
Original art, or a limited edition work, is the easiest way to make your space feel more grown-up. But the best part is that said art doesn’t have to be expensive. With a ton of great sites out there, it’s now easier than ever to get great art at a great price.
Take Minted. Minted has a free art styling service that helps you figure out what your home needs and helps you pick a piece that complements your aesthetic. Did we mention it’s free?
Simply text a photo of your wall to 415-993-WALL (9255), answer a few questions, and the company will send back art selections tailored to you. What’s more is that the styling team will suggest sizes and render the artwork onto your wall, taking out all the guesswork. There’s free shipping, and if you don’t like it, the returns are free too.
Artfully Walls, Society6, and even Etsy are also great places to nab original or limited edition art. Need to get it framed? Framebridge is the best when it comes to professionally framed art (without sky-high price tags).
To really amp up the adult feel of a space, don’t be scared to mix in other loved items. “Think outside the box by pairing fine art and photography with heirloom treasures,” explains Minted’s art styling team. “Turn your grandmother’s silk scarf or dad’s old sports memorabilia into wall decor. Your space should be a reflection of you and should include personal pieces among fine art that you connect with.”
Two other things to keep in mind when choosing art? The height at which you’re hanging and the size of the piece. Hang your art at average eye level, AKA 5’7”. And go larger than you think when choosing a piece. “So often customers buy art that is much too small for their wall or space,” explains Minted’s art styling team.
Searching for that perfect piece? Here are a few standout artworks we have our eye on:
More art tips we swear by: