You Don’t Need to Be a Gallerist to Source the Best Wall Art Online
Seven places to shop limited-edition prints, discover emerging artists, and more.
Published Nov 11, 2021 1:04 AM
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Among the many, many beautiful homes Domino editors have seen over the years, there’s one consistent throughline that makes a home special: great art. The best wall art has a way of expressing a homeowner’s personality and telling the story of a space in a way that no other decor can. So if you’re looking to invest in a piece that will bring the highest visual impact to your home—and make you happy every time you see it—start with art.
While in the past you may have been limited by the selection of local stores or intimidating galleries, you can now build on your collection from any number of online shops, all from the comfort of your couch. The only downside just might be the decision paralysis that comes with this abundance of choices. That’s why we’ve narrowed the sea of online art retailers to our seven favorite sources so you can shop based on your specific needs. Pour a glass of wine, make a cheese plate, and start collecting.
- Best customizable prints: Minted
- Best for new collectors: Uprise Art
- Best secondhand and vintage: Chairish
- Best modern style: Tappan Collective
- Best limited editions: 20×200
- Best wall-planning features: Artfully Walls
- Best auctions: Everything But the House
Best Customizable Prints: Minted
Why we chose it: Minted has been our go-to marketplace for finding affordable, customizable prints by independent artists for more than a decade.
Minted has operated since 2008 as a community-first marketplace; artists submit their work in monthly challenges, design enthusiasts vote for their favorites, and the winning pieces are offered as limited-edition prints. This model ensures that Minted is only stocked with artwork that real people genuinely like and want to have in their homes. While this means there is an abundance of decor-worthy art, it can also mean certain trends (like Matisse-style cutouts) are overrepresented.
With more than 3,000 customizable designs, there’s something for everyone, but the search process can be overwhelming. To cull your results a bit, add filters for orientation (landscape, portrait, or square), color, and size. When you find a piece that catches your eye, you can “heart” it and add it to your favorites to keep your browser tabs from getting out of hand. Not sure what would look best in your space? Minted offers an easy-to-use AR feature: Just scan a QR code on your phone to see the piece hung (virtually) on your wall. Or if you want a more human touch, you can text a photo of your room to one of the site’s stylists for a second opinion—for free. Then, peep founder Mariam Naficy’s home tour for styling inspiration.
What we like:
- Many size and framing options
- Independent artists from more than 100 countries
- All prints are numbered editions
- Standard shipping takes 10 days
Best for New Collectors: Uprise Art
Why we chose it: Uprise Art offers the most approachable way to start collecting original art from emerging contemporary artists.
Collecting fine art can be an intimidating and expensive pursuit, especially in a traditional gallery setting. Uprise Art strives to change this by creating a digital gallery experience that welcomes newcomers and makes discovering artists as easy as online shopping.
Upon visiting the site you can navigate by medium (paintings, mixed media, sculpture, and more), curated collections (like Flora & Fauna or Black History Month), or artist. Plus you can read an in-depth profile on the artist behind each piece and learn what events and exhibitions their work has been shown in. Still unsure where to start? Uprise provides free art advisers to answer any questions and even suggest art that could work for you and your home.
What we like:
- Fine art styles that work in the home
- Under-$800 section
- Free art advisers
- Somewhat limited selection
- Some pieces require logging in to view the price
Best Secondhand and Vintage: Chairish
Why we chose it: Chairish has a massive selection of secondhand and vintage art that’s easy to explore through its well-designed site.
Chairish is our go-to for vintage art because it takes its enormous selection (115,000-plus items in the art category alone) and makes it easy, even fun, to navigate. You can narrow your selection by all sorts of metrics, from the more general (paintings or drawings, vintage or newly made) to the specific (size, style, color). You can even filter by distance from you and pick up local pieces in person. Sellers tend to be knowledgeable and responsive (some even have their own vintage shops), and many are open to negotiation via the “make an offer” feature. If you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, make sure to “follow” your search—new items are added all the time.
What we like:
- Extensive collection of more than 100,000 artworks
- Easy to shop vintage
- Includes sculpture and installation art
- Even with tools for narrowing the selection, the offerings can still be overwhelming
Best Modern Style: Tappan Collective
Why we chose it: Tappan Collective carries striking modern art that’s sure to inspire your room.
Head to Tappan if you want to collect art that will bring a modern edge to your home. While the site discovers and supports artists working across a wide variety of mediums and styles, the pieces they curate all have the kind of striking freshness you could style a whole room around. To find what speaks to you, start with its evocative Curated Collections. Or take a look at the Guest Curations, featuring picks from tastemakers like Eyeswoon’s Athena Calderone and Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk.
Since Tappan carries only original and limited-edition works, prices vary widely, and there are fewer pieces in the under-$200 range. That said, collecting art is ultimately an investment in the career of the artists themselves, and the price allows them to continue their work. If you need help finding art in your budget or want to learn more about an artist, Tappan offers personal art consultations with its team of experts.
What we like:
- Tasteful curation
- Art advisory service
- Guest curations by designers and tastemakers
- Limited lower-budget options
Best Limited Editions: 20×200
Why we chose it: This online site pairs a wide and inviting selection of styles with meticulous printing standards and exclusive editions.
“Art for everyone”: That’s the motto of 20×200, which focuses specifically on limited-edition prints that are made to museum standards with archival-quality inks on 100 percent cotton rag paper. Certificates, numbered and signed by the artist, are included to verify authenticity, and once a print sells out, it’s truly gone for good.
This serious focus on the technical side is balanced by an approachable and wide selection of pieces from a range of emerging, established, and legendary artists (like William Wegman). If you’re unsure where to start, 20×200 offers a uniquely useful Browse by Mood feature that gives a variety of options based on the feeling you want your room to convey (such as “energetic and playful”). Once you’ve found the right piece, you can select from a number of sizing options (if you’re looking for a large piece, be warned that the price scales quickly) and have it matted, framed, and ready to hang.
What we like:
- Museum-quality printing
- Range of artists
- You can browse by mood
- Price variability by size
Best Wall-Planning Features: Artfully Walls
Why we chose it: Artfully Walls has a wide range of affordable prints and interactive tools to help you find the right grouping for your walls.
Artfully Walls offers an extensive collection of affordable, high-quality prints from hundreds of artists working across the style spectrum. Where the site really shines, however, is in its inspiration and planning tools. Everyone loves a good gallery wall, and Artfully Walls provides an entire section dedicated to style and layout inspiration. (Some of the themes are on the basic side, but we like using them as a jumping-off point for our own designs.) Or check out the Wall Designer feature, which allows you to insert pieces into a mock room (wall color included) and easily play around with any combination of pieces.
What we like:
- Affordable selection
- Wall-design feature makes it easy to see how art looks together
- Gallery wall inspiration
- Less selective group of artists
Best Auctions: Everything But the House
Why we chose it: Everything But the House takes the exciting bidding process of estate sales and puts it online (and in-app).
Everything But the House (EBTH) removes the hit-or-miss nature of IRL estate sales by consolidating them into an easy-to-use website and app. While EBTH has auctions for most anything you can think of (furniture, fashion, collectibles), its selection of vintage art offers the same thrill of discovery you get from finding a gem at an antiques store. So make an account and start bidding; just remember it’s an auction-only format, so keep track of the end date.
What we like:
- Access to nationwide estate sales
- One-of-a-kind vintage finds
- Auto-bidding feature
- Bidding-only auctions
How We Chose These Products
These shops and galleries were selected by our team of art-loving editors, with a focus on diverse styles, professional-quality materials, and affordably priced options.
Our Shopping Checklist
Emerging vs. established artists
If a shop describes its artists as emerging, it generally means they are early in their professional career but show clear talent and potential for a life as a working artist. Established artists are more likely to be represented by a gallery or have a solid business of their own. It’s a good idea to research any artists you’re interested in to better understand their stories and backgrounds.
Type of art
Keep an open mind about the medium of your next piece of art. The shops we’ve included carry original art across many mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, mixed media, and sculpture, plus high-quality print reproductions of many of these types. The best wall-art collections tend to contrast different mediums while maintaining a common element, like a color palette or mood.
Original vs. reproduction
In terms of price, the largest determining factor is whether the piece is original or a reproduction. The former is, of course, the actual piece of art created by the artist. It’s rare and limited and, therefore, the most valuable. Limited edition refers to a series of print reproductions that has a certain number of prints, which are often signed and numbered. General print runs that are not limited are the most accessible and affordable type of reproduction.
Many of the shops we’ve included offer framing options, which is likely the easiest and most affordable way to frame your art. That said, if you’re looking for more customization in your framing, you could bring your art to your local frame shop or use an online service like Framebridge. When selecting a frame, consider what color and material would coordinate best with your art and whether or not you want a mat.
When it comes to styling a piece in your space, it’s helpful to experiment. Try out your art in multiple locations, pair different combinations, and give yourself time to see how the art looks throughout the day and in different kinds of light. The general rule of thumb is to hang pieces at eye level, which is, on average, 57 inches from the floor to the middle of the art. If art is going above a piece of furniture, leave a gap of around 8 to 10 inches.
Q: What’s the best way to hang wall art in a rental?
Make sure to check your lease contract or ask your landlord if you’re allowed to make any holes in the walls (otherwise you’ll likely need to patch and paint to ensure you get your security deposit back). If your frame sits flush against the wall, you can’t beat Command Strips for an easy-to-install (and easy-to-remove) option. If your frame requires hanging, monkey hooks hold a large amount of weight with only a minimal hole.
Q: I want to create a large gallery wall—where do I start?
Measure the dimensions of the rectangle your gallery art will fill, then tape this rectangle out on the floor. This will give you a space to lay out and play with all the pieces you want to include in your gallery wall. Know you need a couple extra pieces that you just haven’t found yet? Cut common frame sizes (like 8-by-10 or 11-by-14) out of cardboard or butcher paper to use as placeholders. Once you’ve found an arrangement that feels good to you, you can measure each piece and pencil it on the wall.
Q: What are your favorite places to buy affordable art?
If you stay creative, you can find great art anywhere, at any price. Keep an eye on thrift stores and antiques shops for vintage art, or find art books and cut out your favorite pages to use as prints. If you’re feeling crafty, Pinterest is full of DIY art ideas that will only run you the cost of materials. Finally, don’t limit yourself to only 2-D materials: With Framebridge, you can frame textiles, clothing, and even objects with some depth, like license plates and vintage china.
The Last Word
Whether you’re looking to start collecting rising-star artists or just want a beautiful print to brighten your space, there are no shortage of online shops to explore. Still not sure where to start? For the best balance of accessibility and art-world collectibility, take a look at the prints at 20×200 and go from there.