I can spend hours strolling around art galleries. I don’t have a preference for an artistic style or medium, I guess that’s because art is highly personal for the creator and the consumer.

While investing in art can be an expensive passion, there are simple ways you can turn your home into a gallery without breaking the bank. Here’s a few simple ideas to help transform white walls into creative spaces:

  • Prints – not quite the real thing but framing prints from holidays or a series with a theme helps to create atmosphere. Prints can be picked up in galleries, at markets and in specialist stores. The series below is from Emundi Markets in the Sunshine Coast and reflects our love of surfing. The frames came from The Warehouse:
Old surf poster prints framed
  • Laminate – there’s stacks of places you can source great prints such as online store popmotif. If framing’s out of the question, try laminating like the ones below created by artist Oamaru artist Donna Demente. I’ve also laminated single sheets of wrapping paper with a Kiwiana theme from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery shop and sent overseas as a gift.

    Posters promoting Oamaru’s Wine and Food Festival and Victorian Heritage Ball
  • Shop local – there are lots of local artists producing awesome work. Wherever possible, it’s great to support them in their endeavours. We bought some of Donna Demente’s signature Venetian eyes when living in Oamaru and hung them in the stairwell so they follow us up the stairs:
Donna Demente prints.
  • Photographs – I love black and white photography. We picked up three for $30 at a market in Melbourne and framed them at home. They capture the vibe that makes the city so memorable:
Melbourne series
  • Outside in – I’d been looking for some garden art for the front fence and made a dud purchase. Loved the silver trees but got them home and realised they were too small. Instead, we put them at the top of the stairs. They look like they were made for the space:
Tree of life
  • Trade Me – always a great hangout for the bargain hunter. We purchased a painting for $80 from an overseas student (who probably imports them for next to nothing) because the colours work in the lounge and the scene reminds us of Riverton, one of our favourite holiday spots:
If it evokes a response, the price tag is irrelevant
  • Design store finds – design stores often have unique and quirky pieces that won’t break the bank. I chose the set of three Renaissance styled Madonnas from a now defunct Dunedin store called Thingz but stores such as Design Withdrawals and Guild in Moray Place stock similar items while Toitu Settlers Museum and the Otago Museum also have a great range of items in their shops:
Sumptuous Renaissance women

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you like it, and you can afford it, art really helps to make a house a home.

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