Set your space apart with affordable art

Have you ever been in a room with little to no art on the walls? Turn your head left or right, and there's just not a lot of visual interest, let alone any sense of the depth, personality and life experience of the owner.

“Well, I put all of my favorite photography and the artwork I see online on my Facebook and Instagram pages where people can see what I like,” you might answer. And that is definitely a look at how we live today: showing what we love so other people will see it and like it — and maybe even praise us for liking it, too.

Now find those fabulous images, that beautiful art you love, and gift your space with them. Decide that your home, your apartment, office, backyard or any space that contains you and your loved ones deserves inspiring touches of beauty. You spend time in these spaces, so display the art you love to transform their energy.

Beautiful art can make your space feel calmer, depending upon your art choice, or it can burst with bright energy like a vibrant kitchen where your wall art of fresh lemons always makes you smile.

Here's how to turn your eye toward your wall art, with a plan to display what you love, what transports you to another place and the people who fill your life with love and happiness. Take down old artwork, pieces that are no longer “you,” and decide if your personal style calls for more — or less — art on the walls.

Try online decor apps that let you “try out” framed artwork above your couch or over your mantel. Try different layouts, such as one big piece of art, or a collage of smaller framed pieces (such as kids' artwork.) Try black-and-white timeless photos with a bit of throwback style, such as those with an old Hollywood feel. Once you've explored the basics of your style, even in theory, it's time to shop for your art!

No. 1: Of course, kids' artwork may be all the style you'd like, with inexpensive craft store photo frames in lovely colors such as pastels and brights. Keep coupons in mind and watch for sale days of 50% off and two-for-one sales.

No. 2: Look online and find artists where they are. “More artists are going the online route and selling directly to customers,” says artist Jill Althouse-Wood, who created the painting shown here. “One way to find them is social media, especially Instagram. And many run sales that are typical to retail shops. Or you can contact the artist directly through Messenger. Every direct sale saves the artist money, which can save you money when you aren't dealing with the overhead of galleries or craft fairs, most of which charge artists hundreds of dollars for a weekend booth.”

No. 3: Check out the art at estate sales, which may have some treasures hidden among the artwork of that home.

No. 4: Neighborhood Facebook groups show for-sale artwork, and garage sales always have that pile of framed prints and paintings. “Many artists offer prints, which can be an affordable alternative to buying original art,” says Althouse-Wood.

No. 5: Thrift stores carry the artwork of their region, so if you're traveling, stop in at thrift stores you find along the way and you may find the perfect, “so you” artwork to refresh your home and transform your space.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can switch out your wall artwork throughout the seasons so that it reflects a summery feel; an autumn of crunchy leaves; a calm winter with all muted beige and gray colors. Artwork is the ultimate room makeover, an easy and inexpensive one open to your sense of style and play.

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