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Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Thrifty Options for Blank Walls


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
3 Comments » | Published in Guides  |  3 Comments

Often when you are starting out and short on cash, your walls feel very blank. Sometimes you feel so much pressure to find the perfect artwork that the walls remain empty forever. Other times, you buy cheap piles of all the wrong pieces in a rush, and it never feels right.

Why not come up with some temporary solutions. Some of these are a little chintzy and you’ll eventually upgrade, others are so smashing that you may keep them forever. Once you start opening your mind up past the usual framed works, you’ll be coming up with much better ideas than these!

1. Fabric: Stretched over canvases or on a ready-made fabric frame (try Textile Arts). My favorite sources include Textile Arts, Contemporary Cloth, and of course, eBay.

2. Maps: I am obsessed with maps. Whether it’s a navigational chart, a blown up USPS topography map of a favorite or famous spot, or an NYC Subway map (one of my personal faves), maps can pack a strong visual punch. For a big lofty space, have the map blown up to ridiculous proportions. If it’s a simple map, you can photocopy it onto a transparency, grab an overhead projector (ack, junior high Algebra II bored out of my mind and confused flashback – sorry!) and trace it right onto your wall.

3. Use a grid pattern to arrange unexpected art – whether it’s pages out of the old Andy Warhol date book or The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, goofy postcards you’ve saved up over the years, clipboards used with favorite images clipped in – special photos or striking magazine covers like H&G, Wallpaper* or Print, anyway, you get the idea by now.

Finally, If you don’t have the money for frames or the patience for fixative and foam-core, use push pins. Shop Modern College and DormJust be sure to use a color that coordinates or pops. Aluminum push pins, sewing straight pins, or bright orange plastic square push pins can look smashing. Keep them straight and evenly spaced. These small details make a large difference. [image below copyright Bodleian Library, Oxford]

View our wall applications category.
View our wall art category.
View our wallpaper category.

One idea for wall coverings: maps

About Becky

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the "Editorial Director" here on Hatch, you can find me spewing lots of design opinions and tips over at Houzz. Make me happy -- leave a comment!


Filed under Guides  |  3 Comments


  1. Matt says:

    September 1st, 2005 at 8:38 am (#)

    Becky, this is one of my favorite low-cost but WAY cool ideas for Wall Art: The “Life Poster”,

    I think I am gonna make a few for my friends as gifts this year.

  2. Becky says:

    September 1st, 2005 at 9:11 am (#)

    Matt, thanks so much – that is a fantastic idea!


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