There is nothing more important to finish off the look of a room than a striking piece of art. For me, it's up there with the essentials, like a sofa or dining chairs... Often, I find myself actually planning a room scheme around the existing art rather than the other way around. Prints, posters, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, whether you like street art, contemporary photography or abstract illustrations, art is the finishing touch that can make your home look totally unique and personal.
However, collecting art can be a very expensive habit. Well, it used to be anyway. Nowadays, there are many great places, in particular online, to get stunning original art without having to win the lottery first. Here are a few of our top places to source affordable art.
This is just a fantastic one-stop-shop for art lovers on a budget. Whether you like pop art, decorative art, modern art, scenic art, abstract art - you name it - you should find something you love on art.co.uk and at a great price. The choice is VAST though, and just browsing can turn into a slightly overwhelming exercise so this is a good place to start if you already have something specific in mind. Or you can check out their inspiration section where guest curators (including Jonathan Adler, one of my design heroes) share their favourite pieces.
Nelly Duff in East London has to be one of my favourites galleries to find unique and quirky art. Their curated collection of street art, illustrations, and limited prints is out of this world. It's also the place where I discovered Aida aka 'screen printess' to the stars and now one of my favourite artists.
Art should be for everybody. That's the motto of Lumas, a fabulous (virtual and physical) gallery that sells high-quality photo art, while ticking the affordable box, even in large formats. I discovered their London gallery (located in Mayfair) a few weeks ago when I attended a private viewing of their Vogue collection - a selection of fashion photographs handpicked from the archives of Vogue... I was blown away. Lumas offers selected works by artists as hand-signed original photographs. These limited editions usually range from 75 to 150 prints, which allows the gallery to offer the artwork at reasonable prices. Music to my ears!
Another great web-galley I recently discovered to find budget-friendly contemporary photography is Lumitrix and I am so glad I did. They operate online only and have a broad range of photographers including Matilda Temperley (Alice's little sister) as well as Dave Watts, a previous winner of the Sony Photography Award, to name a few. Personally, I fell in love with the work of Tommy Clarke, whose striking areal shots are already at the top of my never ending wish list (is it Christmas yet?!). Fans (like me) of Gray Malin should be in for a treat...
Rockett St George is an online emporium offering an eclectic mix of vintage, contemporary and quirky homeware and gifts, and one of Stella + the Stars' favourite shops. I could buy every single item on their site if I had that infinity credit card. They just happen to also have a fantastic collection of art prints at indecently cheap prices. They even have a section for art under £50 which is brilliant for smaller purses. If you're looking for a statement piece then check out their Giant Wall Art collection - it is to die for and you could bag yourself a print of one of Slim Aarons' iconic photographs for under £200.
I 'met' artist Rebecca Loftus on Instagram just a few months ago and it was love at first (virtual) sight. She launched The Loft and Us (see what she's done there?!) at the end of 2014 to offer affordable art and accessories for the home, so you basically get great design and style without the designer price tag, which is obviously right up our street. She kindly sent me one of her beautiful prints which now is a key feature of our master bedroom. The site has a fabulous collection of prints (as well as wallpapers and cushions if you're interested!) starting at just £29.99...
There are lots of other places that supply great, quirky and affordable artwork (and we will document more as we go on Stella + the Stars) but this is a good selection if you don't know where to start. If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you will know that I also use lots of postcards and prints from museums, posters, anything I think looks cool, frame them and arrange them into clusters to create either a statement wall or a bit of a feature in a staircase for example.
Have fun shopping!