Decorating Your Home Like an Artist

The following is a guest post by Olivia Fox. Growing up in an artist’s family, she delights in finding creative ways to make money stretch. Her musings can be found at The Frugal Bohemian.

Early memories involve Dad taking me with him to other artist’s places. Until I visited a classmate’s house in ninth grade and was confronted with matching furniture for the first time (yikes!), it never occurred to me their spaces were unconventionally decorated.

Like colored glass pieces epoxied onto studio windows to lend color to a drab space, or a coffee table made from a salvaged printer’s tray and filled with small natural objects. Or blue and black bird feathers elegantly arranged in a small Victorian vase. A sofa made from wooden crates and covered with feather pillows. Water rocks in a shallow dish on a dining table. This was normal.

As years passed I fell in with another set of artists and saw many more inexpensive design solutions. Smooth pebbles embedded in quick set concrete for a bathroom floor. Broken dishes used like tile to cover small furniture. Old kitchen linoleum cut into squares and glued to a bathroom floor then polyurethaned. A large flush door painted vermillion and attached to a small table base to become a dining table. Flat sheets hemmed at the short end, covered with magic marker squiggles and hung as curtains. Old seed catalogue illustrations identically framed and grouped in rows on a wall.

My folk’s house contained it’s share of curb gleaned furniture, as does ours. Other people did their whole place that way. One fellow looked for similarly scaled classic shapes, sanded them down, and painted all to coordinate.

Fabric can be repurposed into floor pillows, table covers, quilts. Faux painting and stenciling are just some of the options for paint.

The common thread is all these use cheap or free materials to beautify and personalize living spaces. So think, “What do I have on hand to become what I need?”, and you’re well on your way to decorating like an artist.

Additional Reading:

Use What You Have and Cut the Clutter

How to Save Money by Salvaging

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