Cheap Thrills: Thrifted wall art

Simple solutions for ever-so-challenging vertical decorating.

I think one of the more challenging areas in a space to decorate are vertical. Creative energy seems to easily flow when making decorative choices related to furniture, pillow patterns, rugs, drapery and lighting. But when it comes to the final touches and we get to hanging things on the wall, too many of us seem to run out of stylish steam.

Part of the reason could be that there aren’t that many great options out there. Real art can be really expensive and accessibly-priced art, well, is accessible so you see the same pieces everywhere. Not quite want you want if you’re building your own signature look.

Enter my favourite way to find items different and affordable – thrifting, flea market trolling, garage sale shopping, curbside scrounging. All mixed in with a little DIY.

My favourite trend-hunter, Graham, picked up these plaster medallions for $4.99 each at Value Village. Hello.




Featured in the March 2013 issue of Style at Home Magazine, you wouldn’t think they were such a steal. 

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Photo by Per Kristiansen

Popular in the past few years are wall galleries with collected displays of salvaged vintage images or paint-by-number canvasses. When placed together artistically, it’s a beautiful statement.


Salvaged pictures make at pretty vignette at our country place.


An easy DIY option is Etsy where you can find so much original art or prints, you’ll be scouring the site for hours. Make your selection, pop it in an IKEA frame, and you’re set to go. In Ben’s room, we used a group of Sharon Montrose’s amazing animal photography on the wall behind his bed.


Sharon Montrose’s adorable animal prints watch over Ben’s bed. Photo by Per Kristiansen

So, don’t give up when you get to the final design touches for your walls. There are lots of options out there to make your space your own and to give you something lovely to look at.


Live beautifully,




  • This post speaks so much to me! We always struggle with finding affordable wall art that, as you mentioned, isn’t something you see everywhere! We’ve also lucked out on Etsy, but you’ve inspired me to look in less obvious places like salvage shops, or think about pieces that at first glance might not appeal to me, but when grouped with other like-objects make a real statement. Thanks Cynthia! (PS So glad you’re keeping up with your blog even though life has become extra busy!)

    • Thank you Lisa. Keep hunting for those treasures. You’ll be surprised where they turn up.

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