March 26th, 2013



I’ve been trying to figure out a number of creative (aka ‘frugal’) art + framing solutions for a few design projects that have kept things busy busy around here. The whole art thing still remains an ongoing frustration at this house and tends to be a difficult finishing detail to get right at most all design projects. Problem is, poorly installed or wrongly scaled crappy art will ruin a great space almost immediately. Right? Like In the same way how good art can make a blah space seem incredible.

FACT. Art isn’t easy. Framing can be costly. Budgets like to be tight. Details are something something.

As an attempt to work around the art + framing is kind of hard + expensive issue, I’ve been experimenting with a number of DIY art ideas and affordable ways to create large scale pieces that must (and most importantly) avoid looking super DIY or like total crap.

So, an impossible goal pretty much.


A recent project left me with a stack of scrap paper tests I’d printed out as well as some small frames that, like a hero, I have bravely reused and slapped together into something that is sort of like art. Now these two minimalists framed things are living large in the newly updated and simplified mantel vignette. Bold moves considering these are just some Target frames stuffed with scrap paper I pulled out of the garbage.

So, yes, this is some framed garbage displayed on my mantel. Stylishly.

I’m a fan maybe.

Well, at least this project was easy and cheap and pleases my eyes. Budget art success.

I mean, it’s not like I wouldn’t prefer to hang a bunch of Donald Judd works on paper instead of this DIY solution. I’d also prefer to have the big baller style art collector money required to make that happen. I don’t so that won’t happen. But for now? My kind of funds can make more DIY garbage art happen. Or I can go nuts and splurge and get working on something LARGE SCALE. Bigger is better.

Till then. I guess.

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  1. Ashliegh on 03/26/2013:

    this is a great blog . I love the way you decorated it . Very unique ! Love!

  2. Fat Cat on 03/26/2013:

    God, yes. Art is the hardest ! And if you hadn’t mentioned it, I never would have guessed that those two are anything else than über cool modernist thrift finds… Sigh. You have mad mantleing skills !

  3. Brismod on 03/26/2013:

    You shouldn’t have said anything…It looks like high-end art. Ha!

  4. tracy on 03/26/2013:

    would love to see them large scale. but think these look great!

  5. Suzy8track on 03/26/2013:

    I never would have guessed that this was framed garbage…really looks stylish!

  6. onehsancare on 03/26/2013:

    I must say I prefer these a thousand times to terrible outsider thrifted portrait paintings or fiber art! (Good thing you decorate to please yourself and not me–although everything else, everything else in your house (except cowhides) thrills me to death!)

  7. Christa on 03/26/2013:

    Nice job. These look really good. I don’t remember when the brick got painted white, but me likey. I would love to see you stretch a canvas and DIY some sort of Ellsworth Kelley homage.

  8. Christa on 03/26/2013:

    Nice job. These look really good. I don’t remember when the brick got painted white, but me likey. I would love to see you stretch a canvas and DIY some sort of Ellsworth Kelly homage.

  9. It works, even if it is Trash+Target=Traget

  10. thefolia on 03/27/2013:

    Trash to treasures–I luv it. Happy Nesting!

  11. Sketch42 on 03/27/2013:

    I actually really like it. Its sophisticated!

  12. Sarah Dear on 03/28/2013:

    This looks great!

    I am constantly struggling with this in my apartment.
    I’ve been lucky enough to be have many gifts / trades I have done with artists and photographers. They are all huge (one is over 5′ tall), and they are mostly sitting in sad cardboard tube “sculpture” next to my bookcase and yoga mat.

    It is soooo expensive to get anything framed… but I love these pieces you did, and they are inspiring me to get off my behind and frame a few pieces at least!


  13. J.Coffin on 03/30/2013:

    I defiantly aprove! Looks outstanding!

  14. alex on 04/02/2013:

    I like what you created!I think that that space needed a touch of colour and the red just fits perfect.

  15. This is awesome! Totally a fan. I love minimalistic art….and these two look awesome grouped together.
    PS….please blog more, I miss your posts!

  16. Amanda on 04/04/2013:

    That reminds me! I bought an “I ‘square’ JUDD” bumper sticker in Marfa in December with the sole intention of putting it on my husband’s car as a prank. I wonder where it is…

  17. sarah on 04/05/2013:
  18. Brian - Patio Installers on 04/05/2013:

    I love those jugs, pots, bowls with the varying sizes. I love staggered cascading items. Like natures steps. Uneven but make sense.

  19. KMP Modern on 04/05/2013:

    I think going small scale is ideal if you don’t have some blue-chip piece of contemporary art. Then you have less to criticize. But your pieces are fab! I can definitely see them in an art gallery! Plus they work well with those ceramic pieces. Congrats!

  20. peggy on 04/11/2013:

    Love it. Love the simplicity and minimalism. The fact that you have upcycled makes it even more fascinating to me. As always, I love your collection of pottery and the way you display it. I don’t remember your mantel being white, did you recently paint it? I love it. Looks so airy and fresh.

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