Even if you’ve never taken an art class in your life, there are
still plenty of ways to find or make attractive or funky wall art that
speaks distinctly about who you are. "Artwork" doesn’t have
to mean something drawn, photographed, or painted – anything
you can mount in a frame or display on a shelf is fair game for dressing
those wide, bare walls of a new apartment. A few ideas to get you
1 Black and white photos
For sheer classiness, you can’t go wrong with framed black
+ white photographs. If you ever took a basic
photography class, sift through your old workprints – you’ll be
surprised at what matting and a simple frame can do to
transform your amateur shots into works of art. Alternatively, buy a
roll of black+white film – load it into your camera and take
snapshots of your friends, family, favorite scenic spots,
hometown, beloved puppy, whatever. Or if you’re truly un-adept
with all things mechanical, ask Mom and Dad if they’ve got any old b+w
family photos they’d be willing to pass along to you.
2 Retro magazine pictures
Spend some time sifting through your parents’
basement/attic and Salvation Army thrift shops … pictures from old Life or
magazines can make for some very cool wall art.
3 Old records and record albums
What to do with those scratched-up but beloved albums from
your youth? Frame them or display them on a shelf, of course!
4 Pressed flowers and leaves
Even if you haven’t a single artistic bone in your body,
you can create beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork for your home by framing
pressed flowers and leaves. Go for a stroll on a sunny day and take the
time to pick pretty wildflowers in lovely shades of yellow or purple,
some nicely-shaped leaves. When you get home, gently press them between
the pages of a big, heavy book – check back on them in a few days, and
they should be dried-out and ready for framing.
5 Faux modern art: buy a large piece of
canvas at an art store, paint it in a single solid color.
On a recent visit to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, my brother, standing
in front of an Yves Klein blue-painted block of canvas, had this
revelation: "Hey, I can do that!" It’s an easy way to add
bold swashes of color to any room of your house – without the
commitment. Get bored with the mango color? Re-paint it lavender – or
lemon, or kiwi, or plum, or ruby. You can buy pre-stretched canvas at
any art store, or custom-stretch your own to get whatever dimensions
suit your space. You could also arrange several different color blocks
in a series for a look that’s très contemporary.