I have a confession to make. I am not one to go all out for art. I mean, if I can’t afford the best, why bother, is what I say about art. I guess what I really mean is this: if I can’t afford a Cy Twombly, why bother?
If you do love art by Cy Twombly, could you afford it? Interior design by Renea Abbott.
Or, if your taste runs more to romantic 18th century art, lord knows who can afford this but Axel Vervoordt. I mean, I would love THIS art in my house – but it’s a little out of my price range.
Or, let’s say you love art from the 16th century, like Nancy Lancaster did and Oscar de la Renta does, and Lars Bolander too – who happens to own this canvas – but could you afford it? What room wouldn’t look better with art work like this?
Or consider the master John Saladino – his wonderful collection of art hanging in Villa di Lemma is enough to make one weep. In fact his Cy Twombly is so gorgeous – it was what first made me realize how much I love Twombly’s work.
Maybe you aren’t a Twombly fan. Consider then Saladino’s Robert Courtright collage that hangs in his bedroom suite at Villa di Lemma. If you love it, but can’t buy it, what would you do? What WOULD you hang on your walls instead of all this beautiful art that is out of the reach of the common man (you and me, that is!)
Because the art work that I like is so prohibitive, I hang other things on my walls. Like mirrors. You can find beautiful ones that are plain and relatively inexpensive.
Or, you could spend a little more and get a beautiful antique mirror – still much less than, say, an 18th century oil.
Picture courtesy of the beautiful blog www.trouvais.com
Plain or fancy, big or small – mirrors are a great alternative to pricey art.
A series of botanicals are also a nice alternative to expensive art. While this set is undoubtedly not cheap – one could create their own set from leaves in the back yard and then frame them between simple panes of glass.
Or frame them between Plexiglas, like Brooke at Velvet and Linen is doing at her shop.
Or, you could hang just one large botanical like this – flanked by sconces, instead of art work you can’t afford.
I love old maps and lithographs – especially copies of old maps and lithographs that you can find for a song.
The old maps of Paris and Rome are appealing – particularly when they aren’t originals. This map of Paris from Restoration Hardware, while not inexpensive, makes me just a little week in the knees. I only wish I had a place for it.
Hanging plates and porcelains on walls makes any room look fabulous! This room doesn’t look empty without an oil painting, right?
My own collection of antique celadon plates have been hanging on the walls for years. Except they aren’t antique, I bought them new – they just look antique. Almost any plain set of white dishes looks great on the walls.
Oversized clocks are wonderful substitutes for fine art. Brooke from Velvet and Linen (again! I just love that girl!) hung this antique clock face in an asymmetrical arrangement in her stairwell. I love how she paired the clock face with the Mora clock. Just beautiful!
In the Netherlands, lamp maker extraordinaire Ron van Empel has one of the prettiest clocks I’ve seen. Today – you can find oversized clocks copied from Target to K-Mart. You don’t have to hang an antique anymore to get this look.
Sally Wheat’s screen caught my eye while driving by her house and peeking inside. She has hung everything in her living room but art: two mirrors and the sconces. An oil painting is certainly not missing here.
I also like to hang photography on walls in place of oil paintings. While some photography is very expensive, most is relatively not. Here in a beautiful apartment, Steven Gambrel hung a series of black and white photographs by Richard Prince along the back wall.
In her Paris apartment, Lee Radziwill hung a photograph by Peter Beard.
Nate Berkus hangs the photography of his late boyfriend Fernando Bengoechea.
Large vintage photographs hang on the walls of this house on Long Island.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard designed this house around the owner’s photographs – these striking ones are by Leni Riefenstahl. Certainly an oil painting is not missed here!
The bedroom of the same house has giraffe photographs by Nick Brandt.
\A serene photograph in a serene bedroom. Photography is a great substitute to oil paintings. Conde Nast has a wonderful collection of photographs for sale are ?>D>surprisingly affordable. Or you can always take your own camera and create something wonderful!
Which leads me to the giveaway!!! I am thrilled today to announce that photographer Tim Irving is hosting a giveaway. The winner will get to choose TWO photographs from his portfolio. To enter, all you have to do is go to his web site and then come back here, leave me a comment naming the photographs that you really like the best. Don’t worry – if you win – you will still get a chance to go back and pick again, ok? So don’t fret about your exact choice just yet. Below are my favorite photographs from Irving’s portfolio:
You know what this is – BUT what is interesting about Tim’s work is how he uses vintage cameras and lenses to capture a certain atmosphere. This photograph truly looks vintage to me. He also occasionally uses Polaroid's.
I love this shot of the rooftops of Paris. I love the colors.
This photograph is wonderful – taken in Spain. Notice that light fixture on the right, so beautiful!
This was taken with a Polaroid camera – and this shot certainly has a dreamy, vintage feel to it.
Another Polaroid photograph, taken of sconces for sale. Love this!
Provence, France. I love the juxtaposition of the old iron bicycle with the roses and wicker basket.
And finally – my last pick – white kitchen items found in Africa. Taken with an old camera lens to produce its vintage feel. I think any of Tim’s portfolio would look so great on a wall, who would need an oil painting?
These photographs above are my favorites – now it’s your turn to choose your favorite. Remember, to enter the giveaway – you have to go to Tim Irving’s shop HERE, pick your favorite(s), then leave me a comment telling me which ones you love. The contest closes on Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m. I’ll announce the winner the next day. Good luck!!!!
THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED - WE HAVE ANNOUNCED A WINNER! THANK YOU!!!!!