Big, Cheap Wall Art Ideas for My Living Room

After being sick on Wednesday (yuck) and working from home on Thursday, I was feeling a little stir crazy Thursday evening. I usually do my weekly tidying-up session on Friday after work, but thanks to feeling better (and a cup of coffee) I got a head start. It was nighttime and this room doesn't get a ton of light anyway, so the photo's a little dark. But there it is! My living room is coming along – cat toys/beds and all.

I feel like I need a BIGGER area rug, so that's on the wishlist. I love the setup around the purple tv cabinet: turntable, deer head, paint chip canvases. However, the other side of the room is looking a little bare:

Okay, a lot bare. I still adore my vintage orange sofa that I scored on Craigslist before relocating – even though it tends to eat its sitters. I fear the day that it breaks or falls apart, but luckily those old things are usually built to last. ;) I love the colorful turquoise and cream pillows and the purple blanket that I pretty much based the whole room around. ...But that space above the sofa. That empty wall! It's haunting me on a daily basis. "Jessica," it pleads in a ghostly moan. "Decorate me!"

I need something there. Something big. Something pretty. Something cheap. In my last place, I started a gallery wall. I'm no longer feeling the gallery vibes – in this room at least.  I want to keep it simple. Plus, the darling bf G just fixed this wall and I'm loathe to even try to hammer a dozen nails into the antique plaster.

I also have this weird fear of things falling on my head. So I never hang heavy art or anything glass over my bed or sofa. (Even in hotel rooms – if the over-the-bed painting isn't screwed to the wall, it's coming down for the night.) It's a weird fear, I know. I also won't hang shelves or books or anything like that over where I sit or sleep.

Here are some ideas I'm considering:

I love that 6th Street Design School turned a shower curtain into giant canvas art. I'd have to find the perfect shower curtain though – it's hard enough to find one I like enough for the bathroom!

This simple but elegant setup was featured on One Kings Lane. I love the slender gold frame and mix of turquoise hues. Plus, this is something I could definitely DIY in, like, a day.

The wall art in this Apartment Therapy home tour is eye-catching, simple, and focused on words, which I love. I could think of a lovely quote to stencil. 

I like this split-photo project that House by Hoff created. But what photo would I use? I'm much more of an art and print person vs. photos. 

I'm also considering just whipping up some more of this paint chip canvases. I made three of these back during my internship at Better Homes & Gardens' Do It Yourself magazine. It was exciting to see them featured in the magazine and they've been a staple in my decor ever since. Maybe it's time to make some in shades of purple? (You can see the orange and turquoise ones hanging over my tv stand.)

Any other ideas or suggestions? :)

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MaddDash said...

Apartment Therpay posted this within the last few days "Broke Person's Guide to Decorating" and it is kind of a compendium of all their DIY art. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-broke-persons-guide-to-decorating-so-it-doesnt-look-your-budget-is-0-even-if-it-is-215221

Vintage Revivals also always has some great DIY ideas. One of my favorite things I did recently was hang some saaris I bought on Etsy on the wall. I hung them off dowels I tacked near the ceiling right next to each other. Then in the space between them I hung some pictures. They looked like wall paper that gently blows in the breeze!

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

I just saw that "Broke Persons" guide and totally loved it. :)

I'll have to check out Vintage Revivals. I know she does some fantastic stuff. Thanks for the reminder!

Your wall art idea sounds really lovely and very creative! Thanks for the ideas!

Amy said...

I remember seeing this on Apartment Therapy - printing large scale photos/prints at office stores. The comments have some ideas and success stories. :)


Anonymous said...

The best place I've found for unique shower curtains is actually ModCloth. They always have some really cool designs and artwork, and I think I've even seen that octopus one on there before. I think this one would look awesome on that wall with its hints of turquoise: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/bath-decor/swell-acquainted-shower-curtain. I love everything on that website though; I need to start hiding my credit card, lol.

-Julie @ The Crafty Grad

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

Ooh, I do love this! Just not sure what I'd get printed...
Thanks for the idea and link, Amy! :)

Jessica • The Lovely Side said...

I didn't know ModCloth sold shower curtains! If I weren't doing a nautical/mermaid theme in my bathroom, I'd totally put this shower curtain up in the living room. :)

Yet another reason to shop ModCloth! (...not that I need one.)

Thanks for the idea and link! :)

Carolyn said...

Urban Outfitters has a section just of 'tapestries', big pieces of printed images on fabric for $50-$70. Stretch one of those bad boys over a simple 2x4 frame and you could have yourself a giant piece of wall art.