Sources for Unique and Affordable Art

One of the questions I often find myself answering on social media and in General Consultations is, “Where can I find unique and affordable art?”

I think the key to making your home a unique, inviting space that reflects your personality is to fill it with pieces that speak to you and are not the same as what everyone else has.  I want to share some ideas and sources for finding unique and affordable art that you may not have considered before.

Before we delve into specific sources, when looking to build your art collection, keep it personal.  You may simply fall in love with a piece (which is an excellent reason to add it to your collection).  Or, you may need to begin by searching for a specific subject.  Some ideas to look for when beginning your search:  landscapes of favorite vacation locations or home towns, botanicals or still lifes of meaningful flowers or trees (perhaps from a wedding bouquet or favorite climbing tree), or a rendering of a specific breed of a beloved pet.


Etsy has a wide wide range of art for sale…both originals and prints or reproductions.  There is no vetting process on Etsy, so the art available there really runs the gamut (as does the price, quality, and style).  For a truly unique piece, look for original art.  You’ll find new original paintings sold by the artist themselves, as well as vintage pieces sold by vendors who have stumbled on them.  Try to be as specific as possible when you search in Etsy.  I might search for “original watercolor landscape” or “original oil still life” or “vintage original portrait” or “vintage paint by number“, for instance.

You can even search for sets that include multiple pieces in the same theme or medium.

I’ve rounded up a few Etsy pieces below that caught my eye.  I linked them below, but these are all one of a kind, so once they are purchased, they’re gone.

Rose | House | Nude | Desert | Road | Village | Portrait | Pomegranites | Landscape

A few things to note: Pay close attention to the measurements of the pieces.  It can be difficult to tell the scale from a photograph.  You don’t want to assume it will fill a particular space on your wall, only to receive a tiny 4×6″ piece.  That being said, if you fall in love with a small piece of art, you can certainly frame it in a larger frame with the proper mat to increase it’s scale.

Note where the piece will be shipped from.  You may find an international vendor, so the shipping could take a while.  There is a filter that you can set to search only US vendors if you prefer.

Some pieces may come framed, or you may need to do that yourself.  I’ll share some tips on framing below.

Local Artists

Check your local art galleries and home decor shops.  Look for Gallery Walks like First Friday here in Raleigh.  Craft and Art fairs are excellent places to find unique pieces.  You may find a local artist whom you love.  I have also stumbled on local artists through Instagram like Anna Vaughn and Emily Farrell.

How to Furnish an Empty Room
Design by Cate Holcombe, Painting by Anna Vaughn


I follow a handful of shops on Instagram that sell vintage home decor pieces.  These shops offer a wide variety of unique items, including framed pieces.  The Brass Magnolia and Ashlyn Goldberg are two of my favorites.

Online Print Shops

My absolute favorite online print shop is Juniper Print Shop.  I have followed Jenny Komenda’s design career for years, and was so excited to see her launch this shop.  It’s an excellent solution for affordable art.  You can order prints or purchase a digital file from the shop (they’re typically $15 or $20 each), then have it printed however you’d like.  She outlines lots of ways to print the files here, but you’re free to print them however you’d like once you own the file (on paper, canvas, or even glass or wood).

Minted has a huge selection of art prints.  Use their filters to narrow your search based on your style or preferences.

Of course, these options won’t give you truly custom one-of-a-kind art, but can be a super affordable way to reflect and curate your style.

Affordable Art Jennys Print Shop

Personal Items

Of course, personal items that bring joy or happy memories are always a good choice.  Children’s art, a beloved scarf, or an invitation or announcement are all excellent items to frame and display.

childrens art, gallery wall, picture ledge
Design by Cate Holcombe

A Note About Framing

In general, I like to keep frames classic and timeless.  Think of how art is displayed in an art gallery.  Typically the frames are thin and either black or a metal finish.  If there is a mat, it is typically white.

Custom framing is quite expensive.  If you have a valuable or super meaningful piece of art, you may want to consider having it framed at a custom frame shop where it will be handled and mounted very carefully, and preservation of the piece is prioritized.

Otherwise, I recommend purchasing a frame and pre-cut or custom cut mat and assembling the piece yourself.

If you’re printing the art yourself, find your frame (with or without a mat) FIRST, then you know exactly what size to print the piece.

This Project 62 line of gold frames from Target are a favorite.  Places like Michaels and Hobby Lobby have great options in large sizes and almost always offer a coupon or sale code to apply.

Framebridge is an excellent framing option.  They custom frame your existing piece or digital file at a super affordable price.

Design by Cate Holcombe

Where have you found your favorite pieces of art?  Be sure to leave any questions or comments below!





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