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How To: Buy Art on a Budget

There comes a time in your life when you decide you can no longer adorn your walls in sticky-tack-backed posters of Audrey Hepburn and Bob Marley. Don't get us wrong, these will always bring back fond memories of college, but we now have grown up jobs, with grown up friends and live in grown up apartments... so it's time for an upgrade! Building an art collection on a budget can sound daunting, but here's how to get started.

Before you whip out the plastic do your research. 

  1. Go to museums, local galleries, art fairs and estate sales, anywhere where you can expose yourself to art!
  2. Figure out what style and medium catches your eye. Browse art blogs, publications, Pinterest and anywhere else you source your inspiration online. 
  3. Learn everything you can about the artist and piece you are considering purchasing. You will appreciate the artwork more and it will be a great conversation piece in your home!
  4. Most importantly, trust your gut! You know what you like, embrace it! Your home is a great reflection of your personal style, so make a statement! 

Ready to start shopping? Here are five websites for you to find your dream piece for less than $500. Plus, we've taken the liberty of picking some of our favorites. 

Saatchi Art

Why we love it: Saatchi makes it quick and easy to find your new masterpiece by allowing you to filter your search by medium, style, color, budget and more!

"Chatterbox" by Donalee Peden Wesley; charcoal, conte and pastel on paper, 22 H x 30 W x 1 in, $400

Uprise Art

Why we love it: Uprise offers free consultations with their art advisors to help you search through their beautifully curated website to find a piece that is the correct size, price and style.

"It Won't" by Alyson Provax; Arches cover cream paper, 13.5" x 13.5", $225

*Tip: Buying editioned works helps your piece retain it's value over time!


Why we love it: Chairish has the charm and character of vintage and thrift shops, but you don't have to do all the digging!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1675.0"] "Tamara" by Jason Espey; Original Color Sketch, 16.0"W x 1.0"D x 20.0"H, $357[/caption]


Why we love it: Artsy is an absolutely incredible resource for research and art collecting, they bring art from all over the world to your fingertips!

"Rolled Gold" by THE DOTMASTER; 10 color silk screen print on 375 gsm Lambeth paper, 40 editions, 16.5"x11.08", $225, Signed and embossed


Why we love it: Artspace is another great online resource that not only sells fantastic art, but also includes great content featuring up-and-coming artists.

"Post Match, Route 66, 2011" by LEO FITZMAURICE; Refigured cigarette packet lid, 3.94" x 2.56", $240

We can't wait to see what you find! Not sure how you should frame your new piece? Select Designer's Choice as your frame style, and one of our designers will recommend their favorite frames.