Affordable art: Textiles as art

Filling your home with lovely art shouldn’t cost you a fortune, so I’m running this Affordable Art series where I talk about economical ways to personalise your walls. The first post in the series was about Art Calendars, and for this second post, I’m talking about using textiles as art.

Have you seen a pretty fabric you love but can’t think of where to use it in your home? Hang it on your wall!

Marimekko fabric as art
A painterly Marimekko fabric turned into hanging art by Anu from Nalle’s House
Framed fabric.jpg
@michellematangi on Instagram framed this stunning fabric for her bedroom
St Frank fabrics as art gallery.jpg
A gallery of beautiful framed fabrics is such a great alternative to prints! Image: St Frank

Many tea towels have fantastic arty designs and really feel too gorgeous to wipe dishes with. Considering that a tea towel is usually priced between £8-£12, that is incredible value for a great sized piece of art. You can usually use economical standard sized frames: either 50x70cm or A1 size with a custom mount, or make an easy hanging kit with wooden dowels and string.

There are countless designs of tea towels with themes of kitchen art, bar art, typography, bold graphics, animals, dinosaurs, sea life, humour, romance, maps, architecture, gardening, icons of the past or present… the list is endless! So if there’s a room in your home where you want seriously affordable art, look for tea towels! If the same design is available as a print on art paper, it’ll definitely be a lot more expensive! I’d get the tea towel :-).

Framed Tea Towels by Bianca French For Pineapple
How chic do these framed graphic tea towels look as part of a black and white gallery in the living room of Bianca of French for Pineapple?

The intro in this magazine article says it all really –

Framed scarf from Martha Stewart Living.jpg
Image: Martha Stewart Living

If you’ve inherited a gorgeous vintage scarf, or scored a pretty one in a charity shop, or even nabbed one with a modern painterly or bold graphic design in a sale, it might just be the perfect accessory for your wall… if you don’t plan to wear it, that is.

Framed scarf - bedroom.jpg
Image: The Design Chaser
Framed orange Hermes scarf above bar
Image: Elements of Style

Have you used a textile as art? Or framed anything else that’s unexpected? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Affordable art: Art calendars

Art is a key element in giving your home personality, yet finding beautiful art for your walls that doesn’t cost a small fortune can be tricky, so I thought I’d run a series on this blog on how to source affordable art. As it’s the start of the year, let’s start with art calendars, and I don’t mean the cheaply made glossy paper versions you find at your local stationer’s.

A few years ago, I bought a large calendar published by Taschen featuring Edward Lear’s parrots. I was blown away by the quality of the Italian art paper and vibrancy of the prints. The calendar cost me £9.99 from HomeSense and for that price, I got 12 great sized prints of stunning birds.  I’d have been happy to pay that price for one print, let alone twelve!

Gorgeous large prints from Taschen’s 2012 wall calendar featuring Edward Lear’s parrots

I know Taschen have also produced large wall calendars featuring the works of Gustav Klimt, Frida Kahlo and Vilmorin’s Vegetable Garden (very popular on Etsy!), although I don’t know what they’ve published for 2017. If you google “Taschen large wall calendar” and come across one with art you like at a good price, I’d suggest you add it to your basket pronto because they’re very hard to come by! It’s also worth checking out your nearest HomeSense for arty treasures.

Rifle Paper Co. are also known for producing gorgeous arty wall calendars that are perfect for framing. The gallery below is created from their 2015 Travel The World calendar.

Wanderlust gallery in a girl’s room created with Rifle Paper Co.’s 2015 wall calendar by The Creativity Exchange

Unsurprisingly, the Rifle Paper Co.’s 2017 Bon Voyage calendar, featuring illustrations of cities, seems to already have sold out at all the UK stockists but if you like it, you can still order it from their website.

Rifle Paper Co. 2017 Bon Voyage Calendar

A recent discovery for me is Juniqe whose 2017 calendars are so good! If you’ve browsed Pinterest or Instagram for any length of time, you’ll surely recognise the work of Ruben Ireland

Images: 1 – @mavendolls on Instagram via Inside Out magazine, 2 – @michele.lauren on Instagram, 3 – INT2 Architecture via Desire to Inspire, 4 – Norsu Interiors, 5 – @irina_khrist on Instagram, 6 – Homes to Love

So what would you say to twelve Ruben Ireland prints for just a few quid each? Yup, you guessed it, a calendar with Ruben Ireland prints perfect for framing! Juniqe have this calendar in 2 great sizes so take your pick.

Ruben Ireland 2017 calendar by Juniqe

That’s not all. Juniqe have several more to choose from, one of my favourites being the Leigh Viner calendar –

Juniqe Leigh Viner 2017 calendar.jpg
Leigh Viner 2017 calendar by Juniqe

If you haven’t already hopped over to Juniqe, I don’t know what you’re waiting for!* Go check out all their other gorgeous calendars and arty things.

Do you know of any other brands producing gorgeous arty calendars?

*This is not a sponsored post 🙂

DIY cushions from a duvet set

Following my garden bench makeover, I bought a couple of fantastic navy outdoor chairs from John Lewis for our patio – great value at £50 each, made even more affordable thanks to some gift vouchers we received last Christmas. They look fabulous next to my blue bench and are super comfy, but felt like they could do with little cushions.

During my hunt for inexpensive, easy care, tropical print rectangular cushions (which turned out to be fruitless), I chanced upon this duvet set from Accessorize Home on, on sale at £19 for the single size.

Accessorize Home - Tropical Orchid Duvet Set.png
Tropical Orchid Duvet Set from Accessorize Home

The fun bold pattern is perfect for my colourful garden. So it was another case of “if you can’t find it, make it“. I’m no expert on the sewing machine, but I have taught myself basic sewing skills through online tutorials and I find sewing to be a perfect rainy day activity.

I was able to make 4 cushions (35x50cm) from the duvet set, 2 for the garden chairs and the other 2 for sale.

John Lewis Salsa Garden chairs and DIY cushions

John Lewis Salsa patio chairs with DIY cushions.jpg

Pretty happy with them! 🙂

Now to find a weatherproof coffee table.

Patio with blue bench and navy garden chairs
Love how the wisteria trained over the pergola provides shade over the patio in the afternoon