Artwork. It’s a tough one to tackle. It’s hard to justify the expense when you’re on a budget. The usual haunts – Ikea, Target, World Market – you can’t rely on them for this category like you can for cheap accessories and fiscally-conscious furniture because no one wants to walk in to their aunt’s home and realize that Verna’s got the same fake painting over her couch as you. Art stands out MUCH more than if you both, say, have the same Nate Berkus serving tray.
Usually I turn to Etsy, but let’s be honest, their site has become such a HUGE place for artists, that it’s often difficult to find something if you’re just in a browsing kind of mood. It’s great if you know what you want, but what if you just want to peruse or are in the mood to maybe discover some new artists you never would have stumbled upon on your own?
4 MILLION options!
Enter MINTED. They recently contacted me about checking out their site. And I can honestly say with 120% certainty – WOW. It’s an incredible resource for independent artists to showcase their work as well as us design-savvy folks looking for a bargain on an original piece.
But it’s not just pretty pictures you guys – Minted has a TON of categories to offer, all created and curated by these lesser known, but oh-so-talented artists. You’ve got your basic photos, paintings, etc. but you can also get custom art, unique stationary (including wedding invites and their latest addition: Save-the-Dates), fabric and home decor! Had I discovered them a month ago, I totally would have ordered my holiday cards through them. And honestly it was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon them on my own. So in the vain of trying to provide you guys with new, exciting suggestions for decorating on a budget, I decided to give them a whirl.
As my apartment is really coming along and I rarely use stationary, I decided to focus on artwork for my much-needed, very bare walls. After a little perusing I found the best part about the site (aside from the actual artwork) – if you find a print you like, they offer a TON of moderately priced, custom framing options. No worrying about sorting through a crate of frames to find an un-dinged simple black number from Ikea!
Ladies and gents – you can now order custom-framed artwork from the comfort of your couch, in your matching flannel jammies, ON A BUDGET! Not that I did that or anything….(yes, I was wearing the matching set version of this while watching the first episode of Agent Carter – Hayley Atwell, I want to be you when I grow up.)
So what caught my eye? There were LOTS of options, many more modern than others. My favorites weren’t necessarily Jefe’s favorites so I had to compromise. I did end up selecting two photos, one that was perfect for framing in the kitchen and another one without a frame because it reminded me of home just too much to pass up.
(I ordered this one without the frame, but left on here to show the edges)
And who can turn down a stunning black & white photo for $20?! I also decided to test out some of their other categories, so I picked up this new notebook for the office.
Overall, the site was super easy to use. You can customize your searches based on style, shape, type, and color of the artwork. They also have curated sections that include limited edition pieces. Also most of the artwork can be shipped in multiple sizes which is great if you find something but are looking to fill wall space that is slightly smaller or larger than the original piece. Once you select the art, you have ELEVEN different frame options including such awesome styles as reclaimed barn wood, whitewashed herringbone, and my personal favorite: distressed indigo stain. I did, however, notice that for certain photos or artwork, certain framing options weren’t available, yet that same frame was for other photos. Not sure what that was about.
As my selected photo was intended for the kitchen, I knew I had to chose a frame wisely. The distressed indigo stain was coincidentally a PERFECT match to my Melrose Trading Post chalkboard in the kitchen. That alone was totally worth the cost and honestly, you’d pay just as much for a nicer frame from Aaron Brothers that you have to insert the image (with no matte) yourself.
The first item, the notebook, arrived about 5 days after I placed the order. Apparently they ship as each piece is ready.
A week later I got my framed photo and was pleasantly surprised with how thorough the packaging was. No doubt that it could have been thrown around and jostled heavily and it would have stayed in perfect condition.
And it came with a thank you note and free gift tags! (Although I’m not sure why I got holiday ones since I order these pieces in January.)
I’m still waiting on the black & white photo, but I wasted no time in getting the other one hung. My one gripe is that they pre strung the frame for hanging, only allowing me to hang vertically.
Now I know certain photographers and artists will say that they did that so the image can be hung as the artist intended HOWEVER not everyone abides by that.
The photo I chose for framing I specifically wanted to hang horizontally to better fill the wall space I had intended for it to be placed. I am not a fan of not at least being presented with the OPTION. Now as Minted prides itself on supporting independent artists, I get that they strung the image as it was intended. But that was not my intention when I bought it. So they lose a point for that one. They gain back a point for the sheer quality of work:
Now for the grand reveal in our kitchen!
I love the image and think that combined with the frame are perfect for the little nook above my stove. However, I wish I would have gone a size bigger. Regardless, I still love the photo and am so happy with Minted’s service. I will definitely be using them again.
And just for comparison, my Minted frame’s detail:
And our our chalkboard. Very happy accident. (And yes, Jefe’s aware that it’s his turn to change the message on the board….)
So head on over to Minted and get yourself some art! Or stationary! Or anything really! And they’re currently offering 15% off Valentine’s Day cards with code HEART as well as 20% off foil art and Valentine’s Day cards with code FOILLOVE!