Art 101: Shop These 6 Sites For Affordable Pieces Now
You know the difference between a room that instantly dazzles and one that feels oddly unfinished? According to interior designer Ryan Korban, who counts Alexander Wang and model Jessica Stam as clients, people often think that furniture makes a room, but it’s really the top layer of décor: the eclectic knick knacks, the cozy throw, the worn-in library and, most of all, the art. Whether you have ten minutes or ten hours, these e-commerce sites will help you instantly artify your abode.
1. These Fine Walls (thesefinewalls.com; top): In her past life as a photo editor at Michael Kors, Lisa Eryn says she was overwhelmed by the amount of “incredible images that were shot solely for magazines or remained hidden on hard drives.” To provide this level of collectable work at an accessible price point, Eryn created These Fine Walls, an e-commerce platform that offers works from new and emerging photographers and artists. A lot of the work is unapologetically glamorous, from close ups of Proenza's autumn/winter '14 prints snapped backstage to Eryn’s own digital collages of Chanel hula hoop bags and champagne bottles. Prices start at $150 for a 12 x 60 print unframed and at $220 for framed.
2. Illustration Room (illustrationroom.com.au): These days, fashion illustrators are as in-demand as bloggers. One of cult favorite Donald Robertson’s sartorial masterpieces can start at $5,000 (or you can turn to InStyle’s back page, where Robertson’s illustrations appear every month). Based in Australia, Illustration Room represents a number of up-and-coming illustrators, who have worked for brands like Armani and Harrods. Aspiring de Menils can commission their own pieces for as little as $300.
3. Lumas (lumas.com): Lumas carries work by both emerging and established artists (including InStyle contributor Greg Kadel) and allows you to sort by vertical. Click on the fashion category to score iconic works from Horst P. Horst or a pattern-happy David Burton photograph of women behaving badly. Best of all, the cost of original hand-signed prints, which come in limited editions of 75-150, usually range between $100 and $700.
4. Books by the Foot (booksbythefoot.com): As John Waters once said, “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t [sleep with them].” Fake a well-read life by ordering a set of pre-curated books from Books by the Foot, which also happens to be a favorite of event designer Bronson Van Wyck. You can order by subject, such as fashion or art, or by color. A square foot of paperback books starts at $4.99 and hardbacks start at $8.99.
5. 1stdibs (1stdibs.com): It’s easy to get lost in 1stdibs’ seemingly never-ending inventory of vintage Halston gowns and Milo Baughman recliners. But the website, which is like a Farfetch for antique stores and vintage dealers, also has an impressive collection of photography. Choose from a range of fashionable works, including a lithograph from multimedia artist Colette Lumiere (whose work was allegedly lifted for Lady Gaga’s holiday windows at Barneys a few years ago) for $300 or a Slim Aarons’ print of sun-drenched socialites at the tony Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc for $1200. It’s like stumbling upon the fanciest flea market ever.
6. Artsy (artsy.net): Artsy is like an amusement park for art aficionados, with 215,000 images from different galleries and museums, sneak previews of art fairs around the globe, editorial features and online auctions. But click on fashion and a specific price point (Under $1,000, $1,000 - $5,000, etc) and life is instantly simplified. Give a room an instant focal point with a mixed media piece by New York street artist DAIN or add a dose of Hollywood royalty to your home with a print by fashion photographer Milton H. Greene. If you’re the type that prefers art that looks good on and off the wall, pick up the John Baldessari and Botkier leather tote for $300.