Decor Hack: How Our Designers Get Vintage-Inspired Artwork For $100 or Less

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Rebecca Deczynski

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Published on January 23, 2023

There’s nothing like a beautiful piece of artwork to add the perfect finishing touch to an otherwise empty wall — or to round out a mostly filled gallery wall. But when you’re designing a space on a budget, buying new artwork can get pricey. And while it’s always fun to scour thrift stores and estate sales for more affordable hidden gems, finding the right piece of artwork secondhand can be a pretty time-consuming task. Luckily, there’s an easier option.

With a super-simple styling trick, you can get a piece of framed artwork for less than $100 — though the end results will look far more high-end than that price point may suggest. In fact, our expert interior designers pretty much swear by this decor hack when they’re searching for the perfect piece of art to round out a space, whether for a design project or photo shoot.

All it takes is four easy steps to get a framed print that you might even be able to pass off as a family heirloom — or, at least, a cool boutique find. Here’s how to nail the trick, along with our best places to source the necessary materials.

Step 1: Size Up Your Space

Cheap wall art

Figure out where, exactly, you want to put your artwork — that will help you to determine how big or small the artwork itself should be. You want it to feel intentional and to scale with your vignette, whether you’re going for a smaller number or a larger statement piece. 

Step 2: Get a Frame

Cheap wall art

Find (and buy!) a wall mount photo frame of your choice, making sure that it comes with a mat. That will give it a more “finished” and custom aesthetic. For recent photoshoots, our team has been turning to the Gilded Bamboo Gallery Frame and the Horn and Bone Gallery Frame, both from Williams Sonoma. To spend even less, check out thrift stores and simply swap out the artwork!

Step 3: Pick Your Print

Cheap wall art

Find (and buy) your desired print. We’ve been loving Vintage Supply Co for elegant, heirloom-quality pieces that come printed on fine art paper. These prints start around $15 for smaller sizes, around $50-$70 for medium, and cost around $150 for oversized options. Etsy is also a treasure trove for vintage-inspired pieces, which can cost just $3 to $7 for digital downloads — all you have to do is print it locally. We recommend using high quality fine art paper so it feels more substantial than Dunder Mifflin copy paper.

Step 4: Hang & Style

Finally, simply arrange your print inside the frame and hang. Voilà! Below, see a few examples of how our designers used and styled this hack in their own spaces, from bathrooms to fireplace mantels and more: 

Cheap wall art

It’s hard to go wrong with a classic landscape print. A simple black frame makes this timeless option look a bit more contemporary.

Cheap wall art

This oil painting-inspired print can practically pass as an heirloom, especially in an ornate frame — the perfect mantel accessory.

Cheap wall art

The multi-tone wood frame that outfits this landscape print helps tie the artwork into the decor, mirroring the wooden dresser.

Cheap wall art

A moody print in a gold frame brings some romance to an otherwise bright nook.

Cheap wall art

Clustered vintage-inspired art prints in contrasting frames make for an elegant, eye-catching gallery wall in this small half bath.

Want expert advice on your actual home, straight from an interior designer? Start with our style quiz to work with a design pro one-on-one.

Words by Rebecca Deczynski