5 Interior Design Ideas for Inexpensive Art
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5 Interior Design Ideas for Inexpensive Art

From wall rugs to framed memories, interior designers share their low-cost alternatives.

By Elizabeth Anne Hartman
Thu, Sep 2, 2021 11:05amGrey Clock 3 min

TURNS OUT you can improve the way you feel by lazily staring at nicely decorated walls. “Incorporating art and colour into your home design will have a positive impact on your mood and overall health,” said Jessica Shaw of New York’s Turett Collaborative architecture and design firm, citing studies from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And the nerve-calming wall installation doesn’t have to be a 19th-century Arcadian masterpiece. It can be baskets, even an array of hats. “It’s authenticity that counts,” Ms. Shaw said. “What is that thing for you? What gives you a hit of dopamine or serotonin? If a collection of old Levi’s is a genuine reflection of you, go ahead and frame them.” Other substitutes for pricey artwork: a group of trip mementos, a public-domain photograph that reflects your obsession with katydids. Here, design pros offer their favourite low-cost alternatives to an Alice Neel original.

Frame a Freebie Photo

Put your tax dollars to work for your décor. You can get copyright-free or public-domain images from the wide-ranging collections of public and federally funded institutions such as the Library of Congress and NASA. For an amateur photographer’s Brooklyn townhouse, local designer Lauren Stern printed and framed this shot of the far side of the moon taken by Arizona State University’s telescope. “Really large and graphic pieces can be hard to find, but photographs can be enlarged to any size.” High resolution is a must, she warned. Find university image collections through the institution’s home page.

Don’t Let Carpets Lie Like Rugs

Scrolling through Etsy, Austin designer Sarah Stacey spotted this large, colourful Boucherouite rug for $400 that perfectly fit the upbeat atmosphere of a small home about to welcome a baby. The plush Moroccan rag rug played well with the punchy pinks and blues of the living room furniture. From geometric Mexican carpets to English needlepoint rugs, you can find a style to suit pretty much any room. Against a large-patterned wallpaper, try a small-patterned rug that will complement rather than compete. For a less-casual room, select a tighter weave. (For inexpensive Moroccan rugs, try the clearance tab on benisouk.com)

Bundle Baskets

“Multidimensional installations are a great way to customize a space,” said Andrea DeRosa, co-founder of Avenue Interior Design in Los Angeles. Try black and beige baskets against a beige wall, said Genna Margolis, owner of L.A.’s Shapeside design studio. “The black really pops.” Or “go with the overall aesthetic,” advised fellow Angeleno Christine Markatos Lowe. In a tropical home, she hung these finely woven Indonesian versions over an equally elegant and organic rattan bench. Ten Thousand Villages sells baskets handmade in developing countries.

Tack Up a Table Runner

Textiles on a wall not only stand in well for expensive art, they add coziness, noted Kathleen Rubin, owner of interior design studio Room Is Blue, in Austin, Texas. Recently she discovered these table runners designed by Tabria Willford, founder of local textile company Tawa Threads, and block-printed by hand by a family in India. “Tabria’s runners, with their bold patterns and colours, can make a big impact if you hang several of them—framed or unframed.” (approx. $80 each, tawathreads.com) Like rugs, table runners can be found in myriad styles, from antique Aubusson tapestries to geometric linen patchworks. For unusual finds, Ms. Rubin recommends trolling online artisanal retailers.

Repurpose a Memento

“Art that engages is the best kind of art,” said Los Angeles designer Amy Sklar. After stumbling upon a journal her husband had diligently kept at age 10, she singled out a particularly charming page, then had it enlarged, professionally photographed and framed—and gave it to him as an anniversary gift (shown). “My kids think it’s hysterical, and it’s become a conversation piece,” she said. And you needn’t only draw from your own history. In Philadelphia, Melinda Kelson O’Connor framed the original blueprints of a 1910s home. “If you don’t have blueprints from your own home, you can choose a vintage set to hang, selecting from a housing type or historic time period that interests you,” she said. For example, a high-resolution image of Gustave Eiffel’s plans for the iconic Paris tower, published in 1900, can be licensed from Getty Images for approx. $677.



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We reveal the No. 1 areas for price growth in each capital city

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Jul 18, 2024 3 min

Home values across Australia rose by a median 8 percent in FY24, delivering the equivalent of $59,000 in new capital growth to the two-thirds of the population that owns a home, according to CoreLogic data. Investors received total returns of 12.2 percent over the year, including capital gains and gross rental income.

Very tight supply and demand in most capital cities except Melbourne and Hobart was a significant driver of the capital growth, with the smaller and more affordable capital cities of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide experiencing the most price appreciation over the year. A lack of properties for sale trumped the usual dampening effect of higher interest rates.

As usual, some areas outperformed their city’s median growth benchmark. Here are the top SA3 areas for capital growth in each capital city of Australia in FY24. SA3 areas are large suburbs, or districts incorporating clusters of suburbs, with more than 20,000 residents.

 

Sydney

Home values across Sydney rose by a median 6.3 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Mount Druitt. Its median value rose by 13.96 percent to $859,939. Mount Druitt is located 33km west of the CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Mount Druitt, Ropes Crossing, Whalan and Minchinbury. The Mount Druitt community is very multicultural with almost one in two residents born overseas. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the NSW median of 39.

 

Melbourne

Home values across Melbourne rose by a median 1.3 percent in FY24. The top area for capital growth was Moreland-North with 4.71 percent growth. This took the district’s median home value to $746,488. Moreland-North includes the suburbs of Hadfield, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. It’s a multicultural community with a particularly large contingent of residents with Italian ancestry. One or both parents of 66 percent of residents were born overseas, according to the 2021 Census.

 

Brisbane

Home values across Brisbane rose by a median 15.8 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Springwood-Kingston in Logan City. Its median value swelled by 25.55 percent to $710,569. Springwood-Kingston is approximately 22km south of Brisbane CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Springwood, Kingston, Rochedale South and Slacks Creek. It is a multicultural community with one or both parents of 55 percent of the residents born overseas, according to the 2021 Census. More than 15 percent of residents have Irish or Scottish ancestry.

 

Adelaide

Home values across Adelaide rose by a median 15.4 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Playford in Playford City. Its median value soared by 19.94 percent to $530,991. Playford is approximately 40km north of Adelaide. It incorporates the suburbs of Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth Grove, Angle Vale and Virginia. It is home to many young people under the age of 40. The median age of residents is 33 compared to the state median of 41.

 

Perth 

Home values across Perth rose by a median 23.6 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Kwinana in Kwinana City. Its median value skyrocketed by 33.19 percent to $618,925. Kwinana is approximately 37km south of Perth CBD. It includes the suburbs of Leda, Medina, Casuarina and Mandogalup. Henderson Naval Base is located here and there is a significant community of servicemen and ex-servicemen living in the area. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the state median of 38.

 

Canberra

Home values across the nation’s capital rose by a median 2.2 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Weston Creek. Its median value rose by 5.24 percent to $937,740. Weston Creek is approximately 13km south-west of the CBD. It includes the suburbs of Weston Creek, Holder, Duffy, Fisher and Chapman. Approximately 43 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is on par with the ACT median but much higher than the national median of 26 percent. Household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median. Almost one in five residents work in government administration jobs.

 

Hobart

Home values across Hobart fell 0.1 percent in FY24. The top performing area for capital gains was Sorell-Dodges Ferry with 2.78 percent growth. This took the area’s median home value to $615,973. Sorell-Dodges Ferry is approximately 25km north-west of Hobart. It incorporates the suburbs of Richmond, Sorell, Dodges Ferry, Carlton and Primrose Sands. The area has a large community of baby boomers and retirees, with the median age of residents being 43 compared to the Australian median of 38.

 

Darwin

Home values across Darwin rose by a median 2.4 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Litchfield. Its median value moved 3.21 higher to $672,003. Litchfield is about 37km south-east of Darwin and includes the suburbs of Humpty Doo, Acacia Hills and Southport.  It has a high proportion of middle-aged residents, with the median age being 39 compared to the territory median of 33. About 12 percent of residents are Indigenous Australians. The biggest industries are government administration and defence. Median household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median.

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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