Absolutely FREE (and beautiful!) art

Well my goodness you lovelies – thank you so much for the sweet comments on our family room redo!! You all made my day. :) I SO appreciate each and every one!

I’m sitting here this evening with one of my very favorite people – my dear friend Traci from Beneath My Heart:

image(Traci at our recent IKEA trip.)

Yep, she’s here. In my house. Staying the night.

I’m in heaven. LOVE her!

So does the Bub, by the way. And the dog. I think there will be a very sad little boy and dog when she leaves. :(

We’ve been working on a fun little project in the office and I’m loving it! I can’t wait to show you, but we’ve talked a little too much and didn’t get enough done today. Hopefully we can talk and work at the same time and get it finished up before she leaves. ;)

For now, I’m really excited to tell you more about the art in the family room! I needed to fill some of the walls in the space, but I got to that part of the redo after I decided to not spend a dime in July.

Well. Drats.

I was determined, and was forced to get a little creative – and I love how it turned out! The best part -- this art is 100 percent, absolutely free for everyone. WHOO!

I found the NYC Digital Gallery years ago, and just haven’t made the time to go through their prints till now. (The thrill of not spending any money made up for the time it took to find what I wanted!) The Gallery is such a great resource -- it provides free access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's collections.

And it is AWESOME.

If you are using the art on their site for personal, educational, or research purposes, they are absolutely free. (They can be used for commercial purposes for a reproduction fee.) Basically, they are free “printables” you can use for art in your home.

Told you – awesomesauce!

I found a few I wanted to share and then I’ll show you what I ended up with!

There are seven categories of prints, like arts, buildings and geography. But I especially loved the Nature and Science artwork, and thought this horse print was especially striking:

Wouldn’t that be fabulous in a library or office?

This one was a cover of a NYC theater program in 1930:

ziegfeld theatre

Isn’t that gorgeous?

I think a series of these shoe prints would be adorable in a closet or bedroom:

shoe art

Or even a little girl’s room – how fun!

And yes, you can make your closet a fun space – especially when it’s FREE to do so. ;)

I especially loved the maps – this one of Italy because someday I will go there:

map of italy

And I loved the aged look and beautiful colors of this one:

image Wouldn’t that be amazing blown up into a huge print?

Originally I had planned on using botanical prints in the family room, and there is an insane amount to pick from on this site!

So many beautiful options!:

botanical prints botanical prints

You may notice I added some pops of blue throughout the family room space, and I wanted to pull some blue to the wall by the TV to balance it out.

When I found the Ocean Flowers collection, I was hooked:

image image

They were set on the most beautiful blue background and I was completely smitten. I thought they were perfect – they were a little bit more laid back than the botanical prints, but also a bit sophisticated. And they were so interesting!

All I did was take the image, copy and paste it into a Word document and make it as large as possible. (I made the margins super small.)

I had large frames from our powder room art that I took down weeks ago:


That room is in limbo, waiting patiently for it’s new paint. Wait line bathroom…wait in line.

Years ago I had painted the poster board behind those old prints chocolate brown, so I just painted them again. Then I just printed out the art from the Word document, cut it out and taped it to the middle of the poster board:IMG_5706

I doubt I’ll ever pay for mats to be cut again – this looks great every time! I wanted the poster board “mat” to be a flat, white paint, but all I have is glossy white – so I used a very light blue paint I used on the farmhouse desk in the office.

It looks really cool – turns out it’s the exact same tone of blue as the images:

nyc digital art

I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!! And the best part – I didn’t spend a dime! I printed them on leftover cardstock, but you could just use regular paper (it looked just a good). And if you don’t have frames already, check out Goodwill and spray paint them the color you want. SO easy, so cheap!!

You just need a color printer, and if you don’t have one, ask around. :)

I love the “gallery” look of the prints:

It filled in that little spot perfectly! And it gave me that pop of blue I wanted on that side of the room:

The fact that these are free is fantastic – but I also love the variety. It’s all so original and different – no one else will have the exact same art. (Well, I guess some of you will, but you probably won’t know each other. So you’re good.)

Check out the collections at the Digital Gallery here. Give yourself some time to browse – you’ll be there awhile. ;)

Have you gotten creative and come up with free art? I’d love to hear what you did!

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