I have been on slow and steady journey of making my condo my own since moving in Fall 2018. Whenever people enter my home for the first time (which hasn’t happened lately), the first thing they say is, “It feels very YOU.” Given that I hold myself in pretty high regard, I consider that high praise.
Kidding aside – being able to clearly articulate your personality through your decor choices takes a fair bit of trial and error. Often, the biggest challenge is figuring out where to start. There are so many different physical and digital destinations to source decor and furnishings – it can be hard to parse out which sites have high-quality items and which are mass-produced cheap thrills.
Arguably, the most personal choice of any space is the art you choose to adorn your home with. I am in the midst of a full-scale bathroom renovation that will be the most dramatic transformation of all the spaces in my condo and I CANNOT wait to share it with you. The shower still needs to be renovated but I’ve been on the hunt for an interesting art piece to pull the space together.
I put out a poll on Instagram to ask for some recommendations of favourite art sites and artists and unearthed some great art destinations. That being said, a lot of responses were sites with the most aggressive digital and social media advertising campaigns and float to the top of your Google search results.
So, I thought I would share some interesting sites and artists that I’ve discovered in my ongoing work of cultivating my personal decor style. Given that this blog is patronized by visitors from across the globe, but primarily the U.S. and Canada, I wanted to provide a combination of local (Ottawa & Ontario-based) and international options.
Let’s get into it.
L’Affichiste – the vintage Barilla poster that anchors my dining room is an original lithograph print, meaning it was printed back in 1952, as part of the ad campaign from that era. This piece was created for Barilla by famous Italian illustrator Erberto Carboni and like many pieces from L’Affichiste is linen-backed. L’Affichiste is located in the heart of Montreal’s Old Port and if you get a chance, I highly recommend paying them a visit in person so they can flip through the hundreds of incredible vintage and modern posters and explain the unique histories of each. That being said, you can peruse their full selection, ranging in subject matter from Food & Drink to Politics, War & Propaganda, at their online store: https://www.laffichiste.com.
Ottawa Art Gallery – the local hub for arts and cultural conversation has a sales and rental art database where you can shop everything from textile to mixed media to photography and sculpture. A diverse selection of art by local and Canadian artists: https://shop.oaggao.ca/collections/art-rental-and-sales.
Partial Gallery – Possibly the most innovative approach to art-buying on this list. Partial Gallery allows you to try-before-you-buy with a rental plan or buy a beautiful, original, and affordable Canadian artwork directly from the artists who made it. This is the best option for anyone who struggles with commitment and wants to experience a piece of original art in your space before taking the plunge and making a larger investment. With a catalogue that boasts everything from photography to sculpture, this site has something for everyone: https://www.partial.gallery.
Saatchi Art – This is the unparalleled resource for buying art online. With more than 1.4 million original works in the collection, 94,000 emerging artists represented, and creators hailing from more than 110 countries, your options are practically limitless on this site. Admittedly, a selection this sprawling can be overwhelming to navigate but you can take a shortcut by perusing collections handpicked by curators (new collections released weekly) OR for a more bespoke art-buying experience, you can work with an art advisor through the site. As these are all original works, you can expect to pay a premium for one-of-a-kind pieces: https://www.saatchiart.com.
These Fine Walls – I recently picked up two limited edition photographic prints from this site, captured by photographer Jamie Nelson for my bathroom. I would describe the pieces I nabbed as “edgy Wes Anderson” and they perfectly align with my aesthetic. Given that I work behind the lens, photography is certainly one of my favourite mediums. These Fine Walls features an array of inspired photographic works. https://thesefinewalls.com
Leif Shop – Having discovered this online shop that spans everything from home decor to fashion a few months ago, I’ve quickly fallen in love with their well-curated selection of goods. Their selection of artwork includes both original and printed artwork. Select between colorful prints, botanical prints, black and white prints, or minimal prints, suited for any room. These modern art prints and original artworks will bring life to any space, whether you prefer a bohemian or minimal accent. The shop helped me discover Molly McGrath’s brilliant laser cut prints – I purchased one of her pieces to adorn my bedroom closet door: https://www.leifshop.com.
West of Main – Ottawa’s own interior design wunderkinds have a shop with home goods, furnishings, and decor. I would describe their selection as bohemian elegance. Their art selection includes decorative objects like wall baskets and abstract paintings on canvas. A great place to start if you’re looking to add texture and depth to your walls. https://westofmain.com/collections/art-and-wall-decor.
Artfully Walls – Want to create a covetable gallery wall but don’t have the first idea of where to start? Well, Artfully Walls is probably your best destination then. The site has a “Gallery Walls” tab that populates a collection of pieces that work in perfect harmony and conveniently organized by style – whether you’re looking for midcentury, eclectic, romantic cottage, or Hollywood glam. Another feature on this site that will help you envision your future art more accurately than your mind’s eye is the “Wall Designer” that lets you upload a photo of your space and drag and drop different art into the space: https://www.artfullywalls.com.
Kelly Wearstler – The woman who has defined luxury with her inimitable interior design talent (she does teach a Masterclass though if you’re looking to channel her process) has her own line of … well, everything, but I want to point you to her fabulous sculptures. I have been absolutely coveting her Classic Legs sculpture for years. Big budget energy only friends: https://www.kellywearstler.com/sculpture.
Jungalow – Justine Blakeney started Jungalow as a design blog back in 2009 that she has grown into a wonderfully eclectic lifestyle brand and home goods/decor site. Jungalow features her own collections as well as a curated selection of goods from the world over. Part of the decor offering is an exclusive, rotating selection of high quality, limited edition art prints from an international group of female artists: https://www.jungalow.com/pages/shop-art.
LD Shoppe – the dynamic design duo of Melissa and Sacha Leclair have made a name for themselves locally and across the continent with their effortless style and impeccable curatorial capability. They’ve designed the homes of Ottawa locals and Los Angeles mansions of celebrities alike. Their ever-expanding LD Shoppe in Trainyards boasts a collection spanning cognac leather couches, coffee table books, luxe apothecary to wall art. Their selection of art is regularly updated with new additions and look out for discounts on long weekends: https://ldshoppe.com/collections/art.
Did I miss one of your favourite art sites? Drop the link in the comments below and why you love it!