State {of the} Art

Three and a half years ago, we had just finished our master bedroom and needed art to fill the bare walls.  To keep things cheap, I cut out silhouettes of Ben and myself to fit in a frame I already owned.

To add a splash of pink, I ordered 8 vintage Pierre J. Redoute botanical prints.  The 9 inch by 11 inch prints were cheap, and $3.50 frames from Michael’s were a cheap solution.

Though having art on the walls was great, we never really loved the prints in the space.  Just a little too ‘old lady’, especially when paired with the traditional trim and bed.  We’ve been wanting new art, but just couldn’t find the art.  Until recently.  We featured an Idaho watercolor painting from Poppy and Pinecone, but didn’t see Montana.  After a few conversations with Elisabeth, we had an agreement to trade custom art.  Here’s a tip: If you sell anything on Etsy, trading is a great way to save money, but get items you like.  I sent her a Family Tree cut out in orange in exchange for two custom 11 inch by 14 inch state watercolor prints.

Ben is from Montana, so I wanted his print in greens and blues.  Because I’m from Minnesota, I wanted my painting in girly colors, pinks and purples.  And here is where my custom vision turned Elisabeth into a rock star.  I needed both prints in a landscape orientation, to maintain symmetry.  For Montana, that’s easy.  Minnesota, however is usually vertically printed.  I left it to Elisabeth to somehow turn vertical Minnesota into a horizontal design without looking strange.  I knew, based on the work I’ve seen, that the prints would be fantastic.  When I received that beautifully packaged art, I couldn’t wait to tear it open to see what Elisabeth made.  Do you want to see?  Of course you do.  Here is Ben’s Montana:

And my Minnesota:

Isn’t that fantastic?!?  I know!  And, the quality was even better than I could have imagined.  The watercolor paper is rich, textural, heavy, and luxurious.  I waited until the prints arrived to buy frames, just to make sure the size worked.  I needed something to fill the wall, and two 16 inch by 20 inch frames looked great.  Then, I remembered I had one black frame sitting in the closet.  A matching frame hung in the basement bathroom holding a print from The Living Room Floor.  I snagged the frame (and mat) to use in our bedroom.  Now, I had only one frame to buy to replace the one I just stole.  I cut another mat to the same dimensions using a sharp utility knife and straight edge and popped the new State Love prints inside.

The new frames are much larger than the two 11 by 14 frames we had on each side.  I hung the new frames on the old nails, so the art interacts more with the bed, which I like.

When walking down the hall, I catch a glimpse of the Minnesota art.  Also, the art reflects beautifully in the new sunburst mirror directly across the room.

For another fun, custom touch, (you caught a glimpse of above) I framed a 5 by 7 wedding invitation from Ello There.  Just goes to show art is anything you find beautiful.  We added our ceremony information and customized the colors to match our decor.  It is such a cute print, and an adorable wedding invitation.  And, I’ve added even more birds to our house.  The paper is a nice smooth, thick card stock of great quality and Maddy was a pleasure to work with.  She put up with my annoying questions and accommodated my requests.  Yes, this is a trend.  I am annoying and have many requests.  Moral of the story, I’m a pain in the arse.

A lamp, cheapo 5 by 7 frame, $1 ceramic bird, and black lacquer and capiz jewelry box are the perfect bedside table accessories to round out our bedroom makeover.  Both fun and functional.  Just my style.  Our personalized, colorful bedroom art overhaul makes me smile every time I go in.  As does the cost of the revamp.  Just $10.00 for the print, an art trade, reused frames and a three dolla paint stick mirror.  I had all of the supplies for the silhouettes, for a grand total of $13.00 spent for an entire room of art.

Which room have you spent the least for art?  Where did you find it?  Maybe you made it.  Any tricks you’ve found to keep the cost low?

Please note:  We were not compensated for this post, we simply love the items we’ve purchased and traded from these shops and want to share with you.

21 thoughts on “State {of the} Art

  1. LOVE. I just bought the Missouri art because of my instant love for it. I’ve been looking at watercolor art for a while and I can sense a growing addiction.

  2. Way to have a little Minnesota love. Definitely the best of the nifty fifty.

    PS-I doubt you would notice, but the comment you left on my blog last week disappeared when Blogger went through some issues with their sites. I was bummed because I rarely get comments, but also because I don’t want people to think I am deleting their comments. Especially when it’s one from a fellow Minnesotan. Anywhoooo….thanks for stopping by…even if your comment is gone now. 😦

  3. That’s so crazy! Elisabeth is a good friend of mine. You couldn’t give props to a more deserving artist and person! They look great on your wall, too!

  4. LOVE them! Love the prints, love the messy look of them, the splash of color in your bedroom, the size/placement of the frames in relation to the bed… everything! 🙂

    1. Krysta, I’m so glad you like the art! Elisabeth is amazing, definitely check out her work.

      Amanda, That’s what I thought, too. A nice way to personalize without being too personal and strange. Haha.

  5. Do you mind me asking where you got the original Pierre J. Redoute prints? I know you’re over them but my bedroom walls are desperately bare and in need of art, so I’d love to steal the idea!

    1. Hi Julie,

      I found mine on Ebay. You could try a search and see what you can find. Sorry I couldn’t help more.


  6. What? No love for South Carolina? 🙂
    I absolutely LOVE your state love watercolors!

    Angela S

    1. Hi Angela S.

      I love the watercolors, too! And, if you don’t see your favorite state, you could contact Elisabeth about creating a custom piece for you… She made a custom oriented MN and changed the Montana colors, so I’m sure she’d be willing to make a SC for you. 🙂


  7. My boyfriend is from Montana too (Lewistown to be exact) and I’m from Wisconsin so not only are you guys like our long lost geographical twn couple, but I want to steal everything in your bedroom and make it my own!

    And on a recent college grad/current med student budget, this is great!

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