Filling Your Walls with Unique Artwork | ORC Week 4

May 26, 2021

Filling the walls in a large room can be a little challenging for me. My goal is always to hang unique artwork that is interesting and doesn’t break the bank. Whatever I hang on our walls, I want it to feel like our family. For week 4 of the One Room Challenge, I am going to share some of the artwork I will be hanging in our living room and where I find them.

If this first time stopping by, welcome, and thanks for visiting! A few years ago I decided to quit my corporate job in Denver and my family moved back to our hometown in Ohio. I became a local real estate agent have been sharing home renovation and DIY tips on this blog ever since. Two years ago we purchased a fixer-upper in Toledo, Ohio and I renovated our dining room as a guest participant for the ORC. I also updated my little boys’ bedroom and our master bedroom in the last two challenges. That brings us to my fourth One Room Challenge where I am renovating our living room!

Catch up with earlier posts in the challenge!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8


Where to Find Unique Artwork

I love adding artwork that represents the interests of my family and is often conversation starters with guests. This means that I try to source most of the items hanging on the wall outside of all of the beautiful options at big box stores like Target or Home Goods. Of course, I still purchase artwork from these stores, but I work hard to limit these purchases and go digging for one-of-a-kind treasures to mix in.

Here are a few items I am considering for the wall (but not all). Most of these are second-hand and vintage pieces.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

1 | Estate Sales & Second-Hand Stores

I have a slight obsession with estatesales.net! Estate sales are my favorite place to shop for unique artwork. You can easily find original art with oil paintings, prints, drawings, maps – you name it. I have a closet filled with original art that I couldn’t leave behind at an estate sale. I figure that I will eventually find a place for it or I can sell/gift it later on.

Vintage Bird Print

I found this artwork at a local estate sale. The vendor told me that the print came from an Audubon book printed in the late 1800s. Someone hand-painted the coloring on the print and had it framed.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

I love the size of the image and the coloring of the print, but something felt off. I decided to spray the matting black and it made all the difference!

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

Much better!

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

Whenever I am drawn to items with birds on them I think of this Portlandia sketch. “Put a bird on it!” Ha!

Architecture & Buildings

Similar to bird artwork, I have a hard time passing up original artwork of architectural elements. I found these two original drawings of historic buildings in Williamsburg, VA. Although I have never been to Williamsburg, I love the architecture of the buildings and the fact that these are original pencil drawings by Charles Overly.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

I have another set of buildings that I purchased at a recent estate sale that are limited edition prints with the artists signature. They are beautiful black and white drawings of historic buildings in Suffolk, England. Again, I have never been to these places, but I love the architecture of the buildings and they are limited edition prints, which makes them unique.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

Old Frames

I also keep an eye out for frames at these sales. I often see bins of empty frames at estate sales that cost peanuts to purchase. Sometimes an old frame is all you need to create unique artwork. I recently purchased artwork for $3 just for the frame. It was a framed picture of a bathtub that looked like it was from the ’90s. I deconstructed the piece and used the frame for a water painting found at a consignment shop. Our local Michael’s store helped me reconstruct the frame and artwork.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

I am still deciding if this painting of the ocean will go in the living room or somewhere else in the house.

2 | Kids Artwork

My son is quite the little artist and I love incorporating his masterpieces into a room design. This little bunny is so sweet and looks perfect in the thrifted brass frame.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

3 | Photos of Loved Ones

The most unique artwork you can add to a design is personalized photos! We all take so many photos these days and I have to remind myself to print out physical copies to display around the house. I went to Home Goods and picked up a bunch of picture frames to set on my new bookshelf and the back of the piano.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

When I was renovating our dining room, I couldn’t decide what artwork to hang on the back wall. I realized after much debate that one thing I would never get sick of were photos of my kids and our family. When in doubt, hang a photo of happy memories with the ones you love, it will work every time!

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

Another way to share all of the images you capture throughout the year is by making an annual yearbook! Check out all of my tips for constructing your own family yearbook.

4 | Digital Downloads

These days, there are lots of digital print shops to download every kind of art. Whether it is a famous piece of artwork or a beautiful landscape, you can find lots of unique artwork to give your home a one-of-a-kind look. Here are just a few places to find beautiful images to hang on your wall: Juniper Print shop, Jefferson Home Prints, Museum Quality Art and Heritage Art prints.

I am ordering a digital copy of this lilac oil painting from Heritage Art Prints and hope to incorporate it into the room:

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

What are your thoughts?

There are two areas in the living room where I am still a little stumped.

The first spot is the fireplace. Do you think this needs artwork? If I hang something over the fireplace, I want it to be perfect, but I haven’t found something that just made sense. For Christmas, I hang a wreath in the molding and love how it looks, so I think some artwork would be nice. Any ideas on what could go there since we don’t have a mantle? The image below is the old furniture – there is now new furniture and a new layout, but above the fireplace is still empty.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

The second spot is over the piano. I currently have a large canvas piece of artwork from Target. This was hanging above a cabinet before the piano moved in and I just kept it there. I like the artwork and how substantial it is, but I am thinking it may look better in another area of the house.

Adding unique artwork to a room design with vintage finds and personalized art | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #thriftedart #oilpainting #livingroom

This then leaves a large blank wall that needs to be filled! My initial thought is to add 9 framed music sheets above the piano. I also love how Gwen from the Makerista taped images of composers over her piano. I would absolutely try this method, but I think I would need a darker color on the wall to make the sheets pop.

Living room art insporation - The Makerista's library | Building Bluebird #bhgorc #oneroomchallenge
Source :: The Makerista

Do you have any ideas on artwork over the piano?


Thanks for checking in for week 3 of the One Room Challenge! Make sure to check out the featured and guest participants on the One Room Challenge blog.

One Room Challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens

Featured Designers for Spring 2021:

Ariene C. Bethea | At Home With Ashley | Banyan Bridges | Bari J. Ackerman  | Brit Arnesen | Brownstone Boys | Cass Makes Home | Dominique Gebru  | Gray Space Interiors | Haneen’s Haven | Home Ec. | Nile Johnson Design | Pennies for a Fortune | Prepford Wife | Rachel Moriarty Interiors | Sachi Lord | Susan Hill Interior Design | This Is Simplicite | Tiffany DeLangie | Victoria Lee Jones 

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8 Comments

  • Reply Erin Zubot May 27, 2021 at 12:19 am

    I love all your ideas for art. Over the piano, if you matted and framed the music sheets that might give you the contrast you want?

    • Reply lindseymahoney May 27, 2021 at 11:02 am

      Thank you for the feedback! I think the music sheets would look nice too – now I need to find some good music sheets on Facebook Marketplace! ha

  • Reply Amanda Sosnowski May 27, 2021 at 11:59 am

    Hi Lindsey,

    You’re doing great so far! Great tips on finding and revamping artwork. Good luck on the next half of the challenge. 👍

    -Amanda
    Amanda Sosnowski Interior Design

    • Reply lindseymahoney May 28, 2021 at 11:17 am

      Thank you so much!!

  • Reply Lindsey May 28, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    This is a brilliant collection of artwork – you have phenomenal taste!

    • Reply lindseymahoney June 2, 2021 at 7:10 am

      thank you!!

  • Reply Lori Terceira June 2, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    You have an amazing eye for frames and artwork. I love estate sales as well. I think most of my house has been furnished with estate sale items.

    • Reply lindseymahoney June 3, 2021 at 11:24 am

      Thank you so much! Estate sales are the best!

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