We all know the feeling—you visit your friends' homes sometime in your early thirties and notice that, suddenly, everyone you know seems to have managed to accumulate a collection of unique, personal art. (Was there a meeting you missed?)
Were they secretly a highly trained band of art thieves all along? Were they working a side-hustle at the Met in between barista shifts? Probably not—chances are, they've been frequenting these affordable art sources and building a smart little stock of stylish, unexpected pieces over the years...and just got around to framing them.
Looking to elevate your own apartment to gallery status? The good news is, the latest crop of budget-friendly online art marketplaces is making it simple as can be to fill your home with limited-edition pieces that you won't see anywhere else (so say goodbye to those unframed dorm-leftover posters and generic IKEA artworks). With plenty of inspiring finds under $200, and many services offering on-demand framing, the only thing you need to do to channel your inner gallerista is follow your eye to what appeals to you (and maybe break out the level when it's time to hang).
Here are our favorite sources for gorgeous art on a budget.
You might know Chairish for its cleverly curated mix of vintage and pre-owned furniture finds, but their ever-growing Print Shop category is worth a second look for its robust selection of fun, statement-making art at double-take-inducing pricepoints. Best of all, you can sort by the number of pieces in a "set", by orientation, or dimensions—so filling the gaps in your gallery wall has literally never been easier.
We know, we know—you left the dorm behind ages ago, and you're not looking back, thankyouverymuch. But Dormify's unique collabs and capsule collections, like a recent partnership with celeb-approved pop artist Robyn Blair, make it worth checking out. And did we mention that it's all under $100?
A first-of-its-kind marketplace that allows users to vote on their favorite uploaded art from international up-and-comers and established artists alike, Alpha'a is the woman-owned dreamchild of a seasoned startup veteran and an ex-Christie's curator—so there's no mistaking the taste level of the site's 7,000+ artist selection.
Alpha'a offers several framing options built into the site, or you can opt to frame each piece on your own if you're sticking to a tight budget.
A truly modern art curation experience, ArtSugar has all the bells and whistles a millennial art shopper could want—from custom influencer-curated collections, to a rental program (aptly named RentSugar) to satisfy even the most commitment-phobic stylist, to a virtual gallery wall planner. Most remarkably of all, each print come framed in solid wood and read to hang—practically unheardof for the price—so there's nothing standing between you and an aah-worthy wall of art.
Ready to take your art collecting to the next level? Stockholm-based Absolut Art (yes, that Absolut) offers limited-edition, numbered and signed prints from jaw-dropping artists and covetable collabs ranging from Miranda July to Wu Tang Clan. The pieces range in price more than other online marketplaces on this list, but it's well worth losing an hour or two scrolling through their impressive selection to score some deals before they sell out. Trust us, they're worth it.
Created as a way to connect emerging artists to potential buyers across the country and throughout the world, Tappan is another source that rewards a little digging to find incredible, evocative pieces that won't overdraft your account.
If you've ever crushed on Instagram artists from afar, chances are you're already hip to the Society6 hustle. The massive bazaar of artist-uploaded pieces is all but guaranteed to have something to suit every design sensibility, which is part of what makes it a favorite destination for gift shopping, as well. By turns tongue-in-cheek and subtle yet sophisticated, Society6's selection in unmatched—both in price and in versatility.
Shopping screen-printed posters is a great way to get a truly handmade piece of art for an affordable price (and support your local art scene, too). Minneapolis design institution and gig-poster gurus Aesthetic Apparatus have made their mark designing for indie band icons like CAKE, Grace Potter, and The Kills, but their test prints—surreal, one-off, visually maximalist collages of different poster prints layered over one another—are abstract masterpieces in their own right (and will set you back less than two tickets to your next concert outing).
20x200's limited-edition prints range from work by new artists you'll be proud to discover, to established artists—and when we say "established," we mean folks like Eadweard Muybridge, a figure you might remember from your Art History textbooks for his iconic photograph that explained how horses actually gallop. 20x200 has major chops in the vintage department, but don't take our word for it—just look at their list of past collaborators, which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Library of Congress.
If you thought Minted was just that hip site for ordering custom, non-cringey Christmas cards—well, there's a lot more to it than that. Minted partners with an ever-rotating cast of artists to offer exclusive prints, tricked out with all manner of custom framing options that prove they approach every task with the same attention to detail as those holiday cards.
Falling head-over-heels for an artist you discovered through Minted? You can even contact them within the site to set up a custom commission.
Artfinder makes shopping for art as easy as shopping for a new pair of boots online, with filters that let you dial in to exactly what you're looking for (including sorting by artist location, if you want to support a particular creative community or give a gift that you know will have instant significance to the recipient). All set on wall art? Artfinder also offers a robust selection of sculpture pieces, perfect for that weird little alcove by the stairs that, so far, has only been showcasing your collection of dust and cat hair. (What? We're just being honest.)