Five Under-the-Radar Sources for Affordable and Unique Art

by Samantha Martin

Nothing adds more character or polish to a room than artwork. It can be the most personal part of a space, and when I look at the paintings and prints on my walls it reminds me of where I was living when I acquired a piece, or a time in my life (single with endless time to browse galleries or art shows or websites. Ah!).

But as much as I want to support artists, original artwork—particularly large pieces—can be an investment. Sometimes purchasing an original piece is just not a feasible option. So where do you turn if you have empty walls, but don’t want to compromise on personality? What if you want the thrill of owning something special without the price tag?

Here are five destinations for affordable art that will enliven your home and connect you directly to artists and makers…

Four Feeling,” by All the Way to Paris, Paper Collective

Floating Leaves 01,” by Norm Architects, Paper Collective

Paper Collective. Based in Denmark, Paper Collective collaborates with artists and designers to produce eco-friendly prints (FSC certified paper) and donates 10% of the proceeds. There is a good mix of photography, abstracts, and more, and it all skews modern in aesthetic. Shipping to the U.S. is steep, but they charge a flat rate no matter how many prints you order, and the work they’re producing is really high caliber—think Scandi-design at its best. The transparent prints are like nothing I’ve seen before.

Oh My Dog,” by Jennifer Davis, Etsy

“Hummingbirds and Joshua Tree,” by Home of Dodo, Etsy

Etsy. Etsy has grown so large that it can difficult to uncover the real gems on the site, which is a bummer, because there are many talented artists on Etsy.

A few of the favorite artists I’ve uncovered over the years include Jennifer Davis for colorful, weird, and magical prints of her original paintings. And Michelle Morin for exquisite and and beautiful prints of her paintings of flora and fauna. I adore everything she does and I used her tree peony piece in my daughter’s nursery.

Girl Jumping off Diving Board Into Pool,” by Jorey Hurley, Etsy

Jorey Hurley offers both cool abstracts and vibrant, happy prints of children, animals, and more that would be perfect in any playroom or kid’s room. I love that her work hits that sweet spot of child-friendly without being cutesy or juvenile.

Wright Reflections” by Leah Giberson, Tiny Showcase

Distant Strains” by Mike Taylor, Tiny Showcase

Tiny Showcase. Tiny Showcase is run by curators who release a limited edition museum-quality print by a different artist every Tuesday. They donate a portion of proceeds to charities chosen by the artists. This small operation does an excellent job of highlighting new artists and the selection in the archive is wonderfully varied—browsing their site feels like entering a quirky art gallery. The prints are small, and usually around $25—though they do have a few larger pieces as well.

This is one of my long-standing favorite sites, and I own several prints. It’s worth signing up for their email so you see each week’s print release. Some sell out quickly.

The Catalogue of Imaginary Beings, Plate No.42” by Johanna Goodman, 20×200

Dandelion Clothesline Santiago, Chile,” by William Lamson, 20×200

20×200. Okay, 20×200 is not exactly under the radar, but they are still worth mentioning because of the range of their offerings, and their partnerships with institutions like the Library of Congress and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their motto is “Art for Everyone,” and with prices starting at $24, and a huge array of work— including photography, paintings, and reproductions of vintage art—they do, in fact, offer something for everyone.

Monte Alban #62,” by Marc Gabor, Tappan Collective

Number Thirteen,” Marleigh Culver, Tappan Collective

Tappan Collective. Launched in 2012, Tappan Collective’s goal is to make contemporary art more accessible. Prices on the site vary and can be quite high, but a fair number of pieces can be found in the $300-or-less range and that is either for a limited run edition or sometimes an original piece.

A couple of artists who caught my eye are Marc Gabor and Marleigh Culver.

[Lead Photo: Home of Paper Collective’s Morten Kaaber and Lill Bersang via Finnish Design Shop]

Samantha Martin is an interior designer and former book editor at Scribner who lives with her husband and daughter in Denver. In 2015 she returned to school to study interior design, and she founded her eponymous design firm in 2018. You can find her at or

P.S. More Home & Design

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category