When we moved up north everything our family owned fit into a few pieces of luggage! We paid our own moving expenses and did not have the option of sea lift from where we were moving from, so we arrived with only the basics in our checked baggage. It wasn’t long before we were settling in and wanting to turn our “house” into a “home” with personal touches to make our home cheerful and cozy. Due to the cost of shipping (both for size and for fragility) picture frames and art work are usually items of great expense in the north. So we sought out ways to decorate our walls on a budget.
We kept your eyes out for rummage sales, sell/swap deals, and moving sales. Most often people are not taking their photo frames with them when they leave the north so its a great opportunity to save big. We scored a few great frames by doing this.
Photo Wall Art
Since we were starting from scratch when it came to decorating, I decided that I wouldn’t hang a picture unless I LOVED it! I didn’t want to just fill a blank wall, I wanted to be sure that what hung on the wall was something that was cheerful, inspiring, and a reflection of who we are.
The first photos I hung were some of our own photos that I printed at home and framed in our rummage sale find frames. A few of the photos I wanted to display were landscape photos that I wanted enlarged and framed, so I looked into a variety of options and I found a deal at Canvas Pop to have the photo put on a canvas with built in frame (two birds with one stone! No need to buy an additional frame…yay!) They offer flat rate shipping of $14 anywhere in Canada so it worked out great as many other companies would not ship up north. I had a few photos done this way, and absolutely love the final result and the high quality of the canvas. If you dont have your own photos, but know what you would like to complete your decorating “theme” check out stock photography websites that allow you to purchase and download their photos and then you can print or put them on canvas and decorate your home.
Northern Wall Art
It wasn’t long until we began to really explore and appreciate the unique beauty of the north and we wanted to have some of our wall art reflect the beautiful and unique land that surrounded us. Its wonderful to have photos capturing the essence of the Arctic as a reminder of what a blessing it is to live in such a beautiful place (good reminder for those dreary days when its dark and foggy) and to share with family and friends as they would come to visit. We used some of our own photos to frame, but also found some great local photographers who have breathtaking frame worthy photos. Think northern lights, sunsets, wildlife, tundra flora and more! Its wonderful to see the land through the eyes of another who is trained to capture the subtle details that could easily be overlooked.
One great source for such photos, and one that allows you to purchase a digital copy of the photos is NunavutImages.com . The photographer donates all the funds of the sale of his photos to local charities. After purchasing these low cost, but high quality, images you can print them and frame them as you desire. So its win win, get great Arctic photos and know you are helping a local charity at the same time. I love his northern lights above the sea ice shots, great to share with friends who may not get the chance to see them in person. You can find him on instagram @Nunavut_Images
Another great local photographer can be found at Nunavut Dream, she offers greeting cards at affordable prices available for purchase locally in Iqaluit at Nunavut Carvings, Malikkaat, and the museum, the cards are great for framing. Check out her instagram @NunavutDream filled with spectacular photos. Her love for the north comes across in the photos she captures of sled dogs, wildlife and arctic beauty in the most unlikely of places. One of my favourite photos of hers is an iceberg shot taken from the air which is just beautiful and full of vibrant colour, it was the perfect match for my decor.
Printable Wall Art
One of my most exciting “discoveries” in my search to make our northern house a home was the seemingly limitless possibilities that are available when you search for “Printable Wall Art”. Try Pinterest or Etsy and type in printable wall art, add a specific colour to be more specific or a particular style such as “Printable Wall Art Teal Flowers” to find a more condensed search, and open your eyes to the possibilities and all you need to purchase the file (Unless you search “Free Printable Wall Art” for which there are many options as well) and then print on your at home printer and voila! Instant art just what you need for those finishing touches to your home!
I love printable art work for the instant access (yay! no waiting for shipping) and the personalized options that many online designers offer. A lot of printable art work available includes inspirational quotes or verses, which are fun to print and frame and change it out for fresh and affordable positive thoughts to reflect on. Since items are low cost, many of them just a dollar or two, its a great way to fill that urge to buy something and spruce up the room, without spending a lot.
Finding Your Northern Style
I have to admit that my design sense has changed since moving north. It used to be that every wall had to be host to a collage of photos and modern art…..but since coming north and living with less I have come to appreciate that less is more and that the simplicity of an uncluttered wall can also be a haven of peace and solitude for the mind. The photos and quotes that comfort and inspire me now, may not have been the ones that I would have chosen to adorn my southern walls with, but in having the opportunity to have a fresh start, a blank canvas as it were, I have learned much about having a new perspective and taking time to appreciate the simple things and keeping just one focus instead of a cluttered eye. Whatever your northern style is, be sure to surround yourself with things that comfort, inspire and uplift you to make your house a home 🙂
You might also try these other online stores (affiliate links) to find affordable wall art:
How do you make your house a home? We’d love to hear your thoughts and frugal living ideas, feel free to share below!
*Some links in this post are affiliate links- this does not mean you pay a penny more for the product when you purchase through my link. It just means I made it easier for you to find what you might like and if you purchase through the link I make a small commisison for the referral. Thank you for helping support our blog!