Stylist women with a passion for prints, Clemmie Hooper, Lisa Dawson and Alix Walker share their tips on how to buy affordable prints for your home.
Prints are everywhere. No, not in fashion - although that’s one trend which isn’t
Whether you opt for a scattering of Scandinavian prints, keeping the lines clean and the colours minimal or go for a big and bolshy with one statement print taking up half of your wall - art has the miraculous ability to make your home feel unique.
The most popular route right now has to be the gallery wall – a space packed with prints that reflect every facet of your personality: a bold watercolour, fine art prints, a monochrome graphic number that you picked up in Berlin, a few Art Deco postcards and that slightly eccentric vintage find you snapped up on a day trip to Margate. The gallery wall is a place for friends to linger, marveling at the stuff you’ve found along the way and something to make you smile every time you walk past. And perhaps most importantly in our renter’s world – we can pack them up and move to our next home with relative ease.
But beginning to buy wall art prints can be intimidating, as you decide if your style is modern or Art Deco, vintage or graphic. However, as soon as you start playing, you’ll find that you don’t have to have one look, just buy what you love, forget the rules or the trends you see in the homes you stalk on Instagram and just go with your gut.
To inspire you on how to buy affordable prints for your home we asked three Stylist women about the art prints that they love, and where they go to buy them.
Clemmie Hooper, aka Mother of Daughters
Otherwise known as Mother of Daughters, Clemmie combines a successful midwifery career alongside a faithful Instagram following of half a million women who pour over her images of motherhood, fashion and, increasingly, interiors. She lives with her husband, Simon (Father of Daughters) and their four children on the Kent coast.
“When I’m considering a new print, the first thing I do is try and visualise where it could go in my home. If it’s a print with text it’s got to really speak to me – and I always think about how it will make people feel when they see it.
I really like to mix modern prints with traditional. When we were doing the gallery wall in my study [see below], I put all of my prints on the floor and mixed them around until I got the perfect mix. I found that I could have my swan tapestry print and painting of a ballerina girl alongside really graphic prints featuring words and phrases to break it up. I think you should be playful and quirky and not follow too many rules.
I grew up in an arty family, my dad was a photographer and we had lots of art in our house, loads of pictures. I’m not good with blank spaces! Prints add depth and character to a room and are always such a talking point.”
“When we moved to this house in 2017, I decided that I was going to get my prints framed properly. I have had frames from IKEA – the Ribba frames – which serve a purpose but break easily. Now I have a lovely local framers in Broadstairs and I find that when a picture is framed with proper borders it makes such a difference. I do think Habitat do a good quality frame though, and I have a few gold frames from West Elm.
Someone who works at the National Gallery told me that they hang them by eye as walls are so rarely straight, which I thought was brilliant advice. But you should always use a proper hanging hook and hang by a wire, never hang by the frame.”
Clemmie’s favourite art prints
“One of my favourite prints in our home is the H print (our last name is Hooper) in our kitchen. It’s by yourtypeprint.com. It’s absolutely massive so we weren’t sure where to put it but my husband, Simon, suggested above the cooker and it really works. It’s completely changed the room and
many people who come to our house comment on it.”
'Darling' by Ionut Radulescu
“I’m also a big fan of printclublondon.com which has a brilliant selection if you’re browsing for a new print. I love that Print Club London change their prints so frequently as I prefer things that you don’t see everywhere.”
'Corbero In Pink' by Charlotte Taylor
“Charlotte Taylor does really amazing prints. I have one of hers on my wishlist.”
'Be Kind' by Margot McDaid
“One of my absolute favourite artists, Margo McDaid, lives down the road in Margate so I pop down to her studio if I want to pick up something new.”
Balance series Tom Pigeon
“Tom Pigeon prints are brilliant. They’re very shape-based with really lovely colour tones. I have one which is based on a harbour and we live really near the beach so that’s nice.
'Laxmi-Serenity' by This Lakshi
“I really love an artist called This Lakshi for nice shapes. I have one in my bedroom.”
Brave Wings by Max Made Me Do It
“I love children’s prints from Max Made Me Do It and have prints in my twin daughters room from their collection.”
NAME by Jonna Fransson
“I have a massive hand-drawn gold leaf by Jonna Fransson which I really love.”
Walking Leopards Wallpaper' by Cole & Son
“I’m really keen on introducing some wallpaper to our house and I love the Cole & Sons Walking Leopards. I’m nervous about how it’ll look on a whole wall, so I’ve hung some in a frame in my toilet. I still love it six months on so….”
Lisa Dawson, award-winning interiors blogger
Lisa Dawson is an interiors obsessive who has a built a 132,000 Instagram following and a successful blog lisadawsonstyling.com. Prints just happen to be her favourite topic with posts on her gallery walls garnering hundreds of comments from her loyal followers. She lives in York with her husband and three children.
“I love prints. My only rule when buying them is to simply look for prints that I love. I probably have 60 prints on the stairs alone. I have everything from limited-edition prints which were a really special investment to £5 charity shop buys. The cost doesn’t matter, it’s all about whether they appeal to me and whether I love them.
I’m a big fan of typographic prints, urban art, vintage florals and French vintage style. I love the juxtaposition of them next to each other
Typographic prints aren’t going anywhere. I do think people are looking for something different, investing in limited-editions which gives you something very individual rather than buying from big companies. We’re trying to be more sustainable, too, which obviously means investing in something with value rather than just buying lots.”
“I love gallery walls and have a huge one on my stairs. When I’m creating one, I’ll collect prints over a couple of months and then get them framed – I usually go for really cheap frames from The Range or diy.com but if it’s for something more special I’ll use frames.co.uk. I’ll mix up the frames and go for black, white, gold, wood and sometimes no frame, just glass. I’ll lay a rug on the floor and then starting at the top left I’ll work my way in until I’ve created a layout that I’m really happy with.
When you’re approaching the selection, I always say to just forget about the rules. You should never be scared to juxtapose different styles with each other; modern will always look better juxtaposed with something completely different, for example. Try not to be influenced by what other people have – very difficult in this Instagram age – and go with your gut.”
Lisa’s favourite art prints
'Hamartia' by Benjamin Murphy
“I really love Benjamin Murphy. He uses lightboxes that he makes out of gaffer tape to make his prints. The print of his I own is actually from The Art of Protest Gallery in York.”
South Uist Cottage by Ron Lawson
'Cabbages' Wall Chart by Ernst Benary
“I recently renovated my living room with a Seventies theme and surfaceview.co.uk have this massive selection of prints which is brilliant if you’re looking for something specific to fit into a scheme.”
Surfaceview.co.uk, from £140
'The Flowers Whirl Away" By Andrew J Millar
“I love small galleries which do small limited-edition print runs of under 100 so that you can get something really different. Galleries like nellyduff.com do things like 50 artists for £50 a print which is always really exciting as you never know what’s going to happen with that artist.”
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc by Slim Aarons
“Slim Aarons is a Sixties photographer who took real classics like this shot of the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France. My husband bought this for me and it never fails to make me smile when I look at it.”
Alix Walker, Stylist’s Editor-at-Large
Alix Walker is Stylist’s Editor-At-Large and has been with the brand since it launched almost ten years ago. Alongside writing many of the cover stories, she curates the weekly Style List and is privy to interiors trends and new designers. She’s also an interiors obsessive!
“I live in an extremely white house. I think because my job is so creative and I spend so much of the day looking at images, designs, fashion shoots etc, I wanted my home to feel really peaceful when we moved in three years ago. But over the last year I’ve started to crave colour again so I’ve been introducing more and more prints and am just about to embark on a gallery wall in my kitchen.
I initially found buying prints really intimidating. I’d get stuck down an Instagram-rabbit hole looking at endless pictures of stylish homes and come out of it with no clue what I actually like. I also see all the latest print trends thanks to my job - which is amazing! - but it can make you feel like you should always follow the trends which isn’t necessarily true. In the end, I’ve learned to zone out what’s cool, and just go for what I really love which is bright colours, happy images and a lot of pink (!) mixed with quite architectural styles.”
Alix’s favourite art prints
'Colors of Morocco' by Beli
“I’m mainly drawn to colours and I love the warmth of the pinks in this print. Architectural prints are a big trend too and I have a lot of similar prints in my house. I think society6.com is brilliant - they do really affordable art, as well as posters, which I love.”
Peniture Sunset Chalk by Kilma interieurs
“It’s so grey and dreary right now! While graphic prints are really on-trend, it’s sorbet colours that make me think of the sunsets which I’m craving.”
East End Prints Visit Cote D'Azur
“Art, to me, should make you happy. My sister got married in the south of France last year and this bright and joyful print takes me back there.”
'Plunge' by Anna Marrow
“I have this above my fireplace and it makes me smile every time I look at it. I actually saw this print in someone’s house in Living etc and then tracked the artist down through Instagram. My husband bought it for me for Christmas last year.”
Images: Courtesy of brands