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o 10 Tips for Furniture Foraging
o the Incredibly True Confessions of a First-time Homeowner
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o On Weeding: School Stuff

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better ideas for dressing bare walls
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continued from page 1

Even if you’ve never taken an art class in your life, there are still plenty of ways to find or make attractive or funky wall art that speaks distinctly about who you are. "Artwork" doesn’t have to mean something drawn, photographed, or painted – anything you can mount in a frame or display on a shelf is fair game for dressing those wide, bare walls of a new apartment. A few ideas to get you started …

1 Black and white photos
For sheer classiness, you can’t go wrong with framed black + white photographs. If you ever took a basic photography class, sift through your old workprints – you’ll be surprised at what matting and a simple frame can do to transform your amateur shots into works of art. Alternatively, buy a roll of black+white film – load it into your camera and take snapshots of your friends, family, favorite scenic spots, hometown, beloved puppy, whatever. Or if you’re truly un-adept with all things mechanical, ask Mom and Dad if they’ve got any old b+w family photos they’d be willing to pass along to you.

2 Retro magazine pictures
Spend some time sifting through your parents’ basement/attic and Salvation Army thrift shops … pictures from old Life or National Geographic magazines can make for some very cool wall art.

3 Old records and record albums
What to do with those scratched-up but beloved albums from your youth? Frame them or display them on a shelf, of course!

4 Pressed flowers and leaves
Even if you haven’t a single artistic bone in your body, you can create beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork for your home by framing pressed flowers and leaves. Go for a stroll on a sunny day and take the time to pick pretty wildflowers in lovely shades of yellow or purple, some nicely-shaped leaves. When you get home, gently press them between the pages of a big, heavy book – check back on them in a few days, and they should be dried-out and ready for framing.

5 Faux modern art: buy a large piece of canvas at an art store, paint it in a single solid color.
On a recent visit to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, my brother, standing in front of an Yves Klein blue-painted block of canvas, had this revelation: "Hey, I can do that!" It’s an easy way to add bold swashes of color to any room of your house – without the commitment. Get bored with the mango color? Re-paint it lavender – or lemon, or kiwi, or plum, or ruby. You can buy pre-stretched canvas at any art store, or custom-stretch your own to get whatever dimensions suit your space. You could also arrange several different color blocks in a series for a look that’s très contemporary.

chop chop ... hurry this way please!

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