Thursday

FABULOUS AND FREE: YOUR WALLS

Wall decor these days is complicated. In the eons before modern design, there were two classes of things that went on walls, and each spoke to your place in society. If you were poor these would likely be practical (tools) or symbolic (religious articles). If you were rich these would be portraits of family or ancestors, maps of property, or possibly artworks of the non-mass produced, patron supported variety.

But in 2010, no one wants to settle for the spartan practicality of our peasant ancestors, even if we can't afford the gilt frames of our aristocratic ones. How do you decorate your walls in a way that reflects your taste, interests, and personal style - but not your budget? It's easy. Just go to that bedrock of free community services, the library. Specifically, the New York Public Library.

In recent years, the NYPL has taken on the daunting task of digitizing its mammoth collection of image-related pieces - manuscripts, photographs, maps, sheet music, and vintage posters. And they've made nearly a million of them available online. At their website, you can browse through hundreds of thousands of images, organized by origin, era, or various collections (Civil War, Dance, Victorian, Nature, New York). Select an image, crop it any way you like, and order a beautiful print for around $25. Or, you can enlarge and print it yourself. It's instant decoration.










All images, New York Public Library.

10 comments:

MEG MITCHELL said...

What a great and informative post! It's a brilliant idea that allows everyone to personalize their home at a very reasonable price. Good for the NYPL and thank you for sharing the info.

Beach House Living said...

That must be some project and years and years of work ahead. I had no idea about the availability on the website.

donna baker said...

Thanks for the info. I love the butterflies.

La Maison Fou said...

Nice to know this info. Thanks!
L.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

These are amazing - it's so easy to get lost in those archives! Have a great weekend!

Kate said...

as a pseudo-librarian myself, i love the availability of things like this....thanks so much for posting it!

Lindsay said...

Best tip ever! Thanks.

Sarah Klassen said...

Skyla, I always enjoy your posts. They are so full-bodied. (if that makes sense) I laugh, smile, learn, and feast my eyes on some lovely eye-candy... this one is no different. I love your point about your walls reflecting your own style and personality. I'm working on mine right now, carefully building it with what I love, and this post came just in time...

I hope you have a great weekend.

xo

Josh said...

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Bromeliad said...

I have spent many an hour browsing around NYPL's digital library. Fascinating stuff. I even found a 100 plus year old map of my street.

Tip: If you like butterflies, search "insects".

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