DIY DECOR: Poster Art Chic or Childish

The first week of college was nothing but poster fair after poster fair and four years later you’re stuck with several dozen heavily worn posters you don’t know what to do with. Enter you’re first grown-up apartment and you want to fill it with chic pieces but right now isn’t a time to be dropping two grand at the Affordable Art Fair on mini Damien Hirsts. Revisiting those old posters may not be the style fatality you think it is. -Just chuck the ones that look like they’ve been attacked by your cat.

Movie Posters
Stick with the ambience. Theaters (be it film or play) are pretty timeless and using the frame and wall paint/seating to maintain the mood is a good way to play up your movie posters. Barnyard wood frames look nice for silent films or film noir while classics like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure are well paired with a solid black frame a la movie theaters. Some frames come with marquee lighting inside (which can be faked with Christmas lights just be sure to attach the wire to the wall and then paint it the same color to camo). For a further step up, matte in red or black velvet or add a gold rope along the edges of the poster to bring in move theatre luxe.

Don’t overdress them. It’s tempting to slide your Bill and Ted poster into a gilded Baroque frame and add a spotlight dancing above it but let’s be honest this looks out of place. Having the unexpected in your design is only good if it is obvious you did it on purpose. Using a traditional frame and light to showcase a poster can say ‘I’m too young for this apartment’. Even a very expensive poster, like an original 1960s backlight poster that can run you over a grand, will look out of place in an over the top frame because you’re not enhancing its natural beauty and you’re ignoring everything that poster stands for. Each piece should express a complete thought and you should finish it on the same emotional note you started it on. Relegating you’re film posters to a specific area of the apartment may allow you to embrace a clashing style in other areas. Changing styles also helps visually create ‘nooks’ where, architecturally, there are none. A dining room table right next to the television can be broken up into two rooms via decor and art.

Art and Antiquities
If you want the Mona Lisa in your home odds are you’re buying a poster – Same goes for copies of ancient textiles or hieroglyphics.

Matting, matting, matting! Treat you’re fine art like fine art by giving it a proper mat and frame. Because posters tend to be very flat, visually speaking, the mat is a good place to bring in texture by using a fabric or grass cloth. If you’re big on DIY the mat is a great place to get creative. Add sand, aluminum foil, ink blotches, or leather scraps to amp up your piece.

More mating!
When you mat a fine art poster be sure to cover ALL of the white edging that usually comes on a poster. Leave only the actual work visible. A gallerist trick is to mat a poster with more mat on the bottom than on top. This off centered approach is supposed to be visually stimulating, just tell your frammer (or your Exact-o Knife if you’re DIY) to leave 1/4 to 3/4 more on the bottom (depending on poster size).

Beware direct lighting. Because posters are glossy any direct lighting will wash them out and highlight the fact it is not an original work. If you want to add a showcase light, get a wide bar light and place it half a foot away from your art collection, one should be able to light up at ,east two pieces and bring attention to them in a dark room.

Getting Freaky
You have those old posters you love but you also have a healthy art collection as well. Or maybe you’re just tired of posters on the wall.

Rip that poster in half. Posters usually have a focal point, be it Mona Lisa’s Smile, a film logo, or two Egyptian warriors frozen in battle. Cut out your favorite details and use them to decoupage a wooden tray or dresser. (If your posters cover a variety of themes remember this is going to look like an ode to your college years, if your don’t like that decorate your items theme by theme ie an egyptian hat box, a fine art tissue box, and a movie poster dresser).

Posters can also be placed under a sheet of glass, or decoupaged as one big piece, across the top of a table. This can make that really damaged street corner find into a freebie you can eat off of.


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