Decorating on a Budget? Nine Reasons to Discover the Delights of Kitsch Prints

If you want to decorate on a small budget, you can’t go past kitsch. Kitsch prints in particular are an incredibly cheap (not to mention cheerful!) way to decorate.

As a style kitsch is unfairly derided. Wikipedia describes a typical kitsch object as ‘an inferior, tasteless copy’ of an existing style of art, one that is ‘cheap and mass-produced’, ‘aesthetically deficient’ and overly sentimental. Yet in the last ten years I’ve developed a huge love of kitsch, particularly when it comes in the form of originality-challenged pictures. These ‘bad taste’ items are now the first thing I look for when I go on one of my op shop (thrift store) crawls.

Below are nine reasons to use kitsch pictures to add colour and fun to your rooms. Most of the pics are kitsch prints I’ve amassed (collected’ just doesn't seem the right word!). 

 1.  Kitsch pictures work on two levels – irony and visual display.
Kitsch demonstrates a sense of humour, but the colours and designs should also complement your decor. I only buy pictures whose colours and designs attract me, no matter how daggy the pictures may be.

2.  Hardly anyone else is buying them so they’re dirt cheap. Kitsch pictures are too old to be modern and too recent to be retro but they will graduate to retro in a few years’ time. Buying them now will put you ahead of the pack! Of course, one person’s kitsch is another person’s retro. Some of my pictures, such as the one above, could be described as retro, kitsch or both. You can also stumble across cheap kitsch paintings that are originals, but theyre harder to find.

3. Kitch is fun! Kitsch pictures give a lighthearted, playful tone to your decorating.

4.  Kitsch prints are everywhere, so they’re easy to find. Op shops are full of them. They’re on eBay, can be found at garage/yard sales and auction houses, and are probably hiding out in the garages and sheds of your friends and rellies.

5.   Kitsch prints go well with many different decorating styles and eras. They’re often fairly bland, and can be safely paired with all kinds of decor for an eclectic look, as shown below.

6.  Because they’re so cheap, you can buy a lot of pictures and play around with them. Group many together for maximum impact. The image below, from Kitsch Cafe, shows how effective a grouping of  floral and landscape pictures can be. 

7.  Kitsch prints are easy to let go of. If you get sick of your kitsch prints, your taste changes or your decorating budget expands to embrace, say, emerging artists, the low cost of kitsch prints means you won’t be mired in regret about wasted money. And you should be able to offload your prints easily to the op shop or your council hard rubbish collection, or by selling them on eBay or at a garage sale.

8.  Kitsch is environmentally friendly.
Decorating your walls with kitsch prints is a great way to recycle and reuse. For every kitsch print on your wall, one less new print needs to be generated!

9.  Kitsch prints are easy to upcycle. If you’re crafty it’s easy to upcycle the wooden frames of kitsch prints, eg by painting, stripping or shabby chic-ing them.

Do you have a fondness for kitsch? Got some tips for finding and making the most of kitsch prints? Please feel free to comment!

Until next time!
If you enjoyed this blog entry, you might also like Inspired Thrifting: What Makes a Good Find at the Op Shop or Thrift Store?


Solar Panels Berkshire said...

You show a great range on kitsch prints, I LOVE the one of the ladies face with the flowers, I have never seen this one before.

Inspired Shopper said...

I love this one too, and it looks better than the pic - I couldn't get a decent shot because of the flash. I got this print from an op shop a few years ago and haven't seen anything like it since - would love to collect more prints in this style.