VICTORIA | OAK HOUSE

ART FROM MINTED.COM

When we removed our empty kitchen uppers, we were left with two huge swaths of wall — over 5′ above the counter between the wall seam and the window above the sink and about the same over the stove, between the wall seam and the door frame. We knew the area above the stove would be taken up by a hood fan and we debated whether to tile a backsplash or whether to add a huge piece of art on the adjacent wall.

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The decision to go with a huge piece of art over a tiled backsplash was an easy one, but finding a huge piece that we both loved that wasn’t $5,000 was more of a challenge. We started out by visiting some galleries here in Victoria — we love Luke Ramsey‘s stuff (he’s the artist in residence for the City of Victoria), but ultimately decided we could think of better ways to spend several thousand dollars.

We weren’t in a huge rush to find anything — it took us years to buy the Patrick Lajoie piece that hung in our dining nook in Toronto (and continues to hang in our dining room here) — but then I remembered hearing about Minted, a fine art print website, on one of the design podcasts that I listen to and decided to check it out for the first time.

Initially, I was hesitant to propose any type of print to Pierre, which brings to mind ubiquitous canvasses from IKEA, Target or HomeSense. But Minted only sells limited edition art prints. They curate their artists (it’s unlike Etsy in the sense that the artist has to be chosen by Minted) and then offer prints in various sizes in print runs of 350. Your print includes a certificate that guarantees once the 350th print has been sold, it will be sold out. So, at most, 349 other households worldwide can contain the exact same piece of art.

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That felt like a good compromise for the affordability of art prints. I fell head over heels in love with Boating by Katherine Moynagh and ordered it in huge — 60″ x 44″ — for $238 USD. “Boating” has quite a bit in common with my most favoured piece of art — the mid-century print of unknown origin in our bathroom, purchased for $50 at the Junction Flea Market. Minted also offers very affordable framing, but they stop at the size just below — 54″ x 40″ — and we really wanted a full-bleed piece, so I opted to order the largest print on its own and get it framed here in Victoria.

When it arrived, I didn’t even open it — I took it right in its tube to Prestige, the framing shop in Oak Bay that turned the giant, moldy map of Vancouver Island that Pierre found in our ceiling rafters into the most amazing piece that I can’t wait to share. (There are a few photos on Instagram if you’re really curious.)

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I went with a very slim brushed silver frame, no mat and conservation plexiglass. They had to special order the plexiglass because the piece is so large. We did spend just under $1,000 on framing — quite a bit more than it would have cost to get the slightly smaller print framed through Minted — but it was worth it to get the size that really fills the kitchen wall.

So, all told, about $1,200 for a giant limited edition art print that completely fills the kitchen wall and warms my heart (does it make you think of summer, too?), maybe even makes me want to cook! Having this print in place is so motivating; I really want to get our trim installed, our hood fan up and update our countertops now, among a few other little to-dos in the kitchen. Luckily it’s only February, which means I’m rolling right along on our 2018 project list.

Would you ever put a favourite/expensive piece of art in the kitchen or bathroom (I’ve done both!) or do you think it’s better to keep your “best” pieces safe in a bedroom or hallway? What do you think of art prints — yay or nay? If you’re snobby about it (like we were), I encourage you to check out what Minted has on offer — a fantastic, affordable option for large (or small, but especially for large) spaces.

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