Home staging to sell using art

Art plays an important role in staging a property to sell. Whether doing it yourself or working with a stager here’s a summary of what and what not to do.

Firstly, if you have any art as below, make sure it’s removed when selling.

  • Anything that ‘shows off’ who lives in the house eg: family and pet photos and portraits, diplomas or awards. Your aim is for buyers to imagine themselves living in your house. This is difficult to do when your happy family are staring down from above the fireplace
  • Art that is not to everyone’s taste or is too polarising. For example pictures of nudes, religious images, guns and warfare and framed sporting jerseys.
  • Murals and decals. My first piece of advice to the owner of this house was to paint over the aircraft mural (left) Although it had been painted for her son by her Mum and had sentimental value it communicates another job for the buyers to sort out. They aren’t looking for this hassle
  • Quilt as art or anything overtly ‘crafty’  or collectable (e.g. teddy bear plates) as art is also a no no. It’s outdated. Im not talking about the Etsy, modern/retro look but the actual granny look (see left) – sorry grannies : (
  • Little bitty art on huge great walls. My favourite saying of “it looks like a pea on a drum” works well here (no idea where the saying comes from but hope you get the idea)
  • Unframed posters, especially in kids rooms need to come down and be replaced with something with a frame (ideas for value art below)

Secondly, here are some pointers on the art that works best for selling houses

  • Less, and bigger is more.  It is far better to have 1 large piece of art than lots of itty bits that just add clutter (the same also goes for accessories). The exception is where smaller pieces are grouped together to look like one large art area using frame colour or picture theme as a unifying factor
  • Use art to support the features in your property not to be the feature itself. If a buyer walks in and says “i love that painting” they aren’t looking at the features of the property. Landscapes and abstracts are the way to go.
  • With so much advice about keeping the fixed elements of a house neutral, art is one area that you can use to inject some colour. Aim for a similar palette of colours in each room
  • Use art to ‘anchor’ your furniture, it will help you work out where to hang it. For example, hang art above the sofa, above the bed, over the entrance table and above the sideboard in the dining room
  • A word on mirrors. Mirrors are great for reflecting light but they also reflect the view so if you use one make sure the view is a good one
  • Most people hang art too high – don’t let this be you. You should aim for the middle of the art to be at eye level for an average sized woman (that’ll be me then!) Exceptions are above a sofa (may need to be lower), above a fireplace (will need to be higher) or if you have very high ceilings (may need to hang a bit higher)
  • If you don’t have enough of the right sort of art then here are some low cost ideas.
    • Buy a plain canvas and use a staple gun to fix fabric to it (great for kid’s bedrooms)
    • Buy value frames (I love IKEA RIBBA frames) and frame scrapbooking paper, quality wrapping paper or wallpaper offcuts
    • Create your own abstract art by painting onto plain canvas
    • Dollar shops often have value canvas art (this is fine for properties with lower price point) Also check out the usual subjects such as IKEA, Target and Big W
    • Borrow from family and friends. I had a client whose brother had some beautiful art so he just borrowed it whilst on the market
  • Word of warning for the above – you’re selling your house not finding a new hobby so make sure your ideas don’t eat up time better spent clearing your yard

 And that’s it – the general do’s and don’t for staging your property using art. Happy staging

I’m Imogen Brown, a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you’d like help staging your house so that it sells quickly, for the best price and with the least stress then find out more at www.homestagingbrisbane.com or call me on 0432 994 056

4 thoughts on “Home staging to sell using art

  1. Robert Albantow says:

    Hi Imogen,

    What a great post.!!

    I am looking to use art for staging my two story Georgian home for sale. I believe it is important to add further wow factor and what better way than art

    I have a black (granite) and off white (Neutral walls) master bathroom. I am thinking of adding an abstract (Black on white) framed picture above the spa bath.

    Wondering if art in the bathroom is a good idea or not. (i.e making a bold statement)

    1. ib69 says:

      Hi Robert. I often use Art in bathrooms. I think it can make a great statement. Abstract is good. Go for it!

  2. Lisa says:

    Hi Imogen,

    I love all your informative posts, thank you. I’m just wondering what you use to secure to the wall to hang your art on?

    1. ib69 says:

      Hi Lisa

      Glad you like my posts : )
      I just use normal picture hooks as do the furniture hire company when I work with them.
      I’ve tried the 3m hooks picture hanging strips but haven’t got on with them too well but I know another stager who uses them all the time

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