Where to source art when staging your property to sell

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 2.02.13 PM

Source: Freedom


It happens all the time. I’m helping a client present their house to sell and their artwork is either ‘wrong’ for the house or non existent. Also, I usually take family photos down from the walls leaving a glaring space.

Good artwork is a key component in styling a house to sell but good artwork can be very expensive and not what my clients might select for their new house.

What to do?

There are basically 4 options available:  Borrow, hire, make or buy. If the house is at a higher price point I usually suggest hiring – that way my clients can have expensive art on their walls for a fraction of the cost of buying. Plus they can give it back when they sell.  For those with family and friends close by I suggest borrowing. For low to mid range I suggest making or buying good value artwork. Here are the options in more detail:


I hate my clients spending money presenting their property when they don’t need to so my first question is usually “Can you borrow art?”  My client below borrowed the art from a friend – in fact (can you believe it) he was about to throw it away!  To buy new and framed could easily have cost $1000.

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.50.47 PM


If borrowing isn’t an option then hiring is. We are lucky in Brisbane as we have quite a few places that hire artwork. All the furniture hire companies have artwork plus there are a couple of companies that hire to corporate offices who are happy to hire for property styling. These are Rental Art and Moving Canvas.

The shot below shows a large black and white canvas from Guest Hire and a colourful abstract from Moving Canvas

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.50.34 PM

If you live outside an urban area you can still hire from a local shop or gallery. Make sure they are owner operated so they don’t have to ‘check with head office!’  Sell the idea that you can make it known to the agent that the artwork is for sale so it’s good business for them. Expect to pay about 5-10% of the cost per month to hire. Also, check who is insuring the artwork whilst its in your house (this goes for borrowing too).


Making your own artwork doesn’t need to be tacky and is a fantastically cost effective way of finding artwork of the right size and colour.  Consider these options:

Covering canvas with fabric.  Buy a canvas in the right size from an art supplies shop, find a piece of fabric with the right look and colours, lay the fabric over the canvas, stretch and staple into place:

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.51.39 PM


Paint a canvas. There are lots of tutorials available on the internet. You don’t have to have much skill. See artwork below for an example:

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.52.21 PM



Framing wrapping paper. There are some lovely wrapping papers available now that look great framed.  If you are looking for good looking and well priced frames you can’t go past the RIBBA series from IKEA.  Wallpaper samples give the same effect.

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 1.29.13 PM


A similar idea is to use scrapbooking paper. This comes in complementary colours and patterns so is good if you want to make a gallery wall or 2-3 pieces over a bed.

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.53.08 PM


And finally, don’t forget about the humble Tea Towel.

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.53.25 PM



Want more inspiration? Here’s 100 ideas. Careful, some of them are a bit twee but you get the general idea


When presenting your property to sell you will need to invest some money to provide a return on investment but I often have to caution my clients not to spend too much or buy too much.  My theory is that de-cluttering, packing, making repairs and cleaning are necessary but not glamorous so a shopping trip can be very appealing. Remember when buying – you are buying something that works for now and that you can take and enjoy in your new home. In other words, make sure you like it.

My top 3 everyday shops for artwork are:

IKEA: (off course!) Stay away from the artwork that is obviously IKEA – I’m thinking of you London telephone boxes and the eiffel tower!  This is a good and large choice ($149)

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.52.46 PM

Source: IKEA

Masters: If you have a Masters nearby then its worth a look. All artwork is colour coded and a great price. This large pineapple canvas is only $45

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.51.00 PM

Source: Masters

Freedom. A bit more pricey but a good range and quality. I love this geometric framed artwork currently on sale at $219

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.52.36 PM

Source: Freedom 

It’s worth looking at Target, K Mart and Big W. They often have large canvases that could do the job. I can’t share any here as they don’t have any on their websites.

If you’d prefer to buy online the biggest choice  (almost too much choice) can be found at hard to find and down that little lane. They are particularly good at kid artwork.  Here are a couple I  like:

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.53.47 PM

Source: Down that little Lane $110 print only

Screen shot 2014-04-24 at 12.50.14 PM

Source: Hard to find $26 print only


I hope this post has given you some ideas as to where to source art when selling your property. If you have any other ideas to add to this list I’d love to know, just drop me a line in the comments section


I’m Imogen Brown a home stager based in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. If you  are preparing your property to sell and need some help and an objective eye then give me a call on 0432994056 or contact me through my website


You may also like:

Shopping to sell or stay the Freedom way

Before you run shopping to Freedom, read this

Masters. A one stop staging shop?

Home Staging to sell using art

Home Staging with IKEA 2013/2014


3 thoughts on “Where to source art when staging your property to sell

  1. Dan Hobday says:

    This is a great article! Very informative for home DIY projects also.

  2. Christina says:

    More outgoing people calls for a canvas art that is largely flamboyant aand colorful
    iin geometric design. The material for cheap canvas artt can be found very easily.
    You can also go to auctions and garage sales to check out if there are any art pieces being sold
    that could work well with your existing decorations.

    1. ib69 says:

      Christina, thanks for commenting. Yes auctions, garage sales plus gumtree and ebay are all good sources of great value art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *