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Using Art in Property Styling for Impact

Styling your home for sale is an essential ingredient in the sales process. There are many benefits to “sale-styling” – a faster sale and increased sale price being just two. Styling changes the way a buyer feels about a property from the front door to the back door, and there is no doubt that using artwork in styling can bring personality and individuality to the property. An impressive painting at the front entry or hallway sets the tone of the home it announces.

Artwork can also tell a story about the owner’s life. Art collected from your travels not only triggers your own memories, but they also tell the potential buyer a little about the lifestyle of the sellers. Street art, art purchased from galleries visited, as well as family heirlooms all add character to the home.

We always encourage sellers to remove family photographs, kids artwork and odd items hanging on walls. Buyers want to see themselves in your home not your family, but a blank wall looks empty and uninviting so choosing the right art for styling purposes is important.

Artwork can be bold but not distracting or offensive. Try to avoid images that are too political, religious or confronting. Tasteful nudes in the bedroom are fine but not in the public areas of the house.

Many sellers use images of the area where they live. Lakeside views, beaches or bushland show off the neighbourhoods beauty or major attractions of the area (which is great if your buyer is coming from out of town).

A large blank wall requires large artwork. A small piece on a large wall disappears and has no impact, so creating a print gallery can be an alternative to one large piece. Keep the look cohesive by choosing art that has touches of your decors colour scheme. Print galleries always look best when created within a rectangular or square shape rather than randomly.

Make sure you don’t make the mistake of hanging art too high. Pictures should be hung at eye level, i.e. 152cm to 165cm from the ground. In large works make sure the centre of the piece is at eye level rather than at the bottom of its frame.

Art should be used to enhance an awkward area of the home where furniture is not an option - think how empty a large, bright stairwell would look without an interesting and engaging piece of art.

Artwork does not need to be expensive. There are so many internet sites that offer beautiful prints, framed or unframed. Posters, maps and old advertisements can look fabulous in the right space. Search second-hand shops, auctions and garage sales for interesting art. Shabby frames and broken glass can be easily and cheaply replaced – try discount stores as they often have empty frames for DIY framing.

Beautiful pieces of fabric can also be framed. I have seen scraps of antique fabric, old lace, batik and tribal costume fragments framed to great effect. Artefacts and tribal jewellery look fabulous in shadow boxes. I recently saw a beautiful Burberry silk scarf framed in a client’s home. It looked stunning.

All types of art can make an impact when it comes to presenting a home to the sales market. It is an absolute must – but beware – framed sports memorabilia needs to be strictly kept to games rooms or man caves!

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