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Using Art For Home Staging - A Complete Guide

woman holding home staging sign

Sell Your House Faster With Wall Art

Selling & moving house is considered one of the most stressful life events, up there with getting a divorce & losing a job (even more so if they all happen at the same time!).

House prices can fluctuate & the longer your property has been on the market, the more possibility that potential buyers are going to offer you less than what you desire.

We all like to get the price we're asking on anything we sell, so the quicker the sale the better.

So can wall art actually help to sell a home? Yes, but if not done right, the wrong artworks can also be a hinderance. There's many aspects to home staging & wall art is a significant piece of the puzzle that will help toward not only a quick sale, but achieving your desired price.

4 Reasons Why Wall Art Is Important In Home Staging

real estate agent holding open house sign

Home buyers & buyers in general, can be finicky creatures.

From our own experience, we've probably all had those moments when we're looking to purchase something & we’re 99% committed, but that 1% just didn’t feel quite right.

There’s been many studies done on the psychology of buying.

Statistically you have 8 seconds for potential buyers to fall in love with your home.

More important than floor plans & lay-out, the property has to “feel” right, the buyer needs to feel an emotional connection that is often stronger than any practical considerations.

So you want to be able to eliminate anything that can create that 1% of doubt in the buyers mind.

1. First Impressions

So now we're aware how emotion can be a huge influence for a buyer, creating a positive initial first impression is important.

The right choice of colour, not just in the artworks adorning the walls, but in the overall décor, will influence how a person feels & reacts to a space.

Generally, neutral colours are advised when presenting a home for sale, as this allows the buyer to visualise their own style & personality within the home.

Wall art can be used to add those much needed accents, to break up the blandness & introduce some colour without it dominating.

Colour also affects our moods, so the right colour art pieces will help to create a calm & happy space & even make the buyer feel more secure.

2. Giving Purpose

It also helps when presenting a home to give purpose, or identity to each room or area of the house.

Some spaces in the home can be ambiguous, such as a spare room, & by using art depicting a world map for example, can suggest it could be used as a study.

Many houses will have 2 living areas & by having vintage movie posters it shows how one could be a great space for a home theatre.

3. Perceived Value

We don't just move into or buy a house, we're buying a lifestyle & what living in that house & that location can offer us.

By using appropriate artworks & wall art, you're able to highlight what benefits the house brings & what perks the area or suburb offers.

For example, it may be a suburban property that has a wonderful park or bushland nearby.

Using framed photographs, canvas prints or even paintings of beautiful landscapes will help to highlight the location.

A coastal property could use art depicting wonderful ocean scenes or surfing images as well as other beach or nautical related wall art.

If you feel your house is just another boring suburban property, try to make it stand out from the other houses in the street.

There's wall art such as metal or acrylic prints that are highly durable & suitable for outdoor spaces.

Perfect for adding some life to an outdoor entertainment area.

Other types of outdoor art can be used to create an eye catching frontage too, making a great first impression.

4. Increased Sale Price

More money, that's always a motivation for doing most things!

Australian real estate agents conducted a survey & found that 98% of property managers discovered styling a property can increase the sale price by at least 2.5%.

That's a pretty substantial amount & more than pays for any art or other staging items you may have invested in.

The survey also showed the houses sold a lot faster, which as mentioned earlier, the longer a house sits on the market the more possibility of getting a lower price.

The Art Of Home Staging

artwork depicting real estate

Putting a house on the market brings up many considerations.

You often hear the cry of realtors -"location, location, location", but the overall condition of the property is obviously important too.

Another saying is "you only get one chance to make a good first impression", so the exterior of the home needs to have street appeal before any buyer even steps through the front door.

Is the exterior in good shape? A well kept garden makes all the difference, as too clean windows.

So do the mowing, hire a gardener and whatever else is needed to make it stand out from the crowd.

Even the best manicured garden will benefit from some strategically placed artworks.

They help to draw the eye to certain areas, give points of interest as well as defining spaces within it.

Professional home stagers understand only too well the importance of some well chosen artworks & placing them accordingly.

Because they have an understanding of all the aspects of home staging, they realize that wall art needs to tie into & compliment the rest of the internal décor.

But not all of us may have the budget to hire a professional .. so fear not!

8 Tips To Find Home Staging Ideas

home staging ideas

Here's some simple, easy & free ways to get some wall art ideas & learn the tricks of the trade at the same time.

1. Get a Free Consultation

Try contacting home staging companies in your area and ask they offer free consultations.

Some will charge, but others will offer a no obligation visit to your home if they’re looking to drum up business.

As well as the overall décor & furnishings, you may gain some valuable insight into the style of wall art you should use.

They’re certainly not going to give away all their experience for nothing, but at least they’ll let you know what isn’t working.

But hey! For no outlay, you’ll certainly have a better idea of where to start.

2. Go House Hunting

Got a spare weekend? Spend it visiting open houses.

Apart from a bit of petrol, it's another free resource for learning how other sellers & real estate agents are using wall art in the staging of their homes.

You'll also get some ideas for how to arrange furniture & add other décor items for presenting your property.

Depending on the size of the town or city where you live, this could keep you occupied for months!

Don’t forget to take photos, you know how it goes?

We all get a good idea or see something and think “ I’ll remember that “ just to forget it when we get home.

3. Visit Display Homes

Builders always have display homes in new suburbs and housing estates.

The bigger builders will have a few houses you can look through.

These homes are always furnished & will have wall art to present the house & make it more appealing.

Builders also hire the services of professional stagers for this purpose, so you’re getting to see the end result of their creativity.

If you live in a smaller town or regional area, you can simply do an Internet search, as most of these builders have internal photographs of the display homes available for viewing.

4. Window Shopping

Taking a stroll along your favourite high street & you'll find there’s plenty of home décor stores dedicated to wall art and interior design.

Some will have displays which can give you ideas.

The big cities will have large department stores with whole displays centred around complete rooms in the house.

Remember to pick up any free catalogues while you’re at it.

5. Browse Magazines

If you’re unfortunate enough to be in the waiting room at the doctor or dentist, a distraction from the possible pain & probing to come is flicking through the pile of magazines they always have!

Seriously, you may as well use the time to your advantage.

Certainly most of them are always old, but there could be inspiration in those dated pages.

Of course you can buy current publications, either printed or online.

Also catalogues are a great free resource for wall art & decorating ideas.

Ikea is probably the better known one, but depending where you live, there will be other home improvement outlets with their own catalogues.

6. Television

Yay! An excuse to watch your favourite home improvement show.

“ Sorry honey, you’ll have to cook tonight, I’m doing research “.

Also YouTube has channels catering to almost any interest.

You’ll find a wealth of information not only on wall art, but décor & home staging.

7. Pinterest

I don’t think there’s any topic on the planet that Pinterest doesn’t have images for.

You’ve probably already noticed when you do an Internet search, if it’s for anything visual, Pinterest will be in the search results.

But it’s a fantastic place to get lost in searching for ideas & inspiration for home staging.

8. Internet

Last but not least, but probably the most obvious.

If it ain’t on the Internet it doesn’t exist!

There’s thousands of images & information relating to wall art, home staging, interior design & anything else related to selling your property.

Using Art To Create Street Appeal

for sale sign in front of house

You've probably heard that saying "it's what's on the inside that matters" & it's very good advice for selling a house & life in general.

There's another saying "never judge a book by it's cover" & this too is great life advice .. but bad advice when it comes to selling a property.

As already mentioned, first impressions are extremely important when putting a house on the market.

It's important to get the front garden looking it's best, so either do it yourself or hire a landscape gardener to not only tidy it up, but help it to stand out.

Gardens can really benefit from outdoor artworks as they help to not only define spaces within it, but offer points of interest & curiosity by drawing the eye to certain areas.

Outdoor art prints can be used under the veranda or porch, but metal panels & decorative dividers can be used to create intimate spaces within the actual garden.

This allows the buyer to visualize themselves sitting out on a sunny morning enjoying a coffee or relaxing with a cold beer at the end of the day.

Here in Australia, Colorbond fencing is widely used & to be honest can look pretty bland & uninviting, especially as it always seems to be beige.

Arranging decorative art along the fence is a great way to lift it out of the doldrums & break the monotony

There's some wonderful outdoor art available, from birds to butterflies & floral creations to more abstract pieces.

There's wonderful stained & coloured glass that can be hung from branches & you can even swap out a boring house number for something more artistic.

Room For Personality

room interior design

Although giving rooms & areas of the house purpose has already been mentioned, I feel this aspect can be explored a bit further.

Personality is what differentiates a house from a home.

People aren't just buying a property, they're investing in a place to spend many years of their lives.

Although keeping the décor neutral is worthy advice, some personality can still be introduced into a property.

If it's a modern home, the use of fine art & more modern framed pictures will accentuate this.

Modern & abstract art can project a sense of sophistication & in the mind of the buyer, create a higher perceived value for the property.

You may have already vacated the house you're selling & the furniture may be a bit sparse.

The right choice & size of art will help to create a more homely feel & add some much needed warmth.

Remember it's not about your personal taste in décor, but to use art that will achieve the mood & feeling that needs to be created.

The main bedroom is a good example, as it's a room that really needs to portray a sense of calm, security & peacefulness.

Not that colourful artworks shouldn't or can't be used, but a viewer doesn't want to walk into a visually over stimulating space.

Even the humble toilet will benefit with some sort of wall art to show that it's not just a functional or forgotten space in the house.

Remember also that house hunters may have already seen dozens of properties before arriving at yours.

They may be feeling overwhelmed & even uninspired.

So having interesting artwork can be something that creates interest & makes your property stand out.

Consistency Is Key

man holding house keys

Reflecting the surrounding area, defining spaces & creating personality is all possible through the right use of wall art.

But being consistent is important too.

You don't want to create a mish-mash of styles throughout each room or space.

Artworks that suggest the rooms' purpose may have different subject matter, but they can be consistent in their style.

For instance, bedrooms may have landscape prints, the living area modern cityscapes, a child's bedroom more fun images.

But they can all be canvas prints within the same style of frame.

This way you're creating variety & interest, but at the same time it's keeping the overall look consistent & neutral to some extent as well.

This can also apply if you're using larger artworks to introduce colour or a point of interest to a space.

Individual rooms can have different coloured art or abstract paintings from each other, but consistency with the style of art or framing will provide coherence throughout the property.

This leads us to the next chapter of how colour affects the viewers mood & feelings.

The Psychology Of Colour

colourful houses for sale

Colour plays an important role in our lives & many studies have been done on how it affect us.

Various colours affect our mood & psychology & advertisers & corporations understand this only too well.

Having some knowledge of the impact different colour can have can be another consideration when choosing art.

You want to put the potential buyer in the best frame of mind possible!


A fresh and clean colour (some will debate it’s an actual colour) that can create a modern feel.

Probably the most widely used colour for painting walls when a house is going on the market.

White is also neutral, which allows you to choose any colour artwork as it won't clash.

You could paint the whole interior of the house white and use furnishings and art to create the colour scheme.


Again, some will debate if it’s an actual colour, but it can be associated with power, that’s why limousines and politicians vehicles are often black.

But used in the home it can also be modern as well as giving an organised feel.

Black and white prints on a plain wall for example will introduce a sense of order & even formality.


Studies have shown that people will choose grey consumer goods, & especially cars, when they want a colour that won't stand out.

It sounds like a dull choice, but can work extremely well in a home alongside more vibrant shades.

Again, because it’s neutral it won’t clash with other décor choices.


A happy colour that can bring a lightness & sense of joy to a space.

Even against a grey wall, a large yellow artwork can just make you feel good.

But it can be overpowering if overused, especially brighter or vibrant yellows.


You may have noticed on websites that many checkouts & shopping carts are blue.

Blue is also used a lot on sites dealing with finance and medical issues.

This is because blue gives a sense of safety & security.

It’s a colour that doesn’t just have to be used in a boy’s bedroom or bathroom either.

I recently decorated my old sleep-out (it used to be salmon pink … ergh!) in a darker blue, & against the white ceilings & skirting boards with red curtains it looks really sharp but cosy at the same time.


Talking of red, it's a colour that grabs your attention.

Although a bold colour, depending on the shade it can also be luxurious & projects confidence.

Why do you think most sports cars are red?

Best used as an accent colour though, not a good colour for entire walls.


It's the colour of nature & has a calming effect that can actually improve vision.

Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients.

Television studios have a “green room“ to calm the guests before going on camera.

It's a popular decorating colour & even as an accent colour it brings a sense of peace.


Another nature colour that's earthy & grounding.

Not to be confused with beige!

Brown instils a sense of genuineness.

Whether used for a feature wall, in picture frames, or as a dominant colour of the artwork itself, it will bring warmth to a room


There’s no end of colours & shades available that you can mix and match to achieve the feeling or emotion you want the potential buyer to experience.

Although there’s a wealth of studies on this topic, it’s not an exact science.


To explore this topic further, you can read:


But something worth thinking about & making a more conscious choice before you open up your house for viewing.

Picking The Appropriate Size Artwork

couple measuring wall for artwork

Choosing the right size art is important for home staging.

One thing that most people agree on is that the bigger a room appears, it's only an advantage when it come to selling.

So hanging overly large artworks in a small space will only make the room appear smaller.

On the other end of the scale, a 10 x 8 framed photograph above a king size bed for example will just look lost & offer nothing to the space.

Bigger may be better, but larger rooms can appear uninviting, so some sizable artworks will help to make thing more cosy & welcoming.


Related Article:


Creating Balance

model house balanced on wood plank

Hanging art is .. well .. an art!

The more professionally presented your property, the more you increase your chances of a quick sale at the price you're asking.

Just as choosing the best size wall art is important in creating balance, so too is arranging any furniture or other items.

One of the key points in making sure a room is balanced is if there's furniture toward one end of the room, hang the artworks toward the other.

This prevents the space from becoming lopsided.

Art needs to be in proportion to the room size, wall space & any other furniture.

Professional home stagers understand these nuances, but basically you just need to make certain that artworks are level, proportional to their surroundings and not hung too high or low on the wall.

There's some basic guidelines that many interior designers follow & one of these is the 3/8th rule.

This is applied when there is an amount of empty wall space.

Choose art that leaves empty space of around 3/8th of the width of the artwork on each side.

There's also the 66% & 33% formula & the 80% rule.


Rather than repeat myself, if you'd like to explore these concepts further & how to hang art in a balanced way, take a peek at these articles:


Wall Art Etiquette

man holding artwork

We’ve covered many aspects of wall art & how best to apply it to helping the sale of your home.

And therein lies a key phrase “your home“.

There’s many different reasons why people sell their homes.

Some can’t wait to get out, others have a lot of memories & it can actually be a very emotional & even painful time.

But the reality is that potential buyers aren’t interested in “your home“, they’re interested in

“their home“.

It may be emotionally challenging, but you need to detach from the house & present it in a way that is neutral, allowing a potential buyer to see it as their home.

This means taking down any family photographs & other sentimental pieces & artworks that don't contribute toward the staging, no matter how sentimental they may be.

Even fridge magnets have gotta go!

Personally I’m on the fence with word art, you know the stuff “Live, Laugh, Love", "Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do“ kinda stuff.

Definitely some are just too cheesy, but I don’t mind some of them.

There are interior designers & stylists that utterly resent the use of them at all!

Other art to avoid is anything religious.

As important as your faith may be to you, staging a house is about appealing to the widest range of people possible.

So the reproduction of The Last Supper has to go I’m afraid.

Sporting memorabilia gets hidden away in the same box as the religious icons too.

Make space in there for any other hobby related art as well .. it’s brutal isn’t it!

Okay, that’s the hard stuff out the way.

Do use mirrors if appropriate, they can make a room appear larger, especially when placed where they will reflect the view from the window.

But on that note, be careful not to distract from a view.

If your house has killer views, that's where you want the eyes to go, not distracted by bright or busy artworks.

Again, the word neutral applies.

Find wall art that blends with the décor & has a wide appeal, nothing too specific.

Don’t use portraits of movie stars or celebrities, even if they’re more modern contemporary portraits, they may be someone you admire, but the house hunter may not share the same opinion.

Cheap Or Expensive Art?

framed artwork

This can depend on the type of property being sold & the kind of buyers it's going to attract.

For the average family home, blowing your budget on expensive art isn't going to produce any real benefit.

If it's a multi-million dollar mansion, then some nice prints from Ikea aren't going to cut it either.

Buyers understand that the artwork doesn't come with the house.

Although if it looks good & the viewer likes it & you have no plans to take it with you to your new home, then including it in the sale may just help to tip the balance in your favour.

You don't need to spend a small fortune to find great artwork & prints either.

But you also don't want 2nd hand prints that may have seen better days & look like a charity shop special. (Although I'm a huge supporter of charity shopping & you can find really great bargains!)

Buying 2nd hand is definitely a possibility & the less you spend the better.

But even new prints from department stores can be sold on, be it at a lower price, but at least you'll recoup some of your spending.

A million dollar plus mansion, or a really upmarket property, is appealing to buyers with different agendas.

They’re looking for that extra wow factor.

When you’re investing that kind of money into a property, you want to see the value.

Obviously if you’re selling you can probably remember how it was for you when you were house hunting.

Cheap fittings, unkempt gardens & even dirty windows can’t be overlooked.

So having more expensive art on the walls & higher end garden sculptures are delivering the right message .. this is a classy joint!

You may already have art that has collectable value.

Or perhaps there's expensive marble statues or commissioned sculptures in the gardens.

Sometimes this can be negotiated into the deal if you don’t want to take them with you or go through the hassle of selling them.

9 Ideas For Finding Art For Home Staging

woman looking at artwork

Here's a few suggestions of places to visit to buy either new or used artworks.

1. Local Galleries - often sell original artworks, but can be more expensive.

2. Art Exhibitions - many artists sell their own work, again it may be a pricier option.

3. Art Festivals - can offer a large amount of choice at good prices.

4. Weekend Markets - great for finding original & unique pieces at decent prices.

5. Art Schools - often hold exhibitions & sell their students work at reasonable prices too.

6. Garage Sales - always great for finding a bargain.

7. Auctions - as well as high end art, they also deal with deceased estates.

It can be more expensive art, but sold at below cost.

A good opportunity to resell & recoup your costs or even make a profit.

8. Cafes - often have local artists work for sale, prices can vary depending on the artist.

But remember whatever the value of your home or the size of your budget, you can always hire artwork.

9. Printables - if you haven't come across downloadable art before, it's a convenient & quick way to find what you need.

Simply search online for the style of wall art you want, then for a few dollars you can download & print it from your home printer, or alternatively, upload to a print service.


You may want to check out:


Artwork For Hire

Depending on your situation, this could be the most economical solution.

It also allows you to have those higher end art pieces, which even if it’s not a multi-million dollar property, providing it’s appropriate to the house, can help push forward the sale.

Some furniture hire companies rent out art & there's specialist art rental companies & even some home staging companies that hire out art as well.


And last but not least, borrow.

If you have friends or family who don’t mind lending you some of their décor .. it doesn’t get any more cost effective!

Final Thoughts

Selling your home can be a stressful & emotional time & being able to hand it over to the professionals isn't always an option.

Hopefully this guide has given you an understanding of not just using wall art in a way to present your home, but staging the overall property for sale.

If you feel this article could be of value to anyone else, please feel free to share .. it's always appreciated.


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