A Guide to Using Art Tastefully in Your Home Staging

by Alex ThatcherSeptember 26, 2018

Decorating the Perfect Home in Just the Right Way

If you’ve come to this article, then you probably don’t need to be sold on the idea that staging your home is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your listing. Staging is an important part of realizing your home’s true potential on the market, but there are many ways that the process can go wrong. One key way that home staging can go wrong starts with the art on the walls.

Taste in art is highly subjective and can be very polarizing – that much is easy to understand. What might be incredible artwork in your opinion, could be a serious turn-off to many other people. On the contrary, work that you find abhorrent could be beloved by many others.

When staging a home for sale, taste should not be much of a factor. The idea is to compliment the home—to invite the prospective buyer, with just enough furniture and decoration, to imagine their new life in the home. But beyond selection, knowing how and where to place decorative objects and visual art is key to effective staging, as is knowing when to stop adding “touches” around the home.
art in home

Selecting the Right Kind and Amount of Artwork

Choosing artwork to compliment your home, without overpowering the imagination of the prospective buyer, is a bit of an art form in and of itself. Depending on the materials, wall and floor coverings, available light, exterior views, and a handful of other considerations, some artwork may work beautifully, while many other pieces may not. Staging can be complicated, which is why many people choose to pay professionals to do it for them.

Thankfully, there are a handful of basic rules for the do-it-yourselfer.

For starters, you’ll want to choose items that are as visually neutral as possible. This means, no crazy or overly angular shapes in art objects. For visual art, you’ll want to stick with abstracts, renditions of nature or landscapes, and depictions of still-life subjects or geometric shapes.

You’ll want to shy away from loud colors, overly visually stimulating works, photographs or portraits of people, and anything religious or political in subject matter.

art in home

Location: It Matters

In many ways, choosing where to place the artwork you have selected is as important as what you choose to decorate your staged home with. Most artwork should be hung at eye level, or at around fifty-five to sixty inches from the floor.

If you’re hoping to compliment a piece of furniture by hanging artwork over it, make sure that it is around eight inches above the top of the furniture. Also, art that hangs over furniture (in general) should be no more than half the size of the furniture it is complimenting.

art in home

How Much Is Too Much Art?

Lastly, and most importantly: you have to know when to stop decorating. Remember, you are not creating an art gallery to compliment your home. You want the bare minimum in decoration to make the home feel like it’s ready to be lived in, without seeming at all cluttered. One or two pieces of visual art per room is usually enough stuff.

Remember not to hang artwork on the same walls as exterior windows, and consider how the changing light throughout the day will affect how the artwork influences the feel of the room. Also, just like the art you hang on the walls, decorative objects should be used at a minimum to avoid anything resembling an estate sale or the feel of an antique mall.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.