Our hat is off to those among you who plan to tackle the project of staging your own home for sale. We admire your spunk and your dedication. It’s a much bigger job than you might have imagined. You have probably already discovered that just arranging some of your own furniture and artwork won’t be enough to spark a love affair between your house and potential buyers. Styling property is a bit like – forgive us this cliché – peeling an onion. There are many layers and each one seems to be a little more complicated than the last. Take the subject of art.

Once you have the walls painted a new, innocuously beautiful colour, your furniture placed, and the rugs perfectly situated, you are ready to tackle the walls. What art will you choose to adorn your fresh rooms? It is anything but simple to make the right choices.

Before you put up your own artwork, remember that art is an intensely personal addition to any house. As we’ve said, the last thing you want your staged home to do is to reflect your own tastes too pointedly. Depersonalisation applies here just as it does with family photos. You want as little of your personal taste to show through as possible.

You might think the Dutch Masters prints are the ideal choice, but they might just be offensive to some buyers. Depicting the human face is forbidden in some religions. (Paintings of the nude human form may be even more off-putting to some.) Here is a short list of verboten art subjects in your staged home.

• No nudes – no matter how beautiful you know it is, some people are offended by the uncovered human form.

• No human faces – in some cultures, it’s strictly forbidden to depict human faces or forms in any way. If such an image is in your house, some potential buyers will feel compelled to leave long before there is an offer on the table.

• Nothing that features the back end of anything.

• Absolutely nothing that conveys a religious message.

Because your goal in staging your home is to appeal to as many potential buyers as you possibly can, it’s important to keep these rules, which apply to paintings, prints, and even small statuary, at the front of your mind in selecting art.

Finding art that compleents your rooms and doesn’t offend anybody can seem challenging. This is particularly true if you are hoping to use your own art in the staging process. Here are a few ideas of what does work, as long as the colours look beautiful and harmonise with your rooms’ overall look:

• Landscapes – Most cultures around the world find landscapes to be beautiful and restful. Just as buyers might want a great view out the front window, providing a large and lovely landscape can help make the sale. Cityscapes are also acceptable, particularly if yours is a contemporary theme.

• Botanicals or Still Lifes – These inanimate artworks are sensational choices since they are abundantly available and offend nobody as far as we know.

• Water – Most people have positive reactions and are calmed by images of rivers, lakes, and oceans. Since the sense of comfort and welcome are critical to your eventual sale, involving such art is a great idea.

To our self-stagers, by now you may be wringing your hands because none of your own art fits these criteria. Sadly, there are few – if any – art lending libraries around. You can’t just go check out a painting like you might borrow a book. Here’s an easy answer. Speak to a reputable home staging company. Those who make their money styling property almost always have a wide selection of art they use to dress homes they are working with. They will be happy to make suggestions for you and even allow you to add their art to your home for the duration of the selling process for a minimal price.

If you need to put the finishing touches on your self-staged home, consult the professionals. At Urban Chic Property Styling, we have a wide selection of furnishings, art, and décor to help you complete your home’s staging. Styling property is, in the end, about the details that appeal to the broadest possible range of prospective buyers. It would be our pleasure to help you with those details – call us today for a consultation.

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