Where ART thou? Art in property styling

26 October, 2014

As Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

For some, art truly does remove the debris of everyday life. For some, art is soul food, it is inspiration or serenity; it is a visual stimulation that affects people both physically and emotionally.

Yes, when you buying a piece for your home it is important that you respond to the artwork in some way – be it the subject matter, the memories of where you bought it; a moment in history that resonates with you; a work by an artist you admire; or a Picasso-esque portrait created by your 10-year-old son.

But for property styling for properties that are for sale, being revamped or tarted up for rent, an artwork is just one ingredient in the overall presentation mix that requires no emotional attachment whatsoever. In fact, it is vital that the stylist displays no emotional attachment to the artwork otherwise the overall generic look of perfection, screaming “styled by…. with artwork by…” will be thrown out.

So, as someone who paints (yes, canvasses); as someone who lives by Picasso’s words; but also as someone who does property styling, choosing the artwork need not be a challenge. It is merely a process of measuring up the sofa, sourcing an artwork that contains some red to match the rug; some black to match the cushions; while ensuring the work doesn’t detract from the White on White on the walls and the lime-washed floors.

God forbid the real estate photographs portray a home with Pop Art or Surrealism looming over the dining table. These movements could be misunderstood which would then result in fewer buyer enquiries – we all know photographs don’t lie – and of course the stylist being held accountable.

Moral of the story: when choosing artwork for property styling – don’t choose anything with character, obvious subject matter; anything with mood, humour, satire, animals (prospective buyers might not like animals); plants (they might suffer from hay fever); or a landscape of China (they got lost on their last trip there) – stick with size and colour and you can’t go wrong!


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Words by: Sophie Seeger

www.seegerbydesign.com 0412 445 660 info@seegerbydesign.com

Houzz contributor; painter, designer, property stylist and art consultant

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