Choosing wall art for your home is very subjective and can be a highly emotional decision. What we put on our walls says so much about us. Most of us have a sense of what styles we prefer (or don't like), but choosing from the hundreds of different options out there can be daunting. There's size, price and colour to consider, as well as what else is going on in the room. Fortunately, choosing wall art for your home when you are styling to sell is more straightforward, because although the space still needs to look fabulous, this time the choice is not about you.
It's important to remember that you don't need to stick to canvasses and framed pictures to decorate your walls - wallhangings, photography, shelves, coastal wall sculptures and tribal decorations (such as JuJu hats) work just as well. But if you are still struggling to reach a decision, you might find it easier to work to a particular style and then carry it through your home. It's not rocket science - beach scenes work in coastal houses, geometrics, images or sculptures of reindeer and fine line drawings work well in Scandinavian-inspired rooms, and seaweed and boating scenes sit comfortably in Hampton's homes. And if you opt for an eclectic look, you'll have even more freedom.
One thing you will need to think about is the number of holes you put in the walls, out of consideration for your buyers. That's one of the reasons I advise you not to go mad, unless you already have a ton of existing holes in the wall that can be used or need covering. To get around this problem, canvasses hung with 3M removable hooks work well, although in more classic-styled properties, personally, I think framed pictures look better - certainly in the formal living areas. Another option is to buy frames with clear plastic as opposed to glass, which are lighter to hang. Many suppliers, such as Ikea, are now selling these and they're a worthwhile investment for rental properties as well.
Don't forget about mirrors as another option. They can be easier to coordinate with your furnishings and they also reflect the light, extending your space. However, like any of the wall art options I've suggested, make sure that they're big enough for the wall space and not too heavy to hang.
Below are some fundamental rules to follow:
1. Make sure your artworks are big enough to create an impression, but not so large that they overpower the room to make it appear smaller. A rough guide is if a sofa is 3 metres in length, the width of the artwork(s) should be 2 metres.
2. Consider the type of artwork you are selecting in terms of style. If you have an abundance of patterned and coloured soft furnishings in the room, (in the cushions, rugs or even the sofas), select simpler images to offset that busy-ness. Conversely, you can afford to go a bit more crazy on the walls if the rest of the room has a "cleaner," pared-back look.
3. Set the mood. More gentle, soothing designs work well in bedrooms and artworks that have greater impact work well in entry halls and living areas.
4. In terms of the height of your art on the wall, 150cm from the floor to the centre of your artwork is a general rule. However, if you're hanging the piece above furniture, this height will vary.
5. If you hang multiple pieces of artwork together ie. a gallery wall, allow the same distance between each piece for uniformity.
6. Remember, you need to de-personalise, so take down any family or pet photos, and kids artwork.
7. Choose the finish of your frames to compliment the artwork and the furniture in the room, but try to avoid heavily decorative, ornate or gilded finishes. Cleaner lines and more contemporary finishes are more popular in Australia.
8. Framed black and white photos always look stylish and are very on trend at the moment.
9. There's more freedom with art nowadays, so don't be afraid to put two different styles of art together as long as there is some connection in either colour, style or subject matter and that both pieces connect with the rest of the space.
10. Prints of famous paintings look dated and nudes are also a big no no, however, inspirational quotes can work in the right areas - kids bedrooms, studies, the family room - and if they're about the benefits of home or positivity, they might even influence your buyer!
11. Art needs to be positioned in relation to your furniture, not the other way around, so make sure hanging it is the last job you do.
12. And finally, if your walls are currently bare, do spend the money on wall art. Bare walls can be cold and uninviting and that splash of colour or texture will anchor the room and separate a large space into its different functions.
In terms of local stockists, Adairs always have a good collection of affordable artwork, as does Temple & Webster. Swish Homewares in Warriewood sell some lovely coastal prints for Hamptons/beach homes and you'll find Scandinavian prints (and just about every other style) at Etsy, which offers a huge range - just make sure you pick their Australian site for quick delivery. I buy my prints from there and then frame them myself.
If you are struggling to choose wall art, we also quote for selection and hanging of artworks as part of our consultancy service, and selection and hire is included in our Refresher packages - see our home page for more information.
Images of wall art:
Nimbus canvas amethyst and emerald from Adairs
Highland Cow printed wall art from Temple & Webster
Round Embossed Raj Mirror - Temple & Webster
10 Simple Rules For Arranging And Hanging Artwork In The Home - Gemmill Homes
Dos and Don't Of Displaying Artwork In A Master Bedroom - Houzz
How To Use Artwork To Make Buyers Fall In Love With Your Home - Houzz