The Power of Art (In Pictures)

Written by Leonard Steinberg, Chief Evangelist, Compass

Power of Art
Image via House & Home

Art can have a very powerful effect in a room, especially as it relates to real estate marketing photography. A bare wall can be easily transformed to have a ‘view’ with a good piece of art. Here are some thoughts about adding artwork for photography and staging:

  1. Avoid controversial art. Art should not distract and everyone has different tastes. Beware not to offend anyone.
  2. Art should mostly be hung 60″ above the ground centered on the art work: meaning the center of the artwork should be at eye level.
  3. Art that is hung too high up can optically make ceilings appear lower.
  4. Too much art can be distracting.
  5. Art can be borrowed/rented. (Art Partners is one great resource). You can also partner with a local gallery or artist to do this.
  6. Art transportation can be very expensive. The art itself is one cost, transportation can double that cost easily if crating is involved.
  7. Art added into a home should be properly insured.
  8. Art that is used in imagery often needs CLEARANCE from the artist to be allowed to be photographed. Sometimes artists charge a fee for this.
  9. If you cannot afford to install art, do so digitally.
  10. When art is used for decorative purposes, be sure it is framed well. Cheap frames read as cheap art.
  11. Photography art of a landscape can make a bland wall appear to have a ‘view’ and add significant visual value.
  12. If you have a large wall, show it with large art. Often buyers are seeking big walls for contemporary art that is often far larger than more traditional art.
  13. Contemporary art added to a more traditional space can visually modernize the space immediately.
  14. For homes with lots of glass windows and walls, buyers are often concerned about art walls. Be creative to show how art can be placed in multiple locations. You may even point out artwalls on your floorplans.
  15. Art does not like super-bright or direct light: are the windows UV-protected?
  16. Art that is beautifully illuminated often provides the best light for a room. Picture lights and ceiling-mounted spotlights on dimmers with a warm tone are best.
  17. Maybe put together a small collection of your own ‘staging art’. A good set of photographic prints framed well can be very useful to ‘up’ a home needing some help. I own a set that has travelled to multiple homes over 10 years.
  18. Sculptures can be useful to showcase a use for ‘void spaces’, those areas that some may deem as wasted but are in fact great locations for displaying a sculpture.
  19. Art can give a room scale. A large art piece can make a small room appear larger and more important.
  20. Art is often the differentiator in a home between being simply real estate and being a HOME. A collection is a reflection of a homeowners personality and tastes. It can be aspirational for new buyers who seek other ways to spend and enjoy their wealth. 

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