Dressing up your home

Darryl Gordon - Lounge Room

THEY say you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so too a house is never quite complete without some form of art. Getting it right however, can be a little tricky and it takes a trained eye and many years experience to know what works.

When I first started out in real estate, I thought it was a great idea to visit art galleries and attend launches by local artists. It was a fabulous way to meet people – but along the way something unexpected happened. I started buying artworks and forming relationships with these wonderful artists. Before I knew, I had a vast art collection – even before owning my first property! Not only had I now accumulated some great pieces, but had expanded my knowledge on art. I’d always been passionately, but now I was armed with knowledge and a great eye for great pieces.

Every house should have some kind of art work; whether it is a canvas, photographs, sculptures, oil paintings or even outdoor art. A home is naked without this adornment. When I first inspect a property, I immediately take note of the art, or lack thereof. Be careful though, there most definitely are a few rules.

Blank walls are a no-no

Art is a necessity. No ifs or buts. If on inspection of a property I find empty walls, one of my first steps is to hire art and ensure the piece are suitable. Which leads me to the next point…

Is it suitable?

The most important rule is this: is the artwork polarising? Art is supposed to complement a room, add a certain je ne sais quoi and never offend. On more than one occasion I’ve removed artworks that really are only meant for ‘your eyes only’. Just remember, what you might think is appropriate, others might find distasteful. You don’t want to turn off potential buyers.  Size, colours, and textures should all be taken into account. Art should never stick out, but blend in to be a part of the room. Lighting, amount of space available and type of room (bedroom, living areas, hallways) all need to be taken into account. Other types of artworks that can be polarising include nudes, oversized pieces and even religious art in some cases.

Family photographs, yes or no?

Personal photographs can be both positive and negative and it largely depends on the owner preference to leave them out or put them away. Remember, many people – strangers – will be coming through your house. Do you really want your treasured family snaps on display? If you’re very private, then probably not. However, family photos can create a lovely, warm atmosphere and can also give perspective as to how a family lives in the available space.

What always works?

Without fail, black and white photos always work. They just do. They are timeless, elegant and romantic – and work in any room, any home. So, if you have a limited budget and are after value for money, black and white photos are winners. A simply framed photo of a 1930s Hollywood starlet or nature scene are infallible. Mirrors are also great additions to most rooms.

A final tip

Throw away those statues of Buddha – they belong in Bali!

Here is a list of some of my favourite artists:

Harrie Fasher 

Peter Hickey 

Peter Boggs

Guy Maestri 

David Larwill 

Simon Cooper 

Peter Kingston 

Pam Tippett 

John Olsen 

Camie Lyons

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