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Rental Art: Not Just Breakfast at Tiffany’s


As a Stager and Professional Organizer I’m in homes a lot. I look at a lot of design magazines and decor projects online. I don’t know if it’s just me, or is the era of Audrey Hepburn’s Ikea wall art “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” finally coming to an end? If you Google this work of art you will know what I mean. I think every 20-something female has had this piece of art or knew someone that did. I feel like I’ve seen it everywhere.

The point of this piece is that art can play a huge role in staging. Art is very personal as well. It comes in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of content: landscapes, abstract, portrait, religious, political, photographs, family portraits, family photos and obviously the list goes on. Art can be hung too high, hung too low, hung correctly with brilliant lighting; small pieces put on big walls, big pieces put on small walls, art professionally installed - you get the idea. I am a HUGE FAN of art. Huge. I studied Art History in University and try to appreciate and learn about it whenever I can.

When it comes to occupied staging I have worked with some really unbelievable works of art. When it comes to vacant staging, and we have all been exposed to staged vacant properties in person or looking at listing photos online (Toronto real estate is pretty much popular culture now!) and for the purposes of price, convenience (lightweight canvas wrapped art is sooooo easy to transport and hang) and neutrality, rental art from large rental companies can be pedestrian and hum drum.

I usually lobby my clients who have a lot of vacant walls to cover, or in this case, a fully vacant home, to at least invest in some original rental art. Original art changes a space. It can still work beautifully in a staged environment that requires neutrality. Albeit it can make a dent in everyone’s budget and by the time I arrive on the scene, a lot of a homeowner’s staging budget may have been allocated to things like necessary repairs, painting, landscaping, window cleaning, carpet cleaning and more. It’s not as expensive as you think, and even one piece in a small condo can make an important aesthetic impact.

There is a lot more I can cover with this vacant staging job, but I wanted to hone in on rental art, because it really made a difference on this job. I have art in this property on all levels: rental art from a furniture rental company; a few pieces I bought at Home Sense to create a customized solution and then voila, I got a bit of a budget to rent some original art. Thanks also goes to Tammy at Partial Gallery who offered brilliant service and has great curating talents. In addition to Rita Vindedzis’ work shown above I picked three incredible framed photos by the super talented photographer Sean Hacker Teper; you can see them in the before and after photos in my ‘Canadian’ themed lower level with furniture from the Canadian furniture line Gus.

Services provided:

  • needs assessment with homeowner/agent

  • space planning, measurements

  • sourcing all furnishings, art and soft accessories

  • sourcing of additional original works of art for rental

  • sourcing custom accessories

  • coordination of full cleaning services

  • coordination of painter and other third party services

  • delivery of all contents, setup and destaging services


“Kathleen staged the house beautifully. Her rental choices all worked together well and she really made the property show in it’s best possible light - which I think is the goal of every realtor.” Ali, Kingsway Real Estate

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