The Staging Life: What to do about a Photo Collage


By Nan Johnston, Southern Staging & Redesign

You are selling your home and you have heard it over and over to de-personalize, neutralize and let the buyer imagine themselves living in this space.

You’ve heard stagers and realtors say to remove family photos or collections etc. and you have your family plastered all over the house. It is your ART! From canvas wrapped photos to photo collages with all the frames matching, we have seen it all.

But what do you do when your entire wall is covered in family photos? Do you remove them, patch and paint the entire wall? (please say no, please say no). Or do you remove them and place a large piece of art in their place to keep the area from being boring?

If you want to use a large piece of art to take the place of your family collage, that solution will definitely work. If you have a family collage AND all the frames are the same color or finish within the collage, one of the simplest things to do (while your house is on the market) is to take some photos from the internet, or out of magazines or old photos of landscapes, or the beach or seashells, or a beautiful tree and place those in front of your family photos. They can be black and white, sepia or color photos, just try to keep people out of the photos.

You don’t want the focus to come off the house and then onto “who is living” in the house. It’s a distraction for a buyer.

One of my clients recently shopped at Walmart found some vintage scrapbook paper and placed them in front of her family photos. Within 15 minutes she still had a gallery wall, but it was depersonalized. She was so proud she didn’t have to remove frames, patch and paint.

If you need help in depersonalizing your home to sell, contact me and we can find a solution.


Nan Johnston is a professional home staging consultant from Newnan with over 30 years experience in the real estate industry. Check out her website for some interesting before and after photos at Feel free to contact her at [email protected].

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