Staging Lesson #3: Don’t Forget the Tuscan Landscape Prints

To judge by the open houses I’ve seen lately, framed prints of Tuscan landscapes — with shapely cedar trees, winding rivers, and perhaps a splash of red poppies — are basically de rigueur. Can’t sell a house without ‘em.

Home stagers must have bought up warehouses of these prints.

In fact, once you start noticing their ubiquity, you’ll see the same syndrome in dental offices, hotels, and so on.

It makes me wonder: Who’s the artist, and is he or she getting rich? Or gnashing his or her teeth at having sold away the rights to some printmaking company?

Here’s another photo, from the staging on the house I now live in. I’ve tried to figure out which artist it is, but no luck. For one thing, on places like art.com, it appears that several artists have cottoned on to this trend, and are supplying infinite (if slight) variations on the Tuscan landscape theme.

Do I think a little art originality might be nice? Yes. Is it a little weird that home sales in the U.S. apparently require images of landscapes in a country that the buyer may have never visited? Also yes. But if you’re trying to sell your home and you want to go with what’s safe and apparently working right now, you’ve got some decisions ahead of you: Should the river be on the left or the right? Poppies or no poppies? Happy shopping.