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Want more bookings? Hang some art!

If you want to beat the competition and encourage repeat bookings, create an impression by hanging stunning pictures of your area.

Rental agencies will tell you that more photos of your holiday property will lead to more conversions. They’ll also insist that better photos of both the outside and inside of your cottage or apartment will lead to more bookings. But what should be in those photos to attract the attention of the potential visitor browsing the agency websites or their Google search results, and what will encourage them to return next year?

Create anticipation

Take a look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos below. How are they different?



What might the difference lead the prospective visitor to anticipate about the ambience of the property and its surrounds? And what might the visitor infer about the care with which you’ve thought about other aspects of their comfort during their stay?

By hanging a picture of boats tied up in the harbour of a fishing village, you’re giving permission to your visitor to visualize what it might be like to sit in that lounge, knowing that scenes such as that portrayed in the picture are just outside the door… down the lane…through the village…along the quayside…across the beach.

How do you choose your art?

  • When you’re considering what pictures to buy for a rental property, there are three main considerations (though you might want to add ‘could I live with it myself?’ as a fourth!)

  • Do you want to hang originals or prints?

  • What main colours – including the frame finish, if you prefer a framed picture over an unframed canvas – will it match the rest of the décor?
  • What style and subject or theme will appeal to the type of visitors you’d like to attract?


Unless you have a big budget or know an artist who is willing to loan you original works in the hope of achieving a sale – and you’re very confident of your security measures – it’s unlikely you’ll be hanging original art. If you’ve decided to buy prints, do you look forward to visiting several galleries local to your main home or near to your holiday property with your swatches of fabrics or your mood board, and spend many hours choosing a limited edition print featuring a local attraction?

Or would you prefer to buy several open edition (unlimited number) prints from an online gallery? Although you can only see the picture on a screen and you’re less likely to find ‘local’ art, the prices might better suit your budget. And you can choose from a wide range of frames or even ask for a canvas print instead. Online galleries also offer you several sizes of print to choose from and, generally, the bigger you can afford, the more impressive your room photo will look.

When it comes to matching certain elements of the room décor, you should consider not only the main colours in the picture but also the frame finish and the range of lighting conditions in which it will be seen. For example, would the picture in the ‘after’ photograph above look more striking with a silver, black, white or gold frame rather than the oak one? If you’re buying from a ‘bricks and mortar’ gallery, how easy is it to make that choice?

Silver Frame  Black Frame
White Frame  Gold Frame

As for the style and subject of your pictures, that’s where you’ll need to psychoanalyse your market! The ‘fishing village’ subject of the picture above might represent the ideal for many who are looking for that experience, but is it slightly too abstract and generic? If your cottage is near Polperro, in Cornwall, you might feel that something a bit more traditional and ‘local’ will grab the attention of people searching for a property that appears to offer them a genuine ‘Polperro’ experience. Something like this, perhaps? It seems to say: ‘Stay here and you’ll see Polperro like this, too!’.


But if you’re keen to attract families with young children, you might consider art that reflects activities they might like to engage in. You might say in your property description that there are lots of things for families to do, but it’s a more compelling proposition if you’ve got statement art on your walls that sends out the message: ‘we’re family friendly; this picture could be of us - or it could be of you and your family - having a good time’:

Family beach


Don’t forget photographs!

You should consider whether high quality photography of a local attraction might be more appropriate to your type of property and your target visitor than paintings. For some, seeing a stunning image of Port Nanven, in Cornwall, at sunset offers a more genuine experience of the place than an artist’s painterly interpretation. It almost says: ‘If you stay with us, you could take a photograph like this’:


But why stop with what nature can provide? Sometimes, a slightly quirky (dare I say, ‘off the wall’?) approach will attract the attention of those looking for a property that seems to say: ‘We’re a bit different…stay with us for a few surprises.’ So a photograph that’s been manipulated could promise a more unconventional experience. These pictures in a London apartment might fit that bill:



The message in your art

In summary, whatever your budget for refurbishing or decoration, you should consider the value of hanging art on your walls and featuring it prominently in your room photos. The art you buy should send out the message that you understand what sort of holiday experience your visitors are looking for and that, by extension, if they stay in your property, they are more likely to fulfill their aspirations.


Simon de Pinna is Director of The Town & Country Gallery: www.thetownandcountrygallery.com, an online gallery specializing in selling prints of paintings and photographs of Britain to the holiday rental market. All of the art featured in this article comes from their spring 2013 collection.










Simon de Pinna is Director of The Town & Country Gallery:



The Town and Country Gallery is an online gallery specializing in selling prints of paintings and photographs of Britain to the holiday rental market.  


All of the art featured in this article comes from their spring 2013 collection.

Spring 2013 Collection