Redesigned Spaces ~ Fun Stuff Blog


Dang it! Are you or your client hesitant about removing family photos lining the walls?

It's usually because they don't want to go through the trouble of patching then repainting the holes. It's a necessary pain in the bum that needs to be done. The rewards by completing the task will outway the inconvenience twofold, heck maybe even a billonfold. Is that even a word? I'm going with it anyway even though the spellchecker disagrees.

Here is an idea for the homeowner who doesn't want to go through the trouble nixes the idea to remove the family photo wall. I recommend removing the photo, then add a swatch of textured fabric that coordinates with the area.

I needed to tweek her idea because of the price range of homes I've been in. I used a high quality matted frame. Frames that are alike by color or finish will have the best result. If they aren't, try to nudge the client to invest in new ones!

Worried about the cost? Just get yourself on the email list at your local hobby or craft store and you will be up on and all over those sales while getting valuable coupons at the same time.

The sample I've included here may not look dazzling to you but this fabric matched my decor and worked perfectly. I got the fabric at no charge to myself from a friend, scraps can be had cheap when you use a remnant! The total fame cost was under $30 for all three. 


                                                        framed fabric


Here is close up of the textured fabric. The top one is a shiny green nubby textured Dupioni silk.








This fabric is a rough textured gold fabric with green, grey and cream stripes of varying width.





       Framed fabric on wall



I'm fond of using triptychs because well... I just like them period! The same fabric was used in the top and bottom running it in two different directions for added interest.







                                                                                              Framed fabric






Here's the finished project in a home setting on a narrow wall.











Most homeowners are still not aware of a product called Hercules Hooks. Billy Mays sold the heck out of this product. What a terrific pitchman he was.

Too bad because they are easy to use and leave a tiny hole to patch when removing a framed photo or a piece of art.




copyscape do not copy

if you want to use a photo or some copy just email me... more than likely we can work it out

Comment balloon 48 commentsCynthia Bartch • April 26 2009 02:44PM


This is so clever! I always ask sellers to remove the family photos, and to keep them in a safe location until they move to their new home. Your idea for covering the holes is great! Very stylish.

Posted by Peg Prather, Vancouver, WA about 11 years ago


Great ideas.  It's easy to suggest that framed personal photos sitting on bed tables, bookcases, etc be packed but when they're hanging on the wall it presents another "task" for the seller.  Finding coordinating fabric to replace the photo is a quick fix.  thanks for the post

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 11 years ago

Great idea Cynthia. Even taking a large Canvas and paintingit with a range of shades in a specific hue works well too.


Posted by Isabel Gomes, Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont (Gomes Design) about 11 years ago

Hello Cynthis-I knew you were a clever gal and know I see I was right. Pretty clever idea my friend. Thank you for the tip. Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. Have a wonderful week. <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 11 years ago

Very clever.  Cynthia - I have heard of Hercules Hooks... (which are deceptively cool)... but I live in a house made of solid plaster walls.... so woe is me.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Peg, Thanks for the compliment, a stylish alternative...I like it!

Hi Kathy, I couldn't agree w/ you more, it's a quick fix. Thanks for the visit!

Hi Isabel, We must be on the same wave length. I'm painting on a silk remnant!

Well well, my friend from VA stopped by to see if this blog was yet another post about me making a fool of myself. Thank goodness no, but you never can tell what the future will bring. Stick around it's bound to happen soon ;o) Hello Sharon so good to see you & thanks for visiting me today!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Dang Alan, you snuck in on me! You know there are some stagers here who deal with those fab plaster walls. So pretty to look at but a bugger to repair or hang art on. They may have used those super duper command hooks.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Neat idea.

I've asked sellers to remove the wall of family photos and it has got the house sold. 


Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 11 years ago

Hey my fellow Ohio friend Maureen, always a pleasure to see your smiling avatar! I suspect it's the holes they leave that have the seller resisting at times.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Cynthia-I stopped to see you not if YOU made a fool out of yourself. Don't you know you couldn't do that with me. In my book you are tops. While it did make me smile and I loved picking on you about it. I would NEVER look at it as making a fool of yourself. Just a honest mistake that anyone could make and we just laughed and smiled about it. Doesn't get any better than that I think. I hope you are having a grand old day. Me, yesterday was my adventure day and today I've been working since 7 am and not done yet. ENJOY your evening beautiful lady. Catch ya next time. <BIG WARM SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 11 years ago

Cynthia: I really like what you did with the fabric. I sometimes use hand made paper in the same way. I buy the hand made papers (from all over the world) at art supply stores and book making suppliers. The fabric looks great too. I have a lot of fabric swatches and bits left over from interior design jobs. I'll have to put them to good use as suggested above.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) about 11 years ago

Your idea is great. I've told owners to take out their photos and use old wall paper, cloth swatches or landscape photos they have taken instead of their family.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) about 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia...This is a very attractive alternative to the family photos. 


Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) about 11 years ago

Morning Sharon, working since 7? Stop it right now & go smell those flowers you photograph so beautifully!

Morning Michelle, I absolutely love the handmade paper idea, I tried making my own. What a glutton for punishment I am! Please come back and post a pic of your idea, I'd love to see it!!!

Morning Janice, Look like great minds think alike ;)

Morning Kathleen, I hope you'll find the idea useful. Thanks for the nudge ;) !!!


Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago


This sounds like a neat idea and I will be sure to pass it along to my clients.  Thanks for the tip.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) about 11 years ago

Well hello Don, It's so simple so do pass it on. Thanks for the visit!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Morning Cindy,  great idea.  I have so much scrap fabric in my inventory that this would be easy to accomplish.  I'm also big on buying inexpensive frames in bulk for applications like this. I have purchased many 11x14 black frames with white matting (8x10) for $5 each at Walmart regularly.   Thanks for sharing. 

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) about 11 years ago

Cynthia ~ That looks great! And, I love the way you used the same fabric in the top and bottom but just switched the way the pattern was running.  Very clever and affordable!

fabulousFeatured in Staging Crafts & Creatives

Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) about 11 years ago

Great job Cynthia, doesn't make the buyer feel like they are in someone else's house.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) about 11 years ago

I've been using this idea for quite some time.  Makes for a nice and easy transformation for very little cost.  I also like to get in with wallpaper companies - when a book is discontinued, most wlll just give them to you for free.  All you have to do it ct it out of the book and voila, instant art for no cost.

As for frames, I have like to visit garage sales and 2nd hand stores.  Usually all you need a quick coat of paint (a quart will go very far when painting frames) and you have a new inexpensive frame.


Posted by Melissa Beaudrie about 11 years ago

Thank you my friend. I did stop. See I always listen when somebody tells me what I need to do. <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) about 11 years ago


Hi Cynthia:

I think that HGTV has helped us in this area.

Usually when I ask sellers to de-personalize, they understand and do so...

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) about 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia, this is a great idea and very stylish as well.  It's unbelievable how many people get distracted by personal photos in a home and look at them in fascination rather than at the home itself.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) about 11 years ago

So sorry I haven't responded to the comments earlier, I've been under the weather lately.

Hi there Ginger,I'll have to check out those matted frames at Walmart, thank you for the idea!

Hi Kathy, thanks for my purty blue 'Fabulous', it always puts a smile on my face! I also liked the cheap cost effective way of using the same material twice ;)

You are so right Jack, that's what I was hoping to accomplish.

Melissa, I tried this with wall paper but didn't get that rich effect I was looking for. Thank you for your suggestion.

Hi Sharon, glad you took a break.

Hi Toula, I still have the occasional client who is resistant, it's usually because they are reluctant to move.

Hi Silvia, Yes you so right because I have found myself getting caught up in checking out the photos when house hunting!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

How creative!  Thanks for sharing the idea with us  who are not quite as resourceful

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 11 years ago

Sorry to hear you were under the weather.   Hope you are feeling better now!  Great post with a fabulous idea.  I love the fabric you chose.  I'm a fan of dupioni!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 11 years ago

Great way to get instant art. Thank you for your creative ideas!

I've also seen leaves and twigs used before but that sometimes runs the risk of little crawly critters getting stuck in the frame and becoming an unfortunate part of the art!

Posted by Janis Gaines, Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H (Staging Sells Eugene Homes) about 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia, Now I know you are resourceful in many other ways after all you're a successful Realtor!Thanks for visiting the blog.

Hey Sharon, Thanks for the well wishes my friend, you are a sweetie :) I love dupioni too! Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Janis, I think it's a great inexpensive idea for someone who doesn't have art also. I've experimented w/ dried leaves that were sterilized and it looked cool. I like Michelle's idea using handmade papers too. Thanks for the visit.


Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Cynthia, I just read your comment on Alan's "drive in movie" post and completely cracked up laughing! Have a great week!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Thanks Russell, I hope your week goes well too!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

How did I miss this !!

Great post with great ideas ! ....I am going to bookmark in case my sellers have a skinny piece of wall to fill :o)

Cheers Cynthia !

Sheldon :o)

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 11 years ago

Well Sheldon my friend, I'm not sure how you missed this masterful piece of wonderment! LOL This also works great if your client needs a bit of color on the wall and have no art to fill it!

Cheers Sheldon, thanks for the visit!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago


That is a really creative solution, anything to make the process easier for the client!  Another idea would be to use gift wrap!

Designer Economics!!!

Posted by Jennifer Jensen (JBJ Staged 2 Sell) about 11 years ago

Hi Jennifer, so sorry I have taken this long to respond to your comment. Thanks and I hope things are going well with you and your business.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Cynthia, I'm sure everyone reading this will now be looking for fabric & wallpaper to add to their inventory, because we will surely need it.. I was at Ikea today and they had the most fabulous fabric ( and so reasonable )that is for that specific reason, they even display it in frames all over the restaurant and bathroom facilities area.. Check it out if you go.

Posted by Luci Terhune, NJ Home Stager 973 896-6489 (Bungalow Home Staging & Redesign) about 11 years ago

Hi there Lucy, I haven't been to an Ikea in years so thanks for your information! It's now on my list, thanks for the visit and comment.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago


This is a great idea and a very affordable way to de-personnalise a home and/or to cover up those holes in the walls.  Thanks for sharing.  I love the textured fabric you chose which are shown in your photos.  I am glad I ran across this post.

Gerry's AR signature

Posted by Gerry Khatchikian, ASA, TRC, SFR about 11 years ago

Hello Gerry, Thank you for your very kind words. I love easy and affordable solutions for the client.

Now if they were a great photographer such as yourself, I would suggest they use some fabulous nature photos! Thanks for the visit Gerry.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Hi Cynthia....what a great idea, they look wonderful and certainly come with a very small price tag.  Gives a nice clean modern look that coordinates well with the surrounding decor.  Nice job :-)

Posted by Gail MacMillan about 11 years ago

Hey Gail, it is small price tag for the look, glad you agree. You know us 'Great Minds' and all that stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

By the way I am still feeling good from reading your blog and will share w/ my husband tonight. It was hysterical!!! If anyone hasn't read it click the link now and have a smile today.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

Love this one...because I love fabrics...textures, colors, patterns... all of it!  Great alternative to scrapbook papers for a higher end look, that is a problem solver as well!

Posted by c m about 11 years ago

Thanks Cheryl, You are spot on, I needed a higher end look and this fits the bill. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago


That's a great idea!  I use Ook hooks for the same reason you use Hercules.  Tiny hole, no damage.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 11 years ago

Well Mike, Nice to see you and glad to read your Ginny's feeling a bit better.

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

I've never seen a house decorated with family photos that looked good.  Trying to convince them of that, however, is futile.  I usually tell them that we want people looking at the house, not their lovely family, and they understand that. 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Morning Barbara, I completely understand your statement. I sometimes get that look of 'How dare you ask me to remove my Aunt Sadie's backyard barbecuemoment photo." But after I explain the why's, the client gets it and we pack Aunt Sadie away for the time being :)

Thanks for the stopping by!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch about 11 years ago

I had to remove all the pictures in a 4,000-sf home that I was selling back in 2001. What I did was go to the local rug store and bought lots of inexpensive but unique rugs and hung them on the wall. The buyer who bought the home liked the effect so much that he bought all the rugs and left them hanging exactly where they were.

Posted by Not a real person almost 11 years ago

Very creative idea Rusell, I love rugs and tapestries on the wall, must be the texture that one is not used to seeing that makes it so unique. Congrats on selling the 'stuff' along with the property!

Posted by Cynthia Bartch almost 11 years ago

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