Interior Inspiration with Design & Diplomacy

We chatted to Nicole Langelier of Design & Diplomacy who shared with us her hanging art 101 tips and gave us a great insight into styling property for sale.

About Nicole of Design and Diplomacy

Nicole and her husband Tim – a former Senior Australian Diplomat, founded Design & Diplomacy in 2015. Design & Diplomacy is a Melbourne based property styling and interior design company that services all of Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs.  Originally from New York, Nicole holds a BFA in Product (furniture) Design from Parsons School of Design in New York, and a Masters in Interior and Living Design from Domus Academy in Milan.

Nicole’s creative career spans many design disciplines including interior design, property styling, prop styling for advertising and editorial, set design, and furniture design.

Having lived on 3 different continents and worked in many of the world’s major cities over the past 2 decades, including New York, Milan, Rome, Los Angeles, and Melbourne – Nicole has a unique and global eye and a refined style which draws upon her international experience and expertise.

Hanging Art 101

From Nicole Langelier:

Art is a styling essential, but do me a favor and take it off your ceiling please!

It’s a real rookie mistake, but you would be surprised at how many people hang their art way, way to high.

You want the middle of your art to be at eye height – I know everyone is a different height, but the average mid height to hang at is 150 cm.

There are exceptions such as when you hang art above a piece of furniture or a bed – you need to make sure the art clears the pillows so you may need to hang it a bit higher. If you are creating a pretty little corner or reading nook with a chair, you may want the art to be a bit lower so it relates to the chair.

Clusters are a great way to fill a wall when you don’t have large art – 3 or 4 fingers of distance between them should be enough – they still need to relate to each other.

Interview with Nicole on all things art, property stying, inspiration and style

How do you feel about art in the home?

Art is the glue that ties the whole property together. Contemporary photography is really big right now and it is a very versatile medium – it works in most properties and has the ability really elevate the overall feel of the space.

Why and how did you get into property styling?

My background is in furniture, interior design and photographic styling for advertising. I am from NY and I lived in Milan for 5 years before moving to Melbourne. I have had design businesses in both NY and Milan. Property styling is like interior design on speed and a little bit like styling for photography which is usually done in a day. It is the perfect career for me as it is fast and furious and requires me to always think on my feet. It is incredibly creative and never boring. I get to live vicariously through the homes that I style – each one is different which makes life rather exciting and fun.

Describe your design aesthetic/style?

My personal aesthetic is eclectic, vintage and quirky. For me it’s important that my home have a sense of humour along with great pieces of design. I like to mix unexpected things including furniture art and objects that I have collected throughout my life and my travels.

Why is property staging important?

Selling and buying property is very emotional, therefore you want to appeal to the emotion in the perspective buyer. By beautifully presenting a home for sale you are painting a picture of an idillic lifestyle and appealing to the emotional buyer. Styling a home can net you many tens of thousands over reserve price – we estimate that the average return is 15 to one for every dollar spent with D&D on property styling.

What are your top 3 tips for property styling to sell?

1. Kerb Appeal – making sure your priority looks it’s best from the outside. Make sure to clean windows, paint the house, stain the deck, plant flowers and mow the lawn, clean the gutters, etc etc. Do whatever it takes to make the property look fantastic from the street. The outside of the property is the first thing people will see when looking for a new home  whether they are driving by or looking on line, so it’s vital that it looks great.

2. Declutter – Cleaning inside is as important as cleaning outside – It is a real turn off to many perspective buyers to see the vendors personal items scattered throughout the property. The key to the emotional buy is making the property look like a beautiful home without it looking like YOUR home. You need the perspective buyers to envision themselves living there and that is really difficult to do if your crap is all over the place! Move out and store your belongings elsewhere if you can so you can have the property styled once and looking perfect throughout the campaign.

3. Move out – Your new home may not be ready yet, but if you want to get the best bang for your buck through property presentation it is best to leave the styling to the experts and to give us a clean slate. Our clients always get the best result when they are not living in the property and when we are able to supply all of the furniture, art and accessories. Stay with your mother for the campaign or get yourself a short term rental.

Favorite place to go for inspiration?

I really like going to the NGV – and in particular the kids exhibits. They are always so creative and interactive which I love. I take my little nephews and it’s inspiring to see them engage in their creativity and really getting into it.

Favorite One Fine Print and why?

It is difficult to pick because I like them all for different reasons, but Graze 1 really speaks to my quirkiness. It was in the wind of the One Fine Print Pop-up shop on Smith street where I first met Lizzy and heard about One Fine Print and it lured me into the store with its beautiful silliness.

Still life photo of bananas with blue blackground

Want to learn more?

Design & Diplomacy together with West Elm will host a comprehensive Real Estate Styling workshop next Thursday 8th September at the West Elm Chapel Street store. For more information and book your tickets here.