Artwork decision

Years ago my uncle gave me a set of 10 beautiful drawings as a birthday gift. For the longest time, I kept them in a box tucked away in my closet and for one reason or another I never put them up. This year, I’ve been thinking they could match my Airbnb apartment nicely. I need to add artwork for my guests and unfortunately I don’t have a budget to buy new pieces. Plus I wouldn’t mind adding a personal touch to the art I use for the apartment. As a note, my Airbnb place is not where I live full-time so if I put the drawings up there, they’ll be enjoyed mostly by guests, not me. In any case, the situation I’m finding myself in is that I’m hesitant to use the drawings for decoration because they just mean too much to me. They’re not sketched by a world-reknown artist and do not have a high monetary value. But they are very unique and pretty much impossible to reproduce and recover if there is an unfortunate case of one or several of them disappearing or getting damaged by a guest. What are the chances something will happen to the drawings? Am I being overly attached because of the sentimental value these drawings have for me? Should I decorate my Airbnb apartment with them or set them aside for my own place and save up and decorate the Airbnb apartment with artwork later, once I have a budget for it?

How would you feel if they were damaged or disappeared? The answer to that question should tell you what the right answer will be for you.

Less expensive options might be, taking some pictures, having them blown up and framed using cheap off-the-shelf frames. Or buy some frames with nasty art at estate sales.


Like @smtucker said, they’re too personal to have them damage. Even by accident.

My friend buys beautiful books and frames the photos. You can also use images from unsplash which is a free stock photography site with great photos.

Download, print and frame them.

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Hi Skylar

Nowadays - it’s super cheap to create artwork. You can use some of your own photography and print it onto photography paper, using wrapping paper etc for cost effective options or there is always somewhere like IKEA.

I presume you can also tax deduct the cost of any artwork against your listings.

If they have sentimental value use your Uncle’s prints in your own property.

Can you make, or have made, digital copies of the originals? That way, you could keep the originals and your guests would still get artwork.


I disagree with the other comments - you had the artwork tucked away in a closet where it was doing nothing. If you’d had a flood or a fire the artwork could have been ruined. You would have lamented the loss, had fond memories of your uncle and his generosity, and you would have moved on.

What is the worst that could happen if you put the art up for guests to enjoy? A piece gets stolen? I’ve hosted over 3,000 bookings, probably double that amount if I counted it up correctly, and I’ve NEVER had anything taken off of a wall, and don’t even think I’ve had anything taken - or at least anything of real sentimental value. I even have laptops and kindles in my places, and they stay where they are put.

So if it’s not a real “theft” issue, all that’s left is damage. Maybe someone slams a door too hard and one falls off the wall? It’s unlikely that the art itself would be damage, just the frames. So you can reframe one, or if they need to match, update all of them with new frames.

I used to have treasures tucked away, like a hand-made crochet tablecloth that was my grandmothers. What am I saving it for? To drape over my coffin? Now I use it in one of my listings all the time - it gets stained, it gets a bit torn and needs a repair, but man do I get comments from guests on it.

I say get that art out of the closet, and on the wall.


Gotta say I agree with superhostnyc on this one.


@superhostnyc, I can’t say I’ve hosted thousands of guests, but in my modest experience, nothing really disappeared from my apartments as well. And I’ve also left a few tech items a time or two back in the days when I shared an apartment with Airbnb guests. Yet the most I’ve had missing in 2 years was a towel or two here and there. Plus the drawings are not worth anything to anyone else except me. And at the same time, I don’t enjoy them in my apartment because, well, they mismatch my style. So yes, I’ll be using them in my Airbnb place and I can’t wait to get the compliments on them, just like you did on your grandmother’s hand-made crochet tablecloth. This was the decision I wanted to make. I just needed to hear it from someone like you. Thank you.

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@Evelyn thank you for bringing up unsplash. I’ve used them for digital work and didn’t think of creating brick-and-mortar artwork from their images but I surely can. A lovely idea!

I agree with superhostnyc. You’ll hear the same thing from the decluttering and organization gurus too. Having something tucked away and not in use doesn’t honor the object. Put it out and enjoy it!


I have a one of a kind calligraphy that a friend had done for me in Suzhou, China in my guest room right now. But I live on site and I’m not terribly attached to things no matter how much I love the people who gave them to me. If you are afraid the originals will go missing then you can frame digital copies of them.

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I’m a working artist and I have paintings all over my home! I rent the entire home. Some are small enough to to tuck into a suitcase but no issues! Some guest have been very complimentary and then some have never mentioned them----

I agree. I have several relatively expensive pieces and have never considered that anyone would take one. For one thing, it would be so obvious that something was taken. Save your money and hang the pictures.

Leave them out AND put little price tags on them

There are several locking mounts for art on the market. Here is one.