Smart Solutions: Art a smart choice for your home

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News
Art adds visual interest to any area of the home.

While attending a reception for a local art exhibit, I was reminded why I am drawn to this particular form of expression that makes up a large part of my home. It’s not just the look of a piece but the way it makes you feel that really matters.  

In addition, a speech at the event that stressed the therapeutic qualities of art, whether you’re the maker or the viewer, also held my attention. 

The fact that my mother is an artist has influenced me and the creative process has definitely been therapeutic for her. The act of painting has even helped her cope with the loss of my sister because it provides a welcome escape.  

I’ve always been surrounded by unique pieces like hers that continue to bring me joy each day.  

Though many of my paintings and prints stay in place, others will occasionally rotate while some still need to find the right spot. Seeing how works are displayed in a public space can provide inspiration for a residential setting.  

Every so often, it makes sense to take a good look at your art to see if it still appeals to you. When searching for a replacement, you don’t have to limit yourself to a look that complements your existing décor. On the contrary, a less obvious choice stands a better chance of making a statement instead of blending in with the other contents of your home.  

Look for pieces that speak to you and pay attention to any recurring themes that may attract you like nature or portraits. One way to get inspired is to visit sites like that feature works by independent artists and unique selections, such as wall murals.  

Remember that all of your art doesn’t have to hang on a wall. You can also look for handmade pottery, sculpture and other decorative objects that lend dimension to your rooms.  

I have a penchant for local artists and I enjoy sharing the stories behind the works in my home when someone appreciates a particular piece. One painting that my husband and I fell for years ago at another event was an abstract painting that would not typically be our taste.  

There was something about the intense layers of texture and color that still fascinate me today as I sit beside the piece while I work. As it turned out, I knew the artist and learned she had been a sculptor before an accident left her unable to sculpt for a period of time, so this was her first attempt at painting.  

Another first attempt that graces our home was done by one of my former interns while she was still in high school. When she showed me a photo of the substantial portrait, I knew I had to have it. To this day, people are amazed that the artist was so young and had never painted before.   

That’s another benefit of surrounding yourself with art. The pieces you display are bound to spark conversations.  

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at