Farmington/Farmington Hills Gazette May 6, 2002

Local Decorator Uses Creativity, Own Rules To Spice Up Homes

Forget everything you've learned about decorating your home. Toss out all the rules, color charts, and do's and dont's and put on your creative caps.

At least that's what Jeanine Matlow, owner of Conversation Pieces in Farmington Hills, does when helping her client with their home decorating projects or even when decorating her own home.

For Matlow, decoration is all about imagination and comfort. The rules that magazines and decoration gurus preach are not for her.

Her sense of style is her own, and that's what has made her business a success and leaves her clients begging for more.

Her home is a testament to her creative outlook. She uses it as a model to show her clients what they can do with theirs.

While her taste can be described as contemporary and somewhat eclectic, Matlow is versatile and is always looking for bargains that will compliment and add charm and style to any home.

"I like to make things functional," said Matlow. "I don't believe in having rules in anything creative."

For instance, walking into Matlow's living room, one is greeted with a restaurant sign that invites visitors to take a seat. In one corner stands an eclectic old father clock and in another a large-size painting of an advertisement that Matlow commissioned a friend to replicate because she simply liked it.

Conservatively furnished with comfortable couches, the living room showcases a variety of items that Matlow has picked up from flea markets and wholesale stores.

"If I like something, it almost calls for my name," said Matlow. "I don't care about the value."

Matlow does not like to waste anything. Her living room is accented with various pieces that she transformed into workable objects, such as an old pair of roller skates into a CD holder, or a wooden box of cigars into a magazine holder.

"I am very open-minded when it comes to decoration," said Matlow, who carries her open-mindnesses to her clients home.

Having a degree in psychology has been a great asset to Matlow.

Her ability to listen to her clients needs have enabled her to assist them in turning their decorating wishes into reality.

"I never criticize anything that a client has," said Matlow. "My ideas hopefully can work with any budget and any space."

Matlow said that she is more of a consultant than an interior decorator. She assists clients in decorating their spaces or for real estate showings.

"I love an element of surprise," said Matlow. "Every room has a different style. I don't agree that color has to follow...if I don't absolutely love something, it's not on display."

From apartments to small and large homes and condos, Matlow's decorating sense can accommodate any budget or any taste. She works with various local talents that help her add to her resourceful repertoire of ideas and information.

Matlow lived in New York before moving to Michigan a few years ago.

After working in marketing and sales for Ford Motor Company, she decided to follow her love for decorating and open her own business.

She teaches decorating at various community schools and holds seminars at galleries and stores around the area.

For more information, visit Matlow's website at


Article written by Mary Peters and reprinted courtesy of the Farmington/Farmington Hills Gazette (May 6, 2002).