Observer & Eccentric, October 5, 2000
Things, Big Difference
use of accessories solves decorating problems
by Mary Klemic, Staff Writer
things-as in accessories and accent pieces-mean a lot when it comes
to decorating your home, says Jeanine Matlow.
you have a little budget or lack of space, it forces you to be creative,"
the Farmington Hills resident said.
her business, Conversation Pieces, Matlow-who says she's "a
decorator, not a designer"-helps people find creative solutions
for decorating problems, making the most of what they have.
has assisted in such ways as rearranging furniture, helping people
shop, and preparing homes for real estate showings. Matlow describes
her service as a "jump start."
think people have more capability (for decorating) than they realize,"
will give classes through Farmington Public Schools Community Education
Saturday, Oct. 21, and to members of Gilda's Club in Royal Oak Monday,
practices what she preaches when it comes to decorating her condo.
She makes the most of various spaces and pieces, and is true to
biggest compliment (about a decorated room) is that it looks like
me. I really think that's important," she said. "I like
old, I like new, anything from flea market to expensive."
decorating consultant shared a few tips:
you have a collection, spread the pieces throughout your rooms
instead of keeping them together in one place. Don't be afraid
to use special items that are functional. "I like to have
people use things that have sentimental value," Matlow said.
an eye out for multifunctional pieces, such as ottomans that can
be used for storage, nesting tables, and tables with two or more
levels. An advantage of nesting tables is that they offer more
space when needed and yet don't take up extra room in the meantime.
furnishings and other objects in different ways. In her home,
Matlow displays items on the seats of extra chairs ("You
not only are creating an eclectic look, you have plenty of extra
She has placed a statue or plant on a small, simple stool, changing
the stool into a pedestal. Another stool became an end table after
she draped it with a scarf.
Matlow bought and framed a sheet of wrapping paper bearing a design
of books on shelves. The result resembles a trompe l'oeil painting.
crates make attractive storage boxes for books and magazines.
They become instant shelves or bedside tables when stood on one
side, and add height on a surface when turned upside down.
corner area doesn't have to go to waste. Put an easel there to
hold a poster, painting or book.
plate rack can hold soaps and small towels in the bathroom, a
help if you have little counter space there. A coat rack in the
bedroom is a good place to hang clothes at night.
special plates in a dish rack.
an old dresser in a closet for extra storage space.
a decorative screen in front of a fireplace. Arrange framed photos
you feel your home is too cluttered, try editing one room at a
time." Determine which pieces can be sold or put into storage.
"You will notice the difference right away." Another
solution is to rotate the items you have out, changing them seasonally.
who has also done theater-set design, always had an interest in
"arranging things and creative things," she said.
thing got her started in her business. Matlow had a new home and
was surprised when most of the comments from visitors were about
a miniature shopping cart that was among her knickknacks.
made me think the details, the little things...matter," she
said. "I think people tend to struggle more with accessories.
I think that people sometimes stop with furniture."
charges an hourly fee. She has bartered with clients, trading services.
Conversation Pieces at 248-426-8248.
Article written by Mary Klemic and reprinted courtesy of The Observer
& Eccentric (October 5, 2000 edition).