According to wikipedia: Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects ones senses and intellect. As I often say here on this blog, interiors done well equal a true lifestyle. And what is a lifestyle? A home that inspires and influences your mood!

My biggest arsenal when decorating: ART.! I cannot tell you what makes a piece special, or why one costs more than another, but I can tell you that art, like a well lived life, influences your mood, and emotions. Nothing can make a home more personal or special than the art that you put in it.

Case in point: Three years ago my hair stylist went to Alabama for a weekend get away with her three sons. Before this trip her and I had many, many conversations about interior design and art. “Why oh why does art need to be so expensive?” she’d say. “And why oh why would someone pay thousands of dollars for it?” “I just don’t get it!” she’d screech.

Well on this particular trip she found herself immersed in the art district (thanks in part to her eldest) and like fate, she was whacked in her flabby dabs by a sculpture that made her weep. Never had she experienced such emotion over what she’d declare as “an absurd blob, deemed as art for a ridiculous price”. Her three sons, 17,19,and 22 years of age had never seen their tough, single mother cry in such a way over “an absurd blob…deemed as expensive art.” Those boys worked out a deal with the art dealer and saved for an entire year to buy that sculpture and gave Tracy (mom) an absurd blob on Mothers day 2010.

To this day when I tell a client that very story my eyes well up with emotion. Not only did the sculpture bring her to tears before she owned it, but now knowing how important it was for her sons to buy that art for her, it means ten thousand times more to her now. Those three gentlemen not only negotiated a deal with the art dealer to make payments for a year, but worked as a team to save up $3800 for their mama to have something extraordinary!  How many young men do you know that would do that?

Art may seem like an absurd amount of money. Or it may be completely reasonable. But have you ever cried in the middle of a Target because a pillow or vase was just too much? Or screeched with laughter in the middle of a Costco because you were so moved by their Starving artist plate series? Probably not. Genuine art moves us in ways that cannot be explained. And each piece speaks to all of us differently. What peaks my interest may put you to sleep. What is important about art that speaks your language is that living in a home that screams authenticity rather than HGTV, allows you to live your best life.

Every time Tracy passes, “Three Sons” (her blob named after her sons) in the entrance of her home, she cannot help but smile from ear to ear. When she is having a bad day she sits with it, and on a good day she speaks her praises to it. Art transcends and transforms you. Just like Music, it can completely change your life. And sorry ladies, but plastic ivy from Michael’s, or a cheap vase from TJMAXX can’t do that!

Art by Carl Plansky

This beautiful piece of art (shown above)  from Carl Plansky, compliments of, Young House Love, is a beautiful display of using art correctly. So many homeowners feel that they have to put tons of stuff in a hallway to make it pretty. Beautiful, large art is the perfect compliment to add a splash of color, and interest. And I don’t know about you, but this piece would definitely elevate my mood!

Here, in the Living green in Green Hills show house I placed this beautiful piece of art in our hallway to add a wonderful splash of color, interest and whimsy. This painting was such a success, Marabeth, the artist, got more attention and acclaim than anything I did with the interior. The interior designer, whO?? But as luck would have it, Marabeth and I became wonderfully close and this past April she and her husband decided to move to Hawaii and as a gift to our friendship she gave me her most famous trademark piece,”Wonder”, that now hangs in my conference room:

Gates Interior Design

For three years I would randomly call her up and tell her the studio had been robbed and the only thing they took were her paintings. Of course it was a cheap effort to get a piece of her magic, and a quick giggle amongst friends…..although I was tempted many times to take one home to see if she would notice. My efforts finally paid off and I swear I go into the conference area all the time with Harley just because it makes me so freakin’ HAPPY!!

Your home should influence and uplift your mood. It should breathe every interest you have and show you off. Nothing does that better than Art. It doesn’t matter if Suzy down the street doesn’t agree with your selection. If that piece of Art changes your mood for the better, your day will be more productive and in harmony with your intent. That my friends is a lifestyle!

Do you have a favorite artist, or painting that you love?


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images: Young house love,