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It’s True…Art Does NOT have to match the couch

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 under Art, Art Design by Sandy

Inspiration comes from many mediums. For me, this week’s inspiration came from this post I did on Facebook.

735074_10152434432390137_1338663815_n (1)Amazingly, this simple quote “Art does not have to match the couch” went on a viral voyage that enormously jolted my stats; oh the joy of reaching so many people is like an intoxicating elixir.  So to pay homage to what obviously hit home for many, I thought it only appropriate to keep this conversation going…

“Yes – Finally someone said it!  Be Different…your house does not have to look like a cookie cutter version of a Villa in Tuscany, i.e., clearance shelves from Home Goods. Buy unique art from local artists or make your own!”

“I personally prefer dogs playing pool…that matches the dog hair on the couch, but not the couch or any couch for that matter.”

“I was once asked to do a painting that would match someone’s couch.”

“Best comment on appreciation of art I’ve seen in quite a while!”

“ I’ve had to make clients aware of this too many times. You purchase artwork because it speaks to you.”

It is so true; Art does not have to match the couch

Art it’s multi-lingual, interpreted in infinite ways, knows no boundaries, its spectrum endless, and its effects powerful. It comes in all forms — painting, sculpture, objects, furniture — it breathes life, adds depth, and has a very powerful point of view.

The definition of art is individual.  Its beauty is found in the eye of the beholder.  Art can be shocking. Art can be graceful. Art can be thought provoking. Art can be controversial. Art can be a collection of objects. Art can introduce a bold pop of offbeat color into a decor. Art can be the thread that ties a room together. But please, don’t buy decorative pillows to match each hue in a painting. Let your artwork speak, allow it to have a point of view; it’s much more compelling and attractive.


Many times a beloved painting will be the source of inspiration for the design of a room.  The style and era of the artwork may dictate the style and personality of the collector’s décor.  A room may remain very minimal so the art is profound and takes its place as the sole focal point of the space.  Or perhaps a room is very loud with an abundance of color and pattern; this is a place where a quiet work of art is much more effective. Balance is vital. Where there is chaos, you lose focus; your eye should have a gentle place to fall.


In a home where light and windows are not abundant, artwork depicting natural elements becomes the gateway to the outdoor world. Photographs of scenic views, colorful paintings of flora & fauna, or a soothing painting of an oceanic view, breathes fresh air into a less than luminous space.



Art doesn’t necessarily have to hang on a wall. A hand-painted or intricately detailed piece of furniture may take center stage. A powerful collection of paperweights or vintage lighters beautifully displayed is also a form of artistic expression. Sculpture and textiles are also a commanding way to convey life into a room.


Coffee table books are all the rage in the creation of vignettes. But perhaps those books are getting bored sitting around in piles?  Why not bring those gorgeous pages to life? Extract your favorite pages and frame them. I did this for a client. I happened upon an antique book of beautifully illustrated shells and pulled out 20 pages to create a gallery on a very large, focal wall. We selected gold gilded frames and mounted each photo under linen matting; the result was stunning.



The quickest way to elevate an inexpensive piece of art is quality matting and framing.  There are so many options and creative ways to frame artwork so don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, think about lighting. This is the perfect way to make the piece look important and it also brings out the brilliance of the artwork.

When you’re hanging individual pieces of art, be sure not to hang them too high. A good rule of thumb is to hang the center of the picture at eye level; approximately 58″-60″ above the floor.  When it comes to arranging groups and collections, planning is paramount. Create paper templates; arrange and rearrange until you are completely satisfied with your schematic.


Collecting “True” Art is essential for so many reasons. It supports a community of incredibly talented people, and it

gives your space authenticity and credibility.

Eradicate the mindset that “real” art is out of the realm of affordability. There are so many artists just starting out and selling their masterpieces for a bargain. And there are venues to support up-and-coming artists.  Every city or town has art fairs throughout the year, and there are estate sales and auctions; these are great places to start building your collection.

Every home deserves to live vibrantly. The life of a home is conveyed through its contents, surroundings and the memories built within its walls. Art gives a home soul. A Home Without Art is a Home With No Soul.


Take the Art away — Now, how does that feel?



Just Add Water

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 under Aquatic Art, Art, Art Design, Artistic Seaside Escapes, Seaside Art by Sandy


Even as we approach Summer’s end, with travel excursions and summer retreats coming to a conclusion we continue to crave watery locales. Whether it’s the ocean, a lake, river or a babbling brook, there is something so undeniably irresistible about the sites, sounds and smells of the waterways that keep us fleeing to their side.

I realized this week, as I stood next to this realistic piece of aquatic artwork in my client’s home, that it is not only the actuality of water that is alluring, but even the lifelike creation of watery images that induce a feeling of calm.


Sandra Oster Interiors

It’s the masterful hand of the artist, the color palette, composition and scale that brings the sea to life with precision.


Every day is a beach day when you add the imagery of shorelines dotted with perky umbrellas and beach goers frolicking in the water and basking in rays of glorious sunshine. Fine art photographer, Judith Gigliotti captures the spirit beautifully.  Through her lens, these subjects take on an epic quality to the liking of a dream; you can hear the song of seagulls and the laughter of children. Her painterly photography reveals more than just the natural world; her images seem to reveal something about all of us.




Have helicopter, will travel! Globetrotting for unusual beauty; I’d say this is the ultimate dream job, wouldn’t you? A jet setting lifestyle makes every day a getaway for marketer, turned photographer, Gray Malin.

“Shooting from doorless helicopters; from above, a simple beach or pool becomes a blank canvas that allows me to start seeing the world as art. People and objects become patterns creating repetition, shape and form. These photographs are a visual celebration of color, light, shape—and summer bliss.”




Just add water to these sassy ladies and their vibrancy reigns supreme. The lifelike depiction of Nina Nolte’s The Best is Yet to Come will have you grabbing a colorful head wrap and a cocktail and joining these lively ladies.  Her Pool Paintings prompt fleeting childhood memories of chattering teeth and raisin fingers perpetrated by endless hours romping in the swimming pool. Nina’s playful acrylic paintings are depicted in rich and sumptuous colors, and the infinitesimal details expose her characters and settings to a lifelike scenario that happily jump off the canvas.



My watery collection wouldn’t be complete without the hyper-realistic artist, Eric Zener. The darker, saturated color palette and tone of Eric’s paintings evoke a more serious demeanor, whereas Nina’s conjure a more playful vibe.


Zenner’s muse for his paintings, wife Julie, who at one time was a competitive swimmer.  Zenner’s philosophy on water is one we can all all relate to… “I believe there is a universal connection to water and a collective desire for renewal and joy. Regardless of who you are or where you come from we all feel a great sense of ‘transformation’ from the world above when we are submerged in the blue water of a pool or the boundless space of the sea. There is something archetypal about the cleansing effect of water and the sense of nostalgia of our youth when we remove ourselves from daily life and slip away.”  It’s always enlightening to capture an artist in their element; step inside the artist’s studio with My Modern Met.



Are you mesmerized? Have you found a sense of calm? I actually found myself holding my breath as I enjoyed these underwater paintings.  I love how Zenner captures the air bubbles.



Living on a Malibu Beach with a 360 degree view of the water isn’t enough for Courtney Cox. She brought the crowded, sandy beach indoors with this seaside photograph captured by photographer Massimo Vitali.


On those days when you are overwhelmed by the craving of liquid tranquility and you can’t get to a waterside locale, you can sit comfortably in your home and enjoy a stress free, sand free, calm day by the water within your art.

Art has a Powerful Point of View; successfully incorporating it into the design of the home takes thought and skill. As an avid artist herself, Greenwich CT Interior Designer, Sandra Oster designs the homes of many art enthusiasts.  She has a keen eye and natural instinct for conveying art throughout the design of her clients’ homes.  For many, displaying art can be a daunting task, “Ask Sandy” for her design assistance arranging your collection.  Also, take a look at how others have incorporated artwork into their homes.

Happy Decorating!