Using art to elevate your home

One-of-a-kind artwork creates a sense of luxury while letting you express your own style

Article by Todd Haight

Photography by Simran Bajwa (photosbysimba.com)

Originally published in Troy City Lifestyle

When it comes to home decor, ya gotta have art. But have you considered original art?

It’s a powerful and personalized way to express yourself while elevating your home design. The question is, where do you begin?

“You don’t have to research artists or search for the perfect piece. Find something that’s interesting to you, something you think is beautiful,” says Karen Marderosian, Owner of TRA Art Group in Troy. “A great piece of art can live on its own and complement what’s around it. So, even just starting with a piece that has an aesthetic you like will be inherently a reflection of who you are.”

More people are integrating color and personality into their homes with original artwork rather than reproductions, says Gallery Director and Art Consultant Cristine Sankbeil.

“You may not want the same artwork you’ve seen in your neighbor’s home or even your doctor’s office. With original pieces, no one else has what you have, and that makes it even more intriguing and beautiful.”

The sisters-in-law recently acquired TRA, which was founded three decades ago. The gallery offers high-quality, one-of-a-kind creative works in a range of mediums – painting, sculpture, prints, paper, metalwork and forging.

TRA represents talented artists from around the country, many of whom are local or have close ties to Michigan. Hundreds of pieces are available to view on-site at the gallery, which is open to consumers and designers alike. It’s led by Cristine’s eye for matching environments with the appropriate work.

“Art doesn’t have to follow a specific style. You might like one piece that’s more floral and another that’s more abstract. Cristine can bring it all together through color,” says Karen. “She can see and understand how pieces will look in the space you’re trying to create, based on your vision and overall taste.”

Coming into a gallery for the first time may seem intimidating, but it quickly becomes a fun experience as you discover artists, investigate the range of styles and colors, and realize the art you’ll be adding to your home is truly one-of-a-kind.

“It’s more original and has never been seen before,” says Cristine. “That stirs a lot of interesting conversations when guests first experience the artistic environment you’ve created. It ultimately makes your home much more inviting.”

It often helps to see art in place, so TRA will bring pieces to your home or office so you can assess the size and impact of the works within your own space. Clients often discover that what they liked in the gallery, they love in their home.

The gallery’s professional installers make sure artwork is at the right height and well-integrated into the environment, so finishing the project is easy. “We’re there to help through every step,” says Cristine.

“Last week, a couple came in very nervous at first, but before long, they were going through our inventory, pulling art from drawers, and just loving it. Everyone should have that experience. Come explore and see what you like.”

TRA Art Group is located inside the Michigan Design Center, 1700 Stutz Drive (suite #29) in Troy. Call (248) 404-7337.

“You may not want the same artwork you’ve seen in your neighbor’s home or even your doctor’s office. With original pieces, no one else has what you have, and that makes it even more intriguing and beautiful.”

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