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Designing Woman

Joan Peters Osterville

Portrait by Amanda Wastrom

Joan Peters of Osterville shares images of the Cape and islands with the world

There are many different ways to inject color and vitality into a home. Paint provides a foundation for the background. A specific color scheme, upon which a design plan is either deliberately or subconsciously built, is another. But perhaps one of the most personal and expressive ways is with the art that is chosen for a space. The residents who choose and are grateful to call the Cape and Islands home often elect to repeat, inside their home, the many iconic images and scenes that make this area special. The mere action of gazing at representational art, particularly of images from our coastal community, has the transformational power of transporting you to that place and season.

Joan Peters, who found herself on Cape Cod in 1975 as a single mother with four children to support, turned to the talents she possessed in order to carve out a living, and spread the beauty of her art in the process. “My father said to me after I divorced, ‘Joan, you love the Cape, and you are smart and talented. I think you should move there and figure out a way to raise your family.’ So that’s what I did,” she recalls. Peters, a graduate of the former Vesper George School of Art in Boston, is a commercially trained artist. At the time of her move from New Hampshire to the Cape, she was painting lamps to coordinate with fabric for the Neiman Marcus catalogue, a very desirable design trend of the era. In 1979 she opened a shop in a retail alleyway off of Main Street in Osterville, known as Designer’s Walk, a name bestowed by Joan and still in use today.

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