Thursday, December 17, 2015

A budget bath makeover-before and after

Between the multiple visitors coming this Fall and selling our house, we decided it was time to give the ugly second bath a facelift.
You will see no marble or high-end finishes here this is a budget makeover. I'll let you in on the jaw dropping cost at the end.
First some before shots that were taken before we moved in.

This view is from the hallway

This is standing in the door from my daughter's room
 This small bath is separated into two rooms and is accessed from both the hall and my daughter's room. I would have liked  to change that but the time involved is just not worth it unless we stay here.

The view from what is now my daughter's room. Check out that awful floor.

The junky medicine cabinet was replaced with a towel ring and new towel bars were added.

All of the doors in our house have been painted black. The walls are SW Repose gray at 75%.
A new shower curtain  and curved rod helped freshen the look too.

We re-grouted and caulked the tub and replaced the hideous vinyl floor with a wood look vinyl. A light fixture next to the shower was also changed because the old one had corroded as did the previous shower curtain rod.
We did not replace the vanity, faucets or light above the vanity. I think the faucets might be switched out in the future but this was enough of an upgrade for the moment.
The cost was $350 for the new hardware, flooring, paint and shower curtain!

Friday, December 4, 2015

A few posies to brighten the day

My favorite time of year to buy flowers is when the days begin to get chilly. The bright colors and greenery erase the gloom in the air.

 I buy my flowers at various grocery stores. Years ago, I worked for a florist that owned the distribution center for the area and the grocery stores got the best flowers first.

I often buy fresh flowers and photograph them for some inspiration for paintings. I find that they are more often than not a primary inspiration.

Last year I used roses for my Christmas eve dinner centerpiece.

I also used roses in several places around the house this year for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Let's catch up

Bless me readers for it has been 6 weeks since my last blog. 
I went to Catholic mass for the first time in years this Sunday so that is my joke for the week.
To say I have been busy is an understatement. Lots of wonderful things that I must keep under wraps for the moment have been in the works. 
 Oh and painting.. I have done a bit, though not as much as I would like. I have been striving to make my nudes more like my abstracts. 

We have also been working on the house.
I will have a guest bath update soon.
This week we hosted two big dinners. They involved cleaning like crazy, having not exactly enough beds, ironing tablecloths and napkins, washing china, and cooking way way way too much food.

I went with the chargers and real silver for Thanksgiving but two nights earlier my husband's family descended as did our college kids. It was a flurry of happy activity and massive amounts of food (and wine) that called for a more casual table.

All in all, it has been a rather productive 6 weeks for me and I hope someone is reading this after all this time.

Check back soon for that bath update on a budget.
Also subscribers to my newsletter (see link at top right) will be receiving notice of a private sale for subscribers only before my January price increase. Sign up!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

High Point Highlights

I spent two days in High Point NC last weekend for the bi-annual market. I was so fortunate to partner with CR Laine, a high-end furniture manufacturer, whose huge showroom was host to some of my artwork. CR Laine has a line of upholstered furniture designed by Tobi Fairley as well as other offerings and partners with Woodbridge furniture, Fromental and Currey and Co. lighting to name a few.

I spent several hours in the CR Laine space on Saturday and then attempted to navigate the the shuttle and Market Square showroom across town. I met with artist Alexis Walter and Linda Donohue as well as the girls behind the brand the Blush Label. It all took far longer than I estimated so it was a scramble to get back across town to the book signing for Jullianne Ellerbe Taylor's book DesignHer at the Wesley Hall showroom.

Vignette at the Wesley Hall showroom

Selfie with me and Julianne Taylor

It was great fun having some of the people in the book there to chat with and sign my copy.

Me and Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living wrote the foreword.

I chatted with Dana Gibson (no photo) and Kelli Ellis, both featured.

Kelli Ellis and me

I had a "moment" with Meg Braff and Amal Kapen.

Amal Kapen, me, Meg Braff

It was so much fun! 
With Leslie Moore

Me, Traci Zeller, Lisa Mende

Sunday afternoon CR Laine hosted there party and it was non-stop chatting with old friends and new contacts in the design industry.

One thing I learned is that the lighting in showrooms is meant to flatter the products not especially people. There were many photos that did not make the selfie cut and some that should not have.
It was a very long, lovely day that ended with me driving home and arriving after midnight.
Monday morning was a slow start and I decided to get a better look at the DesignHer book.

Imagine my delight upon seeing my artwork in the feature about the founder of Cotton and Quill, Mary Catherine Folmar whose fabric and trim was used by Lisa Mende in her Shophouse kitchen and breakfast room last April.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oh hey, it's a SALE on

Still life with pears 48 x 36

Tell your friends! I am having a 30% off sale.
I don't do this often but I hope to be moving soon and I just need to lighten the load. 

Coquette 48 x 38 oil on canvas

Here is everything you need to know
just go to  ( or click available work on my homepage) and use code OCT30 to receive the discount.
It is not just small stuff. There is one 48 x 60 and several 36 x 48 sized paintings.

I will be adding more in the next few days too.
Questions? Email me at and ask away.
Don't forget to tell your friends!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Charlotte Urban Home magazine-Traci Zeller

Design: Traci Zeller Photography: Dustin Peck Art Kerry Steele 

This past summer my friend and designer, Traci Zeller asked me for some artwork for her Homearama house. Homearama is a series of luxury houses that are furnished and decorated by area designers and they are open to the public for a short time. The house was just published in Charlotte Urban Home.
Traci's work earned the Best Overall Design. Let me show you why.

Design: Traci Zeller Photography: Dustin Peck Art Kerry Steele

Design: Traci Zeller Photography: Dustin Peck Art Kerry Steele

Each bath and powder room were equally impressive.

Design: Traci Zeller Photography: Dustin Peck Art Kerry Steele 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Project tidy update

My zhush is done. Is it a profound change? No, but it does make our life better. It was a snowballing project. I estimated a week tops to do everything. Uh... its been six weeks.
I went to remove the love seat and clean, only to notice the dearth of belongings and total crap my college girl left behind. I emptied her closet and noticed that it looked pretty beat and I should paint it. I decided to use leftover SW Faint coral from the dining room and living room ceilings. I did not have enough. Ugh! and I needed to paint the trim, closet hanging rods and shelf.

You may remember from my original project tidy post that I wanted to get my computer off the kitchen table. (Guess where it is now.) and set up a new play area for my six year old.
After a weekend visit from my daughter (a week after class started) I was able to put things back where I wanted them.

It is fantastic to have corralled all of her stuffed animals and to be able to just leave the easel out for her.
It will be quick to change when my daughter has a school break.
It was an absolute godsend when I woke up on a Saturday morning with a nasty cold. I laid on the bed in relative comfort during sheer misery while my daughter drew pictures and played without sitting in front of a TV.
One thing that only kind of works is keeping my laptop upstairs. It spotty and has resulted in only slightly less clutter in the kitchen and breakfast room.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Dear Frontgate

Please stop making up words.

 It's not as cute as you think it is to smash words together making a new one.
Your so called "Barmoire" is lovely though. It would make a nice addition to my house.
Sincerely, K

That's all I got folks! Have nice weekend.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Feeling trad

Yesterday, after an audible sigh, my husband said, "You want all traditional furniture, don't you?

"So you've gone over to the old side?" he continued.

Yes. Yes I have and I want nothing more in my house than chintz slipcovers, old wood, and a few fussy and/or crusty accessories. I want no more slick mid-century pieces. No more eclectic mix ala Domino or Lonny. I want cozy, practical and pretty things.
You? Do tell.
This post is created especially for Raina, who I think has the same longings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Summer into Fall with art

I don't exactly change my decor with the seasons. Maybe my choice of tablecloth varies by season but nothing specific. The seasons do inspire my artwork though.
I have been using my vacation pictures, both old and new, to inspire a series of casual, almost primitive set of watercolor paintings.
The beach scene above sold in the blink of an eye via social media but I am working on more.

These sailboat paintings are a tiny 4 x 5 mounted on 5 x 6 rag board.
It is pretty tough to think about warm, cozy Fall when the temps are still in the mid-90s but I was asked to contribute to an October show at the Corner Gallery in Norfolk, Va.

The theme is color and form so I have three figures just waiting for hanging day.

Incorporating colors I rarely use is a good way to stretch artistically.
This abstract has the summery title, "Tigerlily" but I think the colors bridge the gap between the seasons.

How do you decorate for Fall?