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Kirsten McLean--An Art Give-Away!!

I wanted to highlight one of the remarkable artist that I represent at Segreto's art gallery, Kirsten McLean!! Read at the end how to win an original!!  She is attorney, wife, mother of two, and artist.  Kirsten started painting "out of necessity" - she and her husband had moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and like most newlyweds, were working with a small decorating budget. Originally she purchased paintings from consignment stores with the intention of just modifying them to her personal style; however, she kept finding herself unhappy with the the look and began creating her own pieces.  Thus her art career began!! Having a love of paint she has made and refinished many of the pieces in her own home! I just had to share!

 This room is beautiful with two of Kirsten's pieces of art featured in the room!  Beilieve it or not these slip covers are custom-made from painter's dropcloths instead of linen - not only do they look great, but they are very easy to clean.


The wonderful lamps are Kirsten's creation!  Having the shades, Kirsten purchased these garden finial ornaments at an end-of-the season sale.  She assembled the lampshades to her new makeshift bases with a lamp kit from Bering's Hardware, and at approximately $12 a piece(not including the shades), she created these fabulous new lamps! 

The entrance showcases another masterpiece!!  Working with oil and acrylic, she is able to achieve multiple layers in her work.

 Kirsten also made this table in the entrance.  After purchasing the reclaimed wood from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber (an on-line resource for custom-sized wood), she painted it white and used sandpaper to distress it. To prevent chipping, she sealed it with a varnish and then affixed it to the table base she found at a salvage yard. Purchased for $85, this wood piece is 2 inches thick with a 12 inch depth. Because it is reclaimed wood it already has character and could be left as is. Resale shops, garage sales and antique stores are also great places to find the bases. Just beautiful!!

 Kirsten defines her design style as "clean, simple lines, understated, and comfortable". Because she hates clutter, she applies her mantra to every room in the house - "light, bright, and airy". She believes in mixing old with new, having an organic element and a living plant in every room, and never falling into the "matchy-matchy" trap. Her favorite stores for design inspiration? Mecox and AREA.


 Her home is like walking into an art gallery with her art being the feature!!  Her family loves that there is always change and looks forward to her next piece. Kirsten has updated the look of this secretary by adding the architectural elements on top giving it height and has lined the glass with bamboo shades so she is able to use the piece for storage! Brilliant!!

Her den is so serene! The natural lighting, living plants (a staple in every room!), and combination of soft green and blue tones create the feel of an outdoor room.  The depth of Kirsten's artwork is achieved through several layers of paint and patience, but the end is result is definitely worth the wait! 

One of her best finds in the house are these old "church" doors that she bought from AREA's booth at The Urban Market. They had been salvaged from a church in Louisiana, and after purchasing them at an unbelievably low price, she claims them as one of her favorite decorating pieces.

 A true queen of DIY, Kirsten takes common objects and puts her own spin on them. On the far left, Kirsten took ordinary wicker balls that you can find at at Pottery Barm, Marshalls, West Elm, or Target, cut the wicker away leaving a black wire frame exposed. Spraying the frame a light brown, she created unique one-of-a-kind acessoreis for her table!!   The center candle holder was a broken piece of concrete she found while taking a walk in the neighborhood.  On the left what looks like an antique planter is actually a galvanized tin from the hardware store. Her secret? "Spraying things with a mixture of bleach and water instantly ages them"... Amazing! 

Her kitchen island was created from a portion of a table purchased at Wildflower Organics in Austin - one of her favorite places for design inspiration and we can definitely see why! Kirsten loves color and how it can totally transform a space - these green chair covers have such a nice pop against the neutral backdrop of her kitchen. The woven baskets function beautifully as both storage and a natural element. And of course, so home would be complete without pictures of the ones we love the most... her son, Quinn, and daughter, Spencer, are too cute!

 If only all of our laundry rooms were this chic! Kirsten created this lamp from her son's old wire storage basket, pendant lighting from Home Depot, and an Edison bulb. She is currently working on 3 more small ones for her kitchen in high-gloss white... what a great excuse for me to come back and tour!

 Her dogs, Lucky (a 10-year-old black lab) and Blue (a 1-year-old yellow lab) wanted to get in on the photo shoot!! 

I'm drawn to anything pink, so I just fell in love with this painting! The splash of color adds a bit of femininity and energy to the hallway.

Since her paintings serve as the pop of color in a space, Kirsten keeps all of her walls neutral so that she can switch art around as she feels like it. 

Another aspect of her design philosophy is having a blank wall in every room (notice on the far right!). Because cluttered spaces can exhaust a person, Kirsten tries to evoke a relaxing atmosphere by giving a wall for your eye to "breathe".

A dream bedroom for a 12-year-old girl! Kirsten's daughter, Spencer, balances these paintings with the orange dachshund pillow and her own works of art (see below!). She does get attached to some of the paintings, so Kirsten - never short on ideas - came up with a generous solution: she gives Spencer a small cut of every painting that sells off her wall!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Budding artist Spencer followed in her mom's creative footsteps and made this sign all herself... She spray painted the peg board purple and assembled it with these letters from Urban Outfitters and MAI. She funded the entire project start-to-finish with her allowance money. Interested in doing a similar project? Kirsten recommends Texas Art Supply for their amazing selection of colors!

The butterflies were made by Kirsten's friend, Alicia Kowalski, an anesthesiologist who moonlights as an artist. So fun!

Apparently Spencer isn't the only one with a dream bedroom in this house! The master feels like a spa retreat!!

 This painting in her bedroom and master bathroom create the interest in these spaces... fresh orchids really give that organic element in any space they are in!

How could we not pay tribute to the project that started it all? This cowboy painting was purchased from a bargain basement sale at a furniture retailer. Kirsten liked the structure of the cowboy and felt he possessed a quiet strength, making it the perfect addition to their Texas-themed gameroom. Her one complaint was the busy background, so paint brush in hand, Kirsten set out to simplify it without taking away from the aspects she loved. Although she often thinks about re-painting it, it remains a sentimental reminder of decorating her first home on a tight budget with newborn Quinn in tow!

Thank you Kirston for sharing your home and all your great ideas!! Your work and your home are marvoulous!! All these works of art are for sale as well as the pieces at MAI2 and Segreto Studios.  To view more of Kirsten's work go to under the gallery tab. For more information call 713-461-5210.  Thanks to my wonderful design assistant Micah for helping me with this blog!!

BUT WAIT-A WONDERFUL ART GIVE-AWAY!!! Want to own an original piece of Kirsten's? Here's how:

1. Go here to "like" Segreto on Facebook.

2. Look here at Kirsten's paintings on Segreto Gallery website and pick your favorite one.

3. Come back to the blog and post a comment of your chosen one to be used for inspiration if you are the winner.

4. The winner will become the new owner of an original 18" x 18" Kirsten McLean - painting and shipping compliments of Segreto Finishes (must be within the US for free shipping). Good luck!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!! Til next Monday- xo Leslie 

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Reader Comments (22)

I love how large scale each peice is. The beautiful saturated colors of "reflections" is my favorite!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

The center candle holder was a broken piece of concrete she found while taking a walk in the neighborhood.

May 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmart night light

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