Today, contemporary artist and interior designer Kiki Slaughter launches her first collection of textiles and wallcoverings. The painterly designs, which are translated from her original works, add color beyond the corners of a canvas on walls and upholstery. Slaughter’s quest to achieve “art everywhere” began in her own home: “Like painting, it is all about layers of color and texture to create a balanced and unique composition. Working closely with clients to determine the perfect painting for a space provided a natural bridge to interiors as I began to decorate my own home,” Slaughter shares.
Originally built in 1967, Slaughter’s Dutch Colonial–style home in Richmond, Virginia, was the perfect blank slate to reflect her expert use of color and personality. “Our house has great bones and an easy flow. We bought the house from the original owners who lived here over 50 years so the house had a well-loved feeling about it and was in good shape,” she explains. At 3,886 square feet, the house had plenty of walls, so the artist decided to paint each one to be a canvas for showcasing her artwork. She also curated a mix of furniture, art, and decor to make it feel like a home.
“I believe that children are the best artists.” —Kiki Slaughter
There’s an organic air to Slaughter’s process. Her children were allowed to doodle right on their bedroom walls, and Slaughter had a dog bed crafted from her own fabric when the matching couch took a while to arrive. These abstract art moment pop up in each room, adding ease and comfort to the space. “I am all about covering your space with beautiful things and surrounding yourself with art of all mediums,” Slaughter says. The four-bedroom and four-bathroom home is a wonderland of creativity and vibrant colors that show homeowners how to design outside of the box.
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“One of my favorite hacks was getting my kids to scribble on an old pair of curtains to create something “new” for the dining room. This turned out to be so cool that it actually became the start of my home collection,” says Slaughter. “We turned those curtains into a pattern called ‘Scribble,’ and it was a fun way to encourage creativity with my children and teach them about art as a career. I hope the design will inspire the free-spirited child in all of us.”
Painting: Kathleen Jones. Cake Stand: And George. Chairs and Table: Roderick Coles / Curious Orange @roderickcoles.
Slaughter explains, “My house is a mix of styles, patterns, and colors. It’s a collection of things I love, from contemporary art to family heirlooms to found favorites. Nothing really matches but somehow it all works and tells a story.”
Runner: Ikea. Umbrella Stand: West End Antiques. Stair Runner: Rejuvenation.
“Decorating is a lot like painting. I look at a space like a blank canvas and layer it with colors, textures, and shapes to create an engaging and unique composition. My painting process is defined by mixing different techniques and mediums and I want my home to reflect that same creative essence,” says Slaughter.
Ribbon Artwork: Angela Blehm. Lamp Sculpture: Abby Kasonik. Decorative Envelope (our wedding invitation): Erika Jack.
“I covered my children’s rooms in the patterns they created. Seeing their eyes light up being surrounded by something they made makes my heart happy,” she shares. “I hope that being surrounded by something that they helped make, inspires them with whatever they decide to do in the future. Proceeds from their designs will go towards their creative education fund.”
Framed Kindness Tea Towel: David Shrigley. Flowers + Pegasus: Studio Roof. Iron tree: Kenny Ball Antiques. Colorful Flag Banner: Meri Meri . Fur Throws: Anthropologie (similar). Sheets: Pottery Barn (similar). Duvet: Garnet Hill (similar). Rag Doll: Jess Brown Design. Cape: Lovelane. Play Shoes: Super Smalls.
Shop Slaughter’s first collection today through kikislaughter.com.
Q & A
House Beautiful: How do you envision this collection growing with your home?
KS: I am eager to add to the collection. My head is buzzing with new pattern designs and collaborations with other creatives to expand the collection through additional products. I want to continue to fill my house with art, both my own and others’, whether it be a painting or a beautiful antique. Stay tuned for more designs and collaborations coming soon. I am very excited about custom lampshades to compliment Abby Kasonik’s stunning light sculptures.
House Beautiful: How extensive was the makeover of your home?
Kiki Slaughter: Initially, we painted the entire house. inside and out. We did not move any walls, but totally re-did the main bath and gave the kitchen a facelift. We changed the countertops in the kids’ bath and basement bath and added a laundry room in the basement. And replaced some floors. Otherwise, it was mostly arranging furniture and art. Once I created my own wallpaper and fabric, I recovered several pieces of furniture and installed the wallpaper in three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the dining room.
HB: What’s a memorable moment from this process?
KS: A favorite aspect of my home collection has been collaborating with my two kids. Each child has their own pattern that they created. I believe that children are the best artists. There is something about their intuitive creativity that is magic. I want my kids to know what they can do with an idea–how to create a product, a business, a brand …whatever they dream up. So, I was really excited to get them involved with my new collection.
My daughter’s design is from a pair of curtains I let her scribble on during the Covid lockdown. It’s a beautiful, wild yet composed scribble that makes you nostalgic for childhood. My son’s pattern, Marks, is based on two small watercolors he painted that are composed of beautiful, color-saturated marks. They almost read like a game or a secret language.
HB: Where did the majority of the budget go?
KS: Painting the interior and exterior was pricey, as was eventually covering most of the interior with wallpaper, but it was nice to live in the house for a while as a blank canvas. I think it helped me realize what was missing and inspired me to create art to cover other surfaces. Decorating a house can be expensive so I tried to be creative with cost decisions and prioritize certain projects to not break the bank.
HB: How did you save money/DIY/get crafty?
KS: I was very price conscious when making decisions about our home and am all about creative solutions. We have purchased next to nothing new in terms of furniture for our house—instead, we have mixed and matched pieces that have been handed down to us with items we have collected over the years. I love scouring antique stores or salvaging old pieces from family. My style is what I would call “buttoned-up bohemian.” A mix of eclectic furniture–from Chinese screens and Swedish chairs we cherish from my husband’s stylish grandparents; a table my antique dealer and handy friend made us complete with an old diner stand; and rugs and a camelback couch that bring me back to visiting my grandparents and great-grandparents homes. It somehow all works and also tells a story.
I trade my art with my contemporaries to add to my own art collection. Some examples: Sally King Benedict, Kathleen Jones, Abby Kasonik, and Blackwell Botanicals. One of my favorite “trades” that has a very special place in my heart was from my mentor, Karen Shea Silverman. Her daughter gifted me two of her mother’s works—pieces from the very collection that made me want to be an abstract artist.
HB: What’s a fun surprise about your collection?
KS: One of my favorite hacks was getting my kids to scribble on an old pair of curtains to create something “new” for the dining room. This turned out to be so cool that it actually became the start of my home collection. We turned those curtains into a pattern called “Scribble,” and it was a fun way to encourage creativity with my children and teach them about art as a career. I hope the design will inspire the free-spirited child in all of us.
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Medgina Saint-Elien is House Beautiful‘s associate shopping editor. She covers everything your home is missing. She writes about exciting new launches, hands-on product reviews, shopping guides for every corner of your space, and the “lightbulb” moments in every maker’s story. The writer and poet champions the work of BIPOC entrepreneurs in the design and beauty industry. When she isn’t categorizing memes, she can be found looking at sneakers. Her work has been published in Byrdie, Snapchat, and more.