From the cozy confines of her cotton farm, Kathy Miller manages to cleverly combine her passion for art with her everyday life. Taking cues from her bucolic surroundings, Miller finds beauty and intrigue in the simplest of subjects ranging from a single cotton blossom to several stems of hydrangeas. With style and panache in spades, she takes ordinary objects and casts them in a different light. After just a short visit, it’s clear that for Miller grace comes naturally and beauty seems effortless.
Whether working on her home or on a canvas, Miller has a special knack for finding beauty in the details. Even the smallest space in her chic farmhouse sports a dash of the unexpected, without ever being over-done. Indeed, the Miller Farmhouse (situated just inside the Auburn city limits) combines classic-design sense with unusual accents. Upon entering the home, guests are immediately drawn to items like the generously sized grapevine chandelier hanging in the informal sitting room. Throughout, the home is accented with a blend of both fine fabric and animal-skin rugs. The end result is something that might best be dubbed “Farmhouse Chic.”
Miller and her husband Robert inherited the home from his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ward, and worked to fuse the best of old and new. Vowing not to alter the home’s original footprint, the couple set about renovations.
“I definitely like to re-purpose and re-use,” laughs Miller. “In fact, the mirrors in the sitting room were once windows, the lights in the bathroom came from the old Loachapoka Elementary School and an old barn now serves as my studio.”
Simple touches like a paper flower pinned to a lampshade or a basket over-flowing with cotton blossoms bear witness to Miller’s eclectic eye. In the master bath, an over-sized French bread basket serves as an artful linen holder. The basket is a treasure from one of Miller’s trips over-seas, proving that this Alabama girl can find inspiration anywhere from the farm to France. “Italy and France were definitely dream destinations,’’ confirms Miller, her eyes sparkling at the mention.
Though never formally trained, Miller began painting about 15 years ago and set about selling her work in earnest nearly six years ago. She also takes regular workshops and classes from local teachers, like artist Jo Ann Williams Walker. Miller’s hard work and natural talent have landed her in half-a-dozen southern galleries, including The Villager in Auburn. “The folks at The Villager have just been great to work with! They run a professional operation from top to bottom, and I am honored to be able to sell some of my work there,’’ confirms Miller.
Due in part to online sales, reasonable price points and her work’s naturally broad appeal, Miller’s creations have sold to patrons across the country and abroad. In fact, the Miller home has attracted attention of its own, having been featured in Romantic Homes Magazine. Both accomplishments prove that Miller has been successful in seamlessly integrating her passion for art with her everyday life.
Visit www.kmillerart.com to learn more or visit local venues like the Villager in Auburn, Angel’s Antiques in Opelika or High Cotton in Alexander City.