Monday, June 18, 2012

Miles Redd Shares His Inspirations for The Mint Museum Design Syposium

The Mint Museum Auxilary is a fund raising powerhouse. Their design and social events attract top designers and toute la Charlotte. Last year, Oscar de la Renta, and his home furnishings creative director, Miles Redd, graciously led the centerpiece fashion show event and design symposium respectively. We attended the design symposium to hear Miles Redd discuss his approach to interior design furiously scribbling all the insights we could gather. Sponsors Circa Antiques and Garden and Gun Magazine could not have been more generous. Despite tornado warnings and much of the South flattened during the previous evening, we took off down the road to see the maestro! Sadly, due to a blogger glitch the post blew up after about 6 hours, so as I was looking through my photo files for inspiration, I decided to resurrect this wonderful presentation.

Taking his inspiration from both photography and fashion, Redd conjures the glamorous style days of the 30's and the 40's, occasionally creating a swinging 60's aesthetic. This fabulous mirrored bathroom was salvaged from David Adler’s Armour Estate. The entire bathroom was found in a restoration yard and was once featured in a Robert Altman movie. It might be the best bathroom in the world. 

Miles evokes this legendary photograph, which requires some attribution, anyone want to chime in? Miles Redd is not in the business of decorating rooms, he is in the business of wrapping a set around people for the drama, mystery and glories of life of life to unfold. The room below inspired his own apartment. If you have ever experienced an unhappy moment in La Grenouille, I don't want to hear about it. 

The post war ambiance and sheer glamour of this legendary dining experience, define and inspire the signature "cozy glamour" aesthetic, that Miles Redd practices. In his wildly popular living room in New York, Redd places the La Grenouille style banquettes in a colorized curated clutter.

If Syrie Maugham, Dorothy Draper, and Frances Elkins did a room together, it might look like this. Or, if an Englishman moved to Hollywood in the 30's, you might have this glorious, and swanky pad. Miles creates interiors that are reminiscent of the "devil may care," romantic Hollywood regency era. 

 Audrey Hepburn and Art Buchwald with Simone, Barbara Mullen, Frederick Eberstadt, and Dr. Reginald Kernan, Evening Dresses by Balmain, Dior, Patou, Maxim's, Paris
If Redd cites a single inspiration for his decor, it is: Richard Avedon 1944-1977. When a fashion house expands its oeuvre into the world of interior design, the ingredients for the perfect marriage are present. Oscar and Miles are a synergistic pair and Redd's interiors reflect the flirty, feminine, and timeless elements of the de la Renta atelier. 

Miles Redd's house in NYC via NYSD
A vestibule outside of the powder room and a Venetian mirror. The wallpaper is custom deGournay.

 Image: Zuma Press
Oscar's Flamenco Spanish ruffles on a billowing skirt, create motion in this stunning Spring 2010 gown.

For his Sister's living room, these flouncy drapes could work for Scarlet O'Hara, in a New York minute. 
Or, she could wear this Oscar creation.
 Dorothy Draper signature stripes

Miles Redd with DD stripes and signature lacquer cabinets

This Miles Redd designed house in Houston, featured in Veranda has sensational Hollywood Regency dressmaker draperies, repeating a pagoda entry to the house. Strong graphic statements mixed with a soft, yet colorful palette, anchor this large space. For once, we have an unapologetic grand statement, but, with a light Fred Astaire heart. You could be romanced in this room, sung to in this room, and fall in love with the leading man of your dreams--in this room. It is no surprise that Miles Redd studied set design at NYU.  It is a prelude to a kiss. Inspiration is not imitation, and Miles Redd was generous to share his educated and trained eye with us. Fashion designers create beautiful interiors, and Coco Chanel is no exception. Redd illustrates his inspiration. 

Coco Chanel's apartment in Paris is a spactacular pumpkin colored space with baroque and organic elements. Miles Redd shared he loves certain elements in this room and repeats them, if appropriate, in multiple projects. The horns and classical busts are a common motif in Redd's accesorizing.  Below we have Redd's treatment. 

Like Frances Elkins, Redd mixes contemporary, European, American and Chinoiserie with plenty of color, accessories and punchy graphics. He often collaborates with traditional architect Gil Schafer, who shares the philosophy of time-worn easy comfort. Miles confided to us that he would have used a stronger shade of orange on the walls, but was restrained by the client.  His creativity fuses multiple strands of influence creating layered interiors with a vocabulary of continuity. 

Again, Redd explains that his clients were struggling with a dark hall, and while it seems counter intuitive to use a dark blue shade on the walls, the lacquer and the shine on the bold graphic floors creates a bold, dazzling modern statement that holds our interest. The heavily carved mahogany entry table and flanking side chairs add a layer of patina. As a counterpoint to the modern Dorothy Draper settee and mirror,  the combination evokes history continuity and honestly, confidence. Notice the beautifully finished and painted door. Dorothy Draper was famous for her marvelous doors, and Redd follows suit. 
Thank You Oscar and Miles
for your wonderful support 
of the Mint Museum in Charlotte! 
You might also like: 

To purchase any Oscar de la Renta furniture
contact us at Dovecote Decor


  1. Liz I absolutely adore the striped Oscar dress! Miles Redd is a genius!

    I have a New Giveaway from Serena and Lily you will love!

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  2. I heard Miles speak on a panel at the D&D this past week for the Wall Street Journal. He has amazing taste and style! Love this post...

  3. What a gorgeous post combining interior design and fashion! Miles is one of the most exciting designers out there today and I'm so happy to know a little more about his work via your post!

  4. Hi Liz!

    I met Miles when he was about 19 and worked at John Rosselli.....I knew he was a complete genius even then!
    It is a fact; any bad memory at La Grenouille would have to be Scrooge!
    I am proud to say that my "water broke" in the taxi leaving there; of my baby who is now 41! She was born April 2,1970!

    I think it is still the most beautiful restaurant in the world!!

    Love your post; and we are all so lucky to have Miles in our world!



  5. Wish I had been there - I just ADORE him - and Oscar as well. His interiors are indeed so evocative and layered - you know there is a working mind behind them. Ah to be decked out in Oscar living in Miles, designed by Gil - a dream come true!!

  6. Well you can see my comment from last year!! And I feel exactly the same now!!

  7. Nothing to add to the other comments except WOW!

  8. This is so fabulous! I adore Miles Redd and his design aesthetic!

    Art by Karena
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  10. Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer,

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