Could I possibly love Miles Redd any more?
I didn't think so until I opened up the most recent issue of House Beautiful!
The New York apartment decorated by Miles Redd in these photos is beyond fantastic. If I could eat it with a spoon, I would!
HOUSE BEAUTIFUL: Where does your love of bold color come from?
MILES REDD: "My mother was from Williamsburg, Virginia, and I grew up in an 18th-century Colonial house -- think Queen Anne dining chairs and sofas, wing chairs, Pembroke tables, and butler-tray coffee tables. Are you getting the look? So maybe my love of the exhuberant -- stong color and high-style madness -- is a reaction to her sensibility."
HB: Did you always want to be a decorator?
REDD: "Not really. In college I was a film major. I wanted to be a director, but I never wanted to move to California. Any movie with someone in Chanel robes lost in a fabulous hotel with a Baroque garden lights up my senses."
HB: What movie would you shoot in this Manhattan apartment?
REDD: "A Hitchcock film -- maybe Rear Window. I could see Grace Kelly lounging on one of the velvet sofas reading Harper's Bazaar."
HB:When you walk into this place, where do you imagine you are?
REDD: "It's always felt like Babe Paley-just-back-from-Morocco, but there's also a crispness that seems very American."
HB: Babe doing preppy exotic. Is she your decorating role model?
REDD: "I'm a great believer in studying American greats -- Babe, Albert Hadley, Oscar and Annette de la Renta, Bill Blass, Brooke Astor -- and pushing their ideas a bit forward. I look at all periods, all styles, but as you can see by the studded upholstered doors, I do love that certain 1930's New York City glamour."
HB: You don't have to convince me. Your website bio has a photo of you in a mirrored room, leaping into the air -- in a tophat and tails. Was that your homage to the Hollywood musical?
REDD: "No, that's just me knowing what makes a great photograph. I admire Fred Astaire immensely, but I do not have his gifts."
HB: Perhaps you translate what he does with song and dance into color and texture?
REDD: "That is hugely flattering and I hope I do!
I'm not afraid of gutsy colors and new ways of putting things together."
HB: Like that wild mix of colors in the living room?
REDD: "Who'da thunk that lime green, golden yellow, and violet would all work together?
But the color makes more traditional pieces look fresh. In a corner of the room, there's a Regency breakfast table that we painted to look like a green faux-tortoise. When you take a staid piece of furniture and put an unusual finish on it that's brash yet sophisticated, it feels modern and American. But you need strong decoration to go with it. Every room needs at least one good thing. For instance, in the Elizabeth Arden-red library --I call it the man cave--the Venetian mirror does a lot to carry the room."
HB: That room is a riot of color. How did you arrive at the palette?
REDD: "We started with the rug which has all of the colors -- olive, black, red, and bright blue. It's easy to build a room from the ground up. If you get your floors and walls right, you can stick anything in a room and make it work. The ikat pillows have all those bold colors, and it all works. I love red and green together. Often a little bit of blue will twist that color combination so it doesn't feel like Christmas. And there's no shade of blue I don't love."
HB: The living and dining rooms are oases of pale lacquered aqua.
REDD: "It's my favorite color. The dining room in Axel Vervoordt's 12th-century castle has light blue walls displaying Chinese porcelain, a look we loved and tried to replicate in this dining room with the brackets and celadon porcelains."
HB: The daughter's bedroom is a worldly take on the all-American red, white, and blue, right down to that "brash and sophisticated" dresser you painted.
REDD: "I wish I could claim that I did it, but I'm afraid I can't. We found the dresser that way. But as an accent we did paint the school chair yellow to match the lamps."
HB: By contrast, the master bedroom is neutral.
REDD: "Not everything has to scream color at you. I was inspired by the Coromandel screen, which was one of the first things we bought--we built the room around it. The palette was drawn from that."
HB: You have screens in several rooms. Why?
REDD: "I can't do anything without screens. They do so much in terms of shifting a sense of space. Those peacock blue felt screens divide the living room and dining room. The rooms are still open to each other, but the screens create cozier, tucked-in corners."
HB: What makes a room luxurious?
REDD: "When someone understands how to live and how to arrange a room, and everywhere you look there is something beautiful. When it has a sense of drama--a cinematic quality--and you want to spend time in it."
1. SITTING AREA/LIVING ROOM: sofa covered in "Vesuvius" by Clarence House, and Empire fauteuil sits on custom Moroccan rug from Metropolitan Carpet.
2. DINING ROOM: Celadon vases on plaster brackets, bleached midcentury dining chairs in Edelman leather, dining table finished to look like inlaid ivory. Walls are lacquered in pale aqua by decorative painter Agustin Hurtado.
3. BREAKFAST TABLE/READING AREA: Regency breakfast table painted to look like green faux-tortoise, tall screen in Pollack's felt "Vilano."
4. LIVING ROOM: Fluted plaster applied to the Sheetrock adds architectural presence
5. END OF HALLWAY: Gilt-wood fronds, print, neoclassical bookcase end of windowless hall
6., 7. MASTER BEDROOM: wallpaper is de Gournay's "Earlham, bronze Giacometti-style chair, antique Coromandel screen, painted faux-horn bedposts, canopy made from Zimmer + Rohde "Holbrook" cream silk satin
8. CHILD'S ROOM: door upholstered in Moore and Giles "Echo" leather, walls in Schumacher's "Balloons" wallpaper, painted Louis XVI-style commode, school chair painted yellow to match the lamps.
9., 10. LIBRARY: carved-bone lobster, coffee table inlaid with ebony, ivory, and tortoiseshell, walls in "Cuba Libre" linen by Stark; velvet-covered "Climate" sectional from Dune, Venetian mirror reflects a Warhol hanging above flat-screen TV
"The big, bold strokes of a virtuoso"
-- all images and text via HOUSE BEAUTIFUL