Friday, March 25, 2011

Miles and Miles of Inspiration

I don't think he needs an introduction.  Honestly, as "blogged about" as he is, the more I read, the more I am intrigued.  A man and his work rooted in tradition, with a very effortless yet intentional yet unexpected way of using color, layers, objects, and furniture that are high and low, and a design that is perfectly timeless; in my eyes, quite an achievement, and I am a painter, NO designer.  Mrs. Blandings did a fantastic interview with Miles, here that I enjoyed a lot, a must read.   

What I love about Mr. Redd and his work is he doesn't see decorative painting as a trend.  In his work he uses decorative painting to enhance something ordinary to make it extraordinary.  The finishes that he employs are in fact decorative and not "faux"(no sponges or tissue paper involved).  From my perspective, he seems to really appreciate the craft and artistry of it all.

I did some research on this particular room because I did in fact recreate it for a client about two years ago.  So subtle but, so striking.  Something that I really try hard to achieve in my work, if I hit it, I don't lose sleep. 

From House Beautiful:
How did you get the inspiration for ivory walls and horn trim?
Givenchy, the old couturier, has a little low horn table in his house on Cap Ferrat that I've always loved. I always thought it would make a great decorative paint finish. And I've seen faux-ivory boxes all my life — I just borrowed the technique for the walls. I take so much from history, but the way to create fresh decorating is by using it all in a new and different way.  
Painted Ivory square walls and horn trim
via House Beautiful
Horn trim
via House Beautiful
Faux Tortoise painted table
via House Beautiful, April 2011

This table is from my parent's storage unit.  This could easily be a flea market, garage sale, thrift store or estate sale  find.

The real question is why can't it be as fabulous as the Miles Redd Tortoise table?  No reason!  With a little imagination you can make the ordinary into the extraordinary!


  1. I so agree with you about decorative painting (not "faux" w sponge, etc.). I look at it as another part of the design and decor- as much as the furniture, etc.

    I've admired the ivory / horn finiah since I first saw it. Is that what you recreated for a client? Subtle elegance, you know?

  2. Love Miles Redd. Discovered his design work through another blog, so I'm happy he's blogged about so often. Totally agree -- decorative painting is definitely not a trend as it has existed in design throughout history. Looking forward to seeing the end result for your table!

  3. Oh, woweee...this is going to be amazing. CANNOT WAIT to see your finished product!!

  4. YES PLEASE. I can't WAIT to see your take on this---and we've been talking about this since we've been "talking" so I have months of anticipation behind me now (and I know you do, too!) It's going to be fabbbbbbb!