On my recent visit to Blackberry Farm, I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with the enormously talented designer, Miles Redd. Miles, known for “his quirky brand of cozy glamour” happens to be the creative director for Oscar de la Renta Home (Hello…can we get that line at Target? Please?). He’s also been listed on the Architectural Digest annual top designer list too many times to count. Bottom line: If you get a chance to chat with him, ask lots of questions.
So, I was pretty excited to have a chance to talk with Miles about how and where he finds his inspiration. The answer: anything and everything. He is always watching — whether it’s fashion, fine art, fellow designers or pop culture. He filters all of this inspiration through his viewpoint to create gorgeous, surprising and chic spaces.
I was taken by how much credit he gave the designers before him, he said something to the effect of, “…in the world of home design nothing is new.” He uses that foundation for inspiration and reinterpretation. After one encounter with Miles I was revved up to get home and change things up a bit.
He recently published The Big Book of Chic, a glorious coffee table book that mixes his sources of inspiration with literary quotes, art and of course, his amazing spaces. This baby is not called the big book for nothing — maybe I should have mailed my book back to Santa Barbara instead of lugging it through airports during storm hell 2014? Does a forced bicep workout count as a silver lining?
It was worth the haul, because perusing all that chic sent me into a tizzy. One sofa session with The Big Book and I immediately wanted to create a richer look all over my house. It’s good to want things, right?!? I resisted the desire for a new Louis XV secretary or to lacquer an entire room.
I went the simpler and inexpensive (i.e. free) direction and narrowed my focus (it does happen every now and then) to the family room bookshelves. It’s where my cookbook collection lives and it’s gotten so disheveled — I blame it on Amazon. With Miles on my mind, I fiddled for a few days and finally figured it out. Next up, I want to tackle the girls’ room, maybe with a little lacquer…
If you’re ready to spruce things up a bit, here are a few tips:
Personal items that mean something to you make for beautiful vignettes. Always choose personal, memory-filled accessories over mere “things.”
For small flower arrangements, look in your own backyard. There are many great, long-lasting plants and flowers such as bougainvillea, lavender and even box hedge.
Find a focus to bring an underlying sense of thought and uniformity. Here, I focused on color to pull it all together, but made sure there were some “pops” of interest as well.
Have fun! Focus on one small area at a time and let yourself play a little. Now, I smile every time I walk by these bookshelves and I’m inspired to tackle more nooks in my home.