A few weeks ago I had the honor of having dinner with Miles Redd, courtesy of Schumacher. I am still pinching myself! In case you don't know who that is, he's a fascinating interior designer with a dramatically chic style. His love of animal prints, upholstered doors and bold colors leave you constantly looking around the room at all of the magical decor. Within every fun and exciting room is style, class and something unexpected. The following day he gave a relaxed design Q&A with Schumacher, one of my favorite fabric companies. He also happens to carry a fabric line with them. Here were my takeaways from both experiences.
Go with your gut
This screams Miles Redd. He is known for bold colors and wildly creative interiors. But at the end of the day, they all look so timeless and classy! You know what you like and if you feel strongly enough about it don’t question yourself. Just do it. In the words of the incredible Bunny Williams, “if you love something, it will work. That's the only real rule.”
Answer every call and email
After having dinner with Miles, it is no surprise that he feels strongly about this. He was so kind, humble and truly interested in whatever you had to say. He keeps a small staff (just four!) as he was advised to stay small by fabulous creatives before him. There is no doubt that he can keep a staff this small because he truly respects and needs each individual. People respect others that respect them. Answer their calls (promptly!) and let them know they are important and necessary for the completion of the project.
Design takes time
This really resonated with me in my own business. So often I get caught up in the early stages of a project and give unrealistic timelines. This leads to me spending late nights and long weekends to meet deadlines because I always hold true to my promise. Whether you're using a designer or doing it all on your own, just remember that design takes time. It can’t happen immediately. You may be able to pull the trigger on a few items right off the bat, but for a truly beautiful, curated look, it will take time. Don’t get caught up in buying everything you see in the Pottery Barn window. Yes, they stage it exquisitely, but your home will end up looking like a staged interior, rather than a beautifully crafted and lived in home.
Reuse old wooden pieces
Guess what NYC…. Miles Redd goes through your trash! Kidding. But for real, he was a huge proponent of reviving old wooden pieces, such as those you might find thrown on the curb in NYC. So often we get handed down dated furniture from our parents or grandparents. While at first glance we may think it needs to go out in next week’s garbage pick up, think again. I believe that a lot of furniture today is not made with such craftsmanship as they did centuries ago. Of course I have amazing vendors I work with and know their artistry is out-of-this-world fabulous and truly heirloom quality. But I think in general more furniture was built with that love and skill decades and centuries ago, than what we have offered today. Furniture gets dated, but the bones are solid! Paint it a wildly bold color, change out the hardware or add a beautiful marble slab on top. The options are endless!
The answer is ALWAYS sisal
If you’re one of my clients and I didn’t suggest you purchase sisal (or something similar) for your home, please call me out right now. This is my go-to and, honestly, I’m not sure I knew the answer of why until I heard Miles speak. He was asked how he keeps such formal looking furniture, décor and fabrics so casual and livable. “The answer is always sisal”. So go out there and purchase that velvet sofa and leopard print chair, because you can still create that comfy casual vibe through the natural fibers of sisal!