Designer Portfolio: Miles Redd
Miles Redd is one of those designers whose name has become synonymous with a specific style. To me, his work evokes the bachelor apartment of an eccentric aesthete, some kind of lovable uncle character from fiction who is always drinking rye and saying “old boy.” Redd’s mixture of antique furniture and art, his masterful arrangements of objects, and, above all, his rule-breaking riot of color, contribute to his singular vision. Despite his constant envelope-pushing, we can see some common elements throughout his portfolio, many of which can serve as inspiration for our own projects and dreams.
The most obvious element of a Redd interior is color. Redd uses richly saturated jewel tones the way most decorators use white paint. In Redd’s interiors, a high-gloss finish often mitigates the heaviness of the deep wall colors (images 2-5).
Redd will often echo the wall colors in the furnishings, while not necessarily matching them exactly. A glossy peacock blue living room, for example (image 2), contains two velvet chairs and a lampshade in similar hues, as well as two pale blue cushions on the sofa. Antique blue-and-white Chinese stools in a foyer (image 3) pick up the royal blue of walls without looking too “matchy.”
Redd seems to love to showcase two strong colors in an interior, including blue and orange (images 2, 6 & 7), blue and red (images 3 & 8), and brown and red (images 9-12). He is not afraid to use patterns, like leopard print or florals, as neutrals (images 12-14). In rooms with “quieter” walls, Redd replaces saturated color with another point of interest, like a glossy painted ceiling (image 15), or faux-horn trim offset by a shock of red (images 9 & 11).
In these more-is-more interiors, Redd layers color, texture and even things, arranging artwork and objets in appealing vignettes that look effortless. He clusters antique paintings and prints on salon walls, and hangs mirrors in front of well-stocked bookshelves. A common motif is a round mirror, often a convex mirror, opening up the room or providing another reflective surface.
For those of us enamored of Redd’s style, his portfolio gives us license to experiment with colors, textures and patterns. His work is a reminder that interiors can be fun, maximalist feasts for our eyes.