It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Skirted Roundtable interview, so we wanted to make this one extra special – and it is!  Wow!  Miles Redd!!  Yes!!!



OK, so all day I was nervous as all get out thinking about how I was going to be talking with Mr. Miles Redd, probably the hottest, most in demand interior designer working today.  Moi.  Talking with Miles.  Yep.  In the end, all the nervousness was for naught because it turns out Miles is just Miles, a nice, polite, and ultra sweet southern gentleman.  A real mensch – if only he was Jewish. 


Image 3

Miles doesn’t particularly like to email.  He actually likes to talk on the telephone and call people back – no matter who they are!!!  You want to talk with Miles?  Call him.  He’ll call you back.  He’s THAT nice.  He heads up the chicest design company around, so how many people work for him?   Fifteen?  Twenty?  Try four.  Four people.  And he mentions them all by their names.  As Linda pointed out, that was a first, EVER.

The niceness just goes on and on.  Need a source?  Need a tradesman?  Need to know the color of the paint on his front door?  Just ask him.  He shares it ALL.  But, not the color of his front door paint.  That was a custom mix and he has no idea what color it is.  You know his townhouse - where he lives on a few floors and his married sister lives on the other floors with her family.   But she’s moving out to a bigger space and Miles is taking over the entire townhouse.  He can’t wait either.  He’s scheming and dreaming about it.


Front door

THE townhouse, where design aficionados pay homage to Miles walking by it while visiting NYC.  I’d probably just loiter around it all day, hoping to have him come out and take pity on me and invite me inside for a tour.



The famous Miles Redd skirted table.


Miles has a new book out, and it’s a stunning collection of images.  Pictures that have inspired him are mixed in with photographs of his work.  But sometimes it’s hard to discern what is the inspiration and what is his work - the images are seamless.   Many are new photographs showing  perspectives not seen before. 



For instance, this Houston, Texas house was shown in Veranda.  This angle of the room was the only one we’ve seen, to date.  But in the book – we see another image of the same room:


Houston LR

Here – you can see how the living room sits off the main entry hall.   And who knew that zebra pillow was on the sofa?   And in the book, next to this picture, is the inspiration for the curtains.  Let’s just say – Audrey Hepburn.  Again, who knew?   By the way, Miles lets us know that he is now working on his second house in Houston.  No names mentioned though. He’s not stupid! 

The book is full of visual surprises, one after another.  The cover itself is wonderful, showing his famous zebra and nailheads door:


Big Book of Chich Hardcase 3D Cover HR

Miles claims this zebra door is one of only three original ideas he has ever had.  Yeah, sure Miles – just three?  Originally  he claimed it was just two ideas, but later in the interview he adds a third one.   Yet, he has trouble sleeping – in his dreams he sees fabulous, original rooms that amaze even him when he awakes.



He freely admits this red lacquered and brass library was completely inspired by red library designed by the late, great, Albert Hadley.  Those bookshelves!!!!




There was a lot talk about his mirrored bathroom – where he’s been known to host dinner parties. 



Courtesy of Paul Costello

And how it took the photographer just 15 takes to get this iconic picture, which was Miles’ own idea.  That art-deco, marble and mirrored bathroom – to die for!!!   He bought the vintage room after the museum in Chicago turned it down.  It just happened to fit perfectly in his townhouse.  I’ve always loved the peek at his red socks in this picture that seems almost black and white.

He is such a doll, such a sweet, sweet man, you will fall in love with him and wish you could hire him just to become friends with him! 


Zebra door

Myself, I am just obsessed with the zebra door and keep wishing I had a space worthy of such a fabulous portal. 

To listen, go to the Skirted Roundtable website HERE

Big Book of Chic 3D cover MR

To order Miles’ The Big Book of Chic, click on the picture below:







On yesterday’s Lovefeast contest, I left off the codes for the discounts!!!

Here they are:

15% off all Velvet Pumpkins from 12/1 - 12/31: 



10% off Antlers from 11/19 - 12/12: 


Be sure to use these source codes if you order the pumpkins or antlers in order to get your discount.  If you ordered something yesterday and didn’t use the code, try emailing or calling Lovefeast – I’m sure they will honor the discount regardless!!






This giveaway is the final in a series of three giveaways from our sponsor Lovefeast.  The first giveaway was a set of six pumpkins.   I styled mine with yellow accessories from around my house.  Eventually, I traded my set of pumpkins with my sister – and  ordered the white ones, which match my décor better!
Here are my white ones, much better with my white slipcovers and creamware!   The second giveaway was the Trio Set of pumpkins.  
For today’s third and final giveaway, I set up a winter wonderland tablescape!
I know it’s definitely weird to set a table without having a dinner party, but it’s kind of fun too!
I used the Lovefeast frosted deer antlers as the basis of the centerpiece.  And I used my set of six white pumpkins, along with another set of Hostess Pumpkins – which is a set of six 3” pumpkins. 
Then I mixed in votives and Ben’s collection of crystal obelisks to make it all wintery and icy looking.  Well…I tried!!!
Lovefeast’s Hostess Set of six 3” pumpkins comes in all the different colors, but I’m sticking with the white ones for now.   I’ve been playing around with their antlers and moving them from this table to that.  Everyone who comes over asks about them and my sister in law wants them for her own Christmas table.  If you have a long table, I could see using several sets together lined up from one end of the table to the next.
I used my everyday white plates to keep in the theme and chose not to use flowers, although white roses would have been pretty with it too. 
It is easy to clean up a table when no one has actually eaten there!  Ben didn’t even bother to ask what in the world I was doing. 
It was all great fun until one of the votives popped and cracked open from the heat.  Luckily the wax didn’t spill out.  
If you are the winner of the giveaway, you get the antlers and the Hostess Set of six 3” pumpkins.  Where would you put the antlers?  On the dinner table, on the mantel, or on the coffee table?
This third giveaway is for both one antler AND one Hostess Set of Six 3” pumpkins.
The antlers come in clear and frosted pink. 
The Hostess Set of Six 3” pumpkins comes in different colors.
To enter the contest, just go to Lovefeast and pick out your favorite item that they sell.   Come back here to leave a comment and tell me what your favorite item is!
That’s it!!!
Contest ends Saturday night at 11:59 pm.
Also Lovefeast is offering the following sales:
15% off all Velvet Pumpkins from 12/1 - 12/31
10% off Antlers from 11/19 - 12/12
Go the to Lovefeast web site HERE and find your favorite item and leave me a comment telling me what it is!
Good luck!!
Thanks for your patience.  
Putting the blog on comment moderation was interesting.  Not one comment was deleted – not a single one!!  As I said earlier, the comment moderation will only be used for guest houses, but if the comments continue to be respectful, I might not have to use it even then.   I did learn one important thing though.  The amount of spam comments is amazing.  One day, there were over 150 spam comments alone.   SO, as much as I really HATE to do this, I’m going to put on word verification.  When  you comment, you will be asked to verify the code.  I know it’s a hassle and no fun, but at this point, I really need to try to stop all the comment spamming.  If and when the spamming does end – I will take off the word verification immediately.  Also, if you comment anonymously, the word verification will not affect that, so don’t worry,  you can still comment without leaving a name.  I’m truly sorry to do this, but hopefully I will be able to take off the word verification when the spamming stops!





Photograph from the Aidan Gray catalogue.


Recently,  Randal Weeks and his wife picked the winners of the Aidan Gray catalogue contest.  I have already notified all six winners by email.   As I said, we got a large response from readers who live in all different kinds of houses – ranch houses, houses on vineyards, castles, country houses, lake houses,  suburban houses, and houses in the city.  I’ll be showing the winners along with all those who entered, house by house over the next few months because I think everyone is really curious to see how we all live! 

I know I was thrilled by the photographs.  Reading all the entries made me realize how many of us truly care about our houses – which is probably why you read the blog in the first place.  But more important,  so many of us are truly proud of our houses, which was evident by what you wrote in your entries.   Our houses are so much more than just pretty, they are where we share our lives with the people we love. 

I know I joke a lot about house envy and burning down my house whenever I tour a prettier one, but the truth is…Ben and I have lived here around 18 years now – far longer than any place either of us have ever lived in - and the thought of ever moving away makes us both sad.   There are so many memories here – our daughter grew up in this house – and we raised a lot of cats and dogs along the way.   Actually, Ben and I both grew up here too.  We were in our late 30s, freshly married and new parents back then,  and now, we are staring down 60 – almost a lifetime.   Every corner of our house reminds us of good times and some sad ones too.   And thinking about our future here causes some concern.  Will the stairs become too much for us to handle one day?  Could we add an elevator to the house if we did ever need one?    Will there be room for a mother-in-law to move in?   Would Elisabeth want to live here with her own family after we are gone?   Questions, I have no doubt, that everyone thinks about.



Aidan Gray tablescape.


And so, reading everyone’s entries, I felt your pride and excitement when sending in your pictures.  It made me wish everyone could be a winner – because, in truth, how do you judge the “best” house?    The six winning homes aren’t any more special than the ones that didn’t win.  I came to realize that Randal had specific goals in mind when he picked a winner – things I hadn’t even thought about.  He looked for light and space and he looked at specific corners and hallways.    It wasn’t a matter of which house was the prettiest, it was more a matter of – this house has an entry hall that would work for the catalogue.  Or, this house has a bathroom that would make a good backdrop for a French chair.  Or this fireplace would be great with Aidan Gray sconces flanking it.   In other words, he was very specific when looking at the choices – which probably is why it took him so long to pick them!

Look at photographs from different catalogues to grasp what I mean:



Here is Randal’s living room as it usually is.



And here it is, styled completely different for an Aidan Gray catalogue.  The only things that remained are the mirror, the window, and the coffee table.  The fireplace becomes the most important element in the room.




And here is the same living room – styled as a dining room for a catalogue.  It’s amazing how different the same room looks in each picture!   Notice how important the fireplace is in the pictures.   You can see what I mean when I said that Randal wasn’t looking at what people owned, but rather what angle would look best in a photograph.  It didn’t matter if the furniture you owned was perfect, new, or even if you didn’t have any!  He is using his own furniture for the pictures.   His criteria for the spaces was which one would make HIS furniture look best.



Here, in another catalogue picture is the same living room – this time focusing on just a chair and the sconces.



And here, again, another chair, table, and lamp. 



He styled his dining room for the catalogue, this way….



And that, just by changing chairs and the tablescape.



But most interesting are the studio shots – taken with a rough board floor and a wooden screen.  One chair, a chandelier, a table, and a drape.



A burlap drape makes the space look different.



Here, add new furniture –  for a new look.




And here, a settee, a white drape, table and a chandelier.

You can see how different all of the looks are that I’ve shown – with only 3 different backdrops in all: the living room, the dining room, and the studio corner.  I can’t wait to see what he does with the new catalogue taken in the readers’ houses!


And now, here is the first place winner:



The house is located smack in the middle of the state of Louisiana.  It was entered into the contest by the interior designer who worked with the homeowners on the floor plans and all the finishes.  The house is brand new and the decorating process is just beginning.  Stacey Serro is owner of the design firm “p-l-a-i-d inc.” (which cleverly stands for paint, lighting, accessories, interiors, design) who worked on the house.  Besides the interior design, p-l-a-i-d was involved in space planning, schematic design, architectural detailing, finish selection, millwork design, and furnishings.  Several important pieces came from Paris where Stacey and her clients shopped together. 

The house is located on a large piece of property – where the swimming pool’s infinity edge seems to fall into the expansive pond.   There are also several verandas including one with an outdoor kitchen.  There’s also a hot tub, and an orchard on the property.   Architecturally, the circle is a design element found throughout the house.  You can see here in the above picture, the circles in the windows, the front door, and the attic window.  Another design element is the arch – again found in the windows and main doorways.

Of all the houses presented to Randal, I felt this one would be #1 for several reasons.  I liked the lines, the arches and circles, and thought they would appeal to Randal.  I also liked the large rooms and felt he would be able to take a lot of pictures and have many choices for smaller vignettes.  The fact that it was new and was still being furnished was a plus because it would mean Randal could bring in a lot of furniture without much upheaval.  Still, I was shocked we both picked the same house for #1.  Of all the six winners, I only guessed two as winners!    I’m hoping he will run this contest again next year so that my choices will get another chance at winning!!!



Here is the entry with a marble floor and handpainted wallpaper.  I love the gray tones of the paper and thought that would work well with Aidan Gray furniture.  Also, in each room there is a fabulous light fixture.  Now, I don’t know this for sure, but I do think that many of the fixtures came from Louisiana’s Julie Neill.  They look like the fixtures in her catalogue.   One guest room actually has an Aidan Gray chandelier in it!  As you can see, the dining room is off to the right of the entry hall.




And here is the expansive dining room.  I love those painted chairs and the chandelier!  As you will see throughout – paintings and mirrors were still needing to be hung.  Rugs hadn’t arrived yet and some rooms were lacking curtains.  The owners had just moved in and decorating was just beginning.  I can’t wait to see it when it is completely finished!!!  Notice that the shelves are arched here, a design element that is repeated throughout the house.



Here is the main living room, which looks out onto the veranda with the outside kitchen and the swimming pool.   The room is furnished with French furniture.  At the end is a beautiful marble fireplace.  Notice all the arches here – the doorways and the transoms over the French doors.   This picture was taken on the staircase through the beautiful iron railings – which inspired Randal, as you will see:



Here is what Randal envisions – taking a photograph from this same position for his catalogue.  This picture is a mockup of his plans.   He will add his own furniture, these chairs and two settees and tables and lamp.   You can see how Randal drew out the furniture placement in the living room.   I wonder if when he gets there, he will take other pictures from other angles in the room.  Now, notice on the left side of the room – by the windows – there are sconces and a cane chair:



Here is that window wall – along the back of the living room with the gold sconces and cane chair.  This photographed also inspired Randal:



And here is how Randal envisions this view – with his sconces and a settee and chair. 



And in the living room – the two tufted velvet sofa which flank the carved marble fireplace. 




The kitchen is off the dining room and living room – both through arched doorways.  Here you can see the wonderful large island and range hood with marble backsplash.



Another view showing the range and chandelier. 



The view of the sink – with the gorgeous veined marble countertops.  I love the backsplash with the circular tile motif.  Notice the circle element is repeated here – in the windows and in moldings. 



Closeup of the Wolf range.  The gray hood is so pretty.




The guest room with the Aidan Gray light fixture hanging.  Here you can see the circle element repeated in the window.  



The sitting room off the master bedroom – with it’s pretty chandelier and sconces.  I really love the color of the walls, so soft!  And the silk curtains match exactly.   Through the arch is the bedroom with another beautiful French mantel.  Notice how pretty the millwork is – especially in the carved door.



The master bathroom has a large circular window over the bathtub.  The floor tiles repeat the circular motif with a darker marble border.




Looking at the other way – the door is painted a darker gray with a circular motif.  Love the door – and love the cabinets.   Randal was really impressed with the bathroom.   This picture was taken before the hardware was finished being installed on the drawers. 



And here are Randal’s plans for the bathroom!   He will use this as a room, not a bathroom.  You can see in his drawings that he will skirt the vanity’s legroom.  The two caned chairs will flank his table.   The focal point will be the beautiful dark gray door with the circular motif!



Here is a view of the back veranda.  The pool has an infinity edge which looks like it is cascading into the pond!



Here is a shot of the back of the house.  The orchard is on the right side of the house.  You can see the master bathroom also at the right of the house – that’s its large circular window over the bathtub. 


I can’t wait to see how the finished photographs from the catalogue look compared to Randal’s drawings.  Hopefully we’ll get to see the pictures long before the catalogue comes out.  Hint, hint!  This is going to be quite a journey and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!

And a huge thank you and congratulations to the homeowners and Stacey Serro who submitted the house!!

To visit the web site of p-l-a-i-d, inc., go HERE


One last word:



Be sure also to check out Paris Finds – a collection of décor items imported directly from Paris by Stacey Serro of p-l-a-i-d.   Paris Finds recently just got in a new shipment of items bought on Stacey’s last visit to France.  To see the Paris Finds’ inventory, please go HERE or HERE on Etsy. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing House #1.  Next, we’ll show House #2!