If you have an infatuation with vivid colors, pattern and vivacious fervor of more opulent days gone by, you must be familiar with Miles Redd. He is a Manhattan based designer with uptown stylings but his southern Atlanta-born roots show through his design charm. In the February issue of House Beautiful, Redd’s work on a Brooklyn Townhouse was exhibited in perfect East meets West meets South fashion. The article started with the ideal phrase “no stone unturned and no wall uncovered”… PERFECTION! This narrow abode was adorned in rich grassclothes, intricate Chinese papers and even feathers. The bold color choices, sultry texture stories and the layered artwork trick the mind into not caring about the tightness of the 2-room-per-floor townhouse and instead concentrate more on the individual moments. That is why, for a change, Redd exclaimed the importance of smart room planning and pushing the furniture closer to the walls in small rooms. Not to mention the idea that more furniture in a small space not only adds seating but a bigger feeling. Check it out, it is brilliant.
That sofa is so plush and masculine which contracts richly against the walls, art and patterns
I know I have been MIA for the past few months but I have returned ready to get back in the thrust of things on the blog. I couldn’t let Black History Month pass without pointing out two of my favorite African American designers. You don’t find too many black folks in the design field and you especially don’t see many rise to national exposure so these two are quite admirable.
Sheila Bridges is an ivy-league educated designer that has managed her own firm since 1994 and has been named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine. Not only has she designed spaces for the rich and famous, but she has also hosted her own TV show and her work can be found in every major magazine. Her refined designs stand boldly as does her signature hairstyle, or lack thereof. She lost her curly locks to alopecia in 2004 but didn’t let that get her down. The experience led her to aptly title her 2013 book, “The Bald Mermaid: A Memoir”.
Darryl Carter is a prominent Washington, DC based designer that started out as a lawyer until his stylish abode landed on the cover of Metropolitan Home Magazine and he was inundated with calls for commissions. He took that moment as a sign that design was his true calling. His classic Americana style has been revered as The New Traditional which is also the title of his 2008 book. Since his transition into design in the late 1990s, he has done many high-profile spaces, been lauded in many publications, created his own line of paint colors for Benjamin Moore and opened his eponymous store in DC’s Shaw neighborhood just last year. Neutrals, rustic textures and antiques are his thing but they are always brought together in a new and comfy way.
I admire those in creative industries for their drive to take the leap of faith into the unforgiving independent world of art. It takes some Cojones to take that chance and to utilize your art for sustenance. One of those champions is Chuck Close, an American painter and photographer that has been doing his own thing for most of his life. Despite suffering severe permanent paralysis in the late 1980s, he is determined to create and tweak his craft, stating that “I always try to be a different artist than I was the year before.”
If you leisurely happen upon East Hampton this summer, his works will be on exhibit at Guild Hall starting August 10. His focus has been on human faces ranging from the Average Joe to POTUS Obama. The nature of his photography is intriguing as it captures the simple being of the subject. My favorites are the pixilated sketches and watercolors that captivate the eye. Such photorealism can fit into various design realms, from the modern hipster to the glam traditionalist. Instituting such art demands that it be allowed to stand on its own. Don’t worry about matching it with the space because with faces like some of his subjects, no help is needed.
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