This past Friday I got the opportunity to hear one of my design idols, Miles Redd, speak at the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville. After he spoke, I worked up the courage to go tell him how much I admired him and his work, and get my photo taken with him (and my friend Brandy). This goofy photo is the result:
Yes, somehow during my interaction with him before the photo was taken, I goobed out and must have messed up my hair! What the hell is wrong with me?!?! This just goes to show how totally uncool I truly am. And I worked really hard to look cute for Miles too. I thought I should wear something colorful to catch his eye . . . I was so proud, I even snapped a photo of what I was wearing before I left the house (a fashion blogger I am obviously not) . . .
Despite the strange look on my face, I at least look halfway normal in this picture (well, at least my hair does). This is how I am in the privacy of my own home. Apparently, it's only when I meet famous decorators I become a grinning idiot with a combover. Meeting my idol = fail. 

Oh well, despite my hair malfunction, I thoroughly enjoyed Miles' speech. He was engaging and charming, and I just knew we could be lifelong friends if given the chance. His talk included him sharing dozens of slides of his favorite inspirations and interiors . . . a wonderful chance to glimpse inside the mind of a design rock star. The names and interiors he included varied from Oscar de la Renta (for whom he works as Creative Director of his Home Collection) to Babe Paley to Coco Chanel to some designed by Syrie Maugham, Nancy Lancaster, Sister Parish, Albert Hadley and Billy Baldwin to name a few. He also featured some rooms from the home of artist Cy Twombly including this photo below from his home in Rome . . . simple and striking in its neoclassical style.


One of the other famous rooms Miles referenced included the taxi-cab yellow living room of Babe Paley designed by Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. Miles shared that Albert wanted to paint the room white, but said that, "Sis insisted on painting it yellow, and she was right. The art just pops against that color." Then Miles mentioned that several antique vendors on the floor below used the same taxi-cab yellow in their own booths to showcase their art to great effect.

Another famous taxi-cab yellow room included in the talk was Nancy Lancaster's sitting room . . .

The "Coca-Cola" colored walls of Billy Baldwin (among others) made a big impact on him as well . . . 

Some other little tidbits . . . Miles never met a mirror he didn't like, and it's been said he can't decorate a room without a screen or tray. He admits to having weaknesses for both. He also made repeated references to making a silk purse out of a sow's ear by using nice lampshades, embellishing doors and accessorizing with books. It was truly a delightful and educational experience listening to Miles speak about his inspirations and some of his heroes.

After the lecture, we headed down to the floor of the Antiques and Garden Show itself to peruse the offerings. Please be aware most of these items are for serious collectors, and by serious I mean those who can afford to drop several thousand dollars on one item. Unfortunately, this does not include me, but I see this all as a chance to educate and train my eye. I can definitely appreciate the finer things, just can't always afford them. Here are some of the things that caught my eye . . .
First of all, this garden installation at the entrance was striking. Something about suspended bodies made out of grass was both captivating and creepy . . . the perfect thing to grab your attention.
Loved the juxtaposition of vibrant modern art against a tradtional chest and lamps. 
A beautiful japanned cabinet.

Once again, I like how an abstract piece of art was placed next to something totally unexpected like this screenprint. You ever heard of Banksy, the graffiti artist?
There was a documentary called Exit Through the Gift Shop that features his work and his radical opinions on politics, goverment, society and art. I've never seen it, but heard it's interesting.
All I know is that $15K is way out of my budget for a screenprinted rat with a boombox.

Of course, I loved all the Chinoiserie-inspired pieces in this particular taxi-cab yellow booth (there were several, by the way - it was paper that I'm sure the A & G Show provided. And as Miles mentioned, the art and accessories do pop against it).

Great hand-painted detail on the back of these vivid orange French gilded chairs. Love it.
Miles would have liked all the mirrors. 

 Loved the backs of these French chairs in Le Tigre and the empire bench in Leopardo. Yummy.
I just wanted to curl up on this creamy velvet tufted settee. Isn't it gorgeous?
The contrast of this crane art against the modern orange lamps made quite an impression.
Red lacquered tole pagoda lamps and some dragon candle holders. Need I say more? I don't think I would used them in the same space as they are statement-making on their own.
 A butterscotch soapstone carved goddess.
 This piece was $64,000. I kid you not.
 More Asian goodnesss.
 This was a mirrored Asian bar/console. Very interesting.
And, finally, I'm not even sure if these lucite/glass shelves were for sale or just display, but I loved them.

So, did you enjoy this little glimpse into the Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville? I had such a great time. My only regret is my hair malfunction, but you can't win them all.
 
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