KRIS Likes… The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd

“This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. When all is said and done and I am long forgotten, maybe someone will find this book in a dusty library—if such a thing still exists—and glimpse a bit of the pleasure my life has given me. I want them to have the sensation of dancing across an MGM soundstage, silhouetted in a klieg light, because that was my intention with this book, a very personal blend of work and fantasy.” —Miles Redd

As a thank you for helping update a few things in her home, my Aunt/Godmother & one of the chicest woman I know, gave me my very own signed version of Miles Redd’s new Book, The Big Book of Chic. Needless to say… I am obsessed!  True to-miles-redd-form, the book is not what one might expect from a traditional design book. Save a brief introduction from Redd, the book contains no writing, hints or tips from the designer. Instead it reads more like a mood board in book form, allowing full-page photographs to narrate its story.  The book showcases some of Redd’s most famous interiors interspersed with the inspiration images that fuel Redd’s creativity.  Paintings by Sargent & Cassatt, Richard Avedon Fashion Photographs, a photo of Peggy Guggenheim and so on…  Each Chapter marked with a quote that speaks to Redd’s sensibilities. It is true that no one has mastered the use of bold, beautiful and rich color like Miles Redd and this book is no exception. Each time I flip through its pages I find myself a little more inspired and a little more tuned in to Redd’s intentions and overall message.  If you love design, color & glamour this books will not disappoint.  Below is just a little taste of what’s inside to wet your appetites …. Enjoy!

“It would turn out to be an arduous and at times a painful process, but one that has provided me years of pleasure and satisfaction.  I suppose a lot like childbirth – and to that point, houses in a way, are living things that need love and attention to flourish and shine.”  – Miles Redd, The Big Book of Chic



KRIS Likes… The Photography of Mark Shaw

“When you are building a room, 

you are building character, and character

is the strength and wisdom of a home.” 

– Rose Tarlow

A noted American fashion Photographer of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Mark Shaw, is best known for documenting scenes from the family life of John F. Kennedy.  However, it was Shaw’s earlier work, shooting European fashion collections for LIFE and various other publications as a fashion photographer, that inspired Jacqueline Kennedy to hire him as the family photographer.  Over the years Shaw photographed an impressive list of celebrities which included: Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Danny Kaye, Cary Grant, Yves St. Laurent, Nico of the Velvet Underground, Audrey Hepburn & Coco Chanel.

 “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.  Fashion is in the sky, in the street,  fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”   Coco Chanel

I am obsessed with all of Mark Shaw’s photographs, but have a special affinity for the pictures he took of models, socialites & celebrities in some of the most elegant, luxurious and famous interiors of the time.  The fashion and interiors in each one is stunning and seamlessly flawless.  The combination is captivating.  Especially for those of us with a passion for both.  Yet, it is the simple elegance conveyed in each photograph that I find most alluring.  There is an ease to the women in these pictures.  They just exist.  Fabulous creatures among all of this extravagance and decadence as if being the epitome of glamour was not a choice but just who they are.

Shaw was an innovator.  He became the first photographer to use color while shooting the Runway and “backstage” at the couture shows.  Perhaps more importantly, he was able to capture a rare “behind the scenes” look into a highly glamorous and stylized world.   As a result there was a feeling of authenticity and rawness to his work that was rarely seen during this time.  Enjoy!

Model in Apartments of Dior/Luling. France. 1960’s

Model in Mirror-Paris 1960

Model in Chateau Manon Lescault #3

Model in Chateau of Jacques Fath #2, France, 1950’s

Model in Teal Dress #1, France, 1960’s

Model in Home of Christian Dior, France 1953
Vicki Reynaud #1, Paris, 1953

Model in Home of Elsa Schiaparelli, Paris, 1953

Model in Apartment of Henri Samuel #4, France, 1960’s

Model in Dior in Paris Apartment, 1960

Model in Chateau Manon Lescaut #4, France 1960’s

Portrait of Henrietta Tiarks #3, 1959, France

Portrait of Coco Chanel #17, Paris, 1954 (In the living room of her Paris apartment.)

** Photograph at top of page: Model in Home of Christian Dior #2, France, 1953

KRIS Likes… Maps

“The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps.” – Bob Black

Thomas O’brien

For thousands of years maps have helped people define, explain and navigate their way through the world and using them to decorate one’s home is hardly a novel idea.  In fact, the tradition can be dated all the way back to the Ancient Romans who created mosaic tiles that displayed elaborate city plans and maps of their region.  However, It wasn’t until a few hundred years later during the 17th Century that the Dutch put decorating with maps on the map….   During this “Golden Age” of the Netherlands, the wealthy dutch merchants commissioned large wall maps not only for planning their trading exploits, but as decorative symbols of their wealth and power.  The impact of these maps was so great that many 17th Century Dutch painters such as Hals, Vermeer, Ter Borch, De Hooch and Steen began to depict these maps in the interior decoration of their paintings as a form symbolism and allegory.

Map makers during this time were referred to as world describers and I believe that is exactly why what they created still has so much appeal today.  Maps are the perfect combination of science and art.  They merge the observations, imagination and exaggerations of a people, revealing only fragments of history.  Each one has its own unique voice and story that we can connect with on a personal level giving them an enduring beauty.  They remind us of where we have been or where we want to go….Enjoy!

Bella Vici Interiors House Beautiful

1734 Parchment-Paper Map of Paris – Steven Shailer Elle Decor

Pair of Vintage Long Island Maps in the East Hampton Home of Robert Stilin

Pheobe Howard

Living Room of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross Elle Decor July 2010

Miles Redd

Steven Gambrel

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Celerie Kemble Bathroom Lonny Mag Oct/Nov 2010

Dransfield and Ross

Matthew Patrick Smyth Elle Decor October 2006 Engravings of Paris Circa 1730

Archival Pigment Print Map of Rome on 1st Dibs 

Plan De Paris, Wall Map, Commissioned by Turgot, from 1739

Hand Colored Sectional Map of Paris from 1760Set of 6 Copper Engraved Maps of the United States from 1879-1872

1765 Benjamin Donn Wall Map of Devonshire and Exeter, England 76″ x 73″

Plan of the City of New York – 1776

KRIS Likes… art + interiors

“We are drawn to contemporary abstract art because it is timeless, limitless and has no boundaries.”

art + interiors is an industry partner of ASID and a to-the-trade resource for contemporary art. Culled and curated by Cynthia Byrnes and Liza Clymer, it boasts a varied collection of 43 emerging to established fine artists working in the mediums of painting, works on paper, mixed media, sculpture, photography and site specific installation.  The careful culling is ongoing, consistently providing the trade with a fresh, edited and evolving body of inspired works.  Cynthia and Liza combine their passion and knowledge with their intuitive ability to identify the best and brightest artists and have become an essential trade resource.

The quality of the work they offer is exceptional but the website will blow your mind!  By registering on, Interior Designers and Architects can view the entire body of work of each artist represented and search by dimension, genre or medium.  The site provides you with the bio of each artist and an “artwork detail” page that gives the title, year, medium, dimensions and list price of individual works of art.  My favorite feature is the “magnifier tool” that allows you to magnify the artwork so you can view actual textural details.   Another favorite feature is how easy they make it to keep things organized.  The website is set up to allow you to save images under individual projects and specific rooms, load CAD elevations AND digital images to virtually place artwork in situ!  It get’s better. It makes it easy to email your clients your selections and virtual placements or print cut sheets for client meetings.  Reserving and purchasing is even easy.

Having worked closely with both women, what sets them apart is the relationships they have developed with the artists in the collective. Their knowledge and ability to share the artist’s process, inspiration and conceptual point of view is invaluable.  For those who want to really take advantage of this they will consult regarding the scope and requirements of a project, recommend and curate the work—or guide commissions– for residential and commercial projects, and attend on site client meetings to speak about the artworks and inspiration.  Below are just a few of my favorite works by some of my favorite artists.  Enjoy!!

Perry Burns – Five Horizons, Oil on Canvas, 72″ x 51″.

James T. Greco – db1, Mixed Media on Panel, Framed in Steel, 48″ x 45″.

Kaz Strankowski – Auckland, 1 C-Type Photograph.

Judith Steinberg – Rhythm Night, Painted Aluminum Mesh-Painted Paper, Wood, Wire,  24″ x 11″.

Bart Gulley – K, Collage on Board, 30″ x 24″.

Geoffrey Moss – Popsicle Series – Freeze Melt, Oil on Canvas, 40″ x 40″.

Perry Burns – Aphrodite, Oil on Canvas 64″ x 54″.

Ashley Andrews – Red Rope, Acrylic, Oil Stick on Paper, 60″ x 60″.

Liz Dexheimer – Swamp Series Rose IV, Monotype 48″ x 32″.

Patricia Wilder – Colorfield Series 016, Photography.

Nga Nguyen – Abstract 65, Oil on Panel, 14″ x 12″.

George Chaplin – Expansive , Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 36″.

Mary Newcomb – High Tension, Plaster and Acrylic on Canvas, 12″ x 12″.

Kiyoshi Otsuka – Jump Up, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 24″.

Missy Lipsett – Untitled Surface Tension 13, Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 24″.

Hugh O’Donnell – After the Rain, Oil on Canvas, 33″ x 34″.

Mary Manning – Tempo 1, Acrylic on Paper, 55″ x 44″.

** For those of you who live in the area and are not a member of the trade or don’t have a designer, you can go to HB Home to inquire about purchasing work.

KRIS Likes… D.A. Wagner

While working on my post for Kora I came across a stunning photograph of their cuffs by David Wagner.  After looking at his website, I had to share some of his images with you in a little follow-up post.  A photographer from Brooklyn, NY, his photographs are fresh, crisp, modern, witty and full of humor.  To see his entire portfolio and more information about the photographer go to his website  at

Kora Bracelets with Garlic Onions by D.A. Wagner

Waterproof Lipstick – Great Name!

D.A. Wagner Hand-made Portfolio of work