Posts Tagged: David Hicks



Carolina Herrera’s 2016 Spring Collection had me swooning!  Set in the Beaux Arts courtyard of the Frick Collection, the show delighted guests with its pink palette of couture confections.“This is my rose period,” Herrera said during a preview. “Fashion should be optimistic.”

I have never encountered a pink I did not adore…from Chery Blossom to Schiarapelli , the hue always lifts my spirits and makes me want to surround myself with any shade whenever possible in how I dress and how I decorate. Take a peek at my favorite looks from the Spring 2016 Collection along with gorgeous pink interiors from my favorite designers and a few of my own…





























ines de la fressange









Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Stanwyck Entry Hall

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Stanwyck Dining Room

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Stanwyck Dining Room Detail

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room





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*Images of the Carolina Herrera Spring 2016 Fashion Show via the New York Times



I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Rufty of MMR Interiors for my latest interiors feature for Peachy Magazine. I have been a long time fan of her work and am delighted to share more of her work and inspiration in my latest “Creative Minds” interview….

When did you know you wanted to pursue design as a career and how did you get started?

I had a successful career in advertising. I loved it but the pace was not sustainable with a family. I quit to raise my children but quickly found myself in need of a creative outlet. I had a passion for interiors and quietly started helping people. Before I knew it, I found myself in a new career.


What is your creative process?

It starts with the client and the space. I don’t have a go-to “look”. Like in my advertising career…I see my design work as packaging and branding the client. I like the home to be a true extension of them. I don’t necessarily want people to walk into a space I have decorated and say “Melissa Rufty did this room”. I would prefer it to look like a really great representation of the client. It makes my job harder but definitely more rewarding.

What is your latest creative breakthrough?

Our Kitchen in the swamp barn project. It had to be functional enough for a staff of caterers but also look like it had been there for a long time. It was no easy task but I think we achieved the goal. We went as far as to design an island outfitted with old wood crates to cover up the conduit but also serve as useful but rustic drawers.

What do you do for inspiration?

My office is on Magazine street where I am surrounded by countless artists, antique stores and galleries. It takes about ten steps in any direction to get inspired. I’ll hit the street and find a piece of art or an antique rug that speaks to me and often the palette for the whole house starts from there.


What has been the most pivotal moment in your career?

There will be a collective eye roll from your New Orleans readership when I say this but – Katrina. There was so much damage that putting people’s homes together took on a new meaning. It showed me that it goes way beyond adornment. Making people’s spaces is a privilege that I don’t take for granted.


Tell us about your current work.

It has been a fun year. In addition to my New Orleans projects, I have worked on one of my favorite projects of my career. It is a party barn in the bayou. It is a working barn, entertaining space and guest house combined. It is situated right on the swamp complete with a quarter mile lit swamp walk that goes to the main house. I can’t imagine there will be many projects like that in my lifetime! It is so unique and the owners took great care in integrating it into the environment. I always am working on a New York apartment or two – I love mixing my Southern perspective with the edge of New York.

Can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from Melissa Rufty in the future?

We are working on a beautiful old house in Monroe, LA. It is one of those great houses they just don’t make anymore. It was once decorated by Mark Hampton so it is fun to go back and look at old publications to see the differences and similarities compared to what I have done in the space.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Infusing soul in my design work. I want to achieve more than just pretty spaces.


Do you have any advice for budding designers?

Try to stay away from “the latest and greatest”. Learn how to discern what is a flash in the pan from what has staying power.

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Whose work do you admire?

The list is endless…Tony Duquette for his flair, Amelia Handegan for her classicism, Bunny Williams for her layering, David Hicks for being timeless. Like I said – the list is endless.


What is your dream vacation?

My needs are simple – a nice beach with my family.

What is your secret vice?

Watching TV in the bathtub.

What is your idea of bliss?

Peace and quiet. I have three teenage daughters and two dogs that are frenemies…I am usually knee deep in drama by 7am.


If you had a theme song, what would it be?

The Rolling Stones…paint it black. I’m doing an all black butlers pantry right now and I am crushing on it big time!


What do you collect?

Sweetgrass baskets (I’m originally from South Carolina)


What is your favorite color?

Any shade of green.

Favorite design trick?

imageClearly – putting a banquette in any useless corner I can find! It works every time. I have clients tell me again and again that is where people congregate.


How has New Orleans influenced your design aesthetic?

I was captivated by New Orleans from the start. I feel that the qualities of the city definitely come through in my design….a little bit of gilt here, a little bit of grit there, comfort and a sense of joie de vivre throughout


What is your favorite space (interior/ architecture/ garden) in New Orleans?

There is no shortage of great spots in New Orleans. There are too many to list…from beautiful garden district homes to dive bars with plaster falling off the walls exposing the 18th century brick, the Sculpture Garden at City Park.



Thanks Melissa for a great interview!


For more of my design inspiration, please be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter. Thanks for reading and please come back again!


is like a lady without lipstick,” said the inimitable Diana Vreeland. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am sharing my favorite red rooms by legendary designers, artists and trendsetters…

Photo by Horst P. Horst
Interior Design by Billy Baldwin

Ms. Vreeland is worthy of a blog solely dedicated to her larger than life personality and style.  She worked as the fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar from 1937-1962. She left to become editor in chief at Vogue for the next decade. She gave all of her models, editors, photographers and stylists total creative freedom.  After leaving Vogue, she worked at the Metroplitan Museum of Art as a special consultant to the Costume Institute. She organized several blockbuster shows including the Ballet Russes, the World of Balenciaga and Romantic and Glamourous Hollywood Design. When she lost her vision in the 1980s, she said it was because she had looked at so many beautiful things.

Ms. Vreeland used her surroundings to reflect her dynamic personality and was always drawn to red.  She worked in a lacquered red office, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day followed by a shot of scotch. She only liked red flowers, used red ink for her notes, and preferred to be dressed in red from head to toe. She asked Billy Baldwin to design a room for her that looked like a garden, but a “Garden in Hell” which is illustrated in the image above.

The Red Room at the White House
Interior Design by Stephane Boudin of Maison Jansen
The Kennedy Archives

The Red Room at the White House was the favorite stateroom of Jackie Kennedy. The color red has always been associated with power, excitement and celebration. It grabs your attention and gets people to take action. It is the Chinese color of luck and prospertity and the offical marriage color in India.

Interior Design by David Hicks

Using red in an interior space can be tricky.  Red makes a statement and is typically used in rooms for entertaining or in small rooms to make an impact.  In the examples shown here, most of the designers (except for David Hicks and Billy Baldwin) have offset the use of red by adding, white, black, cream and blue to create a graphic punch.

Interior Design by Mark Hampton

Mark Hampton worked for Billy Baldwin before venturing out on his own.  His daughter Alexa says her father used their apartment as a design laboratory to try out new ideas such as the red lacquered walls with the white contemporary sculpture above the fireplace.

Mrs. Astor’s Library
Interior Design by Albert Hadley
Interior Design by Miles Redd
Influenced by Mrs. Astor’s Library
Photography by Francisco Lagrisse

The library of Brooke Astor by Albery Hadley has always been a personal favorite.  Mr. Hadley’s use of brass inlay to define the bookcases and add detail to the walls was pure brilliance.  I love how Miles Redd reinterpreted this idea for a modern day library seen above.

Interior Design by Mary McDonald
Photo Courtesy of the Kips Bay Showhouse

For the Kips’ Bay Showhouse, Mary McDonald took a narrow, obscure hallway and added her glamourous touch with a red backdrop, ebony accents and wonderful contemporary art.

Interior Design by Ruthie Sommers

Town and Country

Ruthie Sommers created this cozy interior for cocktails, reading and entertaining.  Imagine how it looks by candlelight!

Interior Design by Miles Redd
Elle Decor

Miles works his magic once again with the charming window treatments playing off the red walls.  The room is sophisticated, yet playful at the same time.

Interior Design by Mary McDonald
House Beautiful
Interior Design by Mary McDonald
House Beautiful

Both of the images above illustrate how Mary McDonald used red as a backdrop and then punctuated the spaces with black accents. If committing to red walls sounds overwhelming, consider using red in small doses which still has a big impact.  A red door, pair of red pillows or lamps, or even painting the back of your bookcases red can add a livley finishing touch to any room….just take Dianne’s advice!