Decorator Miles Redd’s kitchen has less in common with the Formica-and-maple spaces of our collective youth than with the highly stylized bars of his neighborhood. It’s a drink-in kitchen—the fridge always filled with mixers and champagne—built for visual entertaining. “You know how everyone always ends up in the kitchen at a large party? My kitchen doesn’t feel like just a kitchen; it feels like an extension of the rest of the house.” It used to be somewhat more subdued—celadon walls, a bleached floor—but after he installed Chinese wallpaper in the foyer, Redd began dreaming of something more graphic. “I had been meditating a lot on black and white. It seemed right in relationship to the other elements of the house, as a foil to my pink living room.” And it references his favorite period, the thirties. “It is a Hollywood version of a thirties English kitchen,” he says. “I was inspired by the kitchens in Gosford Park.”
Why glass countertops?
They’re hardly the most practical . . . In college, I had a cheap piece of furniture, and I had a piece of mirror cut for the top. I loved the way it reflected light, and that it gave the room sparkle. It works here—it is a black room with a black ceiling, but it never feels like you are in a cave.
Any other countertop surfaces you recommend?
I like stainless steel. It has an old-fashioned quality, but at the same time it’s modern. I love stone. I love lava stone. I love butcher block in a country kitchen. I have used black granite in a kitchen, honed so it looked like soapstone. When you get into colored granite, it tends to have a Sopranos quality.
Favorite self-cooked meal?
I’ll sear a steak. I’ll make roast potatoes and sautéed kale.
Veuve Clicquot is kind of standard issue around this house.
1) The appliances: Redd has a G.E. ice machine, a KitchenAid dishwasher, a Viking stove and Sub-Zero fridge (neither pictured), and a Miele washer and dryer. The Miele “really does clothes in a professional way. It doesn’t dry things all the way, so nothing shrinks. But do you remember Maytag dryers? The towels would come out all ﬂuffy and hot, and I miss that.”
2) The wood floor: Painted white and sealed with an oil-based polyurethane, which has held up well. Chris Pearson painted the neoclassical star and stripes on the floor, Redd’s homage to his favorite American architect, David Adler.
3) The lights: Redd chose not to have under-cabinet lighting, and illuminates the counters instead with these thirties Venetian crystal lamps, bought at Tepper. “I like the idea of lamps in the kitchen. It makes it more like a room.”
4) The TV: An Aiwa. Redd could use it to watch the Food Network, but he doesn't, preferring American Idol. The door pulls: From Urban Archeology.