Bold Interior Design Tips from Miles Redd



Flipping through home magazines has been a pleasant pastime for me ever since becoming a homeowner. I love every aspect of transforming a space into some version of myself. Since becoming editor of Merrimack Valley Home Magazine, my passion for home decor and design has both escalated and been elevated. Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Boston Design Center for the second time. On this occasion I was invited to a presentation as part of Boston Design Week. This 12-day, citywide festival is intended to increase awareness and appreciation for all aspects of design including architecture, photography, landscape design, interior design, graphic design and more.

An Eclectic Approach to Interior Design

I was lucky enough to score a seat in the Miles Redd presentation called “The Art of the Approach.” Redd is an A-list interior designer whose work has been featured in all of the top home publications. His eclectic style is described as a “quirky brand of cozy glamour.” Quirky-cozy-glamour… I knew I would like this guy.

The moment Redd took the mic, he engaged the audience with real talk. This former Creative Director for Oscar de la Renta Home left any pretension at the door, and proceeded to take us through a captivating series of slides. He was easygoing and entertaining.

The slides shown would alternate between inspiration photographs and photos of rooms where the inspiration was applied. It was incredibly cool to see unassuming elements from an old photograph translated into room colors, fabric textures and design details that you might never expect to see together. “Inspiration comes in many forms,” said Redd. This was evident in his clever combinations – one of which was a red velvet banquette together with pink-shaded lamps. To my surprise, it worked in a dramatic display of bold color.

Redd said that he was all about pastiche – artistic work that imitates that of another work or artist – and explained that, “the subconscious picks up what it picks up.”

Interior Design Tips

Other useful points from Redd’s presentation include:

  • “You need one good thing in a room to bring everything up.”
  • “If you’re a modernist, you need one traditional thing and if you’re a traditionalist, you need one modern thing.”
  • “All space is relevant; it’s how you treat it.”

But of all the great interior design tips I picked up from Redd; one piece of advice stood out. He told a young designer who questioned his depth of experience that, no matter what, he had to believe in what he knew. If he doubted himself, his clients would sense that and doubt him as well.

I always love a good confidence message.

Visit to learn more and if Redd’s style speaks to you, consider his coffee table book, “The Big Book of Chic.” The photos of home decor are to die for.

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Killer Heels: A High-Heel Art Exhibit

Now that's a pair of platforms!
Now that’s a pair of Killer Heels!

It’s been a busy week.  I had the opportunity to attend three uniquely fabulous events and I can tell you, in all honestly, I’m exhausted. Typically, I like to spread out my non-routine activities, but when it rains it pours. In last night’s case, quite literally. I’m happy to say that I’ve reached a stage of life where I want to see more, do more and live more. While I love crawling into bed at 8pm, I know I’ve got to push myself. If I don’t, what the heck am I going to blog about? While I am a bit tired, this week left me energized and excited.

I’m going to start backward and first tell you about last night. I figure once you hear about it you may want to rush out this weekend to see it yourself. Every few months I get together with a group of ladies for dinner and drinks. This time, we got wild and decided to take in a museum exhibit at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH. Not intrigued? This exhibit was screaming my name. It was the Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe exhibit and it was awesome! I drove 50 minutes and braved torrential wind and rain to get there and it was worth every second.

These shoes were off the chain – do people still say that?  They were extraordinary works of art. Christian Louboutins, Prada, Dior and Ferragamo were all represented among many other famous designers. And these weren’t typical killer heels you’d find in Nieman Marcus. They were spectacular statement pieces created for sake of the art and craft.

Perusing the displays, I was in shoe heaven. If you love high heel shoes like I do, the Killer Heels exhibit is a must.

The Killer Heels

sparkly pump at killer heel exhibit
So sparkly, so pretty. I just love a gorgeous pump.


Shoe art - high heel with flowers and nail gun
This was a working shoe. The heel was a nail gun.


Superhero shoe at killer heel exhibit
The Superhero


strappy pump with flowers at killer heel exhibit
Flower girl – love!

More to see at the Currier Museum of Art

Not a shoe addict? The Currier’s permanent exhibits are equally as captivating.  I found the space dedicated to modern furniture particularly appealing.  The featured artwork was big, bold and colorful and one piece had a 3D effect that was so mesmerizing my sister, Karla, said it made her dizzy. Personally, I think it was her four-inch platform shoes.  We all wore our own killer heels to pay homage to the shoe show.

Oh yeah - we wore that! Karla in silver, me in zebra killer heels
Oh yeah – we wore that! Karla in silver, me in zebra.


Planning your own trip to high heel heaven? Visit The Currier Museum of Art for hours, admission and other information.

Stay tuned for future posts on a great interior design presentation, and a fun cooking class!

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Shades of Gray: Madison Reed Root Touch Up Review

Madison Reed Root Touch Up for Gray Hair
My Madison Reed Root Touch Up – This stuff really works for gray roots!

Gray hair: A family hand-me-down

I’m not afraid to admit that beneath my curly brown locks is a head full of silver strands. I don’t associate my gray hair with age because it’s something I’ve been dealing with since my twenties.  My hair color is hereditary – my dad has a full head of gray hair and has since he was young. It’s something I’ve accepted. Don’t misunderstand, I accept my grays, but I don’t yet embrace them.  I’ve been coloring over them since they first appeared.

Coloring my hair has become as routine as a trip to the grocery store. I tried doing it myself at first, then I graduated to a professional colorist who I see so much that she’s now practically a member of my family.

Keeping up with gray roots: My touch up solution

My color frequency has reached an all-time high to the point where I can’t keep up. When the dreaded “roots” appear and I just don’t have time for a trip to the salon, I’ve found a product that works surprisingly well to extend time between colors. Madison Reed Root Touch Up is my gray-be-gone go-to. Before I discovered this product, I was using a fill-in crayon that 1) wasn’t a great color match and 2) was messy.  Then one day, this product popped up on my Facebook feed.  I don’t know how Facebook knew I had this need (I don’t recall googling anything gray hair related,) but I chose not to worry about all-knowing social media and just took advantage of the message – buy this, you need it.

My Madison Reed Root Touch Up before and after

I picked it up at Sephora and damn, if it didn’t live up to every one of its claims. It was easy to apply and offered near complete coverage. The color match was great (it comes in seven shades) and it didn’t come off on my hands or pillow. Now, the moment I see gray peeking through, I grab my Madison Reed Root Touch Up and I’m good to go until my next scheduled color.

I put together my own before, after and in-between so you can see a true life example. No Photoshop or professional lighting needed – the end results are great without them!

My before and after - Madison Reed Root Touch Up
Going, going, gone! Madison Reed Root Touch Up gets the job done.


You can learn more about this and other products on the  Madison Reed website.

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Maggie’s Farm: Beth’s Best Bites

Maggie's Farm Tater Tots and bacon sour cream dipping sauce
Maggie’s Farm Tater Tots – gone in minutes! OK, seconds!

A Regular at Maggie’s Farm

There are very few restaurants I enjoy enough to frequent.  However, Maggie’s Farm in Middleton has been a favorite for a while. Their farm to table philosophy hooked me in, and their tasty burgers, pizzas, comfort food entrees and even sushi keep me coming back. I like the ambiance too – casual and rustic yet current and lively, and the bar is always hopping. Their cocktails aren’t too shabby either.

Entering Tater Tot Heaven

I’ve tried a variety of things on the Maggie’s Farm menu, but only recently did I try their tater tot appetizer. Holy yumminess. These little numbers were more like creamy arancini (Italian, cheese stuffed rice balls) than what I know as a tater tot.

I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve prepared and enjoyed my fair share of Ore-Ida tater tots. That said, Maggie’s Farm’s tots were in a category all their own. Served with a bacon sour cream dipping sauce, the crunchy exterior and deliciously creamy center could have easily been my meal.  Fortunately, I was sharing, so I treated myself to two and went on to enjoy the rest of my dinner.

If you’re in Middleton, stop by Maggie’s Farm and give these diet-crashers a try. They are totally worth it.

Visit Maggies Farm for their location, hours, and menu.

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Benefits of Drinking Water: Can You Have Too Much?


benefits of drinking water
glug, glug, glug

“Drink More Water,” They Say

In keeping with this week’s mission to get back on a healthy track, I’ve resumed a very on again, off again effort to drink more water.  For years we’ve heard the advice to down 64oz of H2O per day. I’ve tried it and at times I’ve succeeded.  I can even remember the first time I truly set my mind to this task, a friend randomly said, “Wow Beth, your skin is glowing, what are you doing?” Ooh, I thought, there really are benefits of water. Well, like any great idea, my marathon water drinking days phased out. Why? Well, in the first place the 100 times a day I had to run to the bathroom eventually became too much.  It was uncomfortable and disruptive.

But, I’m willing to try again despite the bathroom issue and the fact that drinking more water leaves me feeling constantly cold. My question is; do the benefits of drinking water outweigh the drawbacks? It’s said that most people don’t drink enough water. When Julia had a fainting spell recently, every doctor and nurse we encountered pushed that she needed to drink more water.  She’s an athlete, so that made sense – but I was surprised at how consistent the message was.  From the ER staff at Lawrence General to two cardiologists and every nurse we saw at Tuft’s Floating Hospital, they all emphasized that the benefits of drinking water are real. If they are all saying it, then it must be true, right?

Drinking Too Much Water?

Then I remembered a conversation I had with an acupuncturist I visited a couple of years ago. We talked about my general sense of wellness and ending up at water and health.  She had me stick my tongue out and proceeded to tell me I was waterlogged.  What? She said I’m probably drinking too much water and the “foggy head” I complained about was due, in part, to drinking too much water.  “Drink when you’re thirsty,” she said. She told me that while there definitely are benefits of drinking water, you have to listen to what your own body needs. And not every body is the same, so why should we all be drinking the same recommended amounts of water per day? I was intrigued by her comments and liked her Eastern medicine approach.

I stopped guzzling absurd amounts of water and, if I’m being honest, I didn’t see much difference, but I sure as heck enjoyed not having to run to the bathroom every 15 minutes.

Water Intake: Finding What Works for Me

So now what? To drink or not to drink? I’ve decided to employ my life motto – everything in moderation.  I’ll be cognizant of how much water I drink and be sure to drink enough to reap whatever benefits of drinking water that I can, but not so much that I feel like I could float away at any given moment. I do believe there is a correlation between water and health, I’m just not sure how much water to drink for my body and my personal activity level.

Tip: When I know I could use a glass of the cool stuff, but I’m not in the mood, I throw in a splash of cranberry juice, a lime and a straw. Suddenly, it’s like sipping a cocktail.

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