Monday, July 06, 2009

The Man Who Launched A Thousand Floors

Perhaps not a thousand, but many floors have been inspired by David Adler. The late architect treated the ground with just as much care and attention as he did the walls, ceilings, and exteriors. Most of Adler's projects included floors adorned with a star motif, one of Adler's favorites, but harlequin patterns and metal inlay also figured prominently in his work. Seventy some odd years later and Adler's floors still capture our imagination.

Adler often incorporated five, six, and eight point stars into his floors. The living room of the Winslow house, Pebble Beach, CA, featured a pine floor with a walnut star inlay.

Most of Adler's stars were more stylized like this one in marble, which was inlaid into the terrazzo floor of the Clow residence, Lake Forest, IL.

Miles Redd painted an eight-point star on his kitchen floor, an homage to the late, great Adler. (Image courtesy of New York Social Diary)

A harlequin patterned marble floor in the gallery of the Clark house, Hillsborough, CA.

The master bathroom in the Atlanta home of Chad Holman and Keith Traxler features a harlequin patterned marble floor. Holman had been inspired by a similar floor that he saw in an Adler designed house in Chicago. (Photo courtesy of David Christensen photographer/Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, October 2008)

A metal inlaid, ebonized floor in the Adler designed home of Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed.

Mrs. Kersey Coates Reed's house was certainly not lacking in glamour. The women's dressing room featured yet another metal inlaid floor.

The floor in Miles Redd's living room is reminiscent of that in the Reed house. (Photo from New York Social Diary)

Image at top: The porch of the Furness house, Middleburg, VA, featured a stenciled floor. Someone should be daring enough and replicate this floor in their home.

(All Adler images from David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style)


  1. Jennifer, I love how you drew attention to all of the Adler influences in Miles' house.

  2. This is refinement right down to the toes

  3. Anonymous9:35 AM

    You should look for images of Kips Bay 2004; the floors that Randall Ridless and Beth Martell did in their Living Room are beautiful - inlaid design, mulit colored with star motiff. I recall a Russian influence? Having said this, curious why you don't see their work on yours and other's blogs..they have a body of work both residential and retail that is stunning..perhaps they are part of the unspoken talent in the decorating world??

  4. Anon- Thank you for the tip. I suppose that I'm not extremely familiar with their work, but I'm going to take a look and will try to remedy that.

  5. Having grown up in Lake Forest, Illinois, I have been in many David Adler homes and love this post. I'm sure you know that Miles Redd's mirrored bathroom is from David Adler's Armour Estate which is right up the street from where I lived.

  6. Love this post and the information. Such genius. Thanks.

  7. That first Reed floor is pretty wonderful, no? With the bold metal detailing? Especially good too is the entrance hall.

  8. Love the black & white harlequin patterned floors. Beautifully done.

  9. The metal inlaid floors are spectacular. I'd love to have one of those to pad across.

    Congrats on the C Moss interview. I enjoyed it!

  10. Gorgeous. And I'm so glad to see a black-and-white floor that isn't on the diagonal. I've always preferred them in straight rows.

  11. Gorgeous. I love seeing it all pulled together. Those floors are amazing.

  12. Detailed floors always get me going. So divine. Great thanks to Mr Adler and you as well.

  13. a perfect post in every way. la

  14. Go Miles Redd - I really like how he's adapted these for smaller (read: way less expensive/grand/insane) spaces!

  15. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Dear Style Redux 2,

    Just up (or down) the street from the Lester Armour house would be Lake bluff, Illinois....not Lake Forest?

    1. Anonymous5:37 PM

      There are more than one Armour house which David Adler designed.... the Lester Armours IS in Lake Bluff, however the Ogden Armour and Mrs. Philip Armour houses are in Lake Forest, althought Philip Armour's 1st house, Tangley Oaks, not by Adler, is in Lake Bluff....... take it from an Old Forester