Ellett Miciotto knows the importance of honoring the past. For the man behind Dallas-based EJM Interior Design, that deference goes for both his own upbringing as the son of an interior-designer mother in Shreveport, Louisiana, and more broadly for an appreciation of antiques and lost arts. Take his penchant for collecting: Miciotto has amassed everything from Baccarat barware and tabletop pieces to more than 100 cocktail table books. “I love the fantasy of cocktail table books; I love the escapism,” he says, adding that when he’s in need of inspiration, he’ll sooner pull a title from his library than open a web browser. “They’re great sources of reference for time periods that you wouldn’t necessarily know to Google.” One of his most prized tomes is an autographed first edition of Ralph Lauren, the subject of which has not only been a longtime inspiration of Miciotto’s but an employer as well. (Miciotto worked in the home collection at the Highland Park Village Ralph Lauren store for more than a decade before striking out on his own five years ago.) Of his aesthetic, Miciotto says, “I call my style ‘collected contemporary’—modernized classic pieces as well as curated modern finds that will be tomorrow’s antiques. I like the balance of being inspired by the past while in the present.”
Five favorite things in your home:
- My mother’s Charles Cobelle painting of an afternoon at Les Deux Magots in Paris. It’s a great reminder of my mother, who loved Paris and taught me to appreciate art.
- My cocktail table book collection. I use it as a library for reference and inspiration.
- My brother gave me an Opal tabletop ice maker for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it. It makes the perfect “Sonic nugget ice.”
- During quarantine, I went through every room and every drawer and organized things in tiny, lidded, stackable boxes from The Container Store. It changed the energy in my home and in me.
- I recently bought some new Ralph Lauren haberdashery-inspired bedding. New bedding always makes a bedroom become fresh and luxurious.
A home can never have too many: Cashmere throw blankets, cocktail table books, and mirrors.
Best budget-friendly home find: A white potted Phalaenopsis orchid from Tom Thumb
Favorite candle: It depends on my mood. Luckily, Niven Morgan has me covered. I’m currently burning his St. Barth’s candle. I picked up a Serengeti candle to burn in fall.
Favorite coffee table book: I’m really into fashion illustration lately. I’m coveting a Jean-Philippe Delhomme illustration and just got a great book on the fashion illustrator Gruau. One of my favorite coffee table books is my signed first edition of Private by Giancarlo Giammetti.
Favorite host gift: A cocktail table book or a Baccarat butterfly. An arrangement from Dr Delphinium with a personalized note is a nice surprise the day after.
Favorite travel destination: Lisbon, Portugal. The art scene and energy are vibrant. Lisbon has the character of 1980s New York with the eternal charm of Paris. An interesting juxtaposition of gritty and polish.
Favorite TV show: Black Monday is a visual time machine into what I imagine the ’80s were. And any Ryan Murphy production.
Guilty pleasure: Pleasurable guilt isn’t something I acknowledge any longer. Life is short and challenging. If I want that chocolate chip cookie at midnight, I eat it. If I want that pair of shoes, I wait till they are on sale and I buy them.
Last thing you bought on Amazon: Skinny velvet hangers
What you collect: I go through phases. My most consistent collection would be vintage and newly acquired Baccarat crystal serving pieces and vintage barware. I received a Harmonie pitcher from my lifelong friend Ashley, which completed the set I’ve been collecting for over 20 years.
Best gift you’ve received: My father gave my brother and me Rolex Air-King watches in college. I wear mine daily, as does my brother.
Best advice you’ve ever received: Trust your instincts. It took awhile, but I eventually learned to take that advice.