837 Millett2

Caroline Dunlop Millett


BSR Contributor Since April 18, 2013

Caroline Dunlop Millett is a design and fine arts consultant, and also creates and directs arts projects for institutions. She lives in the University City area of Philadelphia. Visit her website at www.millettdesign.com.


• Re Designing Design, Copyright © 2012, Revised Edition

• Today's Historic Interiors, Copyright © 2011, with E. Ashley Rooney, Schiffer Publishing Company.

• Broad Street Review, Cultural commentary, art and design critiques, 2008-2013.

• Columnist, Ranch and Cove, “Narrative Style†home design columns, 2004-2005.


• President, Millett Design, 1992-2013: This full service residential design firm based in Philadelphia offers consultations throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The firm specializes in custom design concepts, historic preservation, renovations, and teaching interior design.

• President, Millett Enterprises, 1985-1991: A residential and commercial real estate development firm that owned, designed, and managed over 180 properties in Philadelphia – primarily historic preservations and renovations. Millett owned, rebuilt, and landscaped The Cloisters, a school, church, and rectory in historic Powelton Village. During this period she redesigned and renovated the twin neo-Palladian townhouses that serve as Millett Design's current headquarters.

• Adjunct Professor, University of Pennsylvania, 1987-1989 and 1992-2005: Taught entrepreneurial real estate courses and taught interior design in the College of General Studies.

• Real Estate Developer, 1974-1982: Beginning with her own 3-unit home in Logan Circle, Washington, DC, subsequently, with her investment partners, she bought, renovated and sold over 75 residential and commercial properties in Washington as well as 20 townhouses in Baltimore, Md.


• Vice President, University of the Arts, 1984-1985, Millett supervised fine arts gallery, fundraising, public relations, and special events.

• Adjunct Professor, University of Pennsylvania, College of General Studies, 1992-2005; She taught interior design courses; and 1987-1989 real estate entrepreneurial courses.

• Volunteer Teacher, Washington Public Schools, 1979-1980, Training program for disadvantaged teenagers.

• Director, U.S.-Brazilian Binational Colleges, 1969–1970, In Brasília and Goias, Brazil, Millett supervised colleges with a total of about 2,000 adult students.

• Director, São Paulo Alumni Association, 1967-1969, Established and directed a new American-Brazilian language and cultural studies center.

• Teacher and Counselor, California public high schools, 1964-1965: In Palo Alto and San Jose, California (Certificate of Education in 1964).


Foreign Service Officer with Diplomatic Status, from 1966 to 1982, Assignments Included:

• Advisor on the Arts, Department of State and U.S. Information Agency (USIA), 1979–1981.

• Executive Secretary, Inter-Agency Committee on the Arts (coordinating the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, Department of State, USIA, and the National Collection of Fine Arts) 1975-1978.

• Department of State Delegate, President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, mid 1970's.

• Film Director at USIA, produced news releases featuring Secretary of State Kissinger and other dignitaries, for overseas distribution.

• Coordinator, Venice and São Paulo Biennials, international arts exhibitions, including “Made in Chicago,†U.S. Contribution to São Paulo in 1973.

• Coordinator of Architectural Programs, USIA, programmed library and multimedia materials for all posts overseas, and arranged State Department “leader grants,†1972-1973.

• Cultural Attaché, Brasília, Brazil, 1969–1970.


• Stanford University, M.A., 1963, in American cultural history; also Stanford School of Law, 1961-62; Graduate School of Education, 1964; Graduate School of Art and Design, 1965.

• University of Wisconsin, B.A., 1961, in U.S. history and comparative literature.

• University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1959-1960, one year of course studies in fine arts, architecture, and British colonial history.


In recent years, Caroline has devoted herself primarily to University City educational and arts programs. These included a landscape “Art Walk†above the railroad tracks and river— for which SEPTA had agreed to donate the land.

Formerly she served as a Trustee of the Preservation Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and as Trustee of the Wilma Theater. At Andalusia, in Bucks County, Millett sponsored special events with James Biddle, featuring his historic estate, where she had a country retreat for twelve years.

She also worked with the West Philadelphia Coalition of Neighborhoods and Businesses, and the Print Center. She was Vice President and board member of the Powelton Village Civic Association. The Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia honored her for most outstanding contribution to the interior design profession in 1999.

By this Author

15 results
Page 1
One size doesn't fit all.

To save our schools: Practical solutions

All it takes is ingenuity

Gary Day wants us to save America’s public schools by having fewer children. In fact, far less drastic solutions already exist. Here are four practical suggestions from a teacher and businesswoman who’s been there and done that.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 6 minute read
Napoleon's bed was fit for an emperor, but not necessarily for sleeping.

"Narrative style' in interior design

It worked for Napoleon (but he lacked Internet access)

Napoleon defined his unique persona through his imperial furnishings. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, "Empire Style" is out and “Narrative Style” is in when it comes to home décor. It's a good way to express yourself and maybe even save your marriage— but only if you know yourself.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 7 minute read
Deservedly or not, the 'Man of the Monkey' became an object of veneration.

Artistic freedom and Brazil's "Man of the Monkey'

The artist, the fascists and the jungle: A Brazilian mystery

On a Brazilian jungle island that housed a prison for political dissidents, inhabitants told tales of a shadowy "Man of the Monkey" who possessed multiple talents and exercised awesome powers. Was he real, or a figment of superstition? Under a government bent on driving its subjects crazy, who could say for sure?
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 4 minute read
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, a giant TV screen, a Naugahyde sofa... and not thou.

The man cave as intimate space

No girls allowed: The man cave as design challenge

Henpecked husbands are rebelling by carving out their own domestic retreats where they can smoke cigars, watch porno films and slurp pizza free from wifely constraints. It's a psychologically healthy method of escaping without getting away.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 3 minute read
The Lascaux cave paintings (above) survived; imagine what didn't.

Cave dwellers, home design and the Penn Museum

Why cave dwellers didn't hire interior designers

How did prehistoric cave dwellers decorate their homes? What can they teach an interior designer like me? In my personal sanctuary, the awesome but underappreciated Penn Museum, I've found some answers.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 5 minute read
Connelly's 'Still Life': A show for his friends.

"Out of Order' at Chestnut Hill Gallery

Quality and camaraderie: Four friends

Four well-known artists, with little in common beside their intensity and their mutual friendship, sit wondrously well together at this innovative exhibit.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 1 minute read
Jefferson's dining room: A matter of 'reinterpretation.'

Ralph Lauren at Monticello (Part 2)

Fashion vs. history: Remaking Thomas Jefferson (Part 2)

Ralph Lauren and Monticello's curator now insist Lauren had nothing to do with revamping Thomas Jefferson's dining room (aside from funding it). But somebody did indeed revamp it.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 3 minute read

Ralph Lauren's Monticello makeover

Ralph Lauren remakes Thomas Jefferson

The designer Ralph Lauren sells fashion, not history. So why is this darling of America's nouveau riche redesigning Thomas Jefferson's dining room?
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 4 minute read
Converted loft: Light and color matter, but is it you?

The home as art: practical advice

My home, my museum, or: How to handle ‘a woman's third crisis'

Home design is one of the few opportunities American adults have to express themselves with genuine creative freedom. The process really can be pleasurable— even exciting— if you develop the basic design skills and seek expert advice when it's necessary.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Articles 4 minute read
Minimalist house by MariÓ  CastellÓ³ Martinez: But is it really you?

Down with minimalist design!

Down with purity, up with character: Radical (but sensible) home design tips

In contemporary minimalist homes, the best imagery is usually the view out the window. How can enlightened homeowners infuse color, chaos and character into their rooms? It's not difficult if you follow a few basic principles.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 6 minute read
'Cellophane House': I couldn't resist decorating.

Pre-fab dwellings at MOMA in New York

Pre-fab housing:
Confessions of a convert

Where I grew up, factory-made homes meant trailer trash or cookie-cutter suburban sprawl. But the creative pre-fab homes on display at MOMA provide us with intelligent solutions to many pressing environmental and economic issues.

“Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling.” Through October 20, 2008 (Part I) and October 26, 2008 (Part II), at Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 St., New York. (212) 708-9400 or www.moma.org.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 4 minute read
1022 vermeer

Home design: My ideal kitchen

The kitchen has become the social center of the American home. But most designs fail to satisfy homeowners’ yearning for beauty, relaxation and personal identity. Why not take a lesson from those 17th-Century Dutch kitchens celebrated by Rembrandt and Vermeer?
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 5 minute read
902 seymourjane

Home design: The personal style

Not long ago, most people were satisfied if their homes were simply beautiful, functional and comfortable. Today every homeowner wants to make a personal statement too. But discovering the “real you” is no simple task. A few suggestions from a home designer.
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 7 minute read

The home as art

Americans spend fortunes on their homes. Why, then, do so many affluent homes look as if they were lifted from a magazine spread or a Ralph Lauren catalogue? Why not think of our homes as artistic expressions of ourselves?
Caroline Dunlop Millett

Caroline Dunlop Millett

Essays 6 minute read
Juvenile in justice