While Charles Faudree was known worldwide, he was a Tulsa-based interior designer and philanthropist. He was best known as an expert in French Country décor and kept a shop and studio in Tulsa’s Cherry Street District. Throughout his 35-year career he worked with clients worldwide. His work has been featured in various books and magazines.
A native of Muskogee, Faudree graduated from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah with an art degree and then attended Kansas City Art Institute. He would go on to teach art and sell home furnishings, living in Dallas for several years.
In late 1977, he moved back to Muskogee and opened a design studio and antiques shop. Helping redesign a home there for his sister Francie, Faudree, suddenly found himself launched on a new career.
Within a few years, Faudree was building an impressive list of clients from across the U.S. and Europe. His designs were appearing in such magazines as House Beautiful, Southern Living, Traditional Home, House and Garden, as well as a number of decorating books.
Faudree was named Traditional Home’s Designer of the Year in 1995. He was later hailed by House Beautiful as one of America’s top 100 interior designers for three consecutive years, 2000–2004.
In 1995, Charles assisted former first lady Cathy Keating in refurbishing the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion.
Faudree wrote five books on design. His first, in 2003, Charles Faudree’s Country French Signature, was released by Gibbs-Smith Publishers and is now in its ninth printing with more than 60,000 copies sold.
In 2008, Faudree created his own fabric line, a first for him, collaborating with Tulsa-based textile brand Vervain.
Though French Country remained his favorite – Southern décor was also high on his list. Faudree believed good decorating was “about the mix and not the match,” and that varying styles, both old and modern, could be brought together to create settings of beauty and comfort.
Faudree also had a passion for dogs. He owned several of his favorite breed, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, during the last 25 years, while building an impressive collection of dog paintings and statues.
In the early 1970s, Faudree was one of the founders of Oklahomans for Human Rights in Oklahoma City. He worked with others to found a Tulsa chapter of OHR – the forerunner of Oklahomans for Equality – in the late 1970s.
A noted philanthropist, Faudree was the guest of honor in March 2013 at Tulsa CARES’ 15th annual Red Ribbon Gala, which supports people affected by HIV/AIDS. Faudree was a founding member of the organization.
Charles Faudree died November 27, 2013 at the age of 75.
Interview with Charles Faudree
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: October 8, 2012
Date Published: February 13, 2014
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Traditional Homes, Country Living, Southern Living, Southern Accents, Walt Helmerich, Randolph Hearst, Joann Hearst, Armand Hammer, Architectural Digest, Governor Frank Keating, Alfonso Hotel Seville, Dubai, Tulsa Home and Garden, Interior Design