Friday, February 3, 2012

Style Muse (People we love): Tony Duquette

This is the first of our new series on our favorite designers and style muses. From them, we can learn more about what we love and get ideas for our own homes and selves.
Who better to inaugurate this series than one of our favorite designers, the late, great Tony Duquette (June 1914 – September 1999).
"More is more" was his mantra and nowhere was that more evident in his fabulous homes, Dawnridge in California, and his Malibu estate Sortilegium. His homes were layered in patterns, colors, textures, gilt (and lots of it), findings from around the world, highbrow, and lowbrow items, where a priceless antique could be found next to an item from a garage sale. While many of his items may have been priceless, he always said that beauty, not luxury, was what he valued. Gold spray paint could work wonders. His homes have a timeless quality, a feeling of Alice in Wonderland, where the Queen of Hearts or the White Rabbit could pop out at any moment. 

He was a jewellery designer...

A picture of his wife Elizabeth (nicknamed Beegle because she reminded him of the industry of a bee and the poetry of an eagle) wearing one of his creations
Item from the new Tony Duquette for Coach collection based on his archives and favorite motifs (including animals, sunbursts, seashells and jewels)

A costume and set designer...


But more than anything, he was a great home designer who knew that a home can be a fantasy.

                                                          Dawnbridge Drawing Room                                                        

                                                            Dawnridge Drawing room

                                                          Dawnbridge Drawing Room
                                                              Dawnbridge Bedroom

 Dawnridge Dining Pavillion
Tony Duquette Studio
Part of his collection of vermeil decorations
                                               (images from

For more on Tony's style, see the book by his long term business partner, Hutton Wilkinson, More is More, and Tony Duquette (by Hutton Wilkinson and Wendy Goodman) available on Amazon.

Style Takeaways
Layering + Gilt + Jewel tones + Collections = Amazing!