THE INCOMPARABLE …TONY DUQUETTE

 

There are many good interior designers. There are many fantastic furniture designers. There are many ultra-creative lighting designers. There are numerous designers of accessories and “objets” for the house that are singular and elegant. There are many designers of stunning jewelry. There are many designers of costumes and stage sets for the movies. There are not, however many individuals with all of these talents combined together PLUS a stellar individuality to create interior environments that were so unique that their talent pushed them to a level all their own. Such was the mastery of  Tony Duquette. With his proverbial expression that “more is more,” he had one of the most outstanding careers of the twentieth century.

If you haven’t heard of him before you will probably start to notice his pieces more and more as you prowl the design market. Baker Furniture has reintroduced many of his best pieces. Jim Thompson Fabrics has come out with a line of his fabrics. A fantastic book  called “More is More Tony Duquette,” written by Hutton Wilkinson, his dear friend and long time design associate,  was published recently.

I adore the energy and strength of his work. Colors and patterns jump out at you. Nothing is timid…everything is bold.  His ability to integrate patterns and strong furniture design into various environments utilizing  Asian, Moroccan or Victorian concepts speaks for itself. You just wish you could have lived in one of his rooms, if only for a short time, so you could closely examine each and every detail.

Duquette  described his style as “Natural Baroque” because he utilized so many shells, coral, feathers, bones and antlers in his work.  He was an expert at integrating  the expensive with the common, the high with the low. He loved all things beautiful and never repeated his designs. Every client had their own custom interpretation of luxury as he believed that luxury  meant “that it’s just for you”…LOVE THAT! And I love Wilkinson’s description of the furniture: “decorative punctuation marks,” “jewelry in the room.”

His main hunting ground was Hollywood, but the entire world inspired Duquette to create, and he had commissions all over the world. His ability to “mix it up” at such a high level makes him one of my design gurus. Now I am hoping I can get a chance to see his work up front and personal the next time I go out to Los Angeles…and if it happens I promise to share any great snaps I get with you!

Here are some examples of some of the pieces you can purchase through Baker:

AND here are some of my favorite fabrics available through Jim Thompson:

Ciao ciao “til Thursday!