The Francis Files
The Notebook: Tony Duquette's Dazzling World
JANUARY 11, 2023 - Written by Kevin O'Gara
Tony Duquette was a renowned interior designer known for his layered, opulent style, incorporating a wide range of diverse elements into his designs. He started out designing for the stage and film – and wasn’t afraid to take risks and push boundaries, often incorporating unusual found materials and bold colors into his work, creating a unique and playful mix-and-match style that has been described as "Space Age Baroque."
One of Duquette's most iconic and signature projects is the Dawnridge estate, which he built with his wife. Located in Beverly Hills, the estate was bought by his long-time business partner after his death and revitalized, featuring his signature worldly style, with gold leaf finishes, hand-painted murals, and intricate ornamentation. His work on this historic estate solidified his reputation as a master of Hollywood Regency style, a design movement characterized by the layered use of bold and bright colors, intricate patterns, and bold statement pieces with exaggerated proportions.
Duquette paved the way for a more playful and extravagant approach to interior design. His bold use of color and mix-and-match aesthetic influenced a generation of designers and is still felt today, particularly in the current "maximalist epoch," in which Duquette has become an icon. His legacy lives on through the Tony Duquette studios, which is now run by his business partner, Hutton Wilkinson. The studio continues to produce luxurious and imaginative designs, carrying on Duquette's vision and style. His work has been featured in both publications and exhibitions (he was the first American designer to have a solo exhibit at the Louvre), and his design philosophy, which emphasizes the power of creativity and imagination, leaves behind a beautiful legacy.
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