Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Tony Duquette and out and about in L.A.

While we were visiting Hutton and Ruth Wilkinson's fabulous Casa Contessa we were treated to a peek at Tony Duquette's iconic and inimitable Dawnridge.
A 1960's portrait of Tony Duquette by Marion M Pike. Many notables sat for her including Coco Channel, Norton Simon, Zubin Mehta, Rosalind Russell, and Ronald Reagan.
The main reception room is magnificent theater. Abalone panels made by Duquette with spray paint and glue, signature sunburst lighting, corals, golds, and whimsical Duquettery conjures a lost temple hidden in a jungle.  Until you look up at the ceiling!
This Venetian murano glass masterpiece cascades a perennial bouquet of lilies and light over the drawing room. Ventian style inspired Duquette, as Venice epitomizes the confluence of grand European and opulent Eastern design.  Carnivale masks and fancy dress were the Duquette signature entertainment. Elizabeth Duquette, adored wife of Tony nick-named Beegle, painted the entry doors to the house, setting the stage. 
Industrial salvage columns anchor the torchieres flanking the doors,buffed and sprayed in gold.  Theater set people were the original smoke and mirrors preceeding the current DIY movement. Hutton Wilkinson, Tony's creative partner, and current president and creative director of Tony Duquette, laughingly calls them his ironic columns. 
Lavish passementerie trim detailing around the door moldings in the entrance halls are the non plus ultra. Talk about industrious bees, the house was their life, their workshop, and mad design laboratory.
Loretta Young wears her Tony Duquette mask at the bal de tête in Los Angeles. Here Tony and
Loretta accept first prize for her mask. Friends, we so did miss cafe society.
 The famed "meuble" that Tony Duquette created for Elsie de Wolfe, who later became Lady Mendl, was returned to the Duquettes through her estate. This was the secretary that launched a thousand interior design jobs, as Elsie de Wolfe, grande dame that she was, promoted him internationally. 
Detail of the inset
Brilliant Hutton Wilkinson has turned it into a knock out fabric for Jim Thompson's Duquette line.
Stacy Kunstel of Stacy Style and Annie Selkie of Pine Cone Hill and author of Fresh American Spaces, dressed for the occasion. It was also great  to finally meet fellow blogger Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence, who has also published her take on the wonderful hospitality bestowed by the Wilkinsons. 

Thank you Hutton and Ruth for all your amazing hospitality to the bloggerati during the Design Bloggers Conference! And.. if you haven't seen Hutton's dazzling designs for Coach, you must be blind. Its hot, hot, hot and all over media town. 

Visit Dovecote Decor's online store 
to see our ever growing line of 
furniture, accessories
and lighting.


  1. Liz thank you again for showing us these fabulous glimpses into a world of such incredible creativity and luxury.

    Love the photo of Loretta Young with Tony. As a young girl I thought she was so lovely and reminded me of my Aunt Sally.

    Art by Karena

  2. Liz,
    These images are so beautiful. The chandelier and sconces are icing on the cake!

  3. Perfectly fantastic, Liz. Thanks for the photos and tour!

  4. What a great post, Liz. It absolutely amazes me that I was there at the same time and yet I see it completely differently through your eyes. It's like having a behind-the-scenes tour of my own behind-the-scenes tour! Thanks so much for including the photo of me and Annie! Best, Stacy

  5. Absolutely fabulous, as of course I knew it would be!! I am so glad to have all this information, as I was so overwhelmed when seeing it, I couldn't remember all the tidbits of history afterwards!! And SO great to finally meet you too!!

  6. That must have been amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  7. L.....I am sooo jealous. I've recently been stalking Remains (sample sale) where the "Magic Forest" sconce is calling my name....of course divorce would inevitably come after such a purchase....sigh Great post...k

  8. Aha! I've finally managed to get my RSS feed to deliver you to my door, and now I understand what you meant by your message - wild side indeed! It's rendered me quite speechless actually. Truly a case of house as mad design laboratory. Would that there were more people willing not just to push beyond the envelope but to burst out of its bounds entirely. What a wonderful antidote to all the 'trends' out there, which I believe keep us from stretching our imaginations and from madly experimenting to find what sort of places each of us really want to live in.

  9. Gorgeous line up and amazing talent pool, all in one post :) XO, Kelly

  10. Hi! I snagged that Mermaid necklace! They were sold out in a heartbeat!!

    Love this blog! Going there tomorrow night to a party with Emily Eerdmans and Brooke Giannetti! So fun!

  11. sharing amazing post....
    clcik on


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