“More is more” was the philosophy that the insanely talented Tony Duquette (1919 – 1999) lived and worked by. Duquette – who worked as a set and costume designer for the stage and screen and lived a terribly glamorous life among the glitterati of Hollywood in its heyday – successfully translated his colourful, eclectic and often outrageous vision to home decor and jewelry as well. His interiors are the stuff of fantasy, and it’s therefore no wonder that many a photo shoot has taken place at his former Beverly Hills Estate Dawnridge. The latest, featuring Salma Hayek in the July issue of InStyle magazine, reminded me once again what a genius this man was. His home provides the perfect backdrop for a beauty like Hayek. What a pleasure to look at! I especially enjoyed some of the behind-the-scenes shots.

Duquette, who got his big break in Hollywood when the late, great Elsie de Woolfe took him under her wing, was amazing at thinking outside the box, and was apparently a wiz with a glue gun and a can of spray paint. Just like that he could transform a twig into a piece of coral (what a fabulous idea!). Dawnridge is a testament to his creative mind. Duquette was, in fact, a master of illusion. He often worked with cheap materials, to which he would then apply his DIY skills like Michelangelo to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (forgive the superlatives, but I am simply in awe!). The result is inspired.

Dawnridge was later bought by Duquette’s former protégé and business partner Hutton Wilkinson (another genius!) and his wife. The property couldn’t have passed on to a better owner, as Wilkinson has taken it upon himself to preserve and maintain Duquette’s legacy. The interior has been updated or redecorated as a tribute to Duquette and his wife Elizabeth.

This property is very high up on my bucket list!!

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