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Tony Duquette – King of Maximalism

Known to have said that one-of-a-kind is true luxury, Tony Duquette remains a one-of-a-kind icon himself in the realm of interior design. The words simple and minimal are so far from anything Duquette ever dreamt up. No one does “the excess of art” better than him and the title of “King of Maximalism” seems to be perfectly fitting.

The Monument Thong Lo, Bangkok Thailand

With the help of a single dinner party, Tony Duquette at age 27, rose to fame. Earning a plethora of clientele interested in his eclecticism in everything from interior design to costumes and jewelry, Duquette managed to wow everyone in the room. Hutton Wilkinson (former apprentice and business partner of Duquette for 30 years). remembers noticing that every person at the table ended up hiring Tony. A client for whom Duquette transformed his Beverly hills house claims that “He’d transform things right before your eyes”.

Palazzo Brandolini, Venice Italy

“Scavenging” is what Duquette referred to as shopping when finding truly unique pieces to fashion in completely unthinkable ways, many of which were to be found in his own extravagant homes. Who else could turn lemon juicers into finials or create sculptures out of red-painted branches and rakes? It really takes a special kind of eye to dream up such inventions. Duquette was used to finding inspiration everywhere from cities like Venice, old movies, and Renaissance-era architecture, “More is more” is the motto Duquette lived his life by. Wilkinson has said that layering was what it had all centred around. Just a plain cost of paint didn’t do anything, you put fabric over the paint followed by a tapestry over that and then you finished with a painting in the middle. Today, you can visit Duquette and his wife’s very own home by the name of “Dawnridge” in Los Angeles. Wilkinson has redecorated the house using creations made by Duquette and his wife.

Dawnridge – Los Angeles

Duquette’s work is not for everyone, that remains true, but rather for those with large, intricate, and artistic personalities. Hutton Wilkinson used to say “If it isn’t fabulous, it’s meaningless.” Now running Tony Duquette Inc, the work of the king lives on through Wilkinson.

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