Richard Mishaan and Tony Duquette

When the estate of Tony Duquette, fabled designer of Hollywood homes, came up for sale after his death in 1999, Richard Mishaan snapped up some amazing pieces for his own Hamptons retreat. Richard Mishaan, architect, fashion designer, now interior designer, is one of the top in the field. At first glance, the house seems to be very grand and formal. But then the fun comes in when one realizes that the Duquette console and mirror in the Dining Room had the glass appliqued on with a glue gun. And the "ivory" pagodas are made of resin. Tony Duquette was certainly known for his theatricality, and he certainly used his tricks of the trade when creating these pieces!

House and Garden, August 2004, Photos by Fernando Bengoechea

The "coral" in this chandelier, also by Duquette, was made using sticks and red paint. Some of you may be thinking about your next DIY project about now perhaps? I must say that this dining room has been in my inspiration file for a few years now, and I find it very fresh and current. I think Mr. Mishaan shows his genius at combining seemingly disparate elements in this elegant, yet approachable space. The more serious tradition of the the window, cupboard and flooring are suddenly transformed by the white lacquer table and contemporary chairs into a friendly, fun, space that is certainly more usable than your typical formal Dining Room.

Tony Duquette is one of the most fascinating designers that has ever graced a magazine page. Many have called him theatrical, over the top, and eccentric. His ideas have been an inspiration to many designers who have followed. I wanted to let you all know about the soon-to-be-released book that is a must have for anyone interested in Mr. Duquette and design history. I have preordered mine through Amazon:

"Book Description: American artist and design legend Tony Duquette (1914–1999) was known for his over-the-top style in interiors, jewelry, costumes, and set design. His clients included Elizabeth Arden, the Duchess of Windsor, and Herb Albert. The multi-talented Duquette designed sets for MGM musicals with Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, and designed Tony Award–winning costumes for the original Broadway production of β€œCamelot.” Duquette was the first American to exhibit a one-man show at the Louvre in Paris. Tony Duquette is a lavishly illustrated book with many lost and never-before published photographs from the Duquette archives, including portraits and pictures taken by Man Ray, John Engstead, Fredrich Dapriche, Andre Ostier, George Platt Lynnes, as well as original sketches, designs, and texts by Duquette himself. With commentary, interviews, stories, and contributions from Liza Minnelli, Arlene Dahl, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, and others. " as quoted from Amazon