Hutton Wilkinson designs rooms that combine maximalism with a heaping sense of exuberance. You've likely seen his work in glossies ranging from Veranda to Harper's Bazaar, or perhaps seen his name as the author of books on decor: "Tony Duquette" and "More is More: Tony Duquette". The rooms designed by Wilkinson are the sort that you never, ever forget about. These are places where you'll find 20-foot ceilings painted a pale amethyst, or walls that take on the look of emerald velvet.
Such an aesthetic was nurtured by one of the most iconic designers of the mid-to-late 20th century: Tony Duquette. He was, of course, one of the go-to designers for Old Hollywood legends to famed socialites, who were drawn to his signature opulent style. (Fun fact: He also was the first American to have a one-man show at the Louvre, which happened in 1951.) Wilkinson had the privilege of working with and personally knowing the designer from the tender age of 17 up until Duquette's passing in 1999.
Today, Wilkinson is keeper of the designer's legacy as the owner, creative director and president of Tony Duquette, Inc. Part of his job? Overseeing Duquette's lavish Beverly Hills estate, Dawnridge. It's an easy task, since he and his wife Ruth live right next door (the two estates share a magnificent garden). Wilkinson gave us a peek into the guest home at Dawnridge, which he decorated with vintage finds and designer pieces from his personal collection — all of which are currently for sale on luxury consignment site Viyet
. From an open and airy dining nook to a refined (but not boring) sitting room, we can get a sense of how the designer approaches blending old and new to an original result.
The dining nook has a clean, modern feel that comes through the choice of sleeker pieces. The white walls let the various patterns take the spotlight and give space for the eye to rest. Here, Wilkinson combined new and old in the nook. The modern lacquered-base table
has a mid-century feel that works well with velvet-uphosltered Stendig chairs
An L-shaped sofa counters the shapely Louis XV-style bergère
, while the gold zebra print pillows echoes the zebra-print carpet. Again, it's a clever mix of modern pieces with antique and antique-inspired furnishings. Keeping these pieces (relatively) neutral allows the focus to shift to the great mural in the hall behind this space.
Wilkinson counts on textiles to help further the opulent feel of a space, even when it's outdoors. Here, we see a mix-and-match approach, with stripes on the cushions of the vintage chairs countering the blue-and-white allover print tablecloth. The bold pattern does nicely update the set in a fresh way.