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THE DOSSIER: NAME: Patrick Dragonette and Charles Tucker. TRADE: Founder of Dragonette Ltd. and Design Director, respectively. VIBE: Midcentury Mix ABODE: 1926 Moorish home in West Hollywood, California.
As these stories often do, it started in New York. Patrick Dragonette and his partner, Charles Tucker were facing unemployment during an economic downswing when they received some fortuitous advice. “A friend said, ‘If you’re going to be unemployed, you might as well do it in LA, at least the weather’s nice.’” With that, they packed up everything but the baby grand, moved to the Hollywood Hills and soon after, Dragonette Ltd was born in a small West Coast antiques mall. Now operating out of an impressive 3,000 square foot space in the coveted La Cienega Design Quarter, Dragonette has made a name for himself worldwide as a top purveyor of high-end midcentury design and a leading authority on the work of designer William Haines.
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES “Two years ago I told Charles, ‘I’m redoing the place or we’re moving,’” says Dragonette of the spark to refresh their historic West Hollywood apartment–a space once owned by famed decorator Tony Duquette. As they began to redecorate, Dragonette ignored the constraints of certain styles. Avoiding what he calls a “precious, museum-like approach” to interior decorating, their home features a menagerie of influences from antique accents to midcentury classics. “When everything is the same style, things hardly stand out. But by mixing it up, you’ll create a space that’s dynamic and interesting.”
ARTFUL ABODE Surrounded by art all day, the pair originally conceived of their home as a break from visual stimulation, limiting the works they hung to a few choice pieces. “This time around, I realized I don’t need a respite from it,” said Dragonette of their decision to do salon style gallery walls. “We find these pieces and I think, I don’t want to sell that, I want to live with it.” Photographs by Imogen Cunningham and Julius Shulman are mixed in with vintage pieces and works found while traveling abroad.
CRAFTING WITH COLOR “To be honest, Charles was a little worried when I told him what colors I wanted to use in the living room” Dragonette explains of the grey walls, bright white trim, and lipstick red accents, “he thought it might feel dated.” To combat this concern, Dragonette introduced hyper-modern pieces, like a Herve Van der Straeten Lamp in red enamel and oddball accents, like a sculpted Fornasetti Chair.
PERSONAL TOUCHES When it comes to interiors, Dragonette’s prescription for success is all about surrounding yourself with the little things you love. “I bought this art deco chest when I was twenty-two for my very first apartment and I carried it home, which was no easy feat.” Recently, he had it refinished and placed it in the living area. “Ultimately,” he explained, “the great thing about interiors is that they enhance your life. I go home and I’m happy. That’s what it’s all about.”
Read more on Domaine Home to get the look of Patrick Dragonette's West Hollywood home.