By Janice Harris
Over the past year, we’ve created a special relationship with the world-renowned product and interior designer and show expert Christopher Grubb, who just so happened to introduce us to his colleague, acclaimed designer Dorothy Willetts of Willetts Design & Associates at the Spring High Point Market trade expo. Dorothy’s design firm, which is located in Southern California in the La Quinta/Palm Springs area, specializes in creating aesthetically-pleasing, easy-going home environments. Dorothy has over a decade of industry experience and a swoon-worthy resume filled with A-list clientele.
With the Lexington Home Brands showroom as the backdrop, Christopher and Dorothy discussed her firm, current design trends, and her latest (and uber-exciting!) project. Here’s an abbreviated version of their special chat.
Christopher Grubb (C.G.): Dorothy, this is your first High Point Market. Do you have any takeaways from the event so far?
Dorothy Willetts (D.W.): Well, there are so many things I’ve seen here that I’m so excited about. [For example,] I see a lot of texture...including natural woods and metal finishes. I’m also noticing a lot of jewel tones; there’s lots of purple and green here at the show.
C.G.: You had quite the fantasy project, which resulted in a 10-page spread in the Robb Report. Tell us about this project.
D.W.: For this project, I worked with a great client out of Beverly Hills, and we were published in the April issue [of the Robb Report]. The whole project was such a blessing. I designed a 40,000 square foot home, and I was able to do whatever I wanted with the interiors. We went with a Balinese/South Pacific-style inside, and we also worked on some auxiliary buildings. The property has a 2 ½ acre lake, a beach, and a 4-hole golf course. Because of its size, we treated this entire project like we would treat a resort. [For perspective,] in the end, we did 250 outdoor pillows and designed 11 bedrooms.
C.G.: How did you get into interior design? Also, tell us more about your business, Willetts Design & Associates.
D.W.: I loved arranging my room as a kid, but my work in design really started when I studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and then apprenticed under Bruce Gregga right out of college. It was my first introduction to interiors. Today, I’ve been in business for 14 years with my own firm.
C.G.: It’s a question you’re probably asked a lot, but do you have a certain design style or background?
D.W.: What informed me [in my work] is my background and experiences. I was raised on the east coast, I went to school in the midwest, and then I moved to the west coast. It shapes what I do because I tend to blend different styles together.
C.G.: Do you have a tip that homeowners can use to help improve their homes?
D.W.: I think people should focus on texture. If there’s a way to incorporate texture with your flooring, a beautiful wall covering, or accessories, try it. This is always a good way to improve and add to your house.
We are excited to share video coverage of this exclusive conversation with you in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to Tipster TV.
Until then, check out the Willetts Design & Associates website where you can view photos from her phenomenal Coachella “dream project.”
Thank you, Christopher and Dorothy!