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Interesting Person, Place and Thing

PATRICK DELANTY: THE BEST IN THE BIZ Überdesign star, Patrick Delanty, sat down to chat with us about his work, his inspirations, his favourite things – and the superpower he’d like most.

This month I caught up with Patrick Delanty. I’ve always been a huge fan of Patrick’s work and had the pleasure of working for him on a television show that he and Ty Pennington shot in Toronto.

From being featured in the pages of Vogue to his work with the stunning Halle Berry, Patrick Delanty is known as one of the best in the business with an inimitable eye for design. I simply adore his great taste, witty sense of humour and encyclopedic knowledge of all things chic.

Ewen: What is your title?

Delanty: Well I have several different titles, even though I am not fond of being labeled. For my Interior Design firm, Delanty Designs, NY – LA, I am the President/Owner, and then I am also the Design Director for Ty Pennington Productions, which is a television production company based in Los Angeles. In addition to that you could call me Prop Stylist, Photo/Video Shoot Director, Floral Designer, Location Scout, Casting Director, person who runs to get lunch for everyone, person who brings a bottle of wine to set at the end of the day … do I need to go on? I wear a lot of hats.

Ewen: Why do you do what you do?

Delanty: I’m extremely lucky because I really love what I do. By the way, I have never said “I do.” My work doesn’t feel like work, it is fun. Every day I get to work with amazing, talented creative people and, in turn, that means I’m learning new things with every project I work on.

Ewen: What’s your background and how did you get into design?

Delanty: Interestingly enough, I studied Advertising at Michigan State University since it was the most creative major I could find in the handbook. As for getting into design, my path began in sales in a small decorative accessories boutique in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened to be owned by an Interior Designer. My ambition plus interest in Interior Design garnered me an opportunity to move up to design assistant for the residential design department. Believe me, I paid my dues. However, each step of the way took me onwards on upwards to where I am today.

Ewen: Describe your ideal day.

Delanty: My ideal day starts early, around sunrise, with a cup of strong coffee and a quick perusal of the news online, after that a spin class at Equinox, and then back home to plan my day. If I’m in LA, it includes a drive down to the beach, which is near my office in Venice, to dive into the multitude of projects we are working on. For NYC, I hit the streets first thing, jump on the subway and take time to browse my favourite shops and showrooms for furniture, fabrics, accessories and especially artwork. In both cities, I work closely with craftsmen, furniture makers and artists, and nothing is more fun than stopping by their studios to check out their latest works. Bottom line: if I’m not working, I’m not having an ideal day.

Ewen: What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Delanty: I have had the amazing opportunity to work with some select clients who hire me to design their homes from top to bottom without seeing a single step of the process. So, I must say there is nothing like the “big reveal”, jaws dropping, tears of joy, lots of hugs, more tears, and a glass of champagne to toast a job well done. That is the best thank you for my creative efforts.

Ewen: What is your dream project?

Delanty: This is a great question. I’ve designed New York City apartments, California estates, beach houses on both U.S. coasts, a Canadian ski chalet and even a private trailer for use on movie locations for an actor. With that said, I’m always thinking outside the box and would love to design an interior for a private jet or yacht!

Ewen: What work do you enjoying doing most?

Delanty: Honestly, I enjoy the most challenging of projects, which usually means tight budgets; that is when you have to be your most creative as a designer in order to deliver a beautiful finished product. If a client came to me and said, “I really should never dream of hiring a designer and I only have a small bit of money to spend, but I love your style and design aesthetic,” I’m on it!

Ewen: How did it feel having your work discussed in Vogue?

Delanty: Talk about a wonderful surprise! I had no idea my design work with Halle [Berry] would be mentioned in the Vogue article. When she told me she was going to be on the cover of the iconic September Issue of Vogue (a first for an African American woman) I was so thrilled for her as a friend. She invited me to an unforgettable dinner she hosted for the writer Jonathan Van Meter at her Malibu beach house, which I worked to design with her. As is typical, she is so sweet and wanted my mention in the issue to be a surprise when I read it, which it was. Definitely a highlight of my design career!

Ewen: What superpower would you like to have and why?

Delanty: I would love to fly like a bird. Seeing things from above has always fascinated me, and it would be amazing to go wherever you want on a moment’s notice. No reservations required!

Ewen: What is your favourite or most inspirational place?

Delanty: Since I am a history buff and am obsessed with old world architecture of the past, I have to say London is pretty high up on my list. My visits there have always been so inspirational and leave me wanting to come back for more. If I can pick another I’d have to add in either Vancouver or Toronto. I’ve spent many months in each city working on film and TV productions and, in a way, they feel like home, but then again unique foreign countries at the same time.

Ewen: Tell us a little bit about the charity (or charities) you work with?

Delanty: My most rewarding charity work thus far has been with Jenesse Center of Los Angeles. It is the oldest domestic violence intervention program in Los Angeles. Our design team, headed by Halle Berry, renovated and decorated 27 apartments plus a learning centre in their South Central LA apartment complex. It was a lot of fun and hard work, but an amazing experience.

Ewen: Where would you like to be five years from now?

Delanty: This is the toughest question! I’m the type of person who believes we are all on individual paths, and I usually like to let that path unfold in front of me. However, if I did have a choice, in five years I’d love to have design offices in Toronto and Vancouver. And it has always been a goal to have my own line of decorative home accessories… so stay tuned!

SIDEBAR:

DELANTY’S FAVOURITES

PLACE: My favorite place I have visited is the Juvet Landscape Hotel (juvet.com) in Valldal, Norway. I had the opportunity to stay there while on a design tour of the country. It is a charming boutique hotel with green design, meant to blend into the landscape. It is truly an amazing special place, and I hope to return someday to spend more time there.

THING: My favorite new thing is my iPhone 5s. I am constantly taking photos for fun and for work, or to document inspirational designs I come across. The camera is amazing and the phone is fast and efficient! With all the programs and apps it is like having an office to go.