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A Chat with Patrick Dragonette,Owner of Dragonette in West Hollywood

For years, Dragonette on La Cienega has been one of my favorite antiques stores. So, I was thrilled when its proprietor, Patrick Dragonette, agreed to design the den of The Christopher Kennedy Compound: Modernism Week Show House. I recently sat down with Patrick to learn more about his history, passion for vintage furniture, and thoughts about Palm Springs.

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1.) CK: How did you get into the vintage and antique furniture business?
Patrick Dragonette: I grew up in the antiques business in Ohio — mostly much more rustic and traditional objects than I sell now. I moved to New York City to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I worked as a singer and performer, but kept my interest in collecting. When I moved to Los Angeles, I rented a small 10×4 foot space at a showcase mall and began to sell what I collected over the years in New York. At first, I was fearful I wouldn’t sell anything, but it kept growing. Seventeen years ago I rented my showroom on La Cienega and I’ve never looked back.

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2.) CK: What do you look for in the objects that you purchase to sell in your store?
Patrick Dragonette: More than anything, when I see something, I ask myself, “If it doesn’t sell would I want to live with it?” That’s the most important thing to me.

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3.) CK: What makes Dragonette Ltd. unique?
Patrick Dragonette: Everything is filtered through my eye, like I said, if I wouldn’t want it in my home, I don’t carry it. It’s the way I see things and put them together that makes Dragonette work.

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4.) CK: What attracted you to the Christopher Kennedy Compound: Modernism Show House?
Patrick Dragonette: I’ve exhibited at the Modernism Show in the past, so I know what a major international design event it has become. I also liked the opportunity to work Luxe Interiors + Design again, having contributed to their Greystone Mansion show house. And of course, the idea of the show house being in Palm Springs was very sexy to me. It’s an amazing place — the air feels different, the atmosphere is different, the light is gorgeous. The purple color of the mountains, the blue of the sky — it’s magical.

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5.) CK: Will you give us a preview of what you have in store for the den of the Christopher Kennedy Compound?
Patrick Dragonette: I’ve envisioned it as Billy Haines meets Angelo Donghia. The house is really sun-filled, so I want to make the den a little darker and cozier than the other rooms…a place to put your feet up, watch TV and feel embraced — like the room is giving you a big hug.