Grant Dillon muses with long time friend Joel Rickert about his
past, present passions and inspirations about home
demonstrated an ability to create a personal environment of warmth, comfort
and distinction. "I used to change rooms and move furniture while my mother
was working." "She understood and encouraged my passion from an early
age." "I have always been inspired by her decorating flair and ingenuity of
products and objects she would incorporate into our ever changing homes."
learned to be industrious from an early age. "She would take me on these day
long thrift store journey's when I was a little boy, beaming with whatever
treasure she would come across and we would end up transporting home in her
Volkswagen Beetle." "We hauled everything but the kitchen sink in that little
car, actually we hauled a bathroom sink!" "I hated it, in those days people just
didn't shop thrift stores, it wasn't something I appreciated by any means, I
hadn't realized how ahead of her time she was." Ms. Butler lived in San
Francisco in the 1940's & 50's as a young girl working at such San Francisco
landmarks as "The Fairmont Hotel" as a hat-check girl, The Actors Club,
where she met prominent entertainers and "The Purple Onion." To satisfy her
creative nature she began making draperies for friends and then had orders
from businesses and offices, the ever busy and talented woman instilled in her
children the creative drive that has kept her thriving today.
Grant's brother Michael Files is a Sacramento artisan, "Mike is a Virgo
perfectionist whose talents range from photography to metal sculpture and
most recently he's added to his repertoire tattooing." Mike is a natural, any
creative endeavor he attempts he does wonderfully.
Grant began working for prominent Interior Decorator Mildred Reis which
allowed him entry into the actual business of interior design. "Ms. Reis had
such confidence in my abilities, even at 20 years old she allowed me free rein
with her stores window displays and then into the showroom." "She was such
a sweet woman bringing me sandwiches everyday and making an "official"
lunch hour where we had to sit together and just chat." "I am ever grateful for
her taking me under her wing." Never having officially studied interior design
didn't hinder Grants developing talents. "I have always enjoyed manipulating
an environment, taking something inexpensive and in such a raw state and
transforming it into something of beauty that's livable, comfortable and
resale furniture store in San Francisco's eclectic Mission District. "One of the
hardest things I've ever done, with great rewards and great heartaches."
"Greenhaven" encompassed 8,000 square feet, employed 10 and was direct
import of 1920's to 1960's English and Scandinavian furniture. "Joe went to
Denmark and England and made contacts which began the overseas pipeline of
40 foot containers of furniture heading across the seas to our store." "Have
you ever unloaded a 40 foot trailer rig piled high with furniture?, I hope I never
do again!" "Greenhaven" eventually incorporated new home furnishings such
as candles, wrought iron, pottery and paper goods in with the vintage furniture
making it a mix of new and vintage. "We had a great unique combination, I
hadn't seen it done before, and still haven't today on the scale that we did it."
"Putting a price tag on my passion really changed things, it was a challenge to
say the least." "Another store is in my future but small, small, small,
someplace I can hang the "Gone to Lunch" sign and not worry about when I
Grant quotes his decorating style as "fashion", changing with the seasons. "I
used to think of my apartments like a stage set, I would be changing scenes
monthly, very theatrical." "I enjoy layering, maybe too much, a room should
appeal to all of your senses, sight, sound, touch, smell and yes, even taste."
"I've invested more in creating a lasting effect that goes beyond "seasonal
rooms." "So much in our world today is really ugly, neglected, shabby and sad
looking, the threshold for good taste has gotten so low or is just not existent in
so much of the country, it's dismal." Grant's inspiration for creating an
environment is drawn from childhood, friends, movies, "anything that pulls at
your emotions." "I'm nostalgic, I love the theatrics and drama of decors of
yesteryear, you just don't see that kind of detail and style in this country
anymore." I remember fabulous colorful candy shops, Polynesian Tiki cocktail
bars, and geometric googie styled shopping centers so full of personality,
creativity and style." "What will children today remember from their
childhoods in terms of aesthetics?"
his home. "My roots will always be in Northern California, there is a different
sensibility and look here." Grant now spends his time decorating on a personal
level, entertaining friends, assisting with projects, and offering a hand to those
who want to take a journey into the world of decor. "Our world is much
smaller today, inspiration is accessible everywhere and just a click away.
Grant credits close friends for their contributions, "I'm so thankful to be
surrounded by creative minds, we all understand the obsessiveness that keeps
us moving forward."
Embracing his passion for beauty Grant Dillon is bringing a little creativity,
luxury and vintage style to today's everyday life.
Unique and Chic Vintage Home Furnishings