Grant Dillon muses with long time friend Joel Rickert about his past, present
passions and inspirations about home
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."
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.
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 dramatic."
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 return."
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?"
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.