Palm Springs designer Dann Foley helps transform Wexler home
Originally posted on DESERTSUN.com by Xochitl Pena July 17, 2015
Paul Tanber used to make fun of people on reality TV home improvement shows who stood with their mouths agape, not able to mutter a word, after seeing their remodeled home for the first time.
When the Palm Springs resident returned from work Tuesday and saw the changes to his Donald Wexler-designed home in the El Rancho Vista Estates neighborhood, he was at a loss for words, too.
“I was in shock when I came in. It was absolutely awe-inspiring. I was completely flabbergasted,” Tanber said.
The man responsible for his speechlessness: Dann Foley.
The Palm Springs-based celebrity designer hosted a “remodel reveal” party Thursday, in partnership with Build.com, to show off the transformation of Tanber’s home.
Foley is known for his appearance on NBC’s “American Dream Builders” last year and played himself in Showtime’s “The L Word” TV series.
His partnership with Build.com, as its brand ambassador, is one of his latest gigs. Foley used the online home improvement retailer that specializes in bathroom and kitchen fixtures and accessories to decorate and refresh Tanber’s home. He changed the bedding, furniture, fans, mirrors, chandeliers, bathroom vanities and faucets.
A film crew from Build.com was at the party to chronicle the event, which will likely become part of a new national campaign for the online company.
“What I did here was what I call a mini-renovation,” Foley said. “It was about making sure the house was completely finished and updated and made beautiful and comfortable.”
This is Tanber’s third home Foley has touched up. Party guests received a tour of the improvements that also included transforming the Pilates studio into an office.
“The quality of work is beautiful and Build.com (product) is gorgeous,” Tanber said. “It all comes down to Dann’s taste, which is impeccable.”
Foley’s taste is in demand and draped all across the globe through his various product lines and list of international clients.
In addition to his work with Build.com, he is also gearing up for his first permanent showroom for his Dann Foley Lifestyle brand showroom opening at the Dallas Marketplace Sept. 1. This is where buyers — everyone from interior designers to Neiman Marcus — go to purchase and is a very important center in North America for those sales, he said.
With more than 25 years under his belt, Foley takes much pride in designing his own products.
“A lot of people just lend their name and the company designs the product. I actually design every piece in my lines, so it’s time consuming,” he said.
Foley has the Phillips Collection of decorative accessories that include the popular Broken Egg and Floating Feather wall hangings. He also has a collection of colorful and graphic indoor/outdoor Loloi Rugs, luxury outdoor furniture with Skyline Design, bedding through Wildcat Territory, and Kennebunk Home/Bedford Cottage throw blankets. “The way I design product is very simple. They are sketched. The inspiration comes from literally everywhere. I have to travel all the time for my clients and for work, so that is helpful,” Foley said.
He is also prepping for expansion into women’s loungewear that would include casual tops and bottoms, robes and drawstring pants, all to be worn at home.
“As beautiful as I think they are, I don’t want to see them out in public,” Foley joked about his clothing.
In designing any of his products, his driving force is to make it “lasting, luxurious and really attainable.”
“I didn’t want to create products that are at the price point for the top two percent of the world. That’s great, but what I’ve done is create products even they will want,” he said. “These are luxury goods sold at attainable price points.” As much time as he spends on his design collections, it’s surprising that he had enough time for his television appearances as well.
For “American Dream Builders” which aired spring 2014, he filmed for four months from Sept. 2013 to January 2014.
Foley recalls his experience as hectic and stressful, but worth it. They were filming six days a week up to 20 hours a day, so there was little time for anything else.
“We had a period of 45 minutes during the day at lunch to have our phones. And I was literally on the phone talking to different manufactures and designing bedding and outdoor furniture and rugs … in my 45-minute lunch breaks,” he said.
He was the seventh of 12 designers to be eliminated.
“I went into the show always knowing I didn’t have to win the entire competition to get what I wanted from it. I was there to showcase my work,” said Foley. “That was my goal. And I’ll be totally honest. When I left in episode seven, I was totally ready to go.”
Foley is considering appearing on two new design shows, though. Both are “very interesting” ideas and very different from each other, he said. “I would do either one; or both. We’ll see,” said a coy Foley.
In the meantime, he is planning more reveal parties in partnership with Build.com. One is slated for November in Rancho Mirage, another one in Charleston during the winter/spring, followed by one in Chicago.
Tanber said he couldn’t be happier with the entire experience. Even his rat terrier Rupert likes lounging on the new bedding.
“I just sit in the house and, looking around — it’s amazing. It looks so pretty,” he said. “I feel like I finally got that grown-up house.”
Photos by Dan Steinberg Invision for Build.com