Franklin Report Report Card for Willetts Design & Associates  in Los Angeles
★ Franklin Report Card
Willetts Design & Associates
51555 Desert Club Drive
La Quinta, CA 92253
(760) 777-9044
Main Contact: Taryn Taylor
Interior Design
Art Advisors/Consultants

Services & Specialties
Timeless, tasteful east-meets-west; artistically advised and contractor approved

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FR Review:
Those who run in the same circles as contractors or art collectors may be familiar with the culture-rich craft of Dorothy Willetts–this high-skill, low-profile “builder’s designer” is more concerned with exacting shop drawings (which she’ll draft herself) than maintaining a celebrity persona. Just as inspired by plumbing fixtures as English antiques, Willetts enjoys working with clients who share her appreciation for the minute details that define truly custom work. A designer with a broad range, Willetts may craft a traditional cottage reimagined for a prominent bachelor (also reinventing himself), and then a modern desert oasis for previous cabin owners once spoiled by the slopes–both in the same year. This designer’s “stamp” truly belongs to the client.

Like many east coast transplants, Willetts' childhood home was a traditional structure built to withstand the elements, yet adorned in the classical finishes that make these historic treasures an aesthetic still replicated today. From a young age she appreciated that a house could simultaneously serve as a shelter and a work of art, and that details such as crown molding have evolved from necessities to pure decoration. Willetts inserts this sense of functional beauty in her work today despite the more tame landscape of the Coachella Valley. And when she sporadically revisits her roots (with some work in Chicago, where she earned a BFA in interior architecture) she brings back her newfound knack for colorful, “California casual.”

With a team of three associates backing her, Willetts works best when the scope is in the $1 million range, but keeps busy with constant referrals from contractors (even ones who “don’t like designers”) who respect her tenacity and education. But it’s not all hard-hats and tough love; Willetts’ lifelong passion for travel and art has introduced her to a certain kind of client whose tastes are rare and refined. Even better, her chummy, relatable demeanor helps closeted collectors find the courage and comfort to hang their pieces with pride. An average hourly rate with the occasional splurge on an original oil painting make Dorothy Willetts a choice local, boutique design firm.

Representative Client Comments:
"As a builder, I love working with Dorothy because she's not afraid to ask questions and go knocking on doors for answers; she's a spitfire who is on top of the details." "Great at keeping the client focused and covering every step towards the big picture, while still keeping an open ear for their needs and visions." "While her fees were more than reasonable, she sometimes lost track of accumulated costs as purchases were made, so we did go over budget. However, it all contributed to the overall quality so it was worth it." "Extremely punctual and prepared, and so were all the vendors she brought on, so you know she did her due diligence behind the scenes." "Dorothy's taste and style are timeless; she doesn't follow trends. It's rich without being overdone and it transcends whatever fads are popular right now." "The team is small, but Dorothy knows her limitations and doesn't overextend herself. That being said, the complexity of her work is top-notch - she's doing some really cool things." "I can't get over her professionalism - as a business owner myself, I truly appreciate the way she runs her operation."

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