Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Designer Profile: Dean Farris

Dean Farris at Borders Books, photo: William Rain

I started my real career when I was about sixteen, when I took a home economics course in high school (the only boy) and the teacher proudly displayed my decorating assignment in a glass display case in a corridor for all to see... I had always been good at art, and had been chosen to attend several special programs for the artistically gifted. As soon as Stan Topol met me in Atlanta in 1975, he immediately suggested I go straight to New York ! I finally made it to NYC in 1980, where I was enrolled at FIT in the interior design program, and had Stanley Barrows for my chairman, and most of the former Parsons interior design faculty for professors ! What a lucky young man I was ! After graduation with a BFA in interior design (they also offer a Masters) I worked for some of the top designers in the city, including Mario Buatta, George Clarkson, Robert Metzger, and Tice Alexander...(formerly of Parish-Hadley). My parents encouraged me to move back to North Carolina, where I opened and ran a small design studio called "The Shop of Dean Farris Interior Design" for a few years. I then returned to New York to work with Tice, who subsequently succumbed to the horrible AIDS toll. It was all too much, and so, in 1996 I gave up the city, and relocated to Naples, Florida. I took a job with Robb & Stucky, a finer furniture and design establishment, which will soon be celebrating its centennial anniversary. I've had amazing and wonderful clients over the years, and have been published in Interior Design, Naples Illustrated, N magazine, Gulfshore Life, and mentioned in House & Garden and Architectural Digest. I've returned to being self-employed, and have a massive client list. I consider Albert Hadley a friend and a mentor, and look forward to many more years of happy designing ! DF *****