Umami* of Nantucket | Trudy Dujardin
By Sara Boyce
I have known Trudy Dujardin through the years, as she has a passion for fine arts and visited me regularly at The Brigham Galleries. We overlap at many of Nantucket’s social events and both attended the Food and Wine trip in Burgundy for the 5th anniversary of Nantucket Jumelage in Beaune, but we never had an in depth conversation about Trudy’s career until this summer at the Nantucket Historical Association’s Antiques & Design Show, August 1 – 5, 2013.
Trudy Dujardin is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and splits her time between Westport, CT and Nantucket. Trudy was one of the three designers to create a showcase booth at the Antiques & Design Show to detail how to incorporate antiques into a home.
A LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction, Trudy is licensed for Sustainable | Green Design. “LEED” stands for “Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design” and the third-party designation created by the US Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.
A “Green” sustainable home, designed by Trudy Dujardin
What is your design style?
“Classic, clean, timeless, eclectic, personal, sustainable, and non-toxic. I love to do interiors that support the health of the homeowners or end users.”
What was your first big break into the business and do you have any advice for younger designers?
“I was a Fine Arts major first and then went back to school for Interior Design because I found that doing commissioned paintings in my studio was too solitary and isolating for me. I thrive on interacting with people! I began by doing store window displays and that caught the eye of a local business person who wanted to open an interior design studio. I helped launch the business and became Director of Design there.
“Young designers: select a well-known design firm that you admire and apply to be an apprentice! You will be learning from the best and learning things that are not taught in design school.”
What advice would you give a client who has a limited budget but wants your input?
“Select just one space or room to begin. We usually suggest the foyer since first impressions are lasting.”
Foyer designed by Trudy Dujardin
What is the most interesting or challenging home you’ve designed?
“The gatehouse to the ancient castle in St. Andrews, Scotland on the North Sea. We transformed the gatehouse, which was being utilized as a dorm, into a four-story private residence. Andrew Black was the architect, and the following photograph is of the exterior.”
St. Andrews Gatehouse
Where (or from whom) do you get your creative inspiration?
“I find inspiration from Billy Baldwin, my travels, and all museums and galleries. I also teach sustainable interior design at Fairfield University. I’m always inspired by my students and their creative solutions to the projects we’re working on.”
Born in 1903, William “Billy” Baldwin, Jr. was a designer whose name became synonymous with exceptional American design. Always placing comfort at the forefront, he was one of the designers credited with developing a recognizable “American” aesthetic.” While he described himself as a colorist, Baldwin was known for his instinctual gift for proportion, scale and contrast. At 70, Baldwin retired professionally, and soon after retired from his constantly social life to Nantucket, where he passed the remaining years of his life. According to his New York Times obituary, a partial list of his clients included Cole Porter, Billy Rose, Mary Wells Lawrence, the Paul Mellons, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mollie Parnis, Mike Nichols and Diana Vreeland. One of the first men in the business of Interior Design, Baldwin became one of the leading designers during his lifetime.
What are your “go to” sources, lines, or manufacturers for quality furnishings and fabrics?
For furnishings: John Boone, Holly Hunt, Rose Tarlow. For fabrics: Holland & Sherry.
What makes the difference between a good designer and a great designer?
“Talent! Of course, the ability to listen and “hear” the client’s vision and then bring that “wish” for how they want to feel in their room into reality.”
Is there anything significant in how you would approach a Nantucket project v. projects off island?
“A sense of place – always and everywhere. You should “feel” as though you are on this very special island 30 miles out at sea. If it’s an historical house, we are diligent about not demolishing history or architectural details, often researching and studying the history of the property and giving that research to the client in a binder for background and appreciation of their home.”
How do you work with a client who has different tastes than yours?
“Our work is always client driven: it is their home, their sanctuary, and must be a place that feels like home to them. So after many conversations and written programs, I can truly understand what they love. Even if they love a color I don’t favor, that’s not important.
We do not do thumbprint design so each home looks just like the last. Each is truly a custom creation for that particular client. I tell them at the first interview, ‘you might not see exactly what you want in my portfolio or on my website. Those designs were custom tailored to that particular client’s taste and lifestyle and I will create a unique one for you, too!'”
Trudy’s work has been featured in the following magazines:
At home in Fairfield County (Trudy sits on their Green Advisory Board.)
Cape Cod And Islands Home
Connecticut Cottages And Gardens
Home & Garden Nantucket
Interiors And Sources
Traditional Home (Trudy sits on their Green Advisory Board.)
Dujardin publications include a book titled “The Holistic House” and a DVD titled “Seaside Home”.
Best Historic Preservation, American Society Of Interior Design
Best Interior Design Detail, American Society Of Interior Design
Asid Shooting Star Award For Excellence In Interior Design And Best Example Of Creativity, Two Years Running
Greenway Communications – Award Of Excellence For Communication In Sustainable Design.
Awards & Accolades
House Of The Year: Cape Cod & Islands Home Annual Guide
Best Historic Preservation Design: ASID Connecticut Chapter
1st Place For Excellence in Interior Design Detail: ASID Connecticut Chapter
Outstanding Alumna Award: Southern Connecticut University
Award of Merit: Santa Fe Conference & Leadership Summit On Sustainable Design
Shooting Star Award for Best Example Of Creativity, Ingenuity And Design Excellence In Green Design: ASID Connecticut Chapter
Finalist, A-List Awards: Moffly Media, Dining Room Entry
View more of Trudy’s work at the Dujardin Design website, or read her blog.
*”Umami” is something the Japanese recognize as the 5th flavor, in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. A nuanced word, one could define it as the “je ne sais quoi” that deepens flavor, the experience, and imparts satisfaction and sensory delight. To me, it’s “that which makes Nantucket special”.
This article originally appeared in the November 8, 2013 issue of Mahon About Town.
Mahon About Town’s Food, Wine, and Drink Editor, Sara Boyce has been working in the luxury market since she visited Nantucket for a “three-week” visit after 9/11. As an Art Dealer turned “Lady in Chief” at Grey Lady Wines, Sara indulges her passions of bringing people together over food, wine, beauty, and travel. Grey Lady Wines specializes in boutique wine recommendations and Private Collections, but Sara feels the best glass of wine is always that shared with friends, ideally before dancing. To share photographs or comments on Nantucket’s Food, Wine, and Social scene, email her at FoodWine – at — GreyLadyWines.com.
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