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The Making of a Legend: Anthony Catalfano

Anthony Catalfano of Anthony Catalfano Interiors and Anthony Catalfano Home in Wells, Maine, is the first recipient of BDG’s Legend Award. This distinction celebrates an individual, who, through sheer talent and professionalism, has made an indelible mark in the home and design industry.

Why Anthony?

While he humbly resists being singled out, in our minds, his contributions cannot be denied. A tastemaker through and through, Catalfano has fashioned seaside estates, penthouse suites, and even a garden pavilion, and has conceived stunning, multilayered interiors not only here in New England, but out west and down south, as well.

Catalfano has also almost singlehandedly reinvigorated the town of Wells, Maine—a coastal locale close to his heart—and the site of his design and gift shop Anthony Catalfano Home, and his new eatery, A Café & Bakery. He is a champion of exclusive interior designs—“a necessity with the concerning changes in the interior design industry” and has released the book Anthony Catalfano Embellished Spaces. A self-proclaimed “spider, with many arms always working,” Catalfano has left us captivated by the designs he weaves. 

Anthony Catalfano Home
Left: timeless elegance at the Four Seasons Boston. Photography by Warren Patterson; right: a rich and expressive dining room design in Scarborough, Maine. Photography by Jeffrey Stevensen.

We sat down with Anthony to discuss what makes him legendary....

BDG: When you started out in your career, did you see yourself where you are today?
AC: Absolutely. I knew exactly where I was going.

BDG: What inspires you?
AC: Architecture and textiles. I try to go to Europe once a year to recharge and replenish what I draw from.

BDG: Is there an element that is your hallmark?
AC:  I think my hallmark is probably the details, meaning the details of design. I am extremely detail oriented and like to give the client top-notch design that they couldn’t get on their own. So I’m making it more exclusive.

BDG: As well as having an eye for design and high-quality pieces, to what do you attribute your interior design edge?
AC: I am a really quick study and I’m constantly taking in information. Also, I have a photographic memory for fabrics. There was a time I knew every fabric at Brunschwig & Fils, and I’m a regular at Cowtan & Tout. I can remember what I’ve seen at the Design Center and think, “that fabric I saw in Wing 2 at the Design Center would be perfect here.” That, and buying for the shop. I comb the Paris flea markets and have direct access to things from wonderful shows that I go to in New York.

BDG: What design luminaries do you look up to?
AC: The late Mark Hampton was greatness. He knew scale—what’s not to love? And Sister Parish was another great designer. They’re gone so they’ve made their mark. I think you look up to people who have had the experiences.

BDG: What is one of the most incredible projects you’ve tackled recently?
AC: In conjunction with architect Eric Daum, I’m doing a garden pavilion right now for Ernie Boch, Jr. that is probably one of the most important buildings. The artisans working on the project are of Italian descent and the garden is the most beautiful garden you’ve ever seen. It’s all made of black and white stones that make a pattern. It’s crazy beautiful. Of course, we wouldn’t be able to do this if we didn’t have fabulous clients.

BDG: What do you want people to know about you? 
AC: I’d like them to understand that when they ask, ‘How does he do it?’ It’s called hard work. If you work and you’ve got a talent and a good work ethic, it pays off. This didn’t fall out of the sky. Yeah, I’m successful. I’ve traveled all over the world. And I’ve had a fabulous life, but I’ve made my life.

Anthony Catalfano Home
Post House Commons, Anthony's resort-style retail destination in Wells, Maine. Photography by Roger Pelissier

To hear more from Anthony, read his 4 Interior Design Tips.

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