Dantes' Divine Style
Whether it's at his Denver showroom or at home in his modernist Hilltop ranch, Mikhail Dantes embodies minimalist elegance. Meet the Front Range's most in-demand designer—who's defining Denver style.
"I think Town is the best thing that has happened to Denver in terms of design," says Barry, who's based in Los Angeles. Barry is among several world-renowned designers that Dantes and Doumas have invited to Town for meet-and-greet events for the local design community. "They have not overdone the presentation, allowing one to imagine it in their own way. Good design speaks for itself, and Town understands that. Mikhail Dantes embodies elegance and grace—he is an ambassador for taste."
Like any good ambassador, Dantes travels the world in search of inspiration. At least twice a year, he and Doumas jet to Paris, London, New York, and other style centers to sniff out what's "next," bringing home with them exquisite swatches of bespoke wallpaper and Asian-inspired wingback occasion chairs. This June, Dantes spent two weeks on the coast of Greece.
Yet, Dantes' international aesthetic doesn't feel out of place in rustic, outdoorsy Colorado. Chalk that up to the fact that the Philippines-born Dantes is a Denverite at heart. His parents immigrated to southeast Denver when he was less than a year old, and he's spent his entire career in the city. This, he admits, gives him an inimitable perspective on how to design for clients here; it's what gives his aesthetic such a strong sense of place. "When you live near the mountains, you want your home to feel like it belongs near the mountains, not like some flat in New York City," he says. "We in Denver appreciate elegance, but there's also a casualness about living here." Which is why, he says, he layers organic textures like rattan, leather, or linen in all of his designs. The resulting clean, contemporary style feels comfortable, whether you're wearing Prada or Teva.
"My beiges aren't boring," he says at his home, a 4,000-square-foot ranch that he recently codesigned with Denver architect Scott Parker. He's right—even though it's comprised of shades of white, buff, and gray, no one would say the space is bland. It's the details—like the grass-cloth wall coverings or strategically placed Grecian prayer beads—that are both subtle and surprising. "I'm not big on embellishments; I try not to overcrowd a space," Dantes says. "I let each piece speak for itself." Just as each home he's decorated speaks for him.