Michael Tavano is the principal of Michael Tavano Design and co-founder and creative director of Marks & Tavano Workroom. His interiors combine a keen eye for color, scale, lighting and proportion with a touch of whimsy and a genuine passion for creating quality of life through design. But what is this successful designer really like? To get the real inside scoop, Jennifer McGraw went to the most honest source she could find: man’s best friend.
Get to know designer Michael, through the eyes of his pups Brisbee and Bartley, in Dog Bytes.
Jennifer McGraw: Hello Bartley and Brisbee. Please tell me about your person (people).
Brisbee: Our daddy Michael makes sure that we get plenty of playtime and our daddy Lloyd makes sure that we have all the yummy food we could ever want. He makes our food from scratch. True story. And they both make sure we get lots of delicious snuggles. As many as we want. Snuggles unlimited!
Bartley: Also, no matter which daddy takes us, we get our special cookies after we go outside. You know, those bacon ones? The good ones. Every time. EVERY TIME!
Jennifer: That looks like a professional photo of you and Brisbee and the family. Does Michael take photos of you often?
Brisbee: Ugh, probably. Only when I’m not watching. I’m not interested. “Other dog” would take selfies all day long if he could.
Bartley: Yes, and I love to pose for them. You know, “Come on, Vogue” and all that.
Jennifer: Brisbee and Bartley. Two B’s………..tell me Brisbee…..how did you both get your names?
Brisbee: Well, my daddies are co-founders of Marks & Tavano Workroom, a fine handcraft workroom that makes custom furnishings, upholstery and window treatments for big designers. So, I’m named after a drapery pleat – the Brisbee pleat. Is that weird? I think it’s very weird.
Bartley: I’m not a fan of my name. It’s the name Posh Pet Rescue gave to me. Most people think my name is Barkley – so I appreciate that you got it right. Barkley. Can you imagine? Like, Saquon Barkley Hahahahaha!
Jennifer: I know for a fact that Michael is a fabulous designer. Do you ever get to visit the design studio?
Bartley: We go there on Fridays, since the studio/workroom is part way in between our city apartment and our country house, and daddies like to get a head start on the weekend traffic, ya dig? Lot’s of traffic means less time for us to chase the chipmunks. No bueno!
Brisbee: Yeah, we both LOVE the car rides. We know when we get to the design studio it will only be a little while until we’re back in the car going up to our house, which daddies call Flying Pig Acres, because they planned it for so long but never dreamed we’d have it. It’s our happy place. Anyway, at work, my favorite part is when Daddy Michael is working out a new design scheme where he spreads all the samples and swatches out on the floor and I can help him pick out the ones I like! And by “pick out the ones I like” I mean, I walk over to the ones I like and stare….. until daddy pays attention! It’s one of life’s pleasures.
Jennifer: Bartley, tell me something about you that not many “people” know.
Bartley: OK, I don’t share this with everyone because people already think I’m a little cuckoo, but I have my own psychic named Sarah who has helped me a lot. She can see what I’m thinking, and then she tells daddy Michael. That’s how my Dads found out that I’d like to go out for coffee with them. The other dogs said it was a fun treat, and I always wanted to be one of those fabulous dogs who hang out on the patio at the chi-chi Manhattan coffee places. So, they took me! It was so fun. Of course, I can’t have coffee, but it’s nice to be included.
Jennifer: Tell me something about Michael that not many people know?
Brisbee: Daddy Michael has a PRADA PROBLEM! This is real. In our NY apartment the entire extra bedroom has been transformed into a closet, where the Prada problem, including a massive section of shoes, gloves and belts, resides.
Bartley: Daddy Michael has another addiction. “Hello My name is Michael and I am a tabletop addict” Seriously, it’s ad nauseam. Our Aunties and Uncles call his collection the Great Wall of China. DIFFA loves him.
Jennifer: Brisbee………how different are you and Bartley personalities?
Brisbee: Um, have you met us? I am chill and easy-peasy like a nice relaxed southern boy. Bartley is straight outta the Big Apple…. uptight, anxious and selectively social. That social thing may have something to do with his anxiety and why he has a PERSONAL PSYCHIC. We are both rescue dogs so I guess we’ve got that in common.
Jennifer: Bartley, what is your favorite thing about Michael?
Bartley: Listen, let’s face it, I’m a lot to handle. How many dogs do you know that need their own psychic? I spend a very large part of each day twirling very rapidly in crisis circles which makes walking me a bit of a challenge. (Heh, heh, heh.) Plus, I really like to dig in the gardens, and Daddy Michael works really hard on those gardens – I once heard him say they were inspired by ones he saw in Italy. But he doesn’t even get mad, he just laughs. So, I appreciate his ability to love me unconditionally even with all of my bizarre quirks, peccadillos and crazy antics. He allows me to be crazy me and he still loves me!
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