From his start consulting for Tommy Hilfiger on home-related products, designer Todd Yoggy has always loved a classic aesthetic. He cites Ralph Lauren as an inspiration for his “ability to understand layering, collecting.” He enjoys the hunt, searching the world for antiques, paintings or just about anything for his clients. Though a sense of history permeates his work, he is working on such disparate projects as a classic 1920s-style boat in Urbana, a French country home in Goochland County and the largest liquor store in New York. His mantra: “I’d rather sit in a room with one fabulous table than in a room full of nothing.” And by nothing, Yoggy means nothing of style.
Yoggy recently turned 40, separated from his long-time life- and business partner and started Space Inc. with architect Mark Spangler and graphic designer Joel Erb. He also moved to the country from the historic mansion he took pride in having restored and put on the historic registry. And he completed the six-year process of designing Goochland mansion Dover Hall. He says his friends have helped keep him grounded. But so many major life changes caused him to re-evaluate what’s essential. We asked him what he couldn’t live without — in no particular order.
Specifically Albert and Victoria, his 100-pound Rhodesian Ridgebacks. “I absolutely can’t imagine life without them — they’ve been my constant,” he says. He also says if he won the lottery tomorrow, he’d probably breed dogs. And yes, they’re allowed on all the furniture.
Yoggy is a huge fan of music and Macs. “I would love to design a house around a Mac computer system,” he says. On his current play list: Queen Latifah’s new standards album, French vocalist Madeleine Peyroux and the Cowboy Junkies.
3. His photography
Yoggy’s black-and-white photography collection hangs as wallpaper in his black-walled living room. “I like adding a piece here or there as a gift to myself,” he says. The collection is varied, from celebrity shots from the ’40s to 19th-century landscapes.
“I truly encourage every client I have to collect something,” Yoggy says. As for his own: “It doesn’t have to be great. It doesn’t have to be by someone. I just have to like it.”
Yoggy strives to complement the architecture of the houses he works on. He enjoys collaborating with architects. (His Space colleague Spangler worked on Dover Hall.) “I’ve owned a William Nolan; I’ve owned a Duncan Lee; I would love to own a [William Lawrence] Bottomley,” he says.
6. Period Regency slipper chair
Covered with a tiger-print silk velvet left over from a job. He says it’s one of the loveliest things he owns.
7. Gucci (specifically designer Tom Ford) and Dolce & Gabbana
Yoggy says he doesn’t have a lot of clothes. Instead, he tries to keep his wardrobe to a simple look: “One good cashmere jacket and one good pair of wool pants and a lot of good white shirts.” When he buys a pair of brown shoes, he gets rid of a pair.
Yoggy collects books that are works of art themselves, such as “SUMO” a 65-pound, 2-foot-tall book of Helmut Newton’s photography, which sits propped on a Philippe Starck-designed stand.
Being newly single, out of the city and not as conveniently located to things and people, Yoggy has had a chance to step back and think about what he has. And he’s enjoying the quiet.
10. Ralph Lauren
“He is to me quintessential,” Yoggy says. His own home reflects an RL aesthetic: distressed leather, a monogrammed pillow, animal skin chairs.