Today we speak to landscape designer and owner of NATURE DETAILED, Randy McDannell.
I have always been tuned into design and style. While pointing at lights in a store while my parents were shopping I uttered my first word, ‘pretty!’ I studied architecture and design at Syracuse University and then headed to New York City where I dove into the world of architecture and design in the boom of the latter half of the 1980s.
After a few years in architectural design, being a fan and customer of Polo, I was drawn to the newly opened Ralph Lauren Madison Avenue flagship store and took a sales position in the Home Collection which turned into Manager of the Home floor. I was then asked to move to Paris and become Director of Home for Europe where I launched Ralph Lauren Home in Paris. After 10 terrific years with Ralph Lauren I moved back to New York to partner in a NoHo neighborhood antique and specialty home shop called Avery on Bond. I enjoyed collecting furniture, furnishings and objects from around the country and around the world from various styles and periods for a collected urban contemporary style with a rustic naturalness. We became a source for notable interior designers, celebrities and a style-oriented crowd.
In 2002 my business partner and I decided to head west and moved to San Francisco. Instead of opening a store again; the post DotCom economy lead me to pursue applying my design abilities to the abundant outdoors and I soon launched RS McDANNELL Exterior & Landscape | Design & Fruition. Today I have a well-established landscape design and installation business with design oriented projects from San Francisco to Napa Valley.
Those various experiences in design have lead to my current launch of NATURE DETAILED Purveyor of Living Well Outdoors. This is a curated online shop offering a collection of wonderful items from artist, craftspeople, innovators, small businesses, historic mills and notable manufacturers for a discerning clientele desiring great design and benchmark quality in the items they choose for their outdoor lifestyle.
I feel great design simply makes life much more pleasurable. Whether it is the terrific cut or texture of a piece of clothing or the right juxtaposition of plantings for a garden or the genuine utility and feel of items used for gardening or hiking. I’m excited about my new venture and taking great design and quality outside!
As for Randy’s personal style:
Jeans: Always Levis. Currently 508 and 514, slightly worn and cuffed. Hecher was a favorite but was discontinued a few years ago.
Shirts: Solids or stripes (makers vary from Gap and Banana Republic to Ralph Lauren and Barney’s) I wear a lot of grey. I asked the lady at the dry clears once how she was able to always pull my shirts out without looking at the tag. She replied, “You always wear grey!”
Pants: Levis (as above), thin-wale cords in grey, naturals. But I’m mostly a jeans guy. They work well for San Francisco and for me being in the landscape/outdoor business and never knowing when I’m going to get in the dirt!
Suits: Grey, black solids and chalk stripes. Burberry and Ralph Lauren. I like the lean what I call, James Bond 1963 silhouette for suits. I am also a fan of sport coats in dark checks/plaids or textural solids also from Ralph Lauren, Burberry. Kind of an Anglophile here I guess but it seems to fit me best.
Shoes: Salomons are my usual here and there choice running between landscape job sites etc. Client meetings are usually John Varvatos or Aldens from Unionmade and evenings run from any of the above to various Ralph Lauren shoes and vintage boots.
Accessories: Baseball caps are a go-to for me and knit caps when in colder weather. My Breitling Navitimer watch is the only jewelry.
Outerwear: Sweatshirts, sweaters, jackets, parkas, Ralph Lauren, Unionmade, vintage jackets. San Francisco weather dictates layers year-round so I have lots of things that will layer when needed.
Your favorite App: Handy Level
Favorite piece of technology: My 2004 Land Rover Discovery, wear, tear, pinging and all.
Next tech purchase: A new Land Rover Defender if they keep the classic ‘Safari’ style.