With the rush of holiday season rapidly approaching, we slowed things down with Luke DiTella: tastemaker, surfer and, most importantly, father. We sat down with Luke to reflect on holiday traditions, moments of gratitude and favorite travel memories.
Kassatex: First holiday memory?
Luke DiTella: Our house in Vermont. Snowing. My parents drinking wine and me watching what was probably some 1980s Christmas movie that I am sure in retrospect was creepy.
Kassatex: A family holiday tradition that you hope to pass on to your sons? A new tradition you’ve started with your son?
LDT: A tradition that already exists would be just the togetherness of the holidays and focusing on each other and how lucky we are to live the life we do. In terms of a new tradition, my wife has 209 of those she’s currently working on. I’m hoping as they get older, we will start a tradition of skiing or surfing together during the holidays.
Kassatex: Describe your home aesthetic in three words:
LDT: Modern, comfortable, symmetric.
Kassatex: How early do you start prepping for the holidays?
LDT: It varies. Once you have a child, it’s an all year thing.
Kassatex: Easiest person to shop for? Hardest?
LDT: My wife is the easiest. No matter if it were a two dollar gas station stuffed animal or a Range Rover, she is thankful and happy. Melissa is truly unique in that every single thing you give her, she finds the meaning in the gesture and not the object. Which is why she deserves the world. Hardest would be my sister. I just never know what she wants or needs. Another person who asks for absolutely nothing.
Kassatex: Dream gift would be:
LDT: Material: a Porsche 1956 356A. Ethereal: just my wife and family being happy, healthy and thankful.
Kassatex: Favorite meal during the holidays?
LDT: Homemade ravioli.
Kassatex: New Years Eve: For the birds or time to shine?
LDT: For the birds.
Kassatex: Any New Year’s Day rituals?
LDT: Just carrying over the same drive from the year before but with a reflection on what I could have done better.
Kassatex: Best holiday cocktail?
LDT: Frank August Bourbon. Rocks.
Kassatex: Comfort movie during the holidays?
LDT: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Kassatex: Describe your holiday style in three words:
LDT: Clark W. Griswold.
Kassatex: Fondest travel memory from your time surfing professionally?
LDT: France. Always France. It’s the best of everything and one place I feel more at home than most anywhere else.
Kassatex: Essentials after a day of cold water surfing?
LDT: Kassatex robe, fireplace, pizza.
Kassatex: Dream road trip?
LDT: Luckily, I have been able to do 2 out of the 3. But, a road trip through Europe.
Kassatex: Describe your personal style:
LDT: I’ve been a fan of the subtle yet thought out personal styles of guys like Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Ralph Lauren. I like to try to remain always relevant but not loud and definitely not trendy. With staple pieces that fit together and will always remain a constant in design and fit.
Kassatex: For gift giving: items or experiences?
LDT: Both. Dependent upon the person and time. Items can offer experiences in a lot of instances.
Kassatex: When it comes to holiday travel: mountains or beach?
LDT: MOUNTAINS ALWAYS.
Kassatex: Best advice for expecting dads?
LDT: F*ck what anyone tells you. Your experience is YOURS. People tend to try to project their (a lot of the time negative) experiences onto others. Being a father is a blessing and one of the greatest roles you will ever get to play. Be present. Show emotion and remember, the kids are ALWAYS watching, mentally recording and emulating you.
Kassatex: Currently reading?
LDT: The Book of TAO and How to Retire on Real Estate. Currently and always looking at my friend Robert Stilin’s book of interiors.
Kassatex: Tips for practicing gratitude this holiday season?
LDT: Focus on the present. It truly is all that we have. If you live in the past, you’ll have regret and if you are always focused on the future, now will never be good enough.
Kassatex: Best part about renovating a house? Most challenging?
LDT: Best part is the instant gratification of bringing your vision to life. The most challenging is the time it takes.
Kassatex: Where do you find inspiration for home decor?
LDT: Robert Stilin, Ray & Charles Eames, Donald Judd, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Kassatex: Dining out, ordering in or cooking?
LDT: Dining out.
Kassatex: An ideal weekend down the shore includes:
LDT: Some sort of water time, early mornings, coffee, bikes and dinner at One Willow.
Shop Luke’s full holiday gift guide here.