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With men dressing better these days it is now time to start working on living well too. And we dont mean cigars and champagne sprays at ‘the club’. We are talking about home life. How many times have we met a cute guy in a great suit, headed back to their pad for a ‘night cap’ and been welcomed into a cave of artless walls, towels with holes and a couch from college days? I don’t know about you, but I drink fast and recall an early morning meeting.
We are hoping all of this will be changing with Jon Call on the scene. His company, Mr. Call Designs has been blowin’ up the interiors world for several years now. He is hoping to take interiors to a more manly level and on that note has been attracting a great male clientele. We sat down with him to hear how different gay men are from straight men at home, the latest design trends and his weird passion for Brussels sprouts.
How did you get your start?
When I came to New York, I started in the Architecture department at Diamond Baratta Design. For the first two years, they had me drafting only their mouldings, stair riser details and custom bathroom vanities. Some days I thought “If I have to draw another baseboard I am going to kill myself!” Honestly, though, that job taught me the brass tacks about how to create a comprehensive interior...one detail at a time.
I like the idea of a 'Men’s Interior Designer', almost like a tailor just for the boys. Tell us why you think this niche is important.
Our goal from the beginning was to invent a new take on the classic American style. We realized immediately, however, that men were really drawn to the spaces we were creating. Since we opened in 2010 we have designed spaces for some fairly prominent guys. I think it’s because I am a downtown fella myself and can relate to the lifestyle. You know? For some reason, Interior Design has always been perceived as having a largely female audience. It’s cool to realize there is a broader market that values the services an interior designer can bring to the table.
Do gay and straight men come to you with vastly different ideas?
Straight men have a tendency to over-decorate. I generally need to calm them down a bit.
What are some of the trends in decor you are seeing today?
For a while there, luxury was a bad word in interiors. I think we are slowly moving away from that. What I am noticing, however, is that luxury now means different things to different people: For some it’s having a formal living room that is kid friendly, for others it is having rare antiques or a kick-ass electronic system. Luxury today is defined by our clients...not a predefined aesthetic. It opens up a whole world of creative opportunity for a designer like myself.
Who would be your dream client?
Jake Davis is a filmographer that is killing it right now. My favorites are his minute long films called “Test Shots”: They are masculine, cinematic, intimate and complex: Everything I want MCD’s interiors to be. I bet he would make an amazing client.
What are the essentials that every man's home should have.
A bar outfitted so guests can help themselves to a drink (or two); Discrete electronics charging stations: One at the side of the bed, the other near the front door; an iPod dock with speaker; tons of books and the best quality linens in the bedroom and bathroom.
If you weren't a designer what would you do?
I would be a cook. I like to feed large groups of people in my spare time. There is something comforting about cleaning Brussels sprouts...it’s hard to explain.