After college, I lived in a converted attic space above an old Victorian in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The rent was cheap and the space was beautiful. It was hands down the coolest apartment I ever had. I wish I could import it to Chicago. What’s your favorite room in your home?
When I’m at home I spend the majority of my time in the living room. Even though I watch a lot of Netflix, it’s also my creative space. I keep my bass guitars there and love to have private jam sessions. I also have a drafting table set up that I use to sketch furniture design ideas. What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m definitely inspired by my surroundings. I’m constantly looking around. When driving, my wife is always yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road. I can’t help it, if I see an old beat up billboard or a dilapidated building I have to stare at it. I’m fascinated by the vague history being told with textures and subtle colors. I think it stems from growing up in the burbs where everything is so clean and well kept. What are your interests outside of design?
I love collecting vintage things and hunting for antiques. I also play bass and drums and make music with friends whenever possible. Making spontaneous music with good people, who speak the same musical language, is one of the most gratifying feelings I know. Who are your design icons?
Barney Bubbles is my all time favorite designer. He was a graphic designer and artist in the 60’s who made a living producing art for record albums. He did some really interesting things with not only the album covers, but also with incredibly detailed inserts and posters. His stuff really resonates with me. In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
That is an impossible question. I will say that I love all things vintage. I especially love old cars and motorcycles (60’s and 70’ era Harley’s make my eyes pop and my heart beat fast). I love old vans too, like the 1967 Corvair van. That thing looks like it’s cruising down the road, even when it’s sitting still. What was/is your biggest indulgence?
I love dark roast coffee and medium to dark bodied beers like Ambers and Porters. I would say the coffee drinking is a straight up addiction, but sipping on a cold beer is more of a well-rounded indulgence. What do you drive?
I have driven many things in my day—I have owned 14 cars, three mopeds, and two motorcycles since I was 16. Currently, I drive a 2005 cargo van that I use to haul lumber and furniture. Before that I had a 1974 Ford E-100 Chateau Club Wagon. That thing was beautiful! I loved it, but it hated hauling junk and I eventually had to trade it in (it was taking too much abuse). Now when I’m not driving the cargo van, I ride my 2004 Harley Sportster 1200. Weather permitting of course. Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
I think one of the cheapest most impactful DIY tips is taking old black and white photos and having Kinko’s blow them up as big as they can enlarge. The pixilation starts to really add something to the image when you go really big. And you can find very interesting subject matter and good compositions by just digging through old photos at antique stores. You could also use family photos. If you really want to spice it up, have FoundRe make a killer frame for it out of one-of-a-kind salvaged wood. What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
The old cliché, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” speaks to me, along with the quote from famous fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, “If you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do—that’s the key to the whole thing.” I just think that’s brilliant; your career shouldn’t solely be about making money. Your career should have some semblance of passion behind it! We should all love what we do, even if it’s not our job. Having external interests and passions make life a much more interesting journey.