Among interior designers, clients are king. And a client who provides steady opportunities for an artist to show off his decorating work—and is also comfortable enough to let a designer call the shots—is an even more valuable partner.
Such is the symbiotic relationship between Dallas-based interior designer David Call and one of his favorite customers, Dr. Kim, an acclaimed medical professional who heads a department at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Call, a visionary figure on the local design scene for more than two decades, has spent more than 10 years crafting and reupdating design details at Kim’s art-laden home in the Cottonwood Valley development in Los Colinas, located in Irving.
With Call’s regimen of timeless, comfortable modern design at the forefront, the project has involved a tasteful and ever-evolving series of art deco-themed upgrades to the property. That’s meant a heavy emphasis on leafed-metal finishes, archival fabrics and a mixture of delicate details, including some fixtures and furnishings Call designed himself.
“My clients are unique in that they are high-profile in their own right, but they also enjoy comfort and luxury,” Call says. “They spend countless hours at their professional jobs and know what they want once they come home to their personal space. With most clients, the consultations often start with me asking, ‘What is important to you about your design?’ and allowing their voice to be heard. Here, I was given free rein, and it’s ironic that I channeled the client so closely in this case—he subsequently hired me to oversee the project design and be the interior decorator.”
The first order of business for the 3,500-square-foot bungalow was to gut the house down to the bones, examine better opportunities for the layout and “make edits,” as Call describes his process, and then begin a full-scale design overhaul.
Call had a further bonus to work with, in the form of Kim’s extensive and wide-ranging art collection. Among the treasures, Call discovered a pair of Motherwells, a pair of Sam Francis’ works and an Annie Leibovitz. This set a design theme based entirely around those and other stellar works.
Call teamed with Alan Simmons of Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art to create an entirely new set of customized, almost historical looking, frames for the full collection, using exotic woods and steel for a unique finish. Those wood themes resonate with the carbonized bamboo flooring Call installed throughout the home, adding a special Asian inspiration to the entire property.
Next came the transformation of the entryway into a grand music room, with a custom, round art deco-styled rug, and Kravet art deco fabric combined with Robert Allen and Costume Collection hardware. Those touches complement the gold handblown glass petal chandelier, Kim’s baby grand piano, and two very distinctive Swaim chairs, warmly upholstered in blazing F. Schumacher and Kravet Couture Tally fabrics.
A distinctive feature in the master bath is a custom wooden vanity—designed by Call and topped by custom mirrors and Stonegate Ebe sconces.
In the kitchen, Call added some drama with a rouge redtopped Calligaris extension table and chairs, and whimsical pendants from Stonegate’s Jellyfish Collection.
Call says clients enjoy his ongoing projects and he appreciates the opportunities to add extra touches or new ideas wherever they strike his imagination.
“It’s a constant routine; I still walk around Dr. Kim’s home and grounds once a month to keep a keen eye on the needs of this busy client and his home. The guest bedroom was one of my many recent updates, and there are some areas that I’m waiting to do new work in.”
Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Call was born with a persuasive work ethic and a belief that he could master any field he tried. He lists Glen Boudreaux and John Holstead as “great mentors and compadres” in his ongoing design evolution.
“I do prize my client retention, and they certainly do rehire me for more projects. They know that I have patience and that I help them build a life in their home. I specialize in previously owned homes, and I can help clients find their own voice with a new design.”
Andy Stonehouse is a writer and editor based in Greeley, Colorado. He can be reached at rossandrew firstname.lastname@example.org.