Article about the interior designers that redid the Boy Meets Boy home.
"The Designing Men of the 'Boy Meets Boy' House
An Exclusive Look Inside One of the Hottest Properties in America
By Nicholas Snow
Tim Clark and Daniel Wright of Wright Design are partners in business and in life, having met in man-meets-man fashion over eight years ago at the Boom Boom Room, a gay bar in Laguna Beach, California. The sought-after design team, not unlike many gay men and lesbians, migrated to Palm Springs where they now spend 95% of their time catering to an elite clientele while also contributing a great deal of their resources to local charities.
The designing duo’s friendship with another local, philanthropic gay power couple—Andy Linsky and Michael Thomas—landed them one of their more recent dream assignments—restoring and refurbishing The Maranz House, acclaimed as a “Mid-Century Modern masterpiece,” and now the “star” of the hit Bravo series Boy Meets Boy (Val Powelson, Architect). “Andy hired us to look at the house before he bought it to see what we could do with it,” Wright explained.
Preservation was paramount to the project, as Linsky and the design duo did not want the home to meet the same fate as another in the neighborhood that was torn down under the radar of architectural purists. The major overhaul—which included new electrical and plumbing; the restoration of the clearstory glass; new floors and drywall; a new powder room; a hidden laundry room in the old golf cart garage; a new kitchen; landscaping, electric driveway gates, new furniture, and commissioned artwork—took about six months to complete. The rest is history and a star house was born.
“When we have a project that’s really special, we contact a locations person—Sylvia Schmidt from Locations Unlimited,” Clark explained, “and Bravo had gotten in touch with her looking for a location out here (in Palm Springs) to do the show.”
“The house was designed by two gay boys, and we certainly used some of our likes, and that’s what appealed to them,” Wright added. “You pretty much have to be gay to catch the Valley of the Dolls costume sketches in the dressing room,” Wright concluded with a coy smile.
When Wright watched the first episode of Boy Meets Boy, he thought to himself and perhaps even said out loud, “Hey! That lamp came from the guest house. What’s it doing in my living room?” Wright ultimately conceded, “Not my house, not my show.” In fact, the producers did rearrange the furniture a bit for taping of the reality show, including removing some of the mirrors on the wall, so the star could discover for himself the fairest of them all—and so audience members wouldn’t see the reflections of the crew.
“It’s been a very special project for us,” Wright continued. “It brings more attention to Palm Springs and to the architecture and to what we’re all striving to recreate here… We’ve had hundreds of emails and very positive response from people we haven’t heard from in years, and from very good friends. They’re having Tuesday night parties. It kind of reminds me of the old Dynasty parties… It’s a lot of fun to see your name on the credits. I can’t say it isn’t,” Wright concluded.
What about the timing of the design with the mainstreaming of gay TV? “It’s exciting to be part of television history with a gay show that is so gay-focused and gay-themed with such broad appeal on shows like The Today Show and The View,” stated Clark. “With the political aspects of it happening right now with gay marriage issues, I think it’s a great time to be a part of anything like this.”
Interestingly, Wright began his career 21 years ago as a set designer before becoming a residential power player, and has now come full circle, as millions of television viewers and Hollywood insiders are discovering. In fact, the Boy Meets Boy house has also been used to photograph a half-million dollar Audi prototype car; a Mercedes commercial was taped on property; and other producers are in negotiations to use the property in a beer commercial.
What is the ultimate compliment? “The second owner who came through as we finished the house—he’s in his eighties,” explained Wright—“said, ‘I would love to move back in. You’ve made my home so much more beautiful than I had ever imagined it to be. I could move back in here in a second.’”
What is rewarding for the design duo? “The excitement in clients when we transform a space for them, and to see our work in magazines and on television—the fact that it’s published—and that we’re making, in whatever small way, a dent in our field,” Wright explained. “We have gotten a lot of recognition the last few years, and that’s very rewarding.”
Ultimately, the Boy Meets Boy story evolved out of the reality that gay men (and lesbians) want and have long-term, marriage-like relationships. Without Andy Linsky and Michael Thomas, Tim Clark and Daniel Wright would not have been hired to create the space that was discovered for the groundbreaking Boy Meets Boy. All this, the participants hope, adds up to sending the message that gay men and lesbians are all much more similar than different to heterosexuals, except for the fact that they might opt for artsy electric driveway gates rather than white picket fences.
“Andy’s foresight in finding the project and hiring us made it all possible,” Wright concluded. “Thanks, Andy.”
The Boy Meets Boy house is listed, fully furnished, for $1,495,000. Tim Clark and Daniel Wright may be reached at (760) 323-7288 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Realtor Andy Linsky may be reached at (760) 333-2226 or at Andy@Linsky.com. "