Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!



By design, accomplished interior designer Anthony Michael
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 2465 times since Tue Aug 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

After a few minutes with out gay interior designer Anthony Michael, it's apparent that he does his own thing—with no apologies.

Outspoken to the point to being ( charmingly ) boisterous, Michael was candid about a whole host of topics during a recent talk with Windy City TImes. However, being unafraid to offer his opinion is key to being successful in his field—and Michael's attitude and talent have helped him reach the top of the interior-designer heap for decades. ( In fact, the business has acquired so much business that it has moved to a larger space, at 2501 W. Washington Blvd.—and Michael had several prerequisites for the new space, including being close to arteries and "having no squeaky floors." )

As another aspect of the uniqueness of his award-winning firm ( and his boat-chartering business ), Michael is even offering the opportunity to ride on his black yacht, the H.R.H. Lola, named after his beloved dog. ( Check the website listed below for details. )

Windy City Times: When did you know what you wanted to do?

Anthony Michael: When I was 6 years old. My mom always had something going on in the house, so they'd be decorating magazines around or paint samples or fabric swatches. One of the things I was always enamored with was all the colors in the paint stores—they would be like my candy stores. I would play with those for hours. My porn was basically Better Homes & Gardens.

My earliest memories are of those Broyhill [furniture] ads and The Price is Right: "And this, too, could be yours on The Price Is Right!" I wanted the picture-perfect house more than anything. Living in the western suburbs, I kept wondering, "Why couldn't we be this family?," and I learned that other families had furniture you could sit on. So now I've been in this business for 35 years.

The minute I was able to get out, I did. I've always been out and proud, by the way.

WCT: How grueling is this business?

AM: It can be very tough. People can look at you with jealousy—but I break my ass every day. I work 12-14 hours a day, and the stress. The obligation, the clients—I have to bring in $200,000 a month just to stay afloat. I'm not complaining at all. I do have some trappings, but I deserve them; this job is not glamorous. You do what you have to do; that's just the way it is.

WCT: You list your approach on your website as "concrete to sheets." Tell me more about that.

AM: I try to be aware of is the entire project. We can focus on furnishings and interior, but I don't ignore the architecture. I notice all the little details as well: the way a faucet feels, for example. Architects sometimes focus more on the functionality and the flow of space. Designers sometimes emphasize aesthetics more. I try to be aware of all facets, especially when children or older people are involved. We have third-generation clients, which doesn't happen too often.

I'm not offering [random things] to people or bullshitting them. I tell them what's going to hang beautifully, for example, or the best sofa material if children are going to be around with popsicles.

We do what's called a "Cinderella installation." A lot of designers go out with their clients and go shopping with them. I've learned that the client is hiring us to lead; they don't want us to give them a multitude of options—they want solutions. If I don't know how to read a client at this point, something's wrong.

I feel I have this down to a science. The first presentation is a general one in which I show the overall mood, tone and flavor are. I'll show them a sample color scheme and furniture arrangement. If they're good with all that, the next presentation is when all the selections are made, including artwork, bedding—everything. We do a virtual-reality rendering, so you feel like you're there. The next meeting is the budget; we go over everything line by line. A lot of designers don't do these things; they give the client several choices.

The next stage involves ordering items and warehousing them. The labor takes place—things like painting and electrical—and things are prepared. Then the installation of items takes place

WCT: How long does a typical project take?

AM: Different projects take different amounts of time. One that we're working on has a lot of customized items started in January. [The interview was in late July.] Another project we started in May—and I love these Art Deco chairs I've purchased. I try to save money where I can, but other times I have to buy something, incorporating the client's personalities. We're a client-driven firm, as opposed to an ego-driven one; I live vicariously through each client.

WCT: How has your style changed over the years?

AM: Oh, I've evolved. It's much more mature and sophisticated, and I'm always learning. I'm surrounded by younger people so that I get new ideas from them. I still sketch, however, so I'm old-school that way.

For my master's thesis, I drew the entire Notre Dame from memory. I have an incredible memory—but I have trouble with left and right. My staff knows not to argue with me, but I'll bring up things from the past. [Laughs] People are, like, "You're weird."

WCT: What are the most rewarding and frustrating parts of your job?

AM: The answer is the same for both: the clients. I had a client who called me at 7 a.m. to tell me that she loved her home. The rewarding part is when clients see the transformation and appreciate what we've done—and knowing I've made a difference. Most of my clients I'm with for life, so they become a part of my life.

The frustrating part is when a client, for example, wants a chair that I originally suggested, but they said no; give me some latitude. Then, there are people who take the budget apart bit by bit. Then there's my favorite line: "Did you know it was going to look this good?" I always say, "No." [Interviewer laughs.]

WCT: They never threaten to take their business?

AM: They know how good I am. They say, "You've thought of every detail." I've done 1,150 homes—I should know what to do by now.

WCT: What won't you do?

AM: I won't deal with people who are micromanagers. I won't deal with liars. I won't deal with people who try to misuse me or my staff. I won't deal with people who are cheap—as opposed to people who are frugal. Every once in a while, I can't connect with a space or the client. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but we have a lot of business—30 to 35 projects right now, which is unheard of.

WCT: What would you advise up-and-coming designers?

AM: You have to be a Teflon-coated individual. You've gotta be a bitch—really. This is a cutthroat business—and you're only as good as your last project.

See .

This article shared 2465 times since Tue Aug 28, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Illinois first state to extend Medicaid postpartum benefits to 12 months
Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Illinois is the first state in the nation to extend full Medicaid benefits from 60 days to 12 months postpartum, following the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approval ...

Gay News

ART 'Immersive Van Gogh' to now continue through Nov. 28
Due to popular demand, the U.S. premiere of the art experience "Immersive Van Gogh" exhibit will extend its run to Nov. 28 after having sold out the current block of tickets. It was originally extended through ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Trans singer, 'Pose,' Kate Winslet, Lil Nas X, Broadway
Trans femme indie-punk artist Evan Greer (she/her) released a dystopian new music video for the song "Surveillance Capitalism," a press release noted. She is using it to launch with Fight for the Future, where she ...

Gay News

Roommate of victim of 2004 Chicago stabbing seeking justice for unsolved cold case
--From a Cook County Crime Stoppers press release - On Wednesday, March 24, 2004, 31-year old Kevin Clewer was found brutally murdered with over 40 stab wounds in his Lakeview apartment in Chicago. Kevin's body was discovered by his father on the evening of March ...

Gay News

Attorneys general challenge Tennessee abortion law
A group of 20 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in a case challenging a Tennessee law that requires women to have two in-person appointments at least 48 hours apart before having an abortion, The Hill ...

Gay News

Movie about art sensation born into slavery to premiere April 16
Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts—a film about a man who was born into slavery, and whose works became sensations in the art world—will premiere Friday, April 16, in local virtual cinemas of Music Box Theatre and Facets. ...

Gay News

Andersonville Chamber of Commerce marks Earth Day with Andersonville in Bloom April 22 - 25
CHICAGO (April 7, 2021) — In celebration of Earth Day Weekend, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) celebrates all things spring with Andersonville in Bloom, returning to the neighborhood April 22 — 25, 2021 after a ...

Gay News

Mercury Theater to reopen; new artistic director named
Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., has announced its reopening—along with new leadership. New Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter returns to the theater where he collaborated on the hit productions of Little Shop of Horrors ...

Gay News

Gerber/Hart hosts 'Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars' screening, discussion
Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) hosted a virtual screening of Disappeared: Chicago's Lost Lesbian Bars, a short-film documentary that Jacob Pieczynski directed. A panel discussion followed the screening. The 2017 ...

Gay News

THEATER 'Security,' with Eric Roberts, running April 10-May 2
Kane Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Daniil Krimer and Managing Director Avery Bowne announced the world-premiere online production of Hammaad Chaudry's Security, as part of the company's new Multiplatform Commission. Security ...

Gay News

Chicago's LGBTQ+ Armenian community aims to 'Cher the Love for Artsakh'
Entanik—a queer Armenian-American organization based in Chicago and operating online and whose name means "family" in Armenian—is holding its first event, "Cher the Love for Artsakh." The event is a virtual drag show featuring 12 Armenian ...

Gay News

First U.S. exhibition of Greek 20th-century artist Yannis Tsarouchis: Dancing in Real Life May 7
--From a press release - (CHICAGO, IL — April 2, 2021) — Wrightwood 659 is pleased to host the first U.S. exhibition devoted to the work of Yannis Tsarouchis (1910—1989), widely regarded as one of the greatest Greek painters of the ...

Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility
The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...

Gay News

LGBTQ students sue U.S. Department of Education
More than 30 LGBTQ students are suing the U.S. Department of Education in a class-action lawsuit filed March 29, NBC News reported. The students allege that they dealt with discrimination at 25 federally funded Christian colleges ...

Gay News

New Equality Map: Bans on transgender youth participation in sports
(March 29, 2021) — Across the country, state legislatures have introduced bills that would ban transgender youth from participating in K-12 school sports, and in some cases in college as well. This year alone, at least ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.