The Interview: Doyle McCullar

Great Design March 19, 2012 2
The Interview: Doyle McCullar

Doyle McCullar is the principal designer and owner of Doyle McCullar Fine Interiors, an award winning design firm with Offices in San Francisco and Chicago. His work has been featured on national television and in the New York Times Sunday edition.

Tell me a bit about your business, as well as the scope of your work:

I have offices in San Francisco and Chicago; I head the design, interior finishes, massage floor plans, manage construction as well as design the case goods, lighting and upholstery.. you get the idea. Primarily residential but this year we branched out into custom furniture production. It’s a great learning experience dealing with overseas mills and factories.



Do your clients hire you as a facilitator, thought-partner or chief decision maker?

All of the above and you left out THERAPIST.



Biggest surprise, to date, regarding your profession?

How many of my clients end up being great friends throughout the design and construction process and continue to be long after we’ve finished a project.



Clare Danes or Cameron Diaz?

That is like asking me if I prefer cashmere or leather, East coast or west coast! Each are equally beautiful, and would be great to have on my arm at a cocktail party or event. Clare, Cameron my cell is 415-601-1122 if either of you need a date to the Golden Globes or the Oscars.



Brain studies continue to make inroads on how inspiration affects the creative mind. When are you most creative?

In the morning right after the gym.



Doritos or Fritos?

OMG Fritos, The big SCOOP ones!



Interior designers – who, of your competitors, do you admire most and why?

There are several competitors (friends) whom I admire who have worked so hard to make it in this sometimes crazy industry. When I hear of them taking on another wonderful project for down to earth and reasonable clients who are truly appreciative of a designers talent, experience and knowledge. I’m like, so happy for them because they deserve it. (You know who you are).



Which of your skills as a designer would be most transferable to another profession?

My knowledge of construction.



Professionally, if not this, then what?

Probably marine or environmental research and work.



Batman or Robin?

Batman….It’s all about control.



What comes to mind when you think of great design (or) how do you define great design?

As designer, I look for the following things in an interior design project or a product/materials; how well do finishes and furnishing selections integrate into the existing and modified architecture and how well was it executed.

If a well executed design sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the architecture- it will come off sophomoric. And the opposite is the same… a beautifully thought out plan, not executed well is ….well… ashamed. As a professional, I can spot it in a second, kinda like too much plastic surgery… It has to be well executed and seamless. I’ve seen projects at completion that should have been glorious when finished Many times a well intentioned, yet naif client can derail a project from the path to greatness by insisting on taking less expensive shortcuts.


Video: Doyle on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal”

  • Joey Riso

    Doyle’s not just willingness, but enthusiasm to get out there and get his hands dirty with the details distinguish him from many of his peers. I’ve been with him to suppliers to find “just the right plant” and “just the right container”. His unflagging good spirits and genial manner are a constant pleasure.

  • Nancy Gilleland

    Great to see a designer talk about the client and the relationship beyond the project as that has been the most rewarding part of Interior Design for me.