California-Born, Brooklyn-Based Designer Invites Us In

Chad McPhail Lives With His Boyfriend And Dog

Welcome to The Home Issue, reader!

We’re going to be spending the next few weeks nestling in for the cold winter months. In addition to busting up inside some local abodes, we’ll be spending some time looking at design, art, games, books and ideas to keep you occupied until things start heating up.

Brooklyn-based interior designer Chad McPhail starts things off on a hospitable note: he and his boyfriend, Grizzly Bear guitarist Ed Droste, opened their door to our vagabond editor and photographer. See what transpired, after the jump.

Andrew Belonsky: What is home to you?

Chad McPhail: Um, I guess it’s the place that you – especially in city like New York – where you escape to, like a lot of people in New York have houses that look like other places: that look like Greece, that look like New England, that look like whatever, because people are in New York all day long and their house is their place to –

AB: It’s security? What style were going for when you moved in here. What’s your security?

CM: Well, Ed’s from New England. His family has been there forever, so he sort of brought that, I guess. I’m from California and went to design school, so I’m big on Mid-Century stuff and Southwestern, Southern California. It’s a combination..

AB: Iconic American aesthetics?

CM: I’m a big believer in context. To me it would be weird to design this house in French or something like that. It’s where you are: you should keep the context.

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  • dantiger

    Chad is very mellow and has a very good understanding of himself. That is something many people in our society never even consider. My luck to Chad and Ed in NYC or Yucca Valley.
    It’s who you are not where you are.
    Long Beach, CA.
    Belmont Heights ( just blocks from OC)

  • animal

    blah blah blah…yawn…

  • Tiger

    Speaking of design, the blog containing this article needs a redesign. A thirteen page article with just a few lines of content on each page? I quit already.

  • Spike

    I agree with Tiger. It was very tedious to read an article spread over so many webpages.

  • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

    The commentary so far illustrates those divergent individuals who blog on Queerty.

    The first person, dantiger, was positive, upbeat and he himself has a “very good understanding of himself”.

    However, there is a group of LBG persons who actually live in self-loathing transferred into words and behaviours that this 61 year old guy would call a “bitchy queen.”

    Many minorities suffer from this “dis ease”. It is the acceptance of majority loathing for despised minorities. It is spending lives in closets in some part of their lives. It is often about loathing certain segments of the LGB or the T community as a whole.

    It has made this old bishop stay on his Canadian blogs, and lurk and visit to observe the very sins that others accused my American spouse and me about. Nothing new, I have heard enough confessions in my life to realise that the world is not purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr fect…….just cattttttttttttttttttttttyyyyyyyy.

  • Jon

    Who the hell is this guy and why should we care?

  • John

    His boyfriend needs to lay off the sauce and take a much-needed nap.

  • wild

    I too was annoyed with the picture/text to page ratio as I was going through the article, but the pictures are amazing. That place looks so soothing–I love the relaxed, eclectic vibe of the apartment–kind of like the anti-interior designers answer to interior design. There is an authenticity and sincerity to the look of this place you don’t find on the pages of interior design magazines these days. Big ups to McPhail.

  • hells kitchen guy

    Kitchen utensils in a Dixie cup on a laminate counter? Teddy Bear in cutesy costume on the bed? this guy is a designer??? Queerty, why not just go to the Men’s Drop-In shelter across from Port Authority for a design feature?

  • Friend of Chad

    That is a vintage glass bowl holding utensils, a real butcher block counter, and an antique Babar from childhood on the bed. I suppose you shop at BangBang Men and West Elm for all your household needs?

  • hells kitchen guy

    Friend of Chad; I don’t care about their provenance, where they were bought, or how much they cost. they’re fugly.

  • Deborah Korobkin

    Wild, you get it. Authenticity and sincerity, this is the man I raised. He designs for others, he lives for himself and those he loves. Whether you care doesn’t really matter. It is about life, about a man who has known who he is for many years, a man who is confident, loving, generous, sensitive and devoted. Isn’t that what life is all about? Love, Mom

  • Nick


  • Chad

    UHHH… thanks mom.

  • hells kitchen guy

    My mom doesn’t “get” NY apartments at all.

  • Brandi and Dana

    Chad, we are so proud of you!!! You got yourself a feature spread in an online, “subculture” magazine. Your house is so nice and neat, it makes Dana long for Santa Barbara again. Oh, Dana wanted me to let you know she’s getting married and I am going to be her maid of honor (yay!). We miss you, come back to your roots, and by roots, we don’t mean the high desert. You look as handsome as ever. Way to go Chad! Hi Ed:)

  • dantiger

    Sorry “off subject” Will someone please tell this small town southern guy what “poppin” means?
    Thanks Danny.

  • Bill Dup

    UG! Why should just any old drip be able to comment on Chad’s personal taste? Thank God I don’t have to read every one’s hick opinion of articles I flip through in the Doctor’s office waiting-room. And thank Jezus for Deb Korobkin!

    I really enjoyed the interview & photos

  • Jimmy Tickles

    I kinda knew (of) Chad when he worked for Laura Kirar – he’s kind of scenester/hipster designer wannabe. No offense, but that was one of the most boring articles I ever read. “I like mid century modern” – wow…. exciting.

  • Thomas

    Its nice to see some actual real people for once. Grizzly Bear- the band of Chris’ boy friend Ed, is amazing. From interviews i’ve seen, heard and read, Ed seems like a really nice guy. And for that matter Chris seems genuine too. Who care’s if they have a Dixie cup for their utensils or a plastic bag in the for Christ’s sake. I’m an architect and I have something from the Dollar Tree for mine. Who cares. Ed and Chris seem happy and content with what they have. And plus their dog is adorable. Their apartment looks great, they looks great. Give them a break.

  • David Korobkin

    Hey Hell’s Kitchen specially-abled, site-impaired person,

    I am sorry for your visual imparities which have caused you to become bitter and to not be able to recognize brilliance. When I am completely uninformed—and blurry—on a topic I keep my pie-hole closed, to not embarrass myself as you have.

    Chad completely redesigned my townhome and without exception, every person who has visited my home, has been overwhelmed by his genius. I hope that the medical community is making progress on finding a cure for your imparity and that you will gain some vision (in both meanings of the word) soon.

    I speak from personal knowledge; I am the other person who raised Chad.

    Love to Chad and Ed,

  • Rachael

    I love the photographs that go along with the interview!! They look so pleasant and nice :) Grizzly Bear is awesome, and I would love to have Chad design my apartment! I wish them the best <3

  • OhTea

    Aww they’re so cute together!
    And i just love the elephant and the pillow on their bed. Adds such a sweet touch.
    I actually really like their apartment imo.

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