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Interior Designer Jon Call Talks Dorm Design



back to school, dorm design, beds,

The back-to-school season is upon us once again, and this year we’re taking a closer look at dorm design and student housing.  

Student housing is a hot topic these days for both students and parents. Real estate companies are giving countless college towns a facelift, and kids all over the country are getting a crash course in interior design.

Enter Jon Call, an award-winning interior designer who is making waves with the kind of divine dorm design any student would love.

Mr. Call has been kind enough to share his design ideas with us in an interview with, as well as in a feature on our website. So, tell us about yourself!

Mr. Call: I’m owner and principal of MR CALL DESIGNS in New York, New York. Since 2010 my company has been creating interiors that reflect what I call “Modern American Design.” Our projects have a casual, comfortable elegance about them where I combine contemporary and traditional furnishings to create a confident yet cohesive design.

ATG: What’s your strategy for bringing color into a room?

Mr. Call: I start out with large, neutral upholstered pieces. To bring in color, the first thing I purchase is great art. Make it big: Scale is everything here. Whatever color you choose, this strategy will always lead you to a successful result.

ATG: More often than not students try to save money, but do you see students splurging on anything?

Mr. Call: I encourage anyone that is starting their home for the first time to invest in great art, exceptional lighting and tons of items that will bring organization to your home.

ATG: What are your top tips and tricks?

Mr. Call: Limit your color palette to three colors for any given space. Layer textures and patterns as much as possible. Choose one wood and one metal finish that will serve as the backbone of your design. But, above all – have fun.

ATG: Can you describe a few places and designs that are featured on

Mr. Call: At The Ivy near the University of South Florida in Tampa, I used geometric patterns and jewel tones to create a glamorous Hollywood Regency Style.

One of my favorite designs, at The Marc near Texas A&M in College Station (below), combined heavily textured neutrals with bold pastels to achieve something fresh, young and completely modern.

Then there are The Cottages of Norman near the University of Oklahoma, where I used a black and white color palette to create a vintage feel with a contemporary attitude.

You can achieve this look by layering different styles of furniture with bold shapes and silhouettes, and accenting with accessories and textiles that add texture and visual excitement.

Shop the looks for yourself!

All images are by Sean Litchfield.

This hand-stitched leather pouf by nuLOOM is a natural fit for Mr. Call's vision in College Station.

Safavieh's "Mercer" club chair would feel right at home at The Cottages of Norman.

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