The first time I met John Mellencamp, he had just rung the bell on his front door. I was on the inside putting the finishes touches on a whirlwind decoration of his newly purchased home in South Carolina. One of his music world colleagues—a client of mine—had given John my name and number. He rang me up to ask if I could furnish the house, which he intended to use as a weekend home, top-to-bottom in just six weeks. Since he was on tour, there was no time for in-person meetings. I traveled south to see the house and, with a cellphone in my hand, moved from room to room as I encouraged John to explain how he thought he and his family would be using each space.
Six weeks later, almost to the day, the house was complete—from furniture to forks. I lit a few candles, got lunch underway, and answered the doorbell. I guess he was happy because in the two decades since we’ve done four more houses together. After that first time, John really seems to have caught the architecture and design bug; with each new project, he’s gotten increasingly involved in the process.