R. THOMAS GUNKELMAN
Principal: GunkelmanFlesher Interior Design
Born: Fargo, N.D., youngest of nine.
Education: Graduated from North Dakota State University in 1954 with a major in business and history and minor in art, architecture and psychology.
After that: Moved to Pasadena, Calif; spent seven months in Europe.
Different direction: Unlike his four brothers, did not follow his father in the grain business.
First job: "Doing kitchen curtains. I was 27."
Memorable project: O'Shaughnessy Winery in Napa for Minnesotan Betty O'Shaughnessy
What he'd save if the house were on fire: "Me! I don't know what I'd take with me. I'd have to take it all."
On the bedside table: Departures magazine. "I'm not a bed reader. If I do I only last about one minute."
The "R" is for: Richard
Favorite architects: Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Robert Stern. In town,Tim Alt.
Favorite food: "I don't dislike anything. I like experimental food.''
People would never guess you ...: "live this simply."
GUNKELMAN BY THE NUMBERS
Age: 80 on July 13
1963: Year he purchased Black Interiors
1976: Year it became Gunkelman Interior Design.
Projects he's designed: 400 +
Couches he's ordered recovered: 400 +
Number of assistants he's had: 20 +
Most expensive accessory used: $250,000 tapestry
Least expensive accessory used: $1 soap dish
Buses designed: 4
Presidential administrations since he's began designing: 11