William Baker has us all beat. He’s filled with knowledge, humility and seriously some of the best taste in Dallas. (That sounds weird, but we mean he has great taste. Not like he has the best Taste in Dallas!) Anyway, bullet points!!!
Childhood: Baker saved his money and shopped for collectibles at Trader’s Village. We saved nothing and focused our energy on armpit farts.
College: Baker made his own furniture out of auto springs and concrete slabs he found in abandoned warehouses. We played it fast and loose with curb couches.
Post-college: Baker sold back several 1950s lamps to the same stores where he purchased them for a profit. We were forced to burn everything. See “curb couches” above.
Adulthood: Baker currently co-owns JonesBaker, one of the most successful interior design firms in Dallas. We currently co-own a bag of Cheetos and instead of working, we’re dicking around online. FACEBOOK LIKE.
General Knowledge: Baker knows so much about art and design he could have a game show called “Are You Smarter Than William Baker?” The answer is no. No, we’re not.
In conclusion, told you so. Now grab a spiral notebook and a No. 2 pencil because it’s about to get real educational up in this bitch. Compliments of the magnificent William Baker and all his favorite things.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The Yardstick Wall
Baker collected yardsticks for years before he knew they were going to become this majestic beast. He loved the patina and the quirky little ads so much he kept them on display in a barrel. Once he thought of the wall, stock footage of a standing ovation appeared in his head, we’re guessing because this thing is take-a-bow genius.
Dymaxion Map by Buckminster Fuller
Buckminster Fuller was an artist, architect and engineer that created the Dymaxion Map to accurately represent the size of each continent. It folds together to form a globe. It was also created in 1943. WHAT KIND OF FUTURE-TELLING WIZARD WAS HE? He wasn’t. He was actually a forward-thinking inventor who pioneered early prefab construction. His principles are the same ones that lead to the construction of geodesic domes like Epcot Center. They don’t contain any support poles and yet they stay up. WIZARDY? Again, no.
Deforest Judd Painting
In the 1930s and 1940s, there was a group of local artists known as the Dallas Nine. They were the first big Texas regionalist, modernist, abstraction artists to embrace what’s unique about Texas and represent it in their work. The group grew far beyond the original Nine and painter Deforest Judd, a Baker fav, was one of them.
Insomniac Fact: Baker spotted this particular piece at an estate sale preview and couldn’t stop thinking about it so he showed up to the sale at 4 a.m. to make sure it became his. He then laughed maniacally and said, “Oh yes, it shall be mine.” Pure speculation.
Of course Baker collects books, but not boring, dumb ones like you’ll find in suburban book clubs/excuses to drink wine. Baker has an insane collection of GORGEOUS books including these two. One is a story told entirely through woodcuts and no words. Each page features a different scene that was hand-carved and hand-stamped. The second is a book of patents from waaay back when. It’s fascinating to flip through and kind of like a documented Invent America competish before Invent America was even a thing.
William Baker has always loved Mexican Folk Art. There are brightly colored pieces throughout his home and his entire guest bathroom is dedicated to the bold patterns of Mexico. Of course, the tightly woven serapes are his most favorite and he has a killer collection which, if we’ve learned anything about Baker at all, isn’t anywhere near complete.