The Esquire House magnifies testosterone and triggers the "Real Men of Genius" commercials to play over and over in my head. A couple weeks ago I attended Esquire's "Ultimate Bachelor Pad" in the Hollywood Hills. At any moment I anticipated the possibility of the multiple TV screens turning to sports and the bar only serving beer, after all I was in a man's space. Esquire has curated some of my favorite bachelor pads for the last 7 years. We checked in with their very own associate publisher, Stephen Jacoby, who coordinates the Esquire homes, to get the inside scoop on the history and progression of the Esquire House.
AT: How did the Esquire House get started?
STEPHEN: The original Esquire Apartment began in 2003. We were looking for a way to dimensionalize the magazine and bring it to life in an experiential way. People always ask of any magazine: "Who is your reader?" When you walk into one of our properties, you understand the Esquire man immediately. With the project, we were also looking to organically integrate our advertisers in order to take their products off the page and into a real-life environment so guests can experience them, everything from fragrances to technology to spirits.
AT: What was the first Esquire House?
STEPHEN: The first Esquire Signature Space was the Esquire Apartment on the 90th floor of Trump World Tower in NYC in 2003. Our first Esquire House in LA was in 2004.
AT: Which one was your favorite?
STEPHEN: That's like asking someone to choose their favorite child! All of our Signature Spaces have different personalities – and they're all great! It's really, for me, the design elements in each of them that made them outstanding, whether that's a waterfall-faced fireplace or a digitally enhanced billiards table.
AT: What are your criteria for choosing the home to host the Esquire House?
STEPHEN: The first criteria is a property's "wow" factor. Because we want to curate the ultimate guest experience, the place has to be special. It also has to be the ideal showcase for our high-end partners and charities. We also want a place that pops on camera. Logistically, each property has to be at least 6,000 square feet in order to accommodate all our guests.
AT: How long does it take to design and remodel the home?
STEPHEN: The project takes about a year, depending on the scope of the work that needs to be done on the property. The design process itself (outfitting the home) takes about 6 months. By the time we open one property, we are already looking for the next one!
AT: What is the biggest challenge when coordinating the design?
STEPHEN: The biggest challenge is to achieve design synergy, it's the appearance of the place as a whole. It needs to look like one person lives there – our Ultimate Bachelor – not like a showhouse with different styles and palettes in each room.
AT: Do you adjust the design concept for New York vs. Los Angeles?
STEPHEN: No. However, in LA, the concept is a bit more indoor-outdoor.
AT: Do you have any future plans to host the Esquire house in other cities other than New York and Los Angeles?
STEPHEN: There's already been one Esquire Apartment in Moscow with a second one planned, thanks to our Esquire international edition in Moscow. Domestically, the bi-coastal plan really works well because New York City and Los Angeles are the biggest charity, celebrity, media, and advertising markets.
AT: Can you give me any teasers for what to expect for the Esquire House 2011.
STEPHEN: I can tell you that we're already looking for the next "Ultimate Bachelor Pad." Stay tuned!
See the 2010 Ultimate Bachelor Pad in our House Call: Macho, Macho, Man: The Esquire House
MORE INFO: 2010 Esquire House
Images: Yale Wagner, John Linden, Robert Trachtenberg, Zach DeSart for The Esquire House