Warren Kay is the founder of MDRN, a luxury interior design company that produces some of the finest statement pieces in furniture and textile design.
His new transformable modular system, Intelligent Living, was created to enhance the way people use and enjoy their homes.
Kay’s contemporary pieces provide an all-encompassing solution to optimize interiors, with each element helping to customize a living room, home-office, or studio.
With Intelligent Living, a wall panel can pop open to reveal a closet, a table can become a bed, a dining area can transform into open space.
Kay’s distinctive components are manufactured using the latest technology and the finest Italian craftsmanship.
What was once a single-use space is now transformed into a multi-purpose and refined experience. After all, this is intelligent living.
A Fashionable Q&A with MDRN Designer Warren Kay
Portait of Warren Kay by Photographer Kamollio
1. How and when did you first realize you wanted to work in your current industry?
From birth! I have always been surrounded by creativity. I started out in fashion, then moved to textiles. Working in design, particularly with a focus on marrying beautiful design with the best in technology without sacrificing creativity and quality has been a natural progression.
2. What is your biggest career highlight to date?
My biggest career highlight is still yet to come.
3. Any celebrity clients or memorable stories related to your business that you want to share?
I am not really at liberty to mention all the celebrities I have designed for. But as he’s given me permission, I will say that last year I finished a New York apartment for the Academy Award-winning Director Lee Daniels. He called this past August saying he loved the MDRN furniture so much he wouldn’t get these pieces from anyone else. That was a real compliment.
4. How would you describe your personal style?
My style has changed so much, as much as I keep changing.
I started in fashion and loved mixing fashion with home.
Fashion is always ahead of home design. As I’ve now matured in age and style, I am into mixing technology and furniture together.
We have just introduced a new line, Intelligent Living, that is perhaps the best in its class right now. The innovative lifestyle solution raises the standard in luxury living and furniture design, converting a single-use space in any home into a multi-purpose, all-encompassing experience. We are five years ahead of everyone.
5. What is a typical day in your life like?
Espresso machine, gym, and work! Eat then sleep!
Intelligent Living by day; Courtesy of MDRN
6. What are three never-miss events on your calendar?
I miss everything because I am always working.
7. What are your three favorite locations in the city you reside in?
Going for a run on West Side Highway;
8. What are your three favorite restaurants?
10 Corso Como located in the South Street Seaport;
Obicà Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina in the Flatiron district; and
Taiko Japanese restaurant on 18th Street.
9. What about your three favorite bars?
I don’t really go to bars!
10. What has been your best New York moment? What about the worst?
The best would be taking my cats to Central Park to play.
My worst NYC moment was getting stuck in the rain with my groceries in paper bags. The bag soaked through and my groceries spilled everywhere.
11. Name your go-to:
a. Outfit: DSquared jeans and a black T-shirt;
b. Fragrance: Dior Eau Sauvage;
c. Movie: The Fifth Element;
d. Book: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams; and
e. TV show: The Handmaid’s Tale.
Intelligent Living at night; Courtesy of MDRN
12. Name your favorite vacation spot, and the hotel you stay at while there. What makes these spots special?
The luxury hotel Villa d’Este overlooking Lake Como in Italy is awe-inspiring. The serenity there is unmatched.
13. What are your three most played songs?
Let’s Stay Together by Al Green;
What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye; and
The Girl from Ipanema by Stan Getz.
14. What are three items you couldn’t live without?
15. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Our 44th President Barack Obama. He is just the most charismatic, intelligent, and thoughtful individual.
16. What is something people might not know about you?
The reason why I don’t have any “can’t miss” events is because I like to stay home and don’t like going out.
17. When did you feel like you had “made it” professionally?
That “made it” moment is still in the making!
Portait of Warren Kay by Photographer Kamollio
18. Do you have any advice for those aspiring to work in your industry?
My only and most important advice is to always, always live without fear.
19. What changes do you think your industry will undergo in the next 5-10 years?
More and more households will have Smart Living capabilities. People will begin to live in smaller spaces which utilize transformable furniture systems like MDRN’s Intelligent Living.
The future of real estate sees developments rising in height, rental costs rapidly increasing but living spaces shrinking at the same time. Residents of tech hubs such as New York City and San Francisco encounter similar challenges to effectively living in small spaces sized at 550 square feet. This challenge is tasking developers with creating multi-faceted homes with all-in-one capabilities to accommodate residents in our increasingly tech-dependent society.
20. Is there anything else you’d like to share, discuss or promote?
MDRN’s Intelligent Living System is the future of smart living for any home. Our systems are capable of transforming any single-use space in your home into a dual or multi-purpose space, sometimes with the simple click of a button. These systems are particularly useful for anyone living in a big city like New York.
We also recently entered a collaboration with Ori Systems to present furniture which utilizes Robotics technology.
Intelligent Living photos and MDRN logo courtesy of MDRN; Warren Kay portraits courtesy of Warren Kay and Photographer Kamollio