Dallas History

The Adolphus Hotel’s Wild Carpet Remodel

The grand hotel's renovation is full of surprising Easter eggs—if you know where to look.

Photograph by Cody Ulrich

An image of Dallas model Lisa Bull in a leather dress, rowing a canoe down a floral-carpeted hallway in the Adolphus Hotel—that’s hard to forget. So it’s not surprising that was the first thing Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, D Home‘s creative director, brought up when we talked about the hotel’s recent remodel. Back in 2013, Jamie had been the art director of “A Night at the Adolphus,” a Through the Looking Glass-inspired shoot of a mother and daughter’s trippy storybook staycation for D Moms. Jamie took full advantage of the 1980s excess, staging shots of Bull and her daughter in full glamour mode against wall-to-wall patterned carpeting, pastoral murals, trompe l’oeil Greek columns, and the French Room’s candy cane painted ceilings.

The carpet and murals are no more. Swoon, the Dallas design firm helming the hotel’s remodel, has gone back to the basics, restoring the original marble floors and the French Room’s wedding-cake-white ceilings. But they left a number of Easter eggs along the way, hinting at the hotel’s storied past, from the chandelier that twins the one hanging in the Anheuser-Busch stables to the piano that avoided a trip on the Titanic. You’ll find a number of them identified in the September feature, “Staying Power.” But we left at least one out. Hanging above the concierge desk, you’ll find a photo of a bedazzled rabbit mask by Thom Jackson. The photo, specifically requested by Joslyn Taylor at Swoon for the remodel, is from Jamie’s 2013 shoot. It serves as an eye-catching reminder of what once covered the hotel’s well-traveled floors.

 

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