Bridges, Trains, and Cindy Sherman: A Peek Into Designer Dan Nelson’s World

It’s safe to say that Dan Nelson is well versed in luxury.

As president and owner of Vision Design (he joined the firm in 1991, was named President in 1992, and purchased Vision outright in 2003), he toggles between offices in New York and Dallas, creating compelling and sophisticated spaces for his roster of “who’s who” clients (think The Crescent, The Mansion, Manhattan’s 21 Club, and a slew of tony residential clients).

And when he’s not working, he and his custom furniture manufacturer wife, Chipper, wind down at their own magical abode (a house so lovely that it made our Ten Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas list in 2010).


A true aesthete, Dan gleans inspiration from art, architecture, and even a brilliantly designed soda bottle. He lets us in on more things that have his wheels turning after the jump. 

  • 1. New York City — Endless design venues, particularly the newish 1st Dibs showroom around the corner from us. Also the new Kartell Store in Soho.
  • 2. Chroma — It’s a new material from 3Form that I saw it at the Hospitality Design show in Vegas. Finally a new cool material for table and counter tops, even bench seats!
  • 3. Asian Art Deco Furniture — The particularly good designs came from Shanghai
  • 4. The New Bridge (Of course!!)
  • 5. Studio E Wallcoverings — Their studio turns out the most sophisticated, understated designs and they are great to work with. They show at David Sutherland in Dallas.
  • 6. David Easton — An acclaimed architect/designer who started his long career with Parrish Hadley. He spoke here recently and I was inspired by his modern attitude about our industry (claims that red wine helps). He also said that we should no longer call interiors with a global aesthetic “eclectic” but rather refer to them as “curated”. I agree. Our clients are now so well traveled and exposed to other cultures that I find very few that want a purely English or French look. This is a book he recommended.
  • 7. Jan Barboglio’s Maguey Frames — Her new creations are so beautiful you don’t need the art.
  • 8. The Designs of Raymond Loewy — Loewy was a mid-century industrial designer whose range of designs ran from Coca Cola bottles to the Avanti car for Studebaker. There are several good books about him and his studio.
  • 9. A New Patinized Steel Console my Wife Chipper Designed for The Nelson Line (her furniture manufacturing company) — It can be made in different multiples and varying tapers which gives it endless possibilities. She also made a single in patinized copper for our NY studio. She shows at Bausman in the International Design Center.
  • 10. The Cindy Sherman Show at the MOMA in New York — It’s hip, intellectual, and possibly troubling. It tells a lot about our society and its perception of women.

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