Mary Candace Evans On Antiques And Resolutions

From parties to awards to partings-our report on the latest happenings in the Dallas design industry.

Interior Motives
Dishing on the Dallas Design Scene

Mary Candace Evans

No one loves antiques more than I do, but I have to admit there can be a scale dilemma. Have you noticed that in mega-homes with extra-tall ceilings, precious antique chairs can look like dollhouse furniture? True, people were more petite during the 18th and 19th centuries, and chairs didn’t have to hold derrieres requiring two seats on Southwest. Well, Margaret Chambers, ASID, thought the same thing, so she started The Chambers Collection. She goes to Europe regularly, buys charming Italian or English pieces she would like to reproduce, and ships them home. For clients, however, there is no freight charge because her artisans make every piece locally and by hand. “We are making them the same way they were made 200 years ago,” says Chambers, “with great attention to detail, lots of carvings, hand-turned legs, and rush seats.” The only difference is, of course, the scale: These antique reproductions are made for bigger, taller people. Even better, they’re priced for
people with slimmer wallets.  

Jerry Abramson, Dennis Kelley, and Blair Newport of The Newport Collection Antiques

Other reproductions have not been as successful. The U.S. patent office recently gave Knoll Furniture Company trademark protection for a chair, stool, couch, and table that Mies van der Rohe designed for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona. You can buy reproductions (prior versions which were not copyrighted) at Design Within Reach. (Pennsylvania-based Knoll, which has been the licensed manufacturer of the Barcelona chair since 1948, has Mies’ signature stamped onto the frame.) Regardless, sources at the McKinney Avenue store say DWR will continue to sell its Barcelona-reproduction pavilion chair and ottoman, made in Italy.

Go ahead, have that martini at lunch. It’s the only way to take the sting out of writing 2005 on all those checks…to pay off your holiday excess, of course. And not just any martini, but the signature drink (known across the Atlantic as a White Lady) of The Savoy Hotel in London and likely much enjoyed by the Duchess of Windsor. I enjoyed at least one (fingers crossed) in her honor at Nancy Smith’s recent Decorative Arts Society luncheon at the Stoneleigh Hotel celebrating the Duchess’s birthday. Nancy’s group is a sorority for those who love all things decorative and decadent. Many more martinis on tap for February 10, when Gillian Darby from Christie’s London comes to town.

I miss Hargett, don’t you? Where did all those Hargett people go? I remember loving a certain lapis lamp in the old showroom. I never imagined I’d see it again. Then I walk into
Blair Newport’s new place (he’s roomies with Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries on Slocum Street) and voilà , there it is, along with a beautiful array of 18th-century European antiques: Biedermeier and Gustavian, an original signed Cresson chair circa 1740, tables, mirrors, settees, and much more. I would say at least one good thing came out of the Hargett demise: The Newport Collection Antiques.

Hayslip Design Associates continues to sweep the awards department, having been published in the sixth edition of The Andrew Martin International Interior Design Review, a veritable “who’s who” in interior design across the world – 56 designers chosen from around the globe, 23 from America, including our Sherry.

And, out of 550 Lone Star entrants, Dallas builder extraordinaire George Lewis won a 2004 Star Award in two categories from the Texas Association of Builders – Best Addition (more than $250,000) and Best Whole House Renovation (more than $500,000). Preservation devotees will love that Lewis, along with interior designer Russell O’Neil, ASID, and Boerder-Snyder Architects, added to, updated, and salvaged an early 1930s home that hadn’t been touched since the 1960s. Best Whole House Renovation was designed by architect Cole Smith and his aforementioned wife, interior designer Sherry Hayslip, ASID. What a great way to start off the new year!


John Bobbitt, allied member ASID

Original art, nothing fake
Lasting, well-made products
Natural, honest materials

Faux art, copies
Doing it fast and cheap
Wood-grain laminates



New Year’s Design Resolutions

“Help all of my clients incorporate universal design theories in their homes. Create spaces that a person with disabilities can negotiate…to make homes more hospitable for disabled friends and relatives.”
-Julie A. Lumbert, allied member, ASID, Jay Interiors, Inc.

“I hope to schedule more time to travel around the world for inspiration from great architecture and interiors.”

-Richard Trimble, ASID, Richard Trimble & Associates


“To bring in the most beautiful antiques, accessories, and art that Europe has to offer. One-of-a-kind. Wherever they are, I’ll find them.”
-Philip Maia, Philip Maia Antiques

“Get out of this business. I’m ready to sit down and just cook. I’m tired. I’m thinking about going to Memphis, Texas, and opening up a restaurant and just doing design work.”
-Reg Land, Land Co.

“I am stressing bold-faced honesty to my clients. Put it out, give it up, clean it out, put it up. Above all else, live your life the way you want to live in your home or business. I just bought a new house and am trying this myself to see how it fits. So far I am liking the ’tude.”
-G. Bradley Alford,  G. Bradley Alford & Associates, Inc.