Outdoor fabrics come indoors, Hayslip wins again, and more dirt on the Dallas design scene.
|R Jones’ Waternish chair|
FAMILY TAKEOVER At ID Collection, Rob Jones says his family never dreamed his takeover of the family upholstery business would put him at the helm of a leading Dallas-based furniture manufacturing company bearing his name, R Jones & Associates, Inc. Years ago Jones left Dallas to seek his fortune in LA; a family illness brought him back to the family business. His father, Bob Jones, was an upholsterer located on McKinney at Lemmon. For years Rob simply reupholstered, then began restyling products so much he finally had a product line. In 1980, a client urged him to develop his deeply comfortable “Made To Amaze” seating. Today, Jones has a state-of-the-art manufacturing center on Irving Boulevard and sells to the world’s most exclusive residential, luxury, and hospitality settings (even actor Kevin Costner has bought some pieces). Now he’s added tables, benches, ottomans, and fabrics but retains the signature seating with meticulous construction, extreme comfort, and beautiful design. Check out Waternish, a contemporary version of the wing chair with sweeping back curves designed by P. Joe Shaffer.
The Biltmore Estate
Behind Closed Doors
What does the Biltmore Estate-George Vanderbilt’s North Carolina mansion built at the turn of the 19th century – have to do with Wylie, Texas? Doors and staircases. Moulding Associates, Inc. of Wylie recently partnered with The Biltmore Group in Asheville, North Carolina, to develop high-end doors and staircases. Today thousands of Biltmore-inspired doors leave Wylie and end up in houses across the world. MAI – a family-owned company started in 1981 by Raford Cade and his two sons – was an indirect transition from a specialty building material distributorship that Cade began in Richardson in 1964. Not only has MAI supplied doors for high-profile clients – including the TV series Extreme Makeover – but the company replaced every Wylie merchant’s doorway pro bono when the town lost its Ballard Street historical district in a fire.
Big Winner! Sherry Hayslip of Hayslip Design Associates continues to pick up one national award after another. In May, she won the 2005 Design Innovator Of The Year Award, which was sponsored by House Beautiful and DaimlerChrysler Corp. Among the 300 entrants, she was the only designer in the country lauded for having the vision and creativity to “make the world a more functional, beautiful place.”
HOT: Laminated glass
NOT: Plastic laminate
It may be hotter than you-know-what in Dallas, with the fortunate among us having fled to the sea-blue coasts, but we still have our turquoise. Talk about hot: You could paint a rock turquoise in Dallas and sell it for six figures. That’s how coveted that color is right now, says Philip V. Merritt, who has been mineral hunting these days as he seeks stone, wood, metal, or anything of interest for his growing lamp line. This talented sales manager and design guru at Walter Lee Culp has a growing sideline as a custom lamp designer, only natural since he grew up in the design industry. “My mother practically gave birth to me in the Design Center parking lot,” says Merritt, who worked at John Edward Hughes before moving to Walter Lee Culp with Cowtan and Tout fabrics.
The lamp thing started as a crafts project. James McInroe was Merritt’s first client; McInroe bought a pair of Murano lamps. Merritt first worked with Murano glass, then branched out into metal and wood, like the vintage ’60’s metal lamp he’s currently re-plating in nickel. (Where was he when even the Salvation Army refused to take my mother’s 1960s-era drum lamps?) The custom-designed lamp biz has grown so much that Merritt is looking for a studio where he can craft and sell his wares, although they are available through Culp. He works evenings and weekends, and even raids his parents’ home during lunch hour for glass or anything else that would create a unique base.
Designers are now using outdoor fabrics indoors – in playrooms, family and children’s rooms. Why this love affair with fabrics previously seen only on the patio and by the pool? Fabulous inventory, durability, and the cleanability you can only get from 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic, says George Cameron Nash, who just nabbed DeLany & Long, Ltd., an amazing outdoor fabric group from Rogers & Goffigon, Ltd. So hot is the movement to bring outdoor fabrics inside, Melrose House is even introducing a line this September. GCN also unveiled SeaCloth, which also has a beautiful outdoor collection, at an elegant luncheon celebration in early May. Every design diva (and Titan) in town came out to meet Susan Harris, the artist behind the fabrics – think Billy Baldwin meets Lilly Pulitzer – and her sharp marketing partner Deirdre Halper. I can hardly wait to see what Nash has planned when he launches Richard Shapiro’s Studiolo, the LA antiques dealer’s first entry into the showroom biz outside of LA.
George Lewis Custom Homes won the Luxury Custom Home of the Year Award at the McSam Awards in April, after a national panel of judges toured homes across Dallas-Fort Worth. Lewis earned acclaim for a limestone house in Highland Park that was designed by architect Jeff Bowers. Dallas remodeling firm Randall Hall Design, Build, Remodeling, Inc. beat companies to the east and west, winning the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeler of the Year award.