Nate Berkus, Stephan Pyles, And More

Now open, post oak art, fab finds, hot pots, and more.

Inside the Dallas Home and Design Scene

Nate Berkus Drops By
In town to promote his new line of housewares and linens exclusively at Linens ’n Things, designer Nate Berkus of Oprah fame stopped by the D Home Showhouse last month, and it was love at first sight. Berkus gushed about the design talent in Dallas and the detail in the Sharif & Munir home. His favorite rooms? The great room, bar, and breakfast rooms by John Gregory and Eric Prokesh, and the master bedroom by Julio Quinones. (Berkus was so enamored of the furniture and accessories in the Showhouse that he said the next time he came to Dallas it would be to shop.) A return trip would make his fans happy. Hundreds of people waited in stadium chairs in the Linens ’n Things parking lot hours before his appearance. Now if they will just buy his plates and towels. – Mary Candace Evans


Now Open
Divine Spices, Fine Antiques, and Pyle’s New Pad.

Stephen Pyles has developed a Southwestern dining concept that is carried out in the details of his new restaurant design.

The New Southwest
Famed chef Stephan Pyles latest and eponymous restaurant presents Texas, the Southwest, and the West in a new light. With lanterns reminiscent of Chuckwagons, flicker lights that resemble candlelight to the LED-lit alcoves that create dramatic Texas sunsets (changing from blue to orange during the course of a meal), and urban touches befitting its Arts District locale (on Ross Avenue between the Dallas Art Museum and the Fairmont Hotel), the restaurant walks a fine line between downtown urbanity and Southwestern charm. The new restaurant, which include a 160-seat dining room, ceviche and tapas bar, wine cellar, and cooking school, feature architecture directed by Michael Borg of The Beck Group (fitting, as the terrace dining overlooks Beck Park). Interior designer Marco French developed the interiors using warm colors of the desert, which are echoed in the copper, amber, brick, and burgundy structural and artistic elements. The glass-display kitchen (or “kitchen in the round,” as Pyles calls it) is central among the marble countertops, flagstone, fireplaces, and steel, reminding us of one important thing. “Oh yeah,” Pyles says, “there’s the food.”
– Christine Wilson


Beyond the Pale
Vintage Living/Lisa Luby Ryan
, which opened in September in Snider Plaza, is the sister store to Lisa Luby Ryan/At Home with a Past across the parking lot. At Vintage Living, the focus is antique furniture. “In the other store, clients looking for furniture couldn’t see past the accessories, and accessory buyers only saw the furniture,” Luby Ryan says. “So I opened this to show our design vision of a comfortable and well-lived, yet refined lifestyle.” Although Luby Ryan primarily buys in England, the store’s furnishings have a distinctly continental flair in antique white and icy French blue. Cream-colored faux bois trees from Simon Valdez float above it all, and even dark wood pieces have an airy feel. Of particular note is an almost 10-foot French farm table from the late 1800s. Other important pieces include an 8-foot French trumeau in original gilt and 19th century English giltwood sunburst mirrors. This is not your typical old English antique venue. – Peggy Levinson

Pick up exotic, hard-to-find spices at the new cook’s haven Penzeys (12835 Preston Rd. 972-392-7777) …
Discover fine antiques in Plano at (3400 Preston Rd., Ste. 205, Plano. 972-312-1501) …


The death of the ancient post oak, documented through an ancient art.

After Lari Gibbons’ post oak died, she joined fellow activists, the city of Denton, and local land developers in an effort to draft a responsible land development ordinance. She then turned to a more familiar outlet of expression – her art.

The old tree was sick. An arborist was called. After a year of treatment, it died, as everyone assumed it would. The windswept, scrubby post oak had been the reason that Lari Gibbons and David Radabaugh chose the land in Denton, where they built their first home together.

“We knew the tree was an oak, but we didn’t know what kind. The arborist told us it was a native species, not compatible with urban growth,” Gibbons says. When they excavated the tree after its death, they discovered bricks and lumber under the dirt, which had been buried during the construction of their new home. The 100-year-old post oak had succumbed to the damage to its roots. Gibbons says, “Their appearance belies their fragility. Despite the hulking canopy their branches create, their roots are fine as hair. They can’t compete with development.”

Post oaks are the dominant tree of the Cross Timbers ecosystem, an ancient forest which runs in a belt from Southern Kansas to Southern Texas. Thousands of 200- to 400-year-old post oaks are said to have survived. Maybe not for long. As people continue to build near these trees, more and more post oaks are dying. That’s what turned Gibbons, an artist, into an activist. She tried getting involved by working with a group at city hall that was trying to promote tree conservation and by going to meetings to help the city draft a responsible land development ordinance. “Sometimes they just bulldoze the trees down and leave them in big piles to rot,” she says.

When that didn’t work, she began documenting the post oaks slow deaths through her art. “Natural Contrast,” which opens at the Pan American Art Gallery in December, is a three-person show that includes Gibbons collection of exquisite mezzotints and charcoal works on paper, depicting leaves and branches taken from construction sites.

A mezzotint is an arduous, old subset of intaglio, which, like the post oak, has almost been lost to time. Just as ironic, the charcoal that Gibbons uses to sketch with is made from burnt willow twigs.

Natural Contrast, Dec. 2 through Jan. 8, Pan American Art Gallery, 3303 Lee Pkwy., Ste. 101. 214-522-3303.


Everyone’s favorite shop recently underwent a facelift. Here’s what we bought on our last shopping trip.

<< If you like Jonathan Adler’s pottery designs, you’ll love his new collection of paper products, including notes and packaged thank-you cards, all with Adler’s signature geometric shapes and fluid designs in retro colors of turquoise, bright orange, and lime green.

>> Influential British designer Kelly Hoppen has partnered with the prestigious Italian linens manufacturer Sferra Bros. to launch a line of luxury sheets, comforters, shams, and other linens for the bed. Hoppen’s MONOGRAM range is inspired by Japanese woven patterns, using the “H” logo in a subtle and abstract design. Linens are made of 590-thread-count Egyptian cotton sateen. There are also cashmere throws in shades of ivory and dark taupe. The REPEAT range includes an exquisitely woven Italian cotton matelasse coverlet and shams in ivory and dark taupe.


<<  R & Y Augousti, the French manufacturer of exotic animal skin purses, luggage, and furniture, has launched a new collection of decorative bowls, trays, and tables made from bronze, shagreen, and snakeskin. The collection includes 20 different styles starting at $150.

High Style, Low Price >>
For years we’ve been buying our throws and bed covers from Anichini. So when they came out with 100-percent Merino wool scarves – in the same motifs – we were ecstatic. Here are just five of the many patterns available: (top to bottom) Verona, Surf, Fortuny, Taormina, and Venezia. $98 each.



Now at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., St. Marks alum Paul Schneider turned a pottery class taken as a fine arts requirement into a burgeoning art career.

As the starting quarterback and a pitcher for the St. Marks School of Texas, Paul Schneider had one thing on his mind: sports. A pottery class, taken as a fine arts requirement, changed all that. Impassioned by classes taught by Bill Kysor in the ancient Japanese pottery technique called raku, Schneider has gone on to produce hundreds of pieces. Now 21 years old and enrolled in Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., his works are considered fine enough to be collected. Paul Schneider’s pottery is sold locally through Forty Five Ten; some of his most striking pieces include heavily textured pots glazed in red or white-and-black crackle. – Peggy Levinson


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