Designers in the News

This month: swanky bathroom fixtures, William & Wesley does it all, and designers Laura Hunt and Emily Summers win high praise from Architectural Digest.

photography by Vanessa Gavalya

Legend has it that as a child, Laura Hunt’s mother commissioned her to redecorate the Bayoud family house in Preston Hollow. Truth is, says Hunt (née Bayoud), her earliest design job was way more commercial: her mother’s Quadrangle shop, Les Enfants. 

“This was back in the late ’70s,” Hunt says. “We delivered merchandise to clients in a Rolls Royce. We served afternoon tea and wine to beautifully dressed ladies.”

All of which countered growing up with three brothers, one being Bradley Bayoud, the noted fashion designer. The boys ultimately contributed to her masculine design eye, she says, as much as growing up in Dallas fueled her creativity and compulsion for detail.

Hunt, and legendary Dallas designer Emily Summers were just named by Architectural Digest as two of the top 100 best designers in the world. Editor Paige Rense feted the winners at the Women In Design symposium at the Dallas Women’s Museum in February. Rense first noticed Hunt’s work when she visited producer Charles Evans’ Manhattan apartment.

It was an old Michael Taylor design that Hunt describes as “Anglicized, bastardized” with rotting swag draperies that literally went poof in her hands. He had refused to hire an architect; Hunt did it all. Flash forward to the day Hunt heard that Rense was coming by to see the house.

“She is this tiny woman with a bigger than life reputation,” Hunt says. “I was petrified.”

Rense took one look around and declared: “You, young lady, have an amazing career ahead of you. I want absolutely everything you do.”

Which means the magazine will be logging miles betwixt Dallas and New York City. Though Highland Park Village declined to confirm, we hear Hunt has signed a lease for an office at Highland Park Village, right above the theater marquee, complete with huge windows
and a Juliet balcony. Now, where’s Romeo?

Summers is busy working on a mid-century modern property in Bluffview, as well as big projects in Carmel and Jackson Hole. A project in Aspen was recently published in Western Interiors, and she has just completed her daughter Caroline’s sleek lakeside home in Preston Hollow. Summers’ advice to daughter and all: A room is finished when you cannot remove a piece from it without it being missed.

William & Wesley
What do Joanie Wyll, Vickie Crew, Kim Furstenwerth, Kenneth Craighead, Leo A. Daly, ForrestPerkins, Thiel and Thiel, and ClubCorp’s purchasing director Sherry Hanisko all have in common? They love to one-stop shop, and that stop for many designers these days is William & Wesley. Oh, to be a guest in Natalie and Mike McGuire’s home. The McGuires recently transformed their entire new home at W&W.

“I have assembled so many different capacities under one roof that designers do their complete turn-key design project right here under my umbrella of services.” Owner William Lawrence says.

They can see furniture, window treatments, custom bedding, and antique mirrors. Chandeliers can be custom made right in front of their eyes. Now, they also see Anna French’s luxury English textiles and wall coverings, formerly at David Sutherland. Cameron Textiles has been reborn, rejuvenated, and rechristened as William & Wesley Textiles. Donoff Textiles and Finascot Designs have also joined W&W.

Jeffrey Beers
Given his surname, architect Jeffrey Beers seemed destined for his occupation. His New York City-based company, Jeffrey Beers International, has done hospitality work all over the world for clients such as Atlantis, Sony, Hilton, and Hyatt, spanning Vegas to London. Now he can add Martini Park at Legacy, Beers’ first venue in Dallas, to his credentials. His mission was to combine three interactive bar environments—patio bar; main room; and round bar of natural woods, stone, and bold yellows and oranges—for a modern, stylized pub that permits babe-watching from every angle. The area has a reputation for having one of the highest concentrations of divorced men in the region.

“The point of these three environments is that you can have quieter areas or livelier areas,” Beers says. “Spaces that appeal to different moods.”

And collecting digits.

photography courtesy of Sherle Wagner

Sherle Wagner’s New Look
In 1945, artist Sherle Wagner decided that plumbing fixtures were boring. So he brought glamour and beauty to the bathroom with ornate cast fixtures—commode handles, faucets, toilet paper holders, sinks. All are trimmed in precious metal, lapis, malachite, rose quartz, amethyst, and Rhodochrosite. And the price tags can challenge Tiffany’s. Case in point: a $10,000 onyx pedestal sink. His attention to detail made his company the Rolls Royce of bathroom fixtures, says Will Kolb, Wagner’s new Dallas outside sales rep. Wagner died in 1990, but his son-in-law Vince and grandson Evan are now running Sherle Wagner International. While Wagner’s gemstone-and-gold look will never go out of style, they’ve introduced a contemporary collection of lighting, furnishings, linens, textiles, and wall coverings. But don’t think a reductive look means a reduced price tag. 

E-mail MARY CANDACE EVANS at candye@dmagazine.com.

Go to BLOG.DHOMEANDGARDEN.COM for more designer gossip from Mary Candace Evans.

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