The Best of Everything 2007

D Home’s seventh annual list of the best in home design, shopping, art and antiques, home services, and much more.

photography by Manny Rodriguez

1. Best Source for Hand-woven Blankets
The Vermont-based textile maker Anichini produces some of the most luxurious and beautiful hand-woven throws in the world, loomed by the finest textile artisans in Italy. Known for their “painterly colors,” throws vary from classical to contemporary influences, including Fortuny-reminiscent patterns, Byzantine and Renaissance-era designs, as well as more modern, minimalist patterns in vibrant or neutral hues. They come in 100 percent merino wool, silk, or cashmere and are priced from $400-$900. Anichini. 4040 Villanova St. 214-827-6566. www.anichini.com.

2. Best $65 Art
Artist and mom Nancy Beasley, whose impressionistic landscapes are sold in galleries in Taos and Dallas, isn’t advocating that your kids draw on the walls. But she did start “Artsy Kids,” a creative venture that allows children to leave their mark on the house. Beasley works with your paint chips, color swatches, and wallpaper samples to pull together a color palette perfect for a blank-walled room. Your little darling then has a one-on-one, hour-long session at her studio and uses ideal paint hues, brushes, stretched canvas, and other professional tools that a real artist would use. For a mere $65 per hour, you get an abstract composition to hang on the wall that doesn’t clash with the room decor. Artsy Kids. 972-234-4580.

3. Best Shop to get the Southamptons Look
The high-style pickings at MECOX provide your Dallas-bred abode a touch of East Coast sensibility. If you’re in need of “family heirlooms,” but lack the will to kiss up to Aunt Susan, you’re in luck. Mecox has the perfect French oak dining table and red lacquered faux bamboo chairs. Also, check out casual, beachy finds such as a shell-encrusted mirror and lamp, and eclectic rusted-wire garden ornaments. Mecox. 432 Cole Ave. 214-580-3800. www.mecoxgardens.com
 

photography courtesy of Teaposy

4. Best Teapot
Drop one of these blooming beauties into a glass teapot and liven up your 4 o’clock tea time. Teaposy is a bundle of Chinese silver needle white teas that “bloom” into a gorgeous flower when infused in boiling water. Home, James! offers six flavors, each with its own unique combination of premium white tea leaves and natural herbal goodness. Each flower can be used to brew four to six pots of tea, and the beautiful blooms can be enjoyed in water for several days. Clear glass teapot, $35; packet of six tea flowers, $20. Home, James! 4514 Travis St. 214-528-0700.

5. Best Designer Carpets
Tufenkian Carpets’ Twilight Series floor rugs involves intricate and subtle weaving techniques that mimic a gorgeous sunset at a range of $93.75-$105.75 per square foot. Tufenkian Carpets. 150 Turtle Creek Blvd. 214-760-7619. www.tufenkiancarpets.com.

6. Best Corner to Find an ATM
Back in the day, the South was known for its strong religious principles. With “a church on every corner,” as the saying went, good folk along the Bible Belt could look to those white, steepled structures as a way to set their moral compasses. Things have changed. Now it’s a bank on every corner, and let’s face it, banks aren’t exactly known for their award-winning architecture. Some intersections boast three or four (the corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane is a great example). So just how many banks do we really need? As many as we can get, apparently. Dallas’ fast-growing economy, booming real estate market, and exploding population make it one of the most coveted cities in America for the banking industry. There’s no end in sight: Texas is expected to continue to lead the nation with new branch openings for years to come.

photography courtesy of Lights Fantastic

7. Best Place for Lighting
Lights Fantastic, long the home of Tiffany lamps and ceiling fans, has reinvented itself into a modern lighting mecca, offering cool and contemporary European lines including Flos, Artemide, and Foscarini to name a few. Lights Fantastic. 4645 Greenville Ave. 214-369-1101. www.lightsfantastic.com.


8. Best Restaurant Redo

If God is in the details, then the reimagined Tillman’s Roadhouse is a true slice of heaven. Open since 1992 (under the name Tillman’s Corner), this North Oak Cliff stalwart was a dependable bar and grill. Nothing flashy—just good food in a comfortable albeit shabby setting. Enter longtime customers Todd Fiscus (event planner extraordinaire) and Rob Dailey (interior designer). The two partnered with owner Sara Tillman to usher Tillman’s into a new chic era. Everything is designed down to the smallest detail: Murano glass chandeliers, pine planked walls, basswood-carved wild game trophies, Eames chairs in the lounge, and a wire bird’s nest full of chocolate covered almonds to finish off the meal. It’s rustic, whimsical, and, best of all, a feast for the eyes. Oh, and the food is good, too. Tillman’s Roadhouse. 324 W. Seventh St. 214-942-0988. www.tillmansroadhouse.com.

9. Best Brightly Colored Furniture
Allan Knight boasts some of the coolest colors in town now that William Switzer has reintroduced his classic furniture styles brazenly painted in outrageous hues including orange and lavender. Where else will you find a baroque console in a charcoal finish with a lavender lacquer top? We’ll tell you: nowhere. William Switzer available to the trade at Allan Knight and Associates. 150 Turtle Creek Blvd. 214-741-2227. www.allanknightasso.com

photography by Danny Piassick

10. Best Chandelier and Lighting Fixture Repair
Shawn Burgess’ artistry goes beyond a simple fix. The miracle worker can repair broken chandelier crystals and bent arms, electrify centuries-old antiques, and hang fixtures—no matter the weight or size. Bonus: He’s one of only a few Baccarat-certified repairers in the United States. 469-628-8263.

photography courtesy of David A. Nelson

11. Best Custom Leather Writing Pads
Larru Leathers Inc. custom, hand-crafted writing pads instantly add elegance to any desk. Choose from an array of custom-hued, hand-dyed leather, and then add a decorative accent such as 23-karat gold tooling, blind tooling, crests, or monograms. You’d also be hard-pressed to find anything similar to Larru’s traditional hand methods and stamps, some of which are more than 200 years old. Size determines price. $275-$475. Larru Leathers. 170 Leslie St. 214-760-7003. www.larruleathers.com.

12. Best Neighborhood for an Art Gallery Stroll
This fall, Gerald Peters Gallery will join the crowd of modern, edgy art galleries relocating from Uptown into the Dallas Design District. Dragon Street alone boasts 12, and the whole vibe is starting to feel a lot like SoHo. No matter your taste or budget, there’s a little something for you. Looking for regional artists? Check out Holly Johnson Gallery and Craighead-Green Gallery. In the market for museum-quality African artifacts and photography? Visit Joel Cooner Gallery. If your passion is epic American landscape paintings or 20th century black and white photographs, then you can’t miss Banks Fine Art and Photographs Do Not Bend, respectively. In fact, don’t miss any of them. Make a day of it.

Holly Johnson Gallery
photography by Adam Fish

13. Best Homemade Honey
Most people break into a cold sweat at the thought of a swarm of bees, but Janet Rowe dives right in. Beekeeping since she was four with her father, Rowe gives lectures on beekeeping, is licensed by the state of Texas to remove bees, and of course, makes her own honey. Well, the bees actually make the honey, but she harvests it. The result? Local honey rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins made from the pollen of the wildflowers and fruit trees that dot our North Texas home. How sweet it is. The Bee Charmer. 214-695-3425.

photography courtesy of Barking Cat Farm

14. Best Locally Grown, Organic Herbs and Vegetables
The ladies of The Barking Cat Farm initially set out to grow specialty cut flowers, but when word got out about the mad skills the ladies have at organic, eco-friendly gardening, they were “bowled over” by demand for fresh veggies and herbs. They still do flowers, but now they also grow a variety of produce such as sugar snap peas, dill, Lolla Rossa lettuce, and Swiss chard, which are quickly becoming the secret ingredients of top restaurants such as Parigi. You, too, can grab the greens for your home. For $10 a week, you’ll get a box of whatever’s in season dropped off to designated locations. However, getting a spot on the waiting list is no easy task. The Barking Cat Farm. 214-533-2532. www.barkingcatfarm.com.

15. Best Personal Post Office
You never know how hard it is to find a reliable shipper until you need one. So whether it’s fine art that needs to be specially wrapped and crated for overseas delivery or a batch of homemade brownies for your son at college, call Martha and Allan Woodcook. For 20 years, they have been quietly providing impeccable personal shipping services, even gift wrapping presents prior to mailing. This family-run business is not only remarkably service-oriented, but also their pricing is considerably lower than most franchise postal shops in town. Park Cities Postal Center. 3419 Westminster Ave. 214-373-4105.

photography courtesy of Manheim-Ruseau

16. Best Hand-carved, 22-Karat Gold Chair
So you’re not an Italian aristocrat. That won’t stop you from living like one thanks to this faithfully reproduced Dolphin Chair. It’s one of a set of four Italian Grotto Chairs, hand-carved and water-gilded in 22-karat white and yellow gold. Just another stunning example of the outstanding quality of design produced by Manheim-Ruseau. 972-387-4578.

17. Best Arts & Crafts-Style Bed & Breakfast
This High Style Arts and Crafts home was purchased and carefully renovated by pharmacist Wayne Falcone, who had admired it for years on his way to work. After a 10-year effort, the house has been beautifully restored with the help of Dallas antiques dealer Gerald Tomlin. Named after its former owner, opera singer Daisy Polk, the home now earns its keep as a bed and breakfast and has recently received historic designation from the city. Daisy Polk Inn Bed & Breakfast. 2917 Reagan St. 214-522-4692. www.daisypolkinn.com.

18. Best New Tabletop and Home Accessories Store
Stephanie Anne was once Dallas’ chicest children’s store. No more. Boasting around 100 different china and crystal patterns, the store is now one of the best local sources for stylish tabletop and home decor accessories, including Fabergé porcelain plate settings, Italian Egizia stemware, and Varga crystal goblets. Stephanie Anne. 4346 Lovers Ln. 214-368-3025. www.stephanieanne.com.

photography by Danny Piassick

19. Best Designer Showroom Sale
Twice a year, Dallas designer Jan Showers clears out her stylish showroom to make room for even more glamorous pieces of French furniture, fresh off the boat from Paris. Designers and clients alike clamor to get a piece of the action, which includes reductions of up to 75 percent off. Look for deals on everything from 1940s French antiques to Showers’ signature Venetian lamps. A recent sale included pieces by Tom Ford favorite, furniture designer Vladimir Kagan. Watch our D Home blog, www.dhomeandgarden.com, for details—this off-site sale is publicized exclusively to Showers’ client list, colleagues, and D Home readers. Next expected sale: winter 2008. Jan Showers & Associates Showroom. 1308 Slocum St. 214-747-5252.

photography by Manny Rodriguez

20. Best Not-So-Basic White China
Dinner guests will wonder whether your Country Heritage saucer from Villeroy & Boch is a valuable family heirloom or a well-chosen find from the Paris flea market. The china is reasonable enough to allow mixing and matching—and it’s dishwasher and microwave-safe, too. Prices range from $15-$95. Polly DuPont. 154 Spring Creek Village. 972-991-3689. www.pollydupont.com.

21. Best Water Garden Designer
Build a water garden. Creative Water Gardens has more than an acre of primo ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and pottery to choose from, not to mention a great variety of water lilies and a dazzling selection of koi. Disappearing fountains are the current trend, but a simple gurgling stream is never a bad choice, according to these pros. Get advice on care and maintenance from one of their comprehensive seminar series. You’ll never have algae or sick fish again. Creative Water Gardens. 2125 W. Kingsley Rd., Garland. 972-271-1411.  www.creativewatergardens.net.

22. Best Organic Mattress
If you only buy organic produce, you know you pay a premium for your fruits and veggies. Sovn’s European mattresses come with a natural wool mattress cover that keeps you cooler at night and reduces moisture, bacteria, and trapped body heat. The natural latex in the mattress also reduces dust mites. But with prices ranging from $1,250 to $4,300, sleeping green is going to cost you some greenbacks. Sovn. 5560 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 240. 214-257-7910. www.sovn.com.

23. Best Old-Fashioned Lumber Yard
With all the talk of big box stores, you might think the little guy doesn’t exist anymore. Not true. Davis-Hawn, a full-service lumberyard, hardware store, and mill, owned by Dave Reichert has made a name for itself among custom home builders, remodelers, and preservationists for recreating historical siding patterns, floorings, and moldings, remilling reclaimed lumber, along with superior service and stock. Davis-Hawn Lumber Company. 1941 S. Beckley Ave. 214-946-8123.

24. Best Custom Letter-Pressed Invites
Ensure that party guests RSVP to your invite with an enthusiastic “yes.” Deep Ellum graphic-design artist Jason McDaniel creates customized paper products, including invitations, menus, and coasters, using 1943 Vandercook and Chandler & Price letterpresses. Whether you’re throwing a backyard bash or a housewarming soiree, McDaniel’s masterpieces are one of a kind, thanks to unique fonts, distinct colors, and custom designs. Jason McDaniel Design. 214-673-8857

photography by Elizabeth Lavin

25. Best Place to Buy a Variety of Salts
What’s that? Salt is salt, you say? Obviously, you haven’t pleased your palate with the briny bliss that is the Himalayan pink or the aromatic curry-roasted sea salt. Once you’ve indulged in the Southlake Central Market’s salt bar, Morton’s will never do again. Billed as its “next generation” of stores, this new Central Market boasts many firsts for the Austin native: a “Mozzarella Live!” service counter, a centralized houseware department, and even an in-store playground for your brood. But it’s the salty selection (found in the bulk food department) that sets our foodie hearts fluttering. Central Market. 1425 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake. 817-360-5100. www.centralmarket.com.

26. Best In-Town Antiques Mall
Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the Lakewood shop Curiosities and the many wonders that owners and mom/son duo Terry and Jason Cohen have scavenged from flea markets and estate sales. Today you might find a 10-foot carnival banner promoting an alligator show or perhaps dazzling architectural ornaments to delight your friends. Who knows what tomorrow holds? The shop deals mainly in folk and self-taught art, but there’s an interesting, odd collectable around every corner. So beware buyer, set foot in this store and you may be unable to break away from its mysteries for hours upon hours. Curiosities. 2025 Abrams Rd. 214-828-1886.

27. Best Shop for Reclaimed and Refurbished Antiques
When Henry Branstetter closed his Oak Cliff Mercantile in Bishop Arts last year, preservationists and remodelers everywhere mourned. But where God closes a refurbished door, he apparently opens a reclaimed wood window because Branstetter, along with co-owner Tom McCoy, and the Mercantile are back in a revamped building formerly owned by Winnetka Heights historian and activist Ruth Chenoweth. The store has added a garden ornaments section, and friend Todd Fiscus has selected new items to sell alongside the staple antiques. Oak Cliff Mercantile. 700 W. Davis St. 214-948-8080.

28. Best Native Plants and Landscaping
Christy and David Ilfrey effect change one bluebonnet at a time. The couple runs NativeDave.com, a sustainable design and consultation service for landscaping, which advocates for native Blackland prairie plant species, drought-tolerant plantings, and organic gardening. They’ll sketch a customized planting plan, make a list of recommended plants and materials, and speak to your gardening group about how to bring native birds, wildlife, and a generally healthy environment to your home life. Not bad for a day’s work. NativeDave.com. 972-596-3889.

29. Best Place to Buy Discontinued China and Crystal
Dishes from the Past is a 6,000-square-foot warehouse with more than 1,000 shelves of discontinued china, pottery, and crystal by hundreds of major manufacturers including Lenox, Royal Doulton, Noritake, and Wedgwood. Can’t find your pattern? The staff will add your name to their database and notify you as soon as a piece comes in. Dishes From The Past. 3701 Lovell Ave., Fort Worth. 817-737-6390. www.dishesfromthepast.com.

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