The Best of Everything 2008

From chairs to chic hotels to vintage plumbing fixtures, our annual list of what makes Dallas stylish and well-designed keeps getting better.

image of teapot
photography courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art

Best Collection You Never Knew About

“You simply will not find a better collection of American silver,” says Kevin Tucker, Margot B. Perot curator of decorative arts and design at the Dallas Museum of Art. “In the world,” he adds. Dallas’ decorative arts collection, on the whole, is impressive—from 350-plus-year-old Indian rugs to furniture by famed architects and designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Eames, and Noguchi—but it’s our American 19th- and 20th-century silver collection that outshines that of any other museum, including the Victoria and Albert in London. The silver collection is composed of 1,800 silver objects from such producers as Tiffany & Co., Reed & Barton, Gorham, Towle, and International. Best part: Enjoy it without having to worry about polishing anything. 1717 N. Harwood St. 214-954-0234.

Best Secret Source In The Kitchen
Specialty produce supplier Tom “Spiceman” Spicer’s fresh goods, once only available to chefs such as Sharon Hage and Dean Fearing, are now available to the rest of us via his new market, F.M. 1410. In May and June, Spicer’s stash includes wild aparagus from France, Oklahoma and Louisiana chanterelles, porcinis, morels, local lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, and Texas olive oil. 1410-B N. Fitzhugh Ave. 214-828-0322.

Best Clean Start
Nature Maids CEO Olga Douglas hires maids with hotel experience, then retrains them in the art of cleaning a home safely and organically, using nothing but eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning products. A staple in her arsenal is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, one of the best smelling and most effective natural cleaners on the market. The housekeepers cover a 30-mile radius serving North Dallas and Collin County, and they can clean your entire house or just one room. First-time customers get bathrooms and kitchens cleaned for free. 972-755-4114.

Best Reason to Get to Work
Sixteenth-century Palladian architecture is boldly transparent in Provasi’s “Palladian architecture inspired bureau” secretary. World-renowned furniture craftsman Provasi creates some of the most elegantly elaborate pieces of furniture for embassies and some of the finest houses in the world. This cherry-wood secretary is adorned with a pediment and columns. Its grand appearance and 6-foot stature make a bold statement, while providing a fully functional workspace with a great amount of room for storage. Ellouise Abbott. 150 Turtle Creek Blvd., Ste. 201. 214-239-8722.

image of  tufted bergère
photography by Maxine Helfman

Best Natural Inspiration

We can’t help but think that the French furniture maker who designed this tufted bergère was dreaming of spring at the time. Made during the 1930s, it was originally covered in a faded red fabric when Dallas designer Jan Showers spotted it on a recent buying trip to Paris. Recovered in sunny Clarence House cotton sateen, it’s one of a pair.  $7,500 for both. At Jan Showers & Associates. 1308 Slocum St. 214-747-5252.

image of brut
photography by Danny Piassick

Best Place To Pop Your Cork
For fans of the bubbly, Brüt, a champagne/sparkling wine lounge and store near Hotel Palomar, is a fizzy Nirvana. Owners Susie and Ildefonso Jimenez—formerly of Hola tapas bar—stock this swank spot with more than 200 sparklers. It’s the largest selection you’ll find in Dallas. (“Probably the country,” Ildefonso says.) Buy a bottle for a gift, or be selfish, and keep it for yourself as you slip into Brüt’s plush tufted sofas and let the bubbles and the slinky lounge music wash away the day’s worries. 5330 E. Mockingbird Ln., Ste. 150. 214-827-2788.

Best Good Night’s Rest
You live in a custom home and you drive a customized Maybach. It makes sense to extend your bespoke expectations to your bed pillow. Dallas entrepreneur Merrimac Dillon has installed her down stuffing machine centers, named The Pillow Bar, in some of the chicest boutiques in town including The Linen Boutique, Peacock Alley, and Mary Kate Erwin. Choose from five pillow sizes including standard and boudoir, then select the amount of 700 percent Hungarian goose down stuffing you’d like for firmness. Pillows are also available monogrammed and scented. (Our personal favorite is Martini Dreams.)

Best Way To Hang A Big Plate
Art Dallas Incorporated has engineered the skill of getting really heavy stuff on the walls to stay. For plates you may want to use on the table again, AD creates a custom acrylic stand with a mechanism to firmly cradle the plate’s back—without drilling holes. For huge, 30-pound chargers, specialty glues are used in hanging. A custom-fit wooden back is then placed over the glues with a built-in T-bolt security mount that can be locked and anchored to the wall. The result: a plate that isn’t going anywhere. 2325 Valdina St. 214-688-0244.

image of kumi kookoon throws
photography by Chris Plavidal

Best Summer Treat
Kumi Kookoon throws are lightweight, silk-filled delights. The blankets provide the warmth of down, but they’re decidedly cool thanks to lovely sherbet hues. Bonus for those sensitive to certain fabrics: They are 100 percent hypo-allergenic, made with hand-stretched silk fibers. Stacy Hyde carries five flavors—raindrop, sage, pebble, lavender, and white—in the classic throw, but feel free to special order any of 26 colors in duvets, sheets, baby blankets, and pillowcases. $550. Stacy Hyde. 2933 N. Henderson Ave. 214-370-4933.

10 Best Reason to Love the Outdoors
These days, it’s hard to tell the difference between indoors and out. Materials and fabrics are durable outside, yet pretty enough to use in the living room. Tables and chairs double as sculpture.

(Left to right) Hexagonal copper balls, to the trade at George Cameron Nash; all-environment Missoni fabric from Old World Weavers, to the trade at ID Collection; architectural corbel from Debris Antiques, $4,995 per pair; Arne Jacobsen egg chair at Scott+Cooner, $4,900; white Richard Schultz topiary dining chair at Allan Knight and Associates, $1,510; stone birdbath on pedestal, to the trade at ID Collection; rose ceramic Nut stool at Allan Knight and Associates, $1,570; Raku vessel, to the trade at George Cameron Nash; all-environment Scroll Moderne fabric in Caribe by Chella, to the trade at Allan Knight and Associates; zinc pedestal with copper acanthus sculpture, both to the trade at George Cameron Nash; Bolide chair designed by architect by Tom Dixon for Cappellini at Scott+Cooner, $4,900; Henry Hall teak Chinese armchair at Allan Knight and Associates, $1,850; acanthus stone pedestal, $750 per pair; topped with a stone pineapple, $1,195 per pair, both at Found Antiques.

Starck and Sutherland Team Up for New RobinWood Collection
Two years ago, bad boy designer Philippe Starck approached Dallas showroom owner David Sutherland about collaborating on a line of outdoor furniture. Sutherland was flattered, naturally. Then the fun began. “It took two years to pin Philippe down to get the drawings because he’s all over the map,” Sutherland says. It was worth the wait. The RobinWood Deluxe collection, which makes its Dallas debut in our pages, merges Sutherland’s Southern practicality with Starck’s legendary wit. Made of teak, polished aluminum, and polished steel, the 26 pieces in the collection include upholstered lounge chairs and chaises, bar chairs, eight kinds of chairs, stools, daybeds and sofas, and a variety of tables. Summer just got a lot cooler. RobinWood Deluxe collection to the trade at David Sutherland Showroom. 1025 N. Stemmons Fwy., Ste. 340. 214-742-6501.

image of d. porthault’s linens
photography courtesy of D. Porthault

Best Divine Inspiration
Your bed may not afford a view of the night sky, but D. Porthault’s ethereal linens happily lend one. In black cotton sateen and white cotton voile, astronomy meets couture with dramatic results. While black-and-white is a delightful departure from Porthault’s historically springy florals, the exquisite hand embroidery is signature. D. Porthault introduced their largest seasonal collection in their 88-year history this year. Prices range from $160 for a hand-embroidered boudoir to $1,900 for a four-piece king-size bed set. 85A Highland Park Village. 214-526-3545.

Best Cowboy Cookware
Chef Tim Love blazes trails wherever he goes. The Fort Worth restaurateur famous for his haute chuck-wagon cuisine (Lonesome Dove, Duce, and Love Shack) led a cattle drive from Fort Worth to New York in 2003 to cook at the James Beard House. Love’s new venture, Tim Love Cookware, is a collection of rustic cast-iron pots and pans worthy of his Lone Star heritage. Cast iron distributes and retains heat evenly, and Love’s version is handsome enough to go from kitchen to dinner table. Giddy up, indeed. Sold online only.

Best Way To Start A Small Collection
Design freaks take note: Alessi Home Accessories has just introduced a line of 11 iconic miniatures made especially for the collector. Created to exact scale from the same materials that make up Alessi’s life-size versions, the minis range from 2 to 4 inches and cost between $20-$42 each. The collection arrives in the Dallas store sometime in May. 5959 Royal Ln. 214-346-5900.

image of midway hollow home
photography by Dav Shafer

Best Reason Why May is Preservation Month
The neighborhood of Midway Hollow is on Preservation Dallas’ 2007 Most Endangered Historic Places list. Bounded by Northwest Highway, Midway Road, and Walnut Hill and Marsh lanes, the 1950s-’60s-era enclave of small ranches and moderns is under siege. With large lots, generous setbacks, and tree-shaded streets, the area is beset by teardowns and incompatible new construction. Preserving the modernist architectural heritage in our neighborhoods gives Dallas integrity, not to mention style. Preservation Dallas. 214-821-3290.

image of nylo
photography courtesy of NYLO

Best Reason to Stay in Plano: NYLO
Unfair or not, Plano gets a rap for being in the boring suburbs. So we love the fact that the town known for Really Big Houses and soccer moms now boasts a hip, urban hotel. NYLO, a national chain with a boutique hotel vibe, sets up shop where more and more companies are locating—the heart of suburbia. “Today, business often happens outside urban centers, and yet these suburban areas are lacking truly unique business hotels. NYLO is designed to fill that gap…” Or so the hotel’s promo goes. Awash in exposed concrete, and decorated with mid-century-modern-meets-industrial-chic furnishings, NYLO Plano is edgy enough to make even a jaded New Yorker feel at home. 8201 Preston Rd. 972-624-6990.

Best Collaborations
Architects, designers, and artists collaborate because the sharing of ideas often sparks genius—or at least some fun. Here are a handful of new design teams that caught our eye.

image of pamela nelson and clayton oliphint
Pamela Nelson and Clayton Oliphint
photography by Elizabeth Lavin

Frank Welch, Pamela Nelson, Clayton Oliphint
It was divine inspiration when pastor Clayton Oliphint teamed up with two of Dallas’ most talented progeny: architect Frank Welch and artist Pamela Nelson. Working closely with First United Methodist Church of Richardson’s congregation, Welch helped design a 43,000-square-foot, vaulted sanctuary crafted from Douglas fir. The beam system is held together by 42,000 metal pins whose drill holes were calculated on a computer, Oliphint says. “When it was installed, everything fit together perfectly. Our contractor was so astonished that he said God must have been involved.” Artist Nelson was solicited to design 25 stained glass windows, which pay homage to those found in Europe’s great cathedrals. First United Methodist Church. 503 N. Central Expwy., Richardson. 972-235-8385.

Philippe Starck and Baccarat
Nobody does drama like French designer Philippe Starck, especially when it comes to reinterpreting the quotidian, such as a fly swatter or in this case, a chair, which dazzles in clear crystal, sleek polypropylene fabric, and chrome. Starck’s new “Darkside” collection merges classic Baccarat designs in clear and black crystal. $3,600. Baccarat. Galleria Dallas, Ste. 1295. 972-386-4100.

Joseph Minton and George Cameron Nash
Designer Joseph Minton has been a Sherlock Holmes buff for decades. He’s even known for creating a signature “Sherlock Holmes Library” for clients. So when George Nash asked Minton to design a collection of upholstered furniture, Minton sketched sofas and chairs that looked like they’d come straight from a Holmes movie set, and the Sherlock Collection was born. “A lot of the pieces will have a 19th-century English flavor and be a little bit odd with unusual shapes and lots of tufting and fringe,” he says. The Rathbone chair (shown) was inspired by a 1920s-era piece Minton found on a trip to Paris. The collection is currently in the early stages of design, but expect to see it in the showroom this fall. George Cameron Nash. 150 Dallas Design Center. 214-744-1544.

image of aquila quartz chandelier made by pagani studio
photography courtesy of retailer

Best Way to Be Dramatic: Hang a Chandelier!
These dynamic chandeliers aren’t mere accessories—they beg to be the center of attention. Aiming to “fuse architecture with visual and performing arts,” New York-based designers Diller Scofidio + Renfro teamed with Swarovski to produce this one-of-a-kind “Light Sock” chandelier. Swarovski crystals placed in a mesh bag conceal a halogen bulb. $3,785. Scott+Cooner. 214-748-9838. Studio Italia Design’s Nuvola fixture is made with billowy, fireproof fabric. Illuminated from within, it casts an ethereal light. $5,310. Scott+Cooner. The Aquila Quartz Chandelier made by Pagani Studio is made with satin bronze and natural, hand-laid clear quartz and mica shades. $18,713. Allan Knight and Associates. 214-741-2227. The crystal-studded “Adam” chandelier by James Lockridge Fine Furnishings with silver finish captures and reflects light, illuminating its distinctive curvature. $15,635. Allan Knight and Associates.

Best Vintage Plumbing Hardware
Teter’s Faucet Parts is not the place to go for your ultra-modern bath. But it is the place to park if you need a stem for a 30-year-old American Standard faucet. Jack Teter, whose great uncle Hoke Parker started the company in Lakewood in 1935, has the largest inventory of genuine plumbing manufacturing repair parts in the country and the best-trained staff to boot. And to keep you sitting in style, Teter’s also carries the Southwest’s biggest inventory of colored toilet seats to match original manufacturer’s water closets. 6337 Oram St. 214-823-2153.

Best Reason To Go Out Of Business
You can’t open the newspaper without reading about subprime disasters, record foreclosures, and corporate bailouts, so when a store goes out of business, you figure it’s the failing economy. In the case of the beloved Lovers Lane landmark Room Service, just the opposite is true. Owner Ann Fox closed the doors of her darling store because her business—her catalog business, that is—is too successful. After a blockbuster sale, Fox finally shuttered the store for good. But her signature finds live on. 800-588-1170.

Best Reason To Log On
Dallas gets a bad rap. Sure, we like our McMansions and Hummers, but we’re also the first city in the nation to launch a comprehensive web site dedicated to all things green: It’s got all the latest in green news, resources, and important local environmental updates. Also, check out stats on daily air quality, regulations on car emissions, and places to recycle garbage, chemicals, and electronics.


image of psa essentials’ custom designed stamps
photography by Manny Rodriguez

Best Way To Leave Your Mark
Leave a lasting mark with PSA Essentials’ custom designed stamps. With dozens of patterns to choose from (select initials, name, or full address) and interchangeable ink pads in a slew of colors, you’ll want to put your mark on everything: envelopes, gift cards, and color-coordinating stationery. Paper & Chocolate. 5460 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 236. 214-357-2737.

Best Organic Dry Cleaner
Swiss Cleaners surpasses most conventional dry cleaners by using solvents that are nontoxic to the environment. A family-run business opened in 1984 with on-site operations, Swiss Cleaners uses non-petroleum-based GreenEarth Cleaning. “We were one of the first cleaners in the U.S. to start this and the first in Texas,” owner Zal Tower says. To top it off, they’ll clean all the household items many others won’t—curtains, sheets, pillows, shams, comforters, bedspreads, rugs, and sofa and cushion covers. Now your linens won’t reek of chemicals, and Dallas will suffer less contaminated water and air. 3030 Mockingbird Ln. 214-987-0665.

Best Sweet Housewarming Gift
Jamie Collins’ handmade chocolates have been popular for decades. But her milk chocolate-covered toffee is irresistibly rich, buttery, and melts in your mouth. She won’t reveal her grandmother’s recipe, but the double-sided chocolate layers and the ever-fresh batches make it the best toffee in town. Stock up now—she sells out of it, along with her turtles and fudge, every holiday. Henk’s European Deli & Black Forest Bakery. 5811 Blackwell St. 214-987-9090.

Best Night Light
The nightstand lamp has many practical uses. Read by it or annoy your sleepy loved one with it after he’s caused offense at dinner. This lamp—in all of its Murano glass leaf and nickel glory—makes practical deeds more fun. Ceylon et Cie. 1319 Dragon St. 214-742-7632.

image of iota
photography by Danny Piassick

Best Stand Against Corporate America
On a street dominated by big box decorative stores, Iota has been quietly peddling unique art for almost 20 years. Iota owners Dan Dean and Mickey Miller scour trade pubs and crisscross the nation seeking contemporary artists creating art, pottery, jewelry, and other funky items made from wood, glass, clay, and metal. “We buy three of everything,” Dean says. “One for us, one for the store, and one to help pay the bills.” 3107 Knox St. 214-522-2999.

Best Way To Nuke A Mosquito (Nicely)
The big problem with traditional outdoor mosquito misting systems is the difficulty in finding a truly safe spray. Even the “organic” chrysanthemum (pyrethrum) based formula is emulsified with a carcinogenic agent (per the FDA). But don’t trouble yourself with that jargon. Rid All Pest Control uses a mist that is made of clove oil, rosemary, and wintergreen. Customers say they love the smell—almost as much as the complete absence of mosquitoes. 6812 Colfax Dr. 214-340-6969.

In This Post


Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.