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Dallas Designer Secrets 2010

We asked some of the city’s most esteemed interior designers to give us the skinny on everything from their best-loved antique stores and hotels to their chair and paint of choice. Here are the tasteful results.


Nancy A. Ross

Flower: Peonies
Color: Cognac
Paint: Pancake makeup
Must-have item that costs less than $50: White orchid plant
Sheets: White and ivory lace
Scent: Fresh air
Candy: Texas Millionaires
Museum: Uffizi, Florence
Local restaurant: Houston’s
Fabric: Venetian silk velvet
Antiques store: Pittet’s
Local store: Saks Fifth Avenue
Candle: Unscented pillars
Book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Chair: Biedermeier
Television show: Frontline
Guilty pleasure: Chocolate ice cream with chopped pecans and Coke over the top


Kathy Adcock-Smith

Flower: White anything—peonies, tulips, orchids, hydrangeas, roses spiked with citron green kermits
Color: Red for my cars and cell phones; lapis blue and citron green for fun accessories or accents; Caribbean blues and greens for chill-axing
Must-have item that costs less than $50: CDs—music is a must in my life
Sheets: Leron
Scent: Preparation Perfumee by Andree Putman
Museum: Collection at The Met, New York City; architecture of the Nasher
Art gallery: LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe
Local restaurant: Medina Oven and Bar
Fabric: Donghia/Pollack fabrics are luxurious and beautifully designed; also love Jack Lenor Larsen fabrics
Antiques store: John Gregory Studio
Local store: Crate and Barrel for those necessary yet inexpensive items
Candle: The light and woodsy tones of Fresh Start available through Dwell WithDignity, my favorite nonprofit
Book: Fiction—anything by P.D. James or Martha Grimes; On Marketing: Why She Buys by Bridgette Brennan
Chair: This is a tie: the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen—it’s fun to sit in and swivel around. And it’s relaxing to “nest” in Harry Bertoia’s Bird Chair and ottoman—great for watching movies.
Television show: Big Bang Theory
Guilty pleasure: No one home, music cranked while I cook something from Bon Appetit
Photographer: Dakota T. Smith


Lisa Luby Ryan

Flower: Peony
Color: Gray
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Must-have item that costs less than $50: Olivina hand creme
Sheets: Bella Notte Linen
Scent: Lavender
Candy: Peanut clusters
Local museum: The Nasher
Hotel: Hôtel la Mirande, Avignon
Local restaurant: Cafe Pacific
Fabric: Vintage linen and thistle from the South of France
Antiques store: Appley Hoare, London
Local store: Target
Candle: Low Country Luxe
Book: Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent
Chair: Verellen’s Charlotte wing chair
Guilty pleasure: Spending the month of July at the beach with my family


James McInroe

Flower: Casablanca lilies
Color: Orange
Must-have item that costs less than $50: Potted orchid
Sheets: Frette
Scent: Eau d’Orange Verte by Hermès
Candy: Golden Almond Solitaire by Hershey
Museum: Blanton Museum, Austin
Local museum: The Kimbell
Art gallery: Holly Johnson
Hotel: Hotel San Jose, Austin
Local restaurant: Park
Fabric: Clarence House
Local store: Nuvo
Candle: Black beeswax tapers
Chair: Vintage Milo Baughman (available at James McInroe Incorporated)
Television show: Mad Men
Photographer: Dimitris Skliris


Robyn Menter

Flower: White peonies
Color: Yves Klein Blue
Paint: Pratt & Lambert
Must-have item that costs less than $50: Sunday New York Times
Sheets: Peacock Alley Virtuoso sheets
Museum: MOMA, New York City
Local museum: The Modern
Art gallery: Gagosian Galleries, New York City
Hotel: Any of the Oberai Hotels in Northern India
Local restaurant: Cafe Pacific
Fabric: Cashmere
Local store: HD’s Womens
Book: Helmut Newton’s SUMO
Chair: Hughes Chevalier lounge chair
Television show: Mad Men
Guilty pleasure: Carrot cake
Photographer: Hiroshi Sugimoto


Ann Schooler

Flower: Peony
Color: Paprika
Paint: Farrow and Ball Powder Blue
Must-have item that costs less than $50: Pinon wood chips for the fireplace
Sheets: Pratesi
Candy: State Fair of Texas salt water taffy
Museum: Wallace Collection, London
Local museum: The Kimbell
Hotel: The Peninsula, Bangkok
Local restaurant: Shinsei
Fabric: Pierre Frey Hermine 2320 Jonquille
Antiques store: Sylvain Levy Albane, Paris
Local store: Central Market (early Saturday mornings)
Candle: Diptyque Figuier
Book: The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
Chair: A large, comfortable one!
Television show: The Colbert Report
Guilty pleasure: Sci-fi movies and saltwater fly-fishing
Photographer: Richard Avedon

See our list of the Best Designers in Dallas 2010.