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The Best Designers in Dallas 2011

Our annual list, plus some of these top local experts tell us about the looks they like best.
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photography: extinguisher courtesy of Istockphoto; chopsticks and sunflowers courtesy of Veer; all others courtesy of vendor

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photography: extinguisher courtesy of Istockphoto; chopsticks and sunflowers courtesy of Veer; all others courtesy of vendor

Robyn Menter

Biggest design influence: Japanese culture, with its minimalist and natural approach and emphasis on harmony and balance
Your color of 2011: Yellow
Design element you’re so over: Skirted tables
The new neutral: Gray
Every home should have: A fire extinguisher—that’s the practical suggestion! Fresh flowers are the fanciful one.
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Japan
Favorite coffee table book: Current favorites are Julius Shulman, Modernism Rediscovered published by Taschen and Helmut Newton by June Newton.
Favorite home store: Elements in Chicago

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photography: paint swatch by John Gay; all others courtesy of vendor
Rhonda Grubbs

Biggest design influence: The fearless combinations of designers like Dorothy Draper or David Hicks or Ralph Lauren
Your color for 2011: Blue! Any of the blues in the Ralph Lauren deck, but specifically a color called Overalls TH65.
The new neutral: Gray
Every home should have: Outdoor living space
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Italy
Favorite home store: Gump’s in San Francisco
Most overused word in the design world: Personally, I use “tired” too often to describe things that should have been updated or freshened up long before they are changed.
Favorite coffee table book: Ranch Houses: Living the California Dream; Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon; and The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration From the Costume Designer of Mad Men

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photography: spinx by Elizabeth Lavin; paint swatch by John Gay; soup, firetruck and peacock courtesy of Veer; all others courtesy of vendor

Barry Williams

Biggest design influence: My boss of 10 years, Joe Minton. I learned from the best.
Your color of 2011: Deep peacock blue
Design element you’re so over: Groups of iron candlesticks from retail stores; fake Shabby Chic; anything that is a fake antique; tables full of framed photographs; skirts on upholstered furniture that are too long; cheap throws; cheap embroidered pillows; cheap
trim on anything
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: France
Favorite home store: East and Orient
To red or not to red: Generally, I think it is overused, but even still, it remains one of my favorite colors. (Tomato soup, not fire engine.)
Most overused word in the design world: Fabulous
Favorite coffee table book: Timeless Elegance by David Easton

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photography: book by Elizabeth Lavin; hat courtesy of Istockphoto; portrait courtesy of vendor
Myrl Talkington

Biggest design influence: Tony Duquette
Your color for 2011: Sherwin-Williams 6151 Quiver Tan
The new neutral: Khaki
Every home should have: Handicap rails covered in hides
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Africa
To red or not to red: Red to back bookcases
Most overused word in the design world: Bad economy
Favorite coffee table book: More Is More: Tony Duquette by Wendy Goodman, Hutton Wilkinson, and Dominick Dunne


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photography: pillow by Elizabeth Lavin; all others courtesy of vendor
Linda Fritschy

Biggest design influence? I was two years into my career and living in Lubbock when Phyllis Parker agreed to hire me. She taught me how to bend all those educated rules, include some playfulness in my interiors, and opened my eyes to color.
Design element you’re so over: Tumbled stone showers
The new neutral: Gray
Every home should have: Something acrylic. Its reflective qualities transcend styles from traditional to modern.
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Right now I’m focused on the Netherlands.
Favorite home store: I like to cruise through the shops at The Mews for something found and then head over to Casa di Lino for something new. Mecox, Forty Five Ten, Grange Hall, and Nest are also great places for finds.
Most overused word in the design world: Fabulous

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photography: suitcases courtesy of Veer; all others courtesy of vendor

Debra Stewart

Biggest design influence? Art, history, and travel
Your color of 2011: Blues. They are feeling really fresh right now.
Every home should have: A piece of art that you really love
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: I love London, but I have already worked in England. So I guess the next adventure would be France.
Favorite home store? ABC Home & Carpet in New York and the antique markets in England and France
To red or not to red: It is a staple in design, but I like the coral tones of red right now. Brighter and less serious.
Most overused word in the design world: Back order


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