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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 courtesy of vendor

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photography courtesy of vendor
Marilyn Rolnick Tonkon

Biggest design influence: Learning what works and what doesn’t. I’m always listening and learning.
Design element you’re so over: Clutter and armoires
The new neutral: Bronze
Every home should have: Great lighting
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Italy
Favorite home store: Glorious Homes in New York. It’s the most glorious hardware store anywhere!
Most overused word in the design world: “Window treatments.” It sounds like a sick window, but maybe it is!
Favorite coffee table book: The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson 

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photography: Vintage Living by Alex Ham; soldier courtesy of Veer; all others courtesy of vendor
Michelle Meredith

Biggest design influence:
My travels growing up as a daughter of a military officer
Your color of 2011: Apple green
The new neutral: Aqua green
Every home should have: A Meredith Miller light fixture
Favorite home store: Vintage Living
Most overused word in the design world: Chic
Favorite coffee table book: Paris, Flammarion, edited by Giles Plazy

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photography: column and lemons courtesy of Veer; sorbet courtesy of Getty Images; all others courtesy of vendor

LaWanna Wood

Biggest design influence: Classical architecture
Your color of 2011: Orange sherbet as just an accent or a whole room
Design element you’re so over: Heavy towel-finished walls
The new neutral: Citron
Every home should have: Great seating
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Italy or Greece
Favorite home store: ABC Home in New York City
Most overused word in the design world: Old World
Favorite coffee table book: I love every book by Charles Faudree.

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photography courtesy of vendor

Margaret Chambers

Biggest design influence: The classic European styles: Italian, French, English, and Swedish (my heritage)
Your color of 2011: I want to revive indigo blue.
Design element you’re so over: In contemporary rooms, I’m tired of seeing all white (floor, walls, ceiling, etc.). I’m also tired of the sun-shaped, bull’s-eye mirrors. Clearly, I’ve gone to the dark side. Well, I don’t like all black either, but besides being overdone, all white is impractical.
The new neutral: Contrasting shades of green or brown. A soft gold is also nice and mixes in well with many color schemes.
Every home should have: A comfortable sofa. Even if you’re trying to keep your kids’ dirty soccer cleats off the couch by investing in the most backbreaking furniture ever, a sofa is a symbol of hospitality, so invest in the one you can bounce up and down on the highest.
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: Definitely India
Favorite home store: John Rosselli’s in NYC. (He’s married to Bunny Williams!) His shop is four stories high, packed with antiques and excellent reproductions. Everything there catches my eye. I would move in there in a heartbeat, if that weren’t against the law.
Most overused word in the design world: Interesting
Favorite coffee table book: David Easton’s Timeless Elegance

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photography: paint swatches by John Gay; all others courtesy of vendor
Lisa Luby Ryan

Biggest design influence: Ralph Lauren
Your color of 2011: Coastal blue
Design element you’re so over: New jewel-tone Oriental rugs; any rug too small for the space
The new neutral: Orange
If you were a designer in another country, it would be: France
Favorite home store: Flamant in Belgium
To red or not to red: It’s not my favorite.
The most overused word in the design world: Transitional
Favorite coffee table book: Suzanne Kasler’s Inspired Interiors

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photography: paint swatch by John Gay; frame by Elizabeth Lavin
Joshua Rice

Biggest design influence: My wife and baby girl. They have given me new perspective on how to design modern interiors more suited for a family lifestyle.
Your color of 2011: I am not big on color, but I think it would be fun to incorporate small amounts of chartreuse in an otherwise neutral environment.
Design element you’re so over: Swarovski crystals and “bling” in general.  Bedazzling pre-existing objects does not count as design.
The new neutral: A very deep, dark aubergine
Every home should have: Photographs in tasteful frames
Favorite home store: BDDW in New York
To red or not to red: It is an excellent accent color but gets overbearing and unrefined in larger doses—especially in its primary form.  I can’t imagine using red on anything larger than a lounge chair in one of my projects.
Most overused word in the design world: Minimal
Favorite coffee table book: A/BA Afra e Tobia Scarpa Architetti 1959-2009 by Roberto Masiero and Michela Maguolo


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