The Selling Of Style

Some Dallas retailers are making good design their business

There is a mini-revolution going on in Dallas and your home is on the front line. Fueled by cries from consumers caught in the agony and ecstasy of feathering the nest, a smattering of brave retailers is gaining ground in the battle against banal home furnishings. The tactics are simple: home in on fashionable customers shopping for a look, a creative alternative to matched sets of brown furniture. Target intelligent rebels on a stylish mission, willing to sacrifice EZ payment plans and aisles of smiles for TLC and a wondrous mix of special pieces.

Who are these stalwart tastemakers and how long can they straddle the tacky bridge over troubled economic waters? We offer bilateral support in the form of a guide to just a few of the city’s stellar home furnishing shops. The rest is up to you. They’ve got the goods; get out there and spend, spend, spend.

To the Manor Born



Ah, the comforts of the good life: toile from the South of France, antiques from the English countryside, stripped-pine American primitives, pottery, damask, and all things bright and recherché. To traditionalists this is the stuff of hearth and home, smoothing the edge off modern realities by furnishing here and now with long ago and far away.

Russell O’Neil has made a business of caching away collectible furnishings he calls In Good Company. His smallish retail storefront nestled in the Knox/Hen-derson antique corridor is chock full of English and American vintage must-haves and a thoughtful complement of new tabletop accouterments and instant heirlooms. He wryly dubs the stuff “old odds and ends,” but the charm here is evidence of a designer’s eye, a love of antiques, and O’Neil’s own pragmatic, New Englander approach to furnishing his life and yours.

Also on the traditional list: Caroline Hunt’s Shopping English Countryside, making its debut at The Crescent in October; The Market; Pierre Deux; East & Orient; Notable Accents.

Traditional reproductions and adaptations: Adele Hunt, the Shaker collection at Workbench, Weirs, House and Table, Gabberts, and Ellison’s in Fort Worth.

Spaces of the Heart



A Does any one style say home to the young and the affluent in Dallas? We suspected it all along, but the fashionable crush of orgasmic shoppers at Room Service leaves little room for design debate. The soft side of the good life, light-hearted, comfortable, the charm of naivete is the stuff of domestic desire here. The Lovers Lane boutique-barely open for business! and booming-belongs to Ann Fox, an [alumnus of the Dallas Polo Shop who majored in RL’s Home Southwestern Aesthetics



On the leading edge: the arts and crafts, rough-hewn textures, and furnishings of the Southwest. Peppered among primitives and adding texture to 20th-century classics, it’s an urban look we can live with.

Cloistered in an abandoned church on the toward-town edge of Highland Park, designer Rudy Esquivel’s R.E.D. gallery serves up an exhilarating, grass-roots mix. Today, his vision holds a gathering of Folk Art, terra cotta, hand-blown glass, primitive Mexican colonial tables, bent-twig chairs, and hand-painted bovines. Tomorrow? Who knows. The ever-changing aspect of the assemblage is part of the fun,



Modern Masters and Rising Stars

Until recently, reproductions of classic furnishings from Hoffmann and Mackintosh, Aalto, and Le Cor-busier as well as newsworthy designs by too-hot-to-touch talents like Philippe Starck and Andrée Putman were unattainable to the populace and revered by only a segment of the design community. Daring to put stock in the modern aesthete, shops are marketing the essentials of the design-conscious life, banking on the timeless appeal of contemporary classics.

IPI/Palazzetti is a dazzling find, an urban pioneer in Deep Ellum showcasing striking contemporary lighting, one-of-a-kind functional art furnishings, and Palazzetti’s collection of classics from the 20th century.

Other partners in the new wave: Ken Knight’s Arresta, reopening in October at the Centrum; Vertu; The Icehouse.

Adaptations for modernists: Cantoni, Howard Goldman, Roche-Bobois.

Spaces of the Heart



A Does any one style say home to the young and the affluent in Dallas? We suspected it all along, but the fashionable crush of orgasmic shoppers at Room Service leaves little room for design debate. The soft side of the good life, light-hearted, comfortable, the charm of naivete is the stuff of domestic desire here. The Lovers Lane boutique-barely open for business! and booming-belongs to Ann Fox, an [alumnus of the Dallas Polo Shop who majored in RL’s Home Furnishings Collection and has obviously done her homework. The shop is a provincial romance of past and present where the price is right: stripped pine and painterly finishes, hand-painted furnishings, old-fashioned florals from Cowtan & Tout and Country Life, and chaste country crockery will not go begging for a good home.

Other spaces to grow fond of: Maggies, English Pine Company, and Piccadilly Fair.

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