Interior Design


Visit a variety of homes in Dallas and the reason top interior designers are celebrating becomes distinctively clear. Finally, homeowners have taken the experts’ advice and are designing their homes’ interiors with their own. signature style full of personality and charm. For years, designers have been encouraging individuality in homes and are now making it their priority to help homeowners discover their own style. And although Dallas easily claims some of the most unique, sophisticated, and elegantly designed homes, the rooms no longer imitate untouched, polished showrooms. Finally, they look just like home.

“A well-designed room is comfortable and pleasing to the eye.” says Pogir, an interior designer with Cantoni. “People will always end up going to the room of the house where they feel most comfortable, and it will always be the room with the best balance-not only of color and texture, but shapes and proportions. It’s all in how you put it together.”

Interior Design Trends

“THERE IS NO BIBLE ABOUT DESIGN,” SAYS David Cadwallader, ASID, of Cadwallader Design in Dallas. “Any room looks inviting and comfortable with the right combination of a few key ingredients.” Naturally, these key ingredients vary depending on which interior designer is used. Every designer has a favorite trend or look-of-the-moment. One look agreed upon by designers, however, is that anything goes as long as it’s done with taste. Designers here are favoring homes with an eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories and a crisp, contemporary look that reflects a strong, classic design quality. Borrowing design ideas from other countries remains a popular design choice too. but for once it is OK to shake it all up.

“I am seeing a heavy Oriental influence in Dallas, which is nice, and it is increasingly mixed in with another cultural design influence,” says Brian Dalton, ASID, with The Patricia Group. “Everybody wants to mix styles today, which is good. I’m not seeing just Country French rooms or Mediterranean-only rooms anymore. There is no distinct style or theme.”

Dalton attributes this style mix to homeowners becoming more confident in exhibiting their own personal taste, a design concept he has been pushing for years. Foreign travel is becoming an option for more people, thus homeowners are collecting an abundance of unique pieces from their travels to use in their homes. Exotic accessories-such as lamps made of Venetian Glass-add a touch of cultural elegance. Just one of these conversation pieces can easily serve as a design anchor in any room and reflect a homeowner’s own style.

“There is a new glamour. It’s all about editing,” says Jan Showers, AS1D, of Jan Showers and Associates in Dallas. “Simplicity combined with luxury. No glitz-just a touch of sparkle with lamps, or perhaps a mirrored table.”

Showers is pleased to see her clients choosing simple, yet luxurious fabrics. accessories thai attract a buyer on impulse, piecing together a room (hat tastefully tells a story about the homeowner’s life and style is a design trend that is getting the nod of approval from lop designers. “Most people don’t want to be the first on the block to try something new,” says Cadwallader. “They feel more comfortable being self-expressive if they have seen it done before, so it’s nice to see this classic, but modern look catching on from home to home.”

accessories thai attract a buyer on impulse, piecing together a room (hat tastefully tells a story about the homeowner’s life and style is a design trend that is getting the nod of approval from lop designers. “Most people don’t want to be the first on the block to try something new,” says Cadwallader. “They feel more comfortable being self-expressive if they have seen it done before, so it’s nice to see this classic, but modern look catching on from home to home.”

Mistakes and Solutions

ALTHOUGH INTERIOR DESIGNERS REALIZE THE importance of filling a home with unique pieces selected by the homeowner, they warn not to go too far. Buying odds and ends of furniture-just because a buyer likes them-can be an unfortunate and costly mistake. “Sometimes they don’t think about how it will look in a room,” Cadwallader says. “They buy one thing they love and try to make everything else work around il. Thai makes designing a room difficult.”

To remedy this problem, he suggests finding a signature style, then incorporating beloved pieces. Those who already have precious collections should call on the aid of an interior designer to learn how to display their treasures. Rather than cluttering a home by over-accessorizing, he suggests choosing favorite pieces and strategically placing them in a room. “You want it to look like a collection, no! a bunch of junk,” Cadwallader says.

A simple way to give any room instant comfort is to designate a focal point, a designing tip many homeowners overlook. Pogir says loo many people don’t take advantage of views such as a pool, golf course, fireplace-or even a television-and center furniture around it. “If you have a placement of chairs around the fireplace, but have the television on the opposite side of the room, you have competing views and displaced furniture.” Pogir says. He suggests moving the television near the fireplace so the room has balance around only one focal point,

Pogir also recommends that homeowners think outside of the norm when arranging a room. Too many people use (he common sofa/loveseat/chair grouping, which only works well if a room can accommodate them. If not, consider other options such as two facing sofas or two chairs on either side of a sofa. ’’You want everything to work well together,” Pogir says. “Use ideas that don’t fight each oilier, Never look at a room in the same old way.”’

Once the furniture is in place, a good idea is to take a look at the window treatments-another problem area in interior design. Showers says clients are amazed at the incredible illusion of ceiling height that can be achieved simply by raising curtains. Hang curtains about an inch under the moldings and a room gets an instant facelift.

“I honestly think the worst mistake someone can make when decorating their home is to not call a designer.” Showers says. “Too many people go out and buy things for their house, start decorating and realize they made a big mistake. Then they call a designer to decorate around their mistake. Designers can actually save a client lime and money.”

Home Furnishings

HOME FURNISHING STYLES ARE AS VARIED AS buyer’s tastes. New furniture showrooms are opening at a rapid rate to accommodate everyone’s needs. This abundance of choice, however, can become quite confusing to the buyers, says Dave Barkes, an interior designer with Geoffrey’s Fine Furnishings and Decorative Art in Addison.

“Furniture has changed drastically through the years.’” Barkes says. “It has really evolved. The buyer can easily become overwhelmed with all the different showrooms to visit. You can find 700 different off-white sofas, so there is a confusion as to why one costs $3,500 and one costs $499. Have a designer guide you along.”

The key to buying and arranging furniture is to determine the space allowed, then choose furniture of appropriate scale. Dallas architects have adopted the large-scale. Californian look for homes which calls for larger furniture pieces. “I think we’re all familiar with the homes in North Dallas with (lie extremely tall ceilings,” Barkes says. “In this case, use large scale furnishings, which happens to be very in at the moment”

Compiling a room of furniture that exhibits savvy style isn’t as tricky as it once was now that mixing styles, brands, and time periods of furniture is acceptable. A favorite trick is mixing fabrics and textures, such as chenille paired with leather or leather and wood combinations. Using custom pieces and finishes-especially distressed or unmatched finishes-is another current rage, “1 think people gel frustrated when they like a piece, but it only comes in one finish,” says Cheryl Lawrence, showroom manager of Stewart Allen Furniture, which specializes in custom furnishings and finishes. “With the new custom finishes, it is quite possible to find a finish that matches an existing decor.”

Once furnishings have been selected, choosing fabric is the next step. Those who love fabric with bold color are in for a treat in 1999, Rich, vibrant colors in a variety of textures and patterns will grace homes throughout the country. “I am finding that there is something for everyone,” says Gabbert’s senior interior designer Deborah Bigbie, AS1D. Greys, yellows and blues arc dominant choices for 1999, especially muted grape colors, spicy earthtones, cobalt blue, and chocolate brown.

When it comes to fabric texture, chenille is the top choice. Accent pieces, such as throws and toss pillows, are popular in chenille, especially in stripes, prints, or sculptured fabrics. Other hit accessories are anything and everything with an Asian flair, leather-covered accessories and collage-type wall groupings of eye-catching artwork. “These are all popular choices in home furnishings, but I believe what is really popular is what is comfortable,” Bigbie says.

Interior Design in a New Home

A NEW HOME IS LIKE A BLANK CANVAS WITH no artwork, colors, or furniture dictating a Style or theme for the interior’s decor. The possibilties are endless, but designers warn: it’s easy to go overboard and lose money by acting loo fast

“Most people think that when they buy a new house, they need to immediately till it with furniture.” Cadwallader says. “Since it is costly to do this, they wind up buying furniture that is poor in quality, and they buy pieces that don’t work well together. It’s a poor investment. Don’t be unrealistic and think you can completely decorate a home’s interior in a short amount of time.” He suggests new home owners be patient and spend their time collecting quality artwork for their empty wall spaces and take their time to determine a particular style for their home.

Cadwallader criticizes the architecture of many of today’s new home styles. Too many have wasted and awkward space that make interiors uncomfortable. He suggests new homeowners hire a designer early to work with their builder to get the desired results.

Interior Design in an Older Home

INTERIOR DESIGN IS A BIG PROJECT TO TACKLE in any home, but owners of an older home can expect a heftier work load to get the look they crave. When an older home is successfully updated, the results are beautiful and new life is breathed into every room. But for an older home to suit today’s busy and demanding lifestyles, major renovations are often necessary and hiring a designer is a must.

“Pair an architect and a designer when updating an older home,” Dation says “Better yet. bring along a designer when you are shopping for older homes to give you an estimate of what it will lake to get the look you want.”

Homes built anywhere from the 1920s to the ’50s accommodated much différent lifestyle needs when they, were new. Older homes are typically larger than today’s average home, but the rooms are smaller. If a heavy remodeling job isn’t in the plan, Cadwallader suggests installing better lighting to open up small spaces. “We live more openly in our homes today,” he says. “We like the big rooms and flowing spaces that older homes lack.”

Typically, the first rooms in need of updates are the kitchen and the bath. They are usually too small and not equipped for today’s needs. Creating more storage space is also a necessity, since closets in older homes are often quite small. Cleaning up the home’s exterior is another way to give it an update. Repainting and removing heavy details, such as wrought iron supports and shutters help to bring it to the present. “Even with all the extra work, older homes can be a better investment because of their quality.” Cadwallader says.


Dallas is falling in love with tile flooring. Whether it is the choice for a new home or an ’ update to an older model, ceramic tile that emulates the look of natural stone is an ! increasingly popular request. Limestone fl?ring with colors and textures used in Italy, such as creamy beige or an exotic bluish taupe, are being seen on the floors of Dallas’ most beautiful homes. Any tile with an antiquated look or golden beige Napa! Fossil Stones with the imprints of seashells or fish embedded in them are lop selections.

With more than 1.2 million square feet of tile imported from 17 different countries in stock. Dallas* Ceramic and Ganite Trading Corporation showroom contains a variety of colors, styles and shapes of ceramic tile. “Italian tile-like you would see in the hotels of Italy-is the best in quality and color,” says Jim Gambulos. president of Ceramic and Granite Trading Corporation. “Italians are the only tile manufacturers who can successfully blend the more popular and beautiful tile colors.”

Designing Interiors You Love

Interior designers across Dallas may have different tastes when it conies to trends, but all agree interior design should be a pleasurable project. If it is not fun, it is usually not successful. Willi more people spending the majority of their time in their homes for family enjoyment or entertaining, creating an attractive, comfortable, and inviling atmosphere is becoming a top priority for homeowners. “Our home is our retreat at the end of a stressful day. “It needs to make us happy when we close the door behind us.”


Donald Trump uses it. So does Bill Gates. Even John F. Kennedy Jr. is rumored to have tried it after he got married. Intrigued?

These famous businessmen are all avid practices of feng shui (prounounced fung schway), a Chinese interior design concept that is quickly grabbing the nation’s attention. Essentially, feng shui is a conscious understanding of how energy moves in, through and around all things and how it affects people. An art of placement that has been practiced in China for thousands of years, its purpose is to create harmony and a flow of life energy, know as chi, in one’s home or work environment. Pragmatic and powerful businessmen such as Trump and Gates may not completely understand feng shui, but why should they run a risk? When dealing with billions of dollars, it doesn’t hurt to keep a positive flow of energy running through their homes and offices.

“Everything has energy, whether it is alive or just a sofa.” says Inga Chandler, owner of Feng Shui Designs in Dallas. “You can design a home or office with negative or positive energy, depending on where and how you place items and color there. If you’ve ever felt extremely comfortable in a room, but don’t know why, it usually has to do with the placement of furniture around you. It all has to do with the energy flow of the room.”

The end result of practicing this ancient Chinese practice of aligning one’s environment to maximize chi and create harmony is to achieve a general sense of well-being that results in enriched personal relationships and successful professional performance.

There is really no way to know if a home is property feng shuied without the guidance of a trained feng shui consultant who assesses a home’s energy flow with a bagua (pronounced bag-wah)~an octagon-shaped map that corresponds to specific colors and life situations. Superimposing a bagua over a house or room shows which comers correspond with a different life situation. Every home has the basic corners of career, love and marriage; creativity and children; helpful people and travel; knowledge and self-fulfillment: health and family: wealth and power; and fame and reputation. The center of the room, the area of longevity and solidity, is where the energy from all of the corners comes together.

For instance, to enhance a home or room’s career corner, place a flowing water fountain there. According to the principles of feng shui, the flowing water keeps things moving and flowing to you, A basic financial rule of feng shui is to leave the toilet lid down, ft represents money being flushed away. Beef up a room’s wealth and prosperity corner with expensive items or reds and purples, the color of royalty.

Color, texture, mirrors, lighting, plants, wind chimes, and water are cures that keep chi flowing through the home. Some elements that stop chi are sharp edges or comers on furnishings that create a dagger effect and make people feel threatened.

Feng shui consultants have numerous success stories that illustrate dramatically changed lives after their home or office was feng shuied. Although some are skeptical about the relationship between a closed toilet lid and money or decorating a room pink to enhance your love life, more people are trying it-just in case. “This is extremely popular in Dallas.” says Karen Ann Tompkins, feng shui consultant. “People here are beginning to sense the relationship between space and life.”


Having the talent to select the right carpeting, paint, and furnishings for a home may make someone a good interior decorator, but much more Is requested than a good eye for design to become a professional interior designer and member of the oldest and largest professional organization for interior designers, the American Society of Interior Designers.

Rigorous standards, such as an accredited design education, full-time work expenence. and a passing grade on 9n accreditation exam* ination by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, must be met to become a registered and professional interior designer in Texas and a professional member of ASID. With more than 30,000 members nationwide. ASID establishes a common identity for professionals and businesses in the field of interior design. Dallas has one of the largest ASID chapters In the country, boasting about 550 members with more than half of those holding a professional designation.

“When you choose a designer who has ASID behind his name, you are choosing a professional who is qualified by education and testing,” says Dallas ASID board member. Cheryl Van Duyne, ASID.

Drawing, space planning, furniture design and placement and floorplan design are only a few of the skills ASID designers possess. “We can do everything from design lighting plans and write specifications for materials to designing and drawing window treatments,” Van Duyne says, “It’s not uncommon for us to design custom furniture to fit a specific place for our clients.”

ASID members are an extreme advantage to their clients in that they receive the most current information about appropriate materials, technology, building codes, government regulations, flammability standards, design psychology, and product performance. ASID members continually receive the best in materials because of their professional designation, and manufacturers and distributors prefer working with ASID members because of their professionalism and knowledge.

ASID accomplished a lot since its beginning In 1975-the establishment of the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research, the Continuing Education Unit program at ASID University, and the Client/Designer Selection Service. ASID Is an avid leader in establishing professional licensing for interior designers and has spent more than $3 million in the past 10 years to support licensing efforts nationwide.

In 1995, ASID launched Network ASID, an informational on-line resource at http:// To contact ASID, or for a professional interior designer referral, call the Dallas chapter at 972-934-9001 or the national chapter In Washington. D.C. at 1-800-775ASID.



Doziers of Dallas

10750 Forest Lane

Dallas, TX 75243


An enchanting walk through 3.000 square feet filled with Santa Fe and rustic styles of furniture, pottery, weavings, pillows, antler chandeliers, lamps, tables, and folk art.


5100 Beltline Road

Suite 795

Dallas, TX 75240


Geoffrey’s, an exciting new showroom gallery at Village on the Parkway in Addison, features upscale furniture, accessories, and decorative art for the most discriminating buyer,

Granite Trading Company, L.LC.

5200 Gus Thomasson

Mesquite, TX 75150


Fax: 972-681-1339

National importer of granite, marble, limestone and ceramic Dies. They are the supplies to the suppliers. There are three outlet stores in North Texas each stocking huge quantities of first quality current production tiles and 90% from Italy. Family owned and operated since 1892.

K’s Victorian Gallery

511 E. Camp Wisdom

Duncanville, TX 75116


French and Victorian furniture reproductions. Also antiques, lamps, mirrors and accessories. Customers can pick out their fabric and finishes on furniture. Credit cards accepted. Layaway and financing are available.

Park Cities Antique Mall

4908 W. Lovers Lane

Dallas, TX 75209


Discover a unique collection of 90 shops with a constantly changing inventory of antiques, architecturals, and home accessories for even the most discriminating tastes. Open seven days a week.

Redstone Kitchens and Baths

4630 Alpha Road

Farmers Branch, TX 75234



Redstone Kitchens and Baths is a supplier of custom American and Italian cabinetry.

Services offered range from design to turnkey kitchen remodeling.

Rutherford’s (Design. Fabrics. Gifts)

564 7 W. Lovers Lane

Dallas, TX 75209


Rutherford’s offers an impressive assortment of imported fabrics that include Silk, taffeta, damasks, English chintz, Italian velvets and more. There’s also an enormous selection of trims that come from all over tine world and a selection of antique gimp, braids and beads that will enhance any fabric or shade.

Stewart Allen Furniture

11411 E Northwest Hwy.

1316 Slocum Street

214-349-2140 or 214-653-8899

Designer furniture and accessories with low prices and high turnovers. Custom furniture and finishes with lowlead times exclusively from private factories. Beautiful upholstery.


Shooters Photography

3020 Legacy Drive #260 Piano, TX

This is not your average studio. Each session is customized to capture the unique personalities of our clients.


Texans of Dallas Electrical

2701 W. 15th St., Suite #536

Piano, TX 75075


Fax: 972-527-9234

Twenty-five years of experience providing a wide range of electrical needs for home and business. Remodeling, landscape lighting, computer circuits, lighting, fans, pools, spas. new circuits. Texans of Dallas provides great service for ail your electrical needs.

Residential and commercial.


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