Abby and Wlodek Malowanczyk, owners of Collage Classics, had always been attracted to the art-friendly atmosphere of the Design District. It just took them a few tries to get there. After moving to Dallas from California in 1990, their first shop was on Routh Street, but it was too small. Henderson Avenue, their next location, became too crowded. They took their shop to the Design District in 2001, landing in a building on Riverfront Boulevard (then called Industrial).
“In the big building, I always had it in my mind that I wanted a working and living space,” Wlodek says. “But the neighborhood was still in development.”
Now, 25 years and four Dallas locations later, they have their dream home in a building on Irving Boulevard. Russell Buchanan, the architect who also designed their location on Riverfront, helped them create the live-work space they had hoped for since their kids moved out. A slim atrium divides the shop and its curated home furnishings and collectibles- from the modern, comfortable living area behind it. Originally from Copenhagen, Wlodek always wanted to live in a place where you can go outdoors and “have a life on the street,” he says. Dallas may not have provided the exact fit he wanted, but in their cozy, efficient space, the Malowanczyks have created their own little pocket of European charm. They’re waiting on better ethnic food and expansion of the nearby bike trails, but living in a developing neighborhood—one Abby says is poised to explode—has its perks.
“Here, in the evening, you can go and dream that you are in any place in the world,” Wlodek says.