There’s an old adage, “It’s what’s on the inside that really matters.” Well, when speaking about what makes a truly beautiful home, that’s only partially true. A stunning façade and landscaping are clearly part of the equation as well. But, to truly be among the most beautiful homes in Dallas, exterior beauty must be matched on the interior.
If you frequent real estate websites, you will often be shocked that behind some stunning exteriors are relatively non-descript interiors. Other interiors are full of acceptable furnishings, but lack depth or character. The finest homes, however, have interiors that reflect quality, character, nuance, charm, and patina that set them apart from the mass-produced crowd.
How is this best achieved? The answer is quality antiques and vintage pieces. As the editors of The English Home have remarked, “Few people will furnish exclusively with antiques, but a single striking object, some well-chosen pieces of furniture or an interesting collection of smaller items will impart individuality and character.”
I love walking into houses that have that nuance and history that vintage brings. It’s just a charm, a patina.Sara Ruffin Costello – Designer, Decorator, and Writer
Dallas is fortunate to have a small collection of folks who hand select and direct import antiques, primarily from Europe. Among them are Dean Warden and Gene Kerns, owners of Heritage Antiques and Interiors. They visit Belgium and France regularly and work with a small collection of multi-generational antiques picking families there to assemble a comprehensive collection quality pieces.
“Many of Dallas’ homes reflect strong influences from Europe, France in particular, but Italy and England as well” remarks Warden. “As a result, quality European pieces are always in demand by Dallas’ most astute buyers.”
“Ours is a labor of love,” says Kerns. “We aren’t just placing an order with a factory. We’ve ridden the countryside with our pickers. All of our pieces are one-of-a-kind. Some have been in the same families for decades or even centuries.”
It’s not about replicating your grandmother’s Sheridan dining room or an entirely French Provincial living room including dainty chairs that people are afraid to sit on. Decorating with antiques does not have to be stuffy or dated. Done well it’s about up-to-date comfortable rooms filled with new pieces, but that also include a few, key, older pieces that can bring the character that newer ones simply cannot.