JAN SHOWERS COLLECTION
Two of my favorite new pieces are the Harrison Coffee Table and the Elizabeth Chandelier (named after my daughter, Elizabeth Showers, who designs the most exquisite jewelry... this chandelier reminded me of her). I never thought I would replace the French 40's gilded metal coffee table in my living room in Dallas, but I could not resist this chic and incredibly glamorous table. The genesis of the design came from a table I found in Paris over 2 years ago on a buying trip. As you can see, it has four components.....cast architectural bronze (it is also possible to nickel plate it), Lucite, mirror and glass. The truly fine bronze pieces from the 1960's and 70's are tres tres chic in Paris right now. The reason for this is that high quality French 40's furniture has become more difficult to find, and the fact that a good antiques dealer is always looking for fine quality from every decade. A room full of furniture from this period would be cold and uncomfortable, but a piece or two mixed with wonderful woods creates such a fresh new look. I am constantly looking for ways to freshen a room and add more polish. As always, my standard for designing any piece of furniture is that it has the ability to mix with classic fine design.
NEW PARIS SHIPMENT
Our new shipment from Paris that we bought in late October arrived in Dallas a few days before Christmas. We are in the process of refurbishing everything and will have our Preview in late Spring. There are some exceptional pieces on this shipment. Two of my favorites both happen to be coffee tables...one with a gilded iron base and onyx top, the other an Empire style ebonized table with mirrored top... very glam!
Jim and I stay in the area around Place Vendome and have loved this area for years, having stayed at the Hotel Costes, The Ritz, The Park Hyatt and the Intercontinental. We have tried hotels on the Left Bank, and though they are charming, we gravitate geographically back to "the old neighborhood." One can so quickly get almost anywhere from this area by walking, whether it be the Tuilleries, the Palais Royale (probably my favorite spot in Paris!), the Left Bank, the Opera area as well as great shopping on Rue Faubourg St. Honore. This time we stayed at the newly refurbished Meurice facing the Tuilleries and it was wonderful. Phillip Starck recently did a makeover of the lobby and restaurant in a very unusual way that works. It is inviting and has an old school quality while at the same time looking fresh and modern. We love to eat at Le Voltaire and Hotel Costes is still great for simple food and a fun crowd. A small, very out of the way place that I learned about from one of my French friends is Petrelle near the Gare du Nord. It is quite informal and the chef, Jean Luc Andre, is the owner. His father was a chef for the Cunard Line. He is charming and so inventive. Lots of Parisian fashion people love this place!
If you are a customer of our antiques showroom in the Dallas Design District, you know that we create new vignettes at least three times a year. Redesigning the showroom is such fun and one of my favorite projects. Every time we receive a new shipment, we completely change the look and layout of the showroom, so be sure to check with us on a regular basis to see what's new and exciting at Jan Showers. Seasonally, we present new color schemes, and play with new textures. Ever-changing rugs and hides, graphic silk and suede pillow designs along with wonderful lamps help to create an entirely new feel on a regular basis. Luscious rugs from Tajzoy, Matt Camron, Stark and Odegard are used throughout the showroom and are available through Jan Showers.
Last year, we completed 6 large projects at Jan Showers & Associates. Each project was unique...that is what makes residential work so exciting and challenging. I am including a few photos from these projects to share with you.
Much of my time in '08 was spent on the book that Harry N. Abrams is publishing on my design work. It is called GLAMOROUS ROOMS and will be released in October of this year. Rather than write a book that describes specific design projects, we decided it was time for a book about ROOMS. So, we have chapters with wonderful photography of entry halls, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and private spaces with an introduction about my background and how I came to be a designer. A side note: Recently, I found a "book" I made when I was probably 8 or 9 called ROOMS. In it were pictures and drawings that I cut out of my mother's Shelter magazines and arranged in chapters of rooms. My mother saved it and I found it in a box of things that I guess she thought were important or noteworthy. It has been such a pleasure to work on this book with my editor, Eva Prinz. Eva edited the Tony Duquette book for Abrams last year. Prior to joining Abrams, she edited Tom Ford's book at Rizzoli as well as the newly edited Elsie de Wolfe book. The art editor for my book, Michelle Ishay edited Kelly Wearsler's first book, MODERN GLAMOUR. I am so fortunate to be working with these extraordinarily gifted editors. There will be multiple book signings in 7 cities across the U.S. They will be posted on this website as soon as we know the dates (all will be after October 15, 2009). In fact, we will have a calendar of the appearances posted in March. Also will have a photo of the cover in early spring on the website.
This week we head to New York both to work on GLAMOROUS ROOMS and to style our new window at the D & D. We have one of the front hall (main entrance) windows for the months of February, March and April, so be sure to stop by and see it when you are in New York. The D & D is on Third Avenue between 58th and 59th. We are upholstering the walls of the window in John Hutton's Spice of Life/Cumin which is a warm golden yellow. Everything that is going in the window is white/gold/silver. We will post a photo of the window on the website after I install it next week.
Our INSTANT GRATIFICATION program has been very well received. This program consists of our top selling pieces that are available NOW!! We are offering a 20% discount from January 2-February 28 (all orders placed with deposit by February 28) on all of these pieces. They are shown on my website and, of course, all of our showrooms have Instant Gratification brochures available.
5" AND 6" HEELS---no one looks great walking in them.
WENGE WOOD---it's high time that the consumer realize the difference between this and truly fine woods such as rosewood, mahogany, merisier and sycamore, as well as the amount of time that goes into a truly fine French polish or bench made piece of furniture. Besides, who wants their house to look like a million hotel rooms?
RETRO GONE WRONG---Revisiting the bad aspects of the sixties and seventies when it comes to furniture and most especially, lamps.
BIG HAIR HOUSES---and bad architecture in general
MAD MEN---watch it!! So great for art direction and costume design AND a great story line. I am addicted! Michael Kors says that his entire fall collection was inspired by this show.
NONNA---a wonderful new restaurant in Dallas where chef Jules Barsoti prepares pasta dishes that rock!
MY MAC AIR
OLAFUR ELIASOON EXHIBIT AT THE DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART---captivating and enveloping.
MICHAEL KORS FALL COLLECTION---as already mentioned, inspired by Mad Men. It was so chic and classic. I bought pieces that will look smart years from now. I think Michael and I have a similar design aesthetic. We are both old school with a twist. I have a fabulous wood bead skirt of his from the 80's that I wear every summer, along with camel coats, and jackets. I NEVER eliminate his sweaters and skirts from my closet.
THE IVY---in London. Jim and I have been going there since the late 60's and it is such fun. We go whether going to the theater or not. They now have The Club at the Ivy upstairs, but I still prefer downstairs. Their roast chicken is as good as L'ami Louis' in Paris!
RICHARD AVEDON PERFORMANCE---Such a handsome book. His photography is art.
MARILYN CHANDELIERS--- Robin's egg blue turquoise and diamonds set in 18k gold. These are the newest earrings from my daughter's jewelry line, Elizabeth Showers. Elizabeth made these with me in mind for her collection, so Jim gave them to me for Christmas
TWO X TWO---Benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR. This is my favorite social/charity event of the year. It raised $4 million in one evening for both organizations in 2008. And, since it was the 10th anniversary, it was spectacular! My daughter, Elizabeth Showers and I are delighted to be chairing it in October this year and we and looking forward to another amazing evening.
KYLE BUNTING RUGS---truly works of art! Go to his website www.kylebunting.com. My favorite is "Surrender" in cream, which is shown below with our new Baxter Coffee Table, Stella Sofa and Chiseled Lamp.
KING TUT EXHIBIT--- at the Dallas Museum of Art
T HE DAILY BEAST---Tina Brown's new website. It looks great, has real news along with Vanity Fair style pieces. I check it out first thing in the morning.
STAY TUNED FOR OTHER NEWS, SOON TO BE POSTED ON JAN'S NOTEBOOK AT