Tuesday, May 25, 2010

                                                       ALL THE BEST
About a month ago, we completed a model residence in the new Ritz Tower in Dallas.  Ronda Carmen, the fabulously talented creator of ALL THE BEST blog, was in Dallas the night of the opening party.  Ronda was in town to do a SFEERA event and to spend time with all of us who admire what she creates on a regular basis.
Today she posted the photos she took that evening.  Please check them out at allthebestblog.com and enter to win a copy of my book, Glamorous Rooms.




Tomorrow, Ronda is doing a profile of me, and another one next week about my daughter, Elizabeth Showers and her jewelry. 

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010



Last week there were lots of people in my antiques showroom in the Dallas Design District. So many people commented about our accessories---or l'objet as the French would say---I realized that since accessories and accessorizing are two of my favorite things, it was time for me to write about them.

As most of you know who have read my book, Glamorous Rooms, I consider all of the details we add to a room to be uber important. Without interesting, colorful and shimmery objects on tabletops in a room, you might as well look at a woman with no shoes, jewelry, sunglasses or a great handbag.  Same for a man without the right belt, shoes, tie or watch---well, I see fewer and fewer men wearing ties even though all of the men's fashion magazines say that dressing up is in vogue. Sartorial savvy is key to great style. 

Grace Kelly

Well, you get the idea. There IS an art to this. I consider each tabletop to be a wonderful artistic opportunity and create them as though I were painting. Sometimes, things just happen which is also fabulous---I'm sure the same thing happens regularly with a work of art.
Here are some of my favorite tableaux currently:

Frame collection 


Green glass

All of the above we carefully planned. Here are a few that just happened....

Sycamore decanter 

  Perfume bottles


I never think of books as accessories----I simply love them and want to be surrounded by them. Look at my coffee table!!


Portifino Coffee Table 


                                                  GLASS GROUPINGS
Glass is such a passion of mine---nothing makes me happier than to see wonderful pieces of glass together.
One of my favorites is this chartreuse collection----as many years as I've searched for great glass, these are the only ones I've found that are this stunning color.

Chartruese glass

My husband, Jim, loves Dino Martens glass---here are a few pieces he loves----very manly.   

Dino Martens -good

A color that always makes me happy---

Yellow glass

It is such fun to see collections of things on tabletops. Even though no one smokes in our house, I love these old cigarette lighters---I appreciate them as works of art.   

Cigarette Lighters

Kim and Justin Whitman, two of my favorite clients,  love collections. Justin has a great collection of bulldogs.


And, Kim collects these obelisks....


Here's hoping you have lots of interesting/pretty objects around---no matter how little or how much they cost, as long as you are surrounded by things you love.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010


Living Room

Last week, I was on a panel for Veranda at the Houston Decorative Center for their spring market.  I was in delightful company with several other architects and designers.  One of our general questions posed by Veranda Editor-at-Large, Carolyn Englefield, was "How is luxury being redefined?" Everyone's answers were similar and came back to two basic ideas---consumers are demanding higher quality, and, they want to know more about what they are buying.
We are seeing this not only in the design world, but also in REAL ESTATE purchases (McMansions are OUT and perfect smaller residences are in), the ART WORLD---the craziness of the mid 90's to mid '10's is gone, and now collectors are not buying works willy nilly. People are buying FINE VINTAGE AND ANTIQUES as well as high quality new pieces, rather than non-sustainable cheap copies. 
So, what do I consider luxury?  Here are a few of my favorite luxurious things:
TIME----I never seem to have enough of it!
A NAP AFTER LUNCH----this one goes along with time.
MY HOUSE----nothing is more pleasing than spending time in the surroundings that I have created for my family and myself.  

Hillsboro Back

Living Room 2

ART----a great piece of art is a true luxury and a joy. 


Art in Entry

BENCH MADE FURNITURE----nothing can take the place of a truly well made, beautifully hand carved piece of furniture or the detail of well executed architectural bronze.  As the old Chinese proverb says, "Buy the best and only cry once". 

JSC Harrison Table
Harrison Detail

JSC Hudson Chair
Hudson Chair detail

HAVING AT LEAST ONE ANTIQUE OR VINTAGE PIECE IN EVERY ROOM----because each room in our houses needs character.  There is no luxury without character.

Sycamore and rosewood Italian buffet attributed to Gio Ponti, c.1950
Italian buffet

Jean Pascaud sofa
Jean Pascaud sofa


SERVICE----I find that if I can buy the same or similar product from two different sources, I will go with the one that provides the best service every time.  Service is the ultimate luxury.
WHAT is your definition of luxury?  Remember---you will be happier with anything you buy if it ages well, and, remember to enjoy the time you have with friends and family.
                                    TOWER RESIDENCES AT THE RITZ


We just completed our residence there and will have photos on my next Notebook.  


The Old State is doing a terrific job with our newly designed website.  It should première late May.  You will be able to see every antique we have online with dimensions and prices. They are photographed professionally with detailed shots---very exciting!


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