Hello Travelers! It’s me the Traveling Designer and it’s a brand new year so I’m back with a new excursion. This time I’m taking you to Big D!
Being from Arkansas, I make lots of treks down to Dallas both by plane and car. It’s sort of a home away from home when it comes to shopping, Razorback games and special occasions. I think I have as many great friends in Dallas as here in Arkansas and they always take me to the best places. So in case you are heading that way soon, here are a few stops you will definitely want to include in your trip.
If home decor or antiques are on your list, you must stop in to a few of my friends’ lovely shops.
First, there is my friend, the talented Jan Showers and her gorgeous design showroom, Jan Showers Interior Design, with modern French antique furnishings and the most gorgeous Venetian glass lamps you’ve ever seen.
If you don’t know Jan’s design work, then you must visit her web site and pick up a copy of her glorious book, Glamorous Rooms. Jan’s lovely shop houses so many items similar to those you will see in her clients’ homes. It is a definite must see!
In the same area of town, you will find another lovely destination, Ceylon et Cie, which belongs to my friend, interior designer Michelle Nussbaumer. Michelle creates sophisticated rooms like the one above and many similar items can be found in her store.
Ceylon is a large showroom of antiques and jewelry, and Michelle also has a line of fantastic lamps that you won’t want to miss. There are so many gorgeous things in Michelle’s shop, you can’t possibly visit without going home with a few new treasures. I especially love the antique brooches she’s found, so stop by and take a look.
And if you haven’t already gotten your fill of antiques, then head over to the handsome shop owned by yet another fabulous friend of mine, John Phifer Marrs. John is also a designer in Dallas who is often nationally published and was recently included in the great book, Designers Here and There.
While in John’s shop, you can not only pick up a copy of his book, but also shop for antique and reproduction furniture, vintage Baker and Kittinger pieces, and both new and antique works of art. I love his collection of antique tabletop accessories and he has transferware china in a variety of colors. Don’t miss John’s great showroom.
If you are more of the “big furniture store” type, stop by and see my friend Shay at IBB Design. A 40,000-square-foot home furnishings store with more than 300 lines of furniture and accessories, IBB has something for every home!
Now that we have filled your home, how about adding to your wardrobe?
One of the best boutiques in Dallas is Forty Five Ten. They have clothing (and more home furnishings) and they have an adorable little cafe inside to grab a bite to eat.
Another great boutique for women’s designer clothing is Elements. Find brands like Diane von Furstenberg and Nanette Lepore here.
And if you want to pick up a little something for the man in your life, I am a fan of Q Clothiers in Highland Park Village. I love the selection of colorful neck ties and cuff links. And if your man is with you, he can be fitted for a custom shirt and select from their hundreds of fabric options. Designing men’s shirts is almost as fun as designing a room, so I love spending time in this quaint shop.
And while you are there in Highland Park Village, you can find just about any upscale ladies fashion line plus more hip stores like Anthropologie.
My favorite Highland Park shop… well it’s the Jimmy Choo Boutique, of course! And I am also quite fond of the Hermes store. If you want to follow these places up with a little mall shopping at Dallas’ famous department store, Neiman Marcus, you are just a short drive from North Park Mall.
I don’t know about you, but all this shopping has worked up my appetite, so let’s head to some of my favorite Dallas eateries!
Just around the corner from Q Clothiers are several great Dallas stand-by’s. For a bit of Mexican, you can’t go wrong with Mi Cocina. But if you are more in the mood for fine dining, Cafe Pacific is just across the way.
Outside of the Village, a few of my favorite dining spots includes Parigi. This very small but chic bistro on Oak Lawn Street is perfect for all you ladies who lunch. I love eating on the patio on a sunny day.
And of course, there is always Javier’s, everyone’s favorite Dallas Mexican restaurant, or if you are wanting a good ole Texas-sized steak, my family and I love going to III Forks. It has a great private dining room that holds about 20 of your best friends. It’s especially fun following a game at the exquisite Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium. Arkansan Jerry Jones has created a football experience fit for a king, so if you get the chance, you must catch a game there! Even if you don’t love football, you will love the design of this sports phenomenon!
One other restaurant that seems to be getting tons of buzz is The Meddlesome Moth, a new restaurant in the Design District. I haven’t gotten to try this one yet, but it’s on my list for future trips.
Of course, while visiting Dallas you will need a place to stay. My home-base is usually The Melrose Hotel. It is quaint and convenient with a traditional aesthetic. I especially love its bar, called “the Library.” It’s handsome and cozy and a great place to hang out for a while.
For something a bit more hip, try recently remodeled Stoneleigh Hotel. If it fits your budget, you should definitely stay in the penthouse suite all decked out Dorothy Draper style.
Hotel Zaza is a hot spot where lots of celebrities stay. So if you want to see a few famous folks, this might be the locale for you.
And of course, there is always the historic Mansion at Turtle Creek hotel, which is “the” place to stay if you want a true Dallas experience!
Last but not least, if you are an art lover like me, don’t miss the great arts district in Dallas. First, the often forgotten about Meadows Museum on the SMU campus is worth the visit.
A fun treat in the arts district (that’s convenient too) is riding the trolley from museum to museum.
Dallas is home to tons of great art galleries to boot! One of my favorites is the Craighead Green Gallery with works by Arkansas artist Scott Carroll and another of my favorites, Asheville, NC artist Steve Seinberg
So there you have it. More than enough to keep you highly entertained on your next trip to Big D! I hope you enjoy these recommendations. I’ll see you next month with another great destination. But until then, Happy Travels.
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