Archive for June, 2012

The 411 on what’s new in the Dallas Design District

Posted by    |    June 30th, 2012 at 5:50 am

It might be time for summer vacation, but there’s been no slow down here in the District! Several new showrooms, restaurants and apartments have been putting in extra hours to open their doors. Here’s the 411 on what’s new, what’s coming soon and where you need to be in the Dallas Design District!

Willkommen Bernadette Schaeffler – Newcomer to the design scene Bernadette Schaeffler has opened her first showroom, The Bernadette Schaeffler Collection, at 1616 Hi Line. Though its official grand opening isn’t until September, the showroom is open for business and ready for you to browse! I walked the new space yesterday with showroom manager Rudolph, and I must say I was giddy with excitement at all the beautiful things.

The Bernadette Schaeffler Collection

The Bernadette Schaeffler Collection

On the Move – Two established Design District showrooms made big moves recently. bauhaus just finished building out a beautiful new space on the Stemmons frontage road. Its storefront is absolutely stunning. Also, you can now find The Bright Group in the Dallas Design Center. I stopped in today and fell in love with several gorgeous pieces.

bauhaus's new stunning storefront

bauhaus's stunning new storefront

The Bright Group

The Bright Group

Also on the move is French purveyor of contemporary furnishings, Roche Bobois. Currently located near the Galleria, its chic new Design District showroom will open mid summer.

Roche Bobois is set to open in mid sumemr 2012

Roche Bobois is set to open in mid summer 2012

Dining Delights – Restaurants America just announced that its newest concept, Central Standard, will be opening on the ground floor of the 1400 Hi Line high rise. Few details have been released as of yet, but word is that it will be a “gastro sports pub” and it’s slated to open this fall.

In other dining news, the Design District is getting yet another rising star chef. Chef Matt McCallister is working hard to open his new restaurant, FT 33 at Decorative Center Dallas. More deets on the Observer blog.

1400 Hi Line

1400 Hi Line

The Hi Life – The Design District’s newest high rise apartment building, 1400 Hi Line, will be opening its doors to the public today. They’re leasing up quickly so head over today to choose your swanky new pad!

Do you have Design District news to share? Email me at 

Closing Reception for “Flags, UFOs & Bad Weather” at Luminarte Gallery

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2012 at 11:06 am

Tonight marks the end of Luminarte’s exhibit, “Flags, UFOs & Bad Weather.” Join the artists at the gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. for some drinks, conversation and a final glimpse at the artwork.

Luminarte Gallery: 1727 Levee St. Dallas, TX 75207

Celebrate Green Living’s showroom makeover this Thursday

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2012 at 5:50 am

What’s the first thing you do after completing a home remodeling project? Throw a party to show it off, of course! And that’s exactly what Green Living is doing this Thursday evening at its Design District showroom. Drop in from 5 to 8 p.m. to check out the newly revamped space and enjoy cocktails and bites catered by South Paw Organic Grill. As most remodels do, Green Living’s idea started small and grew into a massive undertaking. “We began working with The Cabinet Concierge, a local kitchen and bath consultant, who has built a home base and life-size kitchen in our showroom for helping clients design spaces,” explains Jin Hewitt, Marketing Manager for Green Living. ”He wanted to build some cabinets for the showroom, and that turned into producing an entire kitchen!” The new kitchen will not only show off the Cabinet Concierge’s cabinets, but also a chic recycled glass countertop from Vetrazzo. Displayed in “charisma blue” (don’t you love that name?!), the countertop features assorted glass from recycled beverage bottles. Ferguson is outfitting the kitchen with hardware, giving it the perfect final touch for entertaining!

Charisma Blue

Charisma Blue by Vetrazzo

But GL didn’t stop at the kitchen. No, they took it one step further and gave their point of sale stations a makeover, as well! Each of the two stations features a different ec0-friendly countertop. The Elements by Durcon is a unique take on a green counter top. It is made of quartz and recycled glass, but it has a solid look as opposed to a particulate appearance. It’s more uniform and polished, which, Jin explains, “fits more traditional and contemporary styles.”

The Elements by Durcon in Arctic

The Elements by Durcon in Arctic

The other point of sale station will be outfitted with a soapstone slab by Dorado. What makes this soapstone more eco-friendly is that it’s taken from boulders, so energy isn’t wasted extracting it from the earth. It has a more rustic appearance and gives a totally different look than the glass countertop options.

Dorado Soapstone Porto Alegre Dry Waxed

The point of sale counters are also getting a fresh look with new zero-VOC stain in Weathered Grey and Golden Oak. “As of now, we carry low-VOC alternatives, but we’re excited about bringing in a new VOC-free line,” Jin says. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as new products go for Green Living. But I’ve got to save some surprises for Thursday night, don’t I?! Find more information on the event on our calendar, and please try to R.S.V.P. to

Tour Peticolas Brewing Co. this Thursday with Yelp!

Posted by    |    June 27th, 2012 at 5:50 am

Local Design District brewery Peticolas has been making waves around Dallas since its opening at the beginning of the year. You can try its beers on tap at one of these bars or restaurants around town, or you can stop by the brewery at 2026 Farrington St. this Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a tour and beer tasting, sponsored by Yelp! Dallas.

Tickets are $15 and include your choice of glassware, a private tour, full access to the brewery and an informal Q&A with the Peticolas family. Beer is complimentary all night.

Get your tickets while you still can!

Photo Credit: Peticolas Brewing Company website

Tonight: Cocktails & Conversation with BoConcept’s New Owners

Posted by    |    June 24th, 2012 at 5:50 am

Today marks the summer solstice and a change of season here in Dallas. Seasons of change have also swept into BoConcept, which is now under new ownership! The contemporary furniture showroom will still offer the same awesome art, accessories and furnishings, but is welcoming a fresh new team of enthusiastic owners.

The new owners, Craig and Brandy Morgan, are excited to meet the Design District’s crop of neighbors, designers and customers, so tomorrow night they will host a cocktail party at their Design District showroom. Swing by from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. to introduce yourself, enjoy a drink and check out the latest lines the showroom has to offer.

All attendees will receive a 10 percent coupon that is good for the rest of the month. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to

Photo via

Design District TIF Funds Granted to Texas Security Bank, Trinity Strand Trail

Posted by    |    June 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 am

At June 20th’s Design District Tax Increment Financing (TIF) board meeting, both Texas Security Bank and the Trinity Strand Trail presented to the board their proposals for area improvements and the funds necessary to make them a reality. The TIF District was created in 2005 to allow the City of Dallas to invest public funds into the Design District’s redevelopment, granting projects like street improvements, pedestrian trails and landscaping the means necessary for their execution.

On the agenda for the meeting was a proposal from Texas Security Bank for improving the medians on Turtle Creek Blvd., between Market Center and Irving Blvd., to enhance a gateway area of the district and the nearby Trinity Strand Trail plaza and trail head. The plans include landscaping similar to that on Hi Line Dr. as well as similar way-finding signage and sculptural accents. The board agreed to reimburse Texas Security Bank up to $116,356 for the improvements, which will be completed by May 2013.

The Trinity Strand Trail had a slightly larger request, applying to the TIF board for $500,000 for the soft surface trail design along a 2-mile stretch of the Trinity Strand Trail. The soft surface trail will be reserved for joggers and walkers and will run opposite to the already-funded hard surface trail, stretching from Farrington St. to Oak Lawn and Stemmons Freeway. Designs for the soft surface trail include a 2-mile 8′-wide trail of decomposed granite, five pedestrian bridges to cross from the hard trail to the soft trail, four low water crossings, signage, benches, handrails, up to three small plazas/overlooks, and pedestrian lighting. Design costs include working with the US Corps to adhere to engineering standards as well as obtaining the necessary permitting to go forward with the plans.

With a total of $662,438 set aside for district improvements, the board was initially concerned with spending most of their funds so early in the year. With both the Texas Security Bank and Trinity Strand requests, there would be $46,082 left in the budget. Everyone at the table agreed, however, that the trail would instigate much economic development in the area and is the one project that adds the most value to the Design District. After much negotiating, the board requested that the electrical costs ($70,000) and construction/administrative costs ($35,000) be removed from the design plans to be funded at another time and/or by other means. The Trinity Strand agreed to their request and were granted $400,000 for the design of the soft surface trail.

At the end of the meeting, the board, mediated by Sue Hounsel, the member of the Office of Economic Development who oversees the Design District TIF as well as the Oak-Lawn/Hi Line PID, briefly discussed the changes that PM Realty (the group that developed 1400 Hi Line) have planned for the Edison/Hi Line/Stemmons underpass. They will be improving the area for approximately $1.5 million, all to be funded by PM Realty.

Click on the images below to view the plans for the Turtle Creek medians and the soft surface stretch of the Trinity Strand Trail:

Plans for the medians on Turtle Creek Blvd. between Market Center and Irving
Proposed signage for Turtle Creek Blvd. between Market Center and Irving
The route of Trinity Strand's soft surface trail for joggers and walkers


Celebrate Summer at this Weekend’s Summer Sidewalk Sale

Posted by    |    June 20th, 2012 at 5:50 am

Summer in Dallas might be hot, but it’s, by far, my favorite time of the year. I just adore relaxing Saturdays by the pool, catching hot new blockbusters in chilled theaters and, of course, those beautiful Texas sunsets. The advent of summer also means one more thing: it’s time again for my favorite Design District sidewalk sale!

That’s right; Scott+Cooner and friends are hosting their annual summer sidewalk sale, and you’re invited! This year’s designer furnishing blowout will be hosted June 21, 22 and 23 at Decorative Center Dallas. Shopping on Thursday will be open to the trade only, but it will open to the public for Friday and Saturday. Long time participant McGannon Showrooms will be joining the festivities, as well as Henredon, a new showroom to the sidewalk sale lineup.

With these three Dec Center powerhouses teaming up, there is sure going to be a stellar offering of furnishings and accessories. From modern and contemporary to transitional and traditional, you’re guaranteed to find something that suits your tastes. And with prices cost or below, you’re going to be getting a good deal too!

Help support the Oak Cliff Chamber & Win an iPad2

Posted by    |    June 18th, 2012 at 9:59 am

Friday marks the 2012 Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce Oak Cliff Rocks Fundraiser Gala, an annual event bringing people from both sides of the river together to enjoy a great meal, live music, and, of course, raffle prizes.

This year’s raffle includes two iPad2′s, and tickets are going for only $20 each. Fortunately, you do not have to be present to win the iPad, and Jim Lake Companies is selling tickets ahead of time to help support the Chamber. Just stop by the JLC office at 1350 Manufacturing St., Suite 101 in the Design District to pick up a ticket, or call 214-741-5018.

Good luck!

Pile on the art exhibits

Posted by    |    June 17th, 2012 at 5:50 am

Maybe there’s just too much art lately to go around, or maybe their fancy new website isn’t the only thing new going on with Dragon Street, but it seems like team and group exhibitions are popping up left and right this summer, bringing a breath of fresh air to the art scene.

A few notable exhibitions going on in the upcoming weeks are Sun to Moon Gallery’s trio exhibit “Triple Focus,” a show that intends to highlight the diversity of photographic styles. The three exhibits include “Color Wheel,” “Shades of Gray” (if you’re lucky, you might see all 50), and “Color of Loss Redux,” running from June 14 through July 14.

Circuit12 Contemporary and Mary Tomas Studio Gallery are also doing something different next weekend with their “Lightning Strikes Twice” exhibit. Circuit12 owner Dustin Orlando will be curating a show featuring 27 different artists that will span across both his own and Mary Tomas’ gallery space. “Lightning Strikes Twice” will open June 23 and run through July 21.

Opening on the 23rd as well is Cohn Drennan Contemporary’s Summer Group Exhibit, the annual presentation of artists who have not yet exhibited at the gallery. This, along with Craighead Green’s “New Texas Talent” juried group show opening August 4, are my favorite type of exhibits; gallery-goers are excited to view never-before-seen artists and the artists are excited to be exhibiting to a new audience, creating a palpable energy in the galleries. I can’t wait!

Featured image: “Trunks are for Elephants” by Michelle Brandley, showing at Cohn Drennan Contemporary June 23.

Documentary on Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Premiers Tonight on WFAA

Posted by    |    June 15th, 2012 at 5:50 am

With the premier of Dallas, The Oak Cliff Film Festival, and Samuel Lynne’s Summer Film Series kick off, it seems like this is the week to get in front of a screen. Adding to that list is Bridging the Trinity for the Love of the City, a unique documentary presented by the Trinity Trust on the creation and planning of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Directed by award-winning documentary team Judy Kelly (producer/writer) and Ginny Martin (photographer/editor), the film will begin with former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk’s announcements to the community in 2001 and follow all of the builders, planners, politicians, philanthropists, truck drivers, crane operators, engineers and architects who helped erect what has become one of Dallas’ newest landmarks.

In case you missed the opening celebrations for the bridge back in March, the 30-minute documentary will conclude with footage from the festivities, including the levee run, parade of giants and ribbon cutting.

So, before you switch on TNT at 8, tune in to WFAA at 6:30 p.m. to get an inside look into the Calatrava masterpiece.