I’ve always known that I’ve had a complete and utter fascination with chairs.  It began in college when 1000 Chairs was on our required reading list.  While others were complaining that we had to memorize the names, designers, and years of 1000 Chairs, I just fell in love with the course.  I also become more aware of my chair obsession whenever I visit consignment stores.  My design radar immediately zooms in on a vintage chair and my mind starts racing.  What fabrics would look good on this chair? What finish do the legs and arms need to be?  Does it need nailheads? Tufting?  Self cording or a contrast welt?

I would much rather prefer to start from scratch, as opposed to settling for a fabric that a chair comes in at a retail store (and you know these generic solid colors are never what you want anyways!)

Not to mention, how I just love giving an old chair new life with a bold printed fabric.  A lot of times, after I’m done re-upholstering a piece of furniture, the new piece is almost unrecognizable from the original.  Who would have thought that a lounge chair with a nice big outdated floral print could look so chic in a white linen?  You may want to think twice before putting that hand-me down piece of furniture on Craig’s List!

Here are some before and afters of chairs I re-upholstered for clients.  As you can see, new fabric can make a HUGE difference!




(Vanity Chair- Kravet fabric; Stool- Pindler and Pindler fabric)



(Vintage lounge chairs- Pindler and Pindler fabric)



(Vintage Chair- Robert Allen fabric)



(Vintage Chairs- Duralee fabric- with and without added cushion for height)

BEFORE (summer slipcover)

AFTER (winter slipcover)

(Chair- Duralee fabric)



(Antique Chair- Kravet fabric)



(Vintage chair- Robert Allen fabric)



(Dining chair- Kravet fabric)

I have this wing chair out on approval from Again and Again.  It has great lines and lots of potential as a desk chair..so hopefully once I find the perfect fabric, you will see a “Before and After” of it very soon! (by the way, does anyone else use a wing chair as a desk chair?  How is the comfort factor?)

Their journey started back in 2002, when Kathy met Rally Dupps.  A backpacking trip through Southeast Asia proved them compatible and an engagement soon followed. Instead of the typical engagement ring, they opted for a six week trip to India.  That trip was only the beginning of many more to come for the couple.  Travels to Mexico, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Turkey soon followed.

When the economy declined, the Dupps packed up and moved to Bali, Indonesia.  Their endless travels have inspired their business, Katherine Rally Textiles– a compilation of Batik textiles from Rally, an architect, and Kathy, an interior designer.

Their textile collection is so fresh and inspiring and is available through pillows, fabric by the yard, tableware and wall art.  Tangerine, kelly green, midnight blue, and empire red are just some of the rich colourways that they come in.

My absolute favorite pillow has got to be the one below. This print is so unique and interesting and it would look great on my new white sofa!

Actually, scratch that…I love all of them equally!

How can you resist these?  If you’d like to view their gorgeous textiles in person, click here to find out where Katherine Rally is sold.

Digital shelter magazine, Nesting Newbies, featured the Material Girls’ go-to home resources for “affordable luxe pieces” in their newest online issue.

Be sure to check out Page 164 for our favorite home decor spots in Chicago, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles.  Also, you don’t want to miss other great design advice given by some amazing bloggers, entitled “Nestimonials” beginning on Page 159.

At just 27 years old, Jason Phillips has already attained a lifetime of experiences and accomplishments.  He took home the 2010 ARTS Award for Product Designer of the Year, has traveled the globe in search of inspiration, is the VP/Creative Director for The Phillips Collection, has a B.F.A in Interior Design, is the founder of the Jason Phillips design brand, and is the youngest recipient ever of the Prized Pinnacle Award given by ASID.  His talent, drive, and creativity just continue to amaze me!

I first became aware of The Phillips Collection last year when I designed a room for the Home for the Holidays showhome at the DMC.  I used one of the chairs in their collection (dubbed “The Seatbelt Chair”) as a vanity chair for the bedroom.  Let me just tell you…that chair was the star of the whole room!  People kept coming up to it and touching it, wanting to know what showroom it came from and what it was made out of.  The chair was also used in the Showtime and Metropolitan Home exhibit in the “Dexter dining room”.

After discovering the fabulous Seatbelt Chair and viewing the rest of their furniture and accessories, I fell head over heels in love with all of the pieces from The Phillips Collection and Jason Phillips himself.

I’ve been wanting to sit down with Jason and interview him for some time now and that time has finally come.  I am so thrilled to share his interesting story on MG.   Enjoy the interview and all of the fabulous eye candy that encompass Jason’s designs as well as those from The Phillips Collection.

How long have you been designing furniture and how did you get your start?

I’ve been involved in the family business from a very young age, taking trips to Southeast Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas.  This developed a great appreciation for global design, and inspired me to pursue an artistic path.  But I would say it’s been close to ten years now since I first sat down to design a piece of furniture.

Were you formally trained in design?

My training may sound formal but was really quite exciting and I was free to explore my own creativity.  My high school did not give me enough of the tools I wanted, so I studied after hours at the Huntington School of Fine Arts in New York, where I was exposed to sculpture, oil painting, photography, and live figure drawing.  I was fortunate enough to be selected to study in the South of France for a summer under the direction of renowned American Sculptor Joseph Mack, where we quarried our own limestone and turned it into art.  I then went on to The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where I concentrated in Industrial Design.  This is where I became a digital artist, learning photoshop and 3d softwares, graphic design principles and design theory.  I fell in love with modern art.  I visited museums.  My training was a progression but very focused all the while.

{Starfish Table}

All of your designs are so unique. Where do you get your inspiration?

In an industry that so often references historical design, I find myself of a modern generation, pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate.  My designs, however different, do have a balance to their form, a refinement of the details and an appreciation of the material and finish.  I like to absorb fashion, current events, car design, luxury goods, architecture, and so many other things and can tap into my own creative pool for on-the-spot inspiration.  I imagine this how the creative thinking of any generation go about conceiving new ideas and themes.

How have your parents inspired or influenced your work and what was it liked to grow up in the business?

They are my biggest fans and have been the platform to make my ideas a reality.  I’m sure words wouldn’t do justice to the profound influence they have had on my life.

{Slant Mod Shelving}

Do you travel a lot? If so, how have your travels influenced your design process?

Traveling lets me experience raw materials, international trends and sophistications, but most importantly it has shown me how amazingly interconnected we all are.  Seeing an Apple ad in Malaysia really gets you excited about the global influence and impact design can have.  It’s amazing how good design speaks a universal language and can make everyone smile.

What materials do you use the most of? What is your favorite material to use?

I love woods with figured grains.  I am also very into metals and glass.  There is a constant shift for me between materials; shiny to rough, natural to plastic, dark to light.

{Curtain Console Table}

How does the Phillips Collection motto, “every piece a conversation,” describe your work?

We want our pieces to have a meaning behind the form.  For us it isn’t enough for it to just be beautiful.  It is an appreciation of the details and the story that we love to extract.

How do you find harmony between artistic form and functional furniture?

That is a fine line, making your design a piece of furniture and at the same time a piece of art.  Go too literal and you find yourself a furniture maker.  Too far off the deep end and you are a pop artist!  I try to take an idea that could float off like a balloon and anchor it to reality with functionality.

{River Stone Cocktail Table}

Where can you see yourself in the design world in ten years?

I hope I never become predictable, especially not to myself.  I hope in ten years I am pleasantly surprised at where I am and that it is not where I thought I’d be but rather where I ended up.

Do you use your own furniture pieces in your home?

Yes.  A perk of the family business is I can furnish my entire place in Phillips Collection!  I am a big fan of design houses like B&B Italia, BO Concept, DWR, but am not in that economic stratosphere!

{Burled Bowl- Gold Leaf}

What is your favorite piece of furniture that you have designed?

My Continuum Dining Table, to be released end of this year.  A very complicated piece from a manufacturing standpoint but in the end it will be quite playful.

What type of projects are you working on now?

I am working on a collection for a dynamic west coast company using the most renewable materials possible and local manufacturing for a truly eco-chic collection for 2011.

{Martini Table Black}

What are you currently listening to on your IPod? What are you currently reading?

The Black Eyed Peas latest album.  Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (on my Kindle).

What do you do for fun?

I have three young Dachshunds.  They keep me and my wife Karen thoroughly entertained.

{Bubble Leg Dining Table}

What is your advice for young, aspiring designers?

Don’t wait around.  Go out and grab it.  Stay confident in your talents and listen as best you can; I know it’s not a designer’s greatest quality J

(*If you will be in New York City this weekend, you can see his work at the Phillips Collection space at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair– space 2070 from May 15-18*)

This Week’s Obsession

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 12, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Furniture

Lorna Acrylic Side Table- Oly Studio

One word- perfection!

Zippity Zig Zag

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 10, 2010 | 9 Comments | Category: Decorating, Fabric, Floors, Walls

{House Beautiful}

Oh how I love a good zigzag!  As of late, I’ve been completely smitten with this distinctive and confident pattern.  There is nothing subtle about it!    Watch how this pattern takes center stage and transforms rooms through pillows, rugs, wallpaper, and furniture, giving each its own distinct personality.

{Jonathan Adler}

{Jamie Drake}

{Rietveld Zig Zag chair}

{Sally Wheat}

(Design tip: a lot goes a long way with this print, so use in moderation!)

{Quadrille fabric}

{Mary McDonald}


{Zigzag Console}

{Jonathan Adler}



{Miles Redd}

{Bargello Zig Zag pillow}



Who knew a pattern this straightforward could be so much fun?  Of course, I’d design a room with it, but my question to you is- do you love it enough to wear it too?

Dallas Design Guide has recently launched the DG Consignment Board on their website.  Here, you can fine furniture and accessories from Texas consignments.  These include things that came from showrooms, galleries, and designers themselves!

What’s funny is that I have spent the last three weekends going from consignment shop to consignment shop in Dallas looking for a unique dresser and a coffee table.  When this email popped up yesterday, I was so thrilled to see that there is now a virtual consignment shop that has Dallas treasures compiled into one place!  Imagine the gas money (not to mention time and energy) I could have saved just sitting at my computer.  Hopefully more consignment shops will follow this trend- wouldn’t that be nice?

Some of my favorite finds from the DG Consignment Board-

Wayfarer Side Chair

Calypso Chair and Ottoman

Sofa Lounge with Acrylic Base

Mies Bruno Chairs

Coming soon…I’ll be posting my Dallas consignment shop adventures and those amazing objects I’ve come across (at a steal), that someone out there needs to snatch up!!  Times like this, I wish I had a big storage unit for those “one day I’ll need this” finds!

Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | May 02, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Fashion, Gifts

Now I know it’s tradition to showcase “materials” in the interior design sense on our blog; however, tonight I just couldn’t avoid going the fashion/ jewelry route with my post and had to spread the word about these fabulous accessories by Dallas jewelry designer, Elizabeth Showers.

These aren’t just your typical accessories either…they are like little pieces of art.  I can’t believe I just discovered her designs, (especially after following her mother’s interior design work for so long).  I am so glad I did, because her rings, bracelets, and necklaces are the ultimate jewelry eye candy!

Her accessories incorporate all of the colors and finishes that I tend to gravitate towards in the interior design world- such as turquoise/teal, emerald, gold, silver, pink, cobalt, and orange.  I am a girly-girl and so of course, I flock to her uber feminine, colorful designs that interject a glamorous touch.

Elizabeth credits both her grandmother and her mother as being inspirations to her creative development.  So in honor of Mother’s Day, I gathered my favorite designs by both mother and daughter of the Showers’ clan.  It’s pretty amazing to look at their work side by side and see how they influence eachother’s designs.  As they always say, like mother like daughter!

{Elizabeth’s Turtle Creek showroom will be open May 3rd and 4th, from 10 am-5 pm.  10% of retail sales at her showroom and on her website will be donated to two charitable causes- 2×2 and The Elisa Project from now through Mother’s Day}

3131 Turtle Creek Boulevard, Suite 1118

Dallas, TX 75219