Last Friday, I donned actual button and zip clothing, grabbed a mask, gloves, my Lysol spray, and headed off to the Dallas Design District.
I had a dual mission. I needed to pick up samples for clients, and I wanted to let you know what’s happening in the Design District. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was almost giddy to be out and about and speaking to people—in person.
Here in Dallas’ go-to trade destination for interior design showrooms, designers typically work six months to a year in advance on their projects. Right now, the buzzy location that’s seen a renaissance in recent years would normally be at full tilt.
Now, the new normal everywhere is to email or call ahead for an appointment and wear a mask when you arrive.
But despite difficulties, I know our design community is like a classic Timex watch. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
My first appointment was at ProSource Wholesale, 1500G Dragon Street—the one-stop resource for everything you can imagine from tile to carpet to kitchen cabinets. You name it, they have it.
I emailed my sales rep Jamie Robinson and he sent back my scheduled time and showroom protocols. Jamie told me they had remained busy and virtual client meetings were commonplace. Nothing seemed different other than everyone was masked. I was in and out in about ten minutes, mission accomplished.
I realized my next appointment at David Sutherland was not until 4. I peeled off my gloves and mask to call them and they graciously fit me in at 1:45.
That left me just enough time for a quick drive around the Dallas Design District to check out who was doing business. With few exceptions, I found almost every store was open.
It was time to get to my appointment with the brilliant Beau at David Sutherland, 1025 N Stemmons Fwy Suite 340. I was impressed with their set up.
There’s a basket to drop off samples outside the door. A bottle of hand sanitizer and an array of masks are on the front desk. Beau led me to the wallpaper, grabbed me a water bottle, and I got to work.
After I’d made my selections, I relaxed while he pulled the samples together. Then he unlocked the door and I was off. Although looking at samples with gloves on can be sweaty and my glasses fog up when I breathe in a mask, it was all in all, a seamless experience.
Ann Sacks Tile and Stone
When I got back to my computer, I called a few of my favorite sales reps. Nancy Judy at Ann Sacks Tile and Stone told me although they had closed the showroom located at 1616 Oak Lawn Ave. for the shelter in place order, the business did not stop.
“Commercial projects have been in place six months to a year, so we were busy,” Nancy said.
The showroom is alternating between the seven sales associates each week and there is a manager on premises daily. Virtual appointments are a given but Nancy also puts together sample boxes that can be picked up or sent out via FedEx. “It’s really been business as usual, and we’ve had a great last few months.”
Daltile, 1502 Slocum Street #100, never closed as they do an enormous amount of commercial work. Sales rep Chelsea Clinton told me they have two people in the showroom each day and are booking 45-minute appointments.
“I think a lot of people like this because they get one-on-one attention,” Chelsea said. “We offer virtual appointments, as well, and have been using FaceTime with customers. Some clients want us to lay out a mock-up of products and others want to have a virtual tour of the showroom to see what’s new. There is a curbside pickup, drive-through at the warehouse, and returned samples go in a big bin at the door. It’s actually been great!”
Anteks designer Rick Waymack told me they are on a condensed schedule in the showroom, 1135 Dragon Street—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and closed Sunday. Visitors are required to wear masks, but if you forget yours, no worries. They have masks at the door.
They opened back up on May 1 and are offering some fantastic pricing during the pandemic, so check them out online, then go see Rick!
One of my all-time Dallas Design District favorites is Peacock Alley. As a locally-based, family-run linen business, they have captured the loyalty of clients all over America. I checked in with the lovely Charles Bardsher, who manages one of my little slices of heaven, the Peacock Alley outlet store at 2050 Postal Way.
I love this place. If you are new to Dallas, find it and make an appointment. The outlet prices are always fifty percent off retail and they have discontinued products as well as wonderfully priced basics.
“We have one person in the showroom in the Design District and one person in each of our two outlet stores,” Charles said. They also opened on May 1st and require masks. There is a sanitizing station as you enter and if you can’t make it to the showroom or an outlet, virtual visits via FaceTime are now common.
“No one knew what to expect, but our clients are thrilled to be out,” Charles said. “Designers are coming in with projects, and we can accommodate two clients in the store at a time. It’s like personal shopping and business is booming.”
Indeed, it does seem the Dallas design community has not missed a beat, and that’s excellent news. So, make an appointment, grab your mask and gloves and get down to the Dallas Design District!