Bruce Birnbach, CEO of American Leather (Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Being a writer and Lifestylist for CandysDirt.com is never dull. One day you are sipping wines in Napa Valley covering a winery opening, and the next you are visiting a furniture factory. I would never have expected how much I would enjoy touring American Leather, but this Dallas based company has made me a believer of the extraordinary design and technology a company can offer right here in Dallas.

Only a few of the styles available for your new Comfort Sleeper by American Leather (Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography)

Dallas is becoming a world-renowned design destination, and it’s exciting to see how many companies are based here that have an international reputation. This Lifestylist had heard about American Leather, but until I met Bruce Birnbach, their CEO, I had no idea how much having them in Dallas impacts our local economy.

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The Smarter Living by Design Showroom Debuts at the Dallas Market Center

The Dallas design community has another first to boast about: last week The Dallas Market Center opened the first smart home showroom in North America. It is full of life-changing technology that can make anyone’s life a little bit easier – even this tech challenged Lifestylist® can’t wait to incorporate some of it in her Oak Cliff home.

Leslie Carothers moderates panel discussion on Smart Home Living

Smart home technology has been around for decades now. After attending the opening of the Smarter Living by Design Showroom and listening to an esteemed panel of experts talk about what this means for today’s homeowners, I can’t imagine buying a new home without incorporating at least some of these new products and services in it. Panel moderator Leslie Carothers, a marketing expert to the home and design industries, asked the questions we all were curious about, including when to bring in integrator to your project to make sure everything works together.

Leslie shared the results of a study that Coldwell Banker just did with CNet, and they found that homes that incorporated smart home technology sold two times faster than a traditionally built home. That alone is a great reason to invest in this!

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Chef Nikky Phinyawatana of EnjoyMint baking cookies in her new SKS Pro Range at home. (Photos: Lisa Stewart Photography)

As a Lifestylist®, I’m always curious about what appliances chefs and celebrities have in their own homes. Do they really cook, or is take-out or a personal chef their lifestyle choice?

I was recently having lunch at EnjoyMint — the newest concept for restauranteur Nikky Phinyawanta — and discovered that she was one of the first people in the country to be cooking on the new Signature Kitchen Suite Pro Range. She shared that it’s the only consumer range that has built-in sous vide. I couldn’t wait to see it in person and discover how it works.

Catching Phinyawatana at home isn’t an easy task. Between running EnjoyMint, and her two Asian Mint restaurant locations, teaching cooking classes, and keeping up with her two children, this Dallas dynamo is always on the move. She just launched Nikky Feeding Souls — a YouTube journey of Thai culture, food, and travel that will use the kitchen in her new home as its hub.

One of the fresh Thai fusion offerings at EnjoyMint.

Should I stay or should I go?

Phinyawanta was living in a home that she and her husband had remodeled, and it was just what they wanted. When their family and business was outgrowing the space that they had, it was time to make a hard decision. With as busy as this family is, they didn’t have time for another remodel or to build, but kismet stepped in, and they found the perfect new home that was ready to move in.

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Jean-Charles Boisset shares his new book “Alchemy of the Senses” Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Dallas scored another culinary coup last week when Jean-Charles Boisset chose Del Frisco’s for a wine tasting and the launch of his stunning new book, Alchemy of The Senses. The Boisset Collection is truly a luxury lifestyle brand and includes over 20 wineries in the US and France.  These include Buena Vista Winery — California’s first premium winery, and Raymond Vineyards in Napa that is always rated as one of the must-visit wineries in the region. His family is one of the leading wine producers in Burgundy — chances are good that you have sampled or collected one of his wines.

But now with his acquisition of Oakville Grocery — the oldest continually running grocery store in California and an essential part of Napa history since 1881 — and his relationship with Signature Kitchen Suite, we can’t think of a better person to kick off our new series about some of the most exciting kitchens in Dallas and in our homes and second shelters. This well-traveled Technicurean® gave us great ideas on what to look for and where. (more…)