Monday Morning Millionaire

We all love the idea of a secret sanctuary. Whether it’s a bookcase that opens onto a concealed passageway, or an ivy shrouded door in a wall that leads to a private garden, we’re intrigued and captivated. Maybe it’s growing up with classic literature that gave us the world of Narnia accessed from an old armoire and The Secret Garden, where a hidden door opened into, well — a secret garden, but there’s no doubt everyone loves the idea of having a good hiding place. We’ve found the best one yet; a perfect secret sanctuary that is a luxurious private paradise in the heart of Highland Park at 4824 Abbott Avenue. (more…)

jan showers

All photos courtesy of Jan Showers

One of the best-known names in the Dallas interior design community is Jan Showers. Her aesthetic of “glamour without pretense,” as Veranda magazine dubbed it, is sumptuous and refined, an impeccable marriage of elegance and function.

Jan Showers

Jan Showers

During regular trips to London, New York, Paris, and Venice, she scouts genteel antiques for her showroom in the Dallas Design District. These show up in her designs alongside pieces from her own luxury line, the Jan Showers Collection. The resulting spaces are sophisticated and dazzling, yet imminently livable and comfortable.

“I get bored with everything in a room or house being of the same period or style,” Showers said. “It is so simple to mix periods and styles—that is what my look and the antiques and vintage pieces in my showroom reflect. It comes very naturally to me.”

As New York fashion designer Michael Kors writes in the foreword of her first book, Glamorous Rooms (now in its eighth printing), “Design like Jan’s fuses great taste and an expert eye with the reality of life as it is actually lived. That’s why people are always so astonished at her glamorous touch—because it’s built into designs that are functional and comfortable and fun.”


My Beautiful City Austin Heymann

It feels like a trend: Architects are writing books all over the place. Of course, this is a trend we can get behind, especially when architects write fiction as David Heymann, FAIA, has.

Heymann, who designed George W. Bush’s Crawford sustainable compound, will read excerpts from his collection of stories entitled “My Beautiful City Austin” as part of his Fort Worth AIA Design Talk. The event, which is free and open to the public, will kickoff at 7 p.m. at the University of Texas at Arlington’s Fort Worth Center, room 121.

David Heymann, FAIA, designed George W. Bush's Crawford, TX, retreat. (Photo: Architectural Digest)

David Heymann, FAIA, designed George W. Bush’s Crawford, TX, retreat. (Photo: Architectural Digest)


David Heymann, FAIA

With degrees from Cooper Union and Harvard, a teaching position at the University of Texas School of Architecture, and clients from the very highest walks of life, it seems like writing fiction would be the next big adventure for an award-winning architect. But this is no vanity title, as Heymann’s book has received fabulous reviews. The Texas Observer is calling it a “bracing tonic for the ongoing flood of sentimental, snarky and just plain stupid writing about Texas’ capital … This is an intensely engaging book, the record of a writer intensely engaged with his subject.”

To find out more details on the Heymann and tonight’s Design Talk, hop on over to the Fort Worth AIA calendar of events.


Damn those NY Jets. The high rollers are not pony-ing up the big bucks for those rentals, and now that the Jets are out, dear Lord — we get the TravelLodge set. This report from one of my house-renter wannabes:

I had a major A list Hollywood director (!!!) lined up to pay full price if NY had won.  His house was featured in Architectural Digest not too long ago  And of course that totally freaked me out, made me want to completely re-decorate.  But then he didn’t take it, and my back up went ahead and booked in FW.   But I turned down a ton of people wanting to lease it for 3 days only.  This Green Bay Pittsburgh deal is a total blue collar bowl.  They are booking the Quality Inns in Oklahoma.   And I decided not to take the 10K offer from one guy who sounded a bit “pimpish” .  So the answer to your question is no.  Frankly, I don’t think I played the game right,  and I held out for what I wanted for my house. (The Princess deserves every penny!) I didn’t want to fool with it for less.  Can you blame me?