Pedro Ruiz’s Catleya Dowiana available from Beatriz Esguerra Art

Perhaps not dinner, but in many ways art feeds the soul. From the earliest to the latest, art transforms thoughts and ideas into physical form.  But it can be expensive.  For those not bothered by budgets, this coming weekend is the Dallas Art Fair that runs Thursday until Sunday downtown at f.i.g (Fashion Industry Gallery). Tickets are still available starting at $25 for a day pass ($20 if you’re too old or too young to pay $25) and topping out at $500 for a Patron pass.

If you’re like me, art events with a section titled “Works Under $10,000” and more “Contact Gallery for Price” than actual prices, it’s a window shopping outing. For example, Pedro Ruiz’s work (above) with large floral images punctuated by lone tribal figures on rafts are bold in color and subject (the appropriation of goods from native areas for the enrichment of the voracious and fickle West). Beautiful and moving, but too rich for me.

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Do you like this or have you just seen a lot of it?

Style is a loose term defining the trappings we show the outside world from shoes to shower curtains. It is a set of markers that enable others to make decisions about us without exchanging words. These markers are both blatant and nuanced.  The easiest to pick off are the signs of wealth or a lack of it (money is the great excluder). Mark Cuban rankles many in Preston Hollow simply by being the top dog in a sea of less-top dogs.

But back on earth, most of us believe our personal style is just that, personal. That we’ve somehow had some input into the architecture of our persona. Nope.  Not really.

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Bunk 1

Like many mundane things that have been made “cool” these days (from Haute Dogs to Lobster Mac & Cheese), it’s now possible (as Candy wrote)  to have cool bunk beds. I don’t know about you, but if I had the ceiling height, it would be soooo fun to have half the set pictured above in my bedroom. Every night I’d be thinking, “Hmmm, do I want to sleep up or down tonight?”

… and then I could post naughty “pin-up” pics to the underside of the upper bed like when I was younger. (OK, perhaps I’ve grown up at least that much since then … but not much.)

Alder and Tweed is run by sisters Lynsey and Heather Humphrey who come by their design chops naturally with parents who founded the largest lighting company you’ve never heard of.   Their firm specializes in creating memorable interiors (translation: house porn) for big-time vacation homes. Many of their clients fall out of the pages of Fortune and People. Their work results in the kinds of interiors most of us slobber over in hopes of finding some trinket we can use in our more modest homes. The Utah-based sister-designers get around with projects and offices in California, Mexico, and of course Utah.

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Baccarat Logo

Lalique Logo

Outlets get a mostly deserved bad rap from the discerning shopper. Originally intended to sell end-of-season and overstock merchandise at reasonable price, today’s outlet malls are stuffed with big names and slim bargains from cheaply-made collections sewn in Romania instead of Italy. These are lines never seen in the brand’s high-street boutiques. As oversaturated as Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and Ralph Lauren are in these malls, it’s a wonder any label queen would touch their “real” stores with a 10-foot AMEX Platinum card.

But sometimes … sometimes an outlet is REALLY an outlet for some pretty incredible things.

I’m betting y’all didn’t know that in all the world there is ONE Baccarat and Lalique outlet store … in Orlando of all places. It’s located at the Orlando Premium Outlets between a Neiman’s Last Call and a St. John outlet.

It’s true!

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Pic_10

The brand new behemoth in The Colony, Nebraska Furniture Mart of Texas, will open next month, and the store is doing a series of giveaways to kick off their opening. The first giveaway closes tomorrow, and includes a $1,000 gift card. You can enter to win the big bucks via their Facebook page. The only requirement is that you live in Texas. Otherwise, you can start imagining what you’d spend that sweet gift card on when you enter!

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Photo courtesy Nebraska Furniture Mart

Photo courtesy Nebraska Furniture Mart

When the CandysDirt.com team got an invitation to do a early tour of the yet-to-be-completed Nebraska Furniture Mart Texas, we absolutely had to jump at the chance. There’s nothing that we love more than looking at pretty things, and besides, Nebraska Furniture Mart is a pretty interesting spot. The new Texas location of the brand is in Grandscape, a new development in The Colony. The store, which will anchor the 430-acre mixed-use development, is on 100 acres and is about the same size as 31 football fields. It is absolutely mammoth.

We walked the store (all 560,000 square feet of it!) and learned about the brand’s modest history (started in the basement of an Omaha pawn shop by Rose Blumkin in 1937) and its bright future in Texas (the only location planned for the Lone Star State). The store, which is more like five or six stores all under one very large roof, will open some time in the spring, though the marketing team isn’t ready to pin down a date yet.

After our tour, Leah Shafer and I sat down for a frank discussion about Nebraska Furniture Mart. Jump to read all about it!

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find-your-style-quiz

OK, it’s Wednesday morning, and we’re right in the middle of the week. I’ve never understood why this day should rather unfortunately be called Hump Day, but there it is. So, in honor of Wednesday, we have a fun little diversion for you.

Purveyor of office furniture and cabinetry, Sauder Furniture has put together this great little quiz to help people find out what furniture style would be most aesthetically pleasing. While I don’t see myself purchasing from the Sauder collections in the near future, I do like the quiz, which is pretty accurate. Heck, I just like easy quizzes I can take on the Internet.

Sauder has me pegged as “Modern.” Pretty much on the nose, right? I bet Candy is “Traditional,” or even “Transitional,” if that was an option. Want to find out your design style? Take the quiz, and tell us your result!