Location: Dallas, TX
Marital Status: Married
Education: BS in Education, Stephen F. Austin State University
Thanks to her innate style and confidence, her business soon expanded. “The interior designer I hired left to have a baby, so suddenly I was the designer,” she remembers.
More than 30 years later, her eye for the perfect object d’art still drives her, whether she’s searching for that unique piece of jewelry in Santa Fe, or scouting 18th and 19th century antiques all over Europe and bringing them home to Texas’s Lovers Lane Antique Market.
Give me some great advice about buying antiques.
Well first of all, you have to look for pieces that absolutely bowl you over. You have to see it and think, “Whoa, I like that.” And then, the more history that you can get behind it the more you’ll enjoy it. I’ll buy something and not even know what it is sometimes. I just know I love it. Then I can’t wait to research the history–why it was made and how it was used. That’s what I love about antiques; they all have fabulous stories.
Tell me about your style.
It’s all about accessories. I dress in monochromatic colors—a lot of bronzes and browns—and I wear mostly unstructured pants and jackets, but then I set everything off with really special scarves or pieces of jewelry.
Tell me about a jeweler you really like.
Pamela Adger is a favorite. She’s from Santa Fe, and she uses natural elements: old shells, old bones. She will take a big Chinese Pearl button, and make a bracelet out of it. Each piece is a work of art.
How has your style changed since you were in your 20s?
Less fuss; less complication. I have fewer clothes now, because I’ve learned you don’t need a lot of clothes, you just need great accessories. Also, I travel more now than I did when I was young, so I need a wardrobe that mixes and matches and travels well. The biggest thing: I could care less about trends now.
Why do you love Allie-Coosh?
If you put on an outfit you got from her, you’re guaranteed you’ll be pulled together and look great. She just makes sure you’ve got the right proportions—a lot of people struggle with that. She’ll say, “If you just shorten that jacket a little bit and tuck it in here . . . “ and suddenly you look like a million dollars.
She also has an entire room that’s nothing but these fabulous jewelry cases–like a jewelry art gallery with works from the US and Europe.
What influenced your style most?
Studying art and interior design. I learned so much about balance, composition and color. I’ve had interior design clients with great fashion sense who think they can’t decorate and accessorize their homes. It’s really no different. They can contribute their own personal style.
Is your home style like your personal style?
It’s very casual, elegant and understated, but with zippy surprises throughout. For example, I have these framed fashion sketches from the 40s by Rene Gruau. He sketched for all the big fashion houses. He did the Miss Dior advertisements. His sketches are the best–very, very sensual and artistic.
What are your favorite restaurants in Dallas and Santa Fe?
In Dallas, I like The Grape, which is intimate and wonderful and always has excellent wines. Their signature dish is the mushroom soup, and I always order the fish special. I love their fish.
Santa Café in Santa Fe is just really nice. I go there every time I’m in the city and I always order their omelet of the day.
Do you have a favorite wine?
I always prefer a French Sancerre (Sauvignon blanc grape ) for my white or a French Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region for my red.
Do you have a signature item?
Scarves. I buy a lot from Allie-Coosh—she has the most fabulous scarves–especially by Lauren Hunter. I like natural fabrics and a bit of a pattern or a texture.
Style by John Saladino. It’s all about his philosophy of interior design. I agree with so much of what he says, but I was never sure how to express it. I’m reading it and going, “aha! That’s exactly how I feel.”
Who inspires you?
Artists. And it doesn’t even matter what kind. Creative people inspire me–build my confidence. They’re camaraderie associates. I love Santa Fe because you’re surrounded by people like that.
What’s your beauty routine?
I use cleansing cream and toner from Orlane’s B21 line. And I use a moisturizer with SPF from Cellex-C.
What’s your secret favorite spot?
Hiking in Santa Fe. There’s art everywhere—even in the stones. I love wide-open spaces and natural art.
What’s your biggest indulgence?
A micro-dermabrasian facial once a month from Suzy Short. She’s independent and she’s the greatest, most beautiful person.
How do you rejuvenate?
I spend time by myself in quiet meditation. No music, no sound, nothing on.
What’s your passion project?
My husband and I don’t have any children, so it’s very important to me to give time to the surrogate children in my life. I have a lot of friends who are single-parent moms, and I spent time with their children and now with the next generation. It’s so fun, because they’re not yours, so you don’t have to discipline; you can just do fun things. Last week we took our friends’ kids out to a musical, and they spent the night and then my husband took them out to breakfast in the morning. It’s so much fun.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?
If you wake up each morning and you want to get to work, you have chosen the right career. A passion for your work makes it all worthwhile. I use to hear this and not believe it could ever happen, but it can.