Show Me Your Dallas: Shay Geyer...

Ask a native Dallas girl to show you her city, and you'll need to brace yourself for a whirlwind of an adventure. Shay Geyer, daughter of remarkable designer & entrepreneur Beth Rafferty, took on the challenge with glee. We began our busy day at IBB Design, the family-owned showroom where she spends her days. If you're wondering, the "B" in IBB stands for Beth. Shay is second-generation Dallas design royalty and it shows in everything she does. 

The showroom itself offers two floors of some of the best brands in the furniture business. Shay and I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times in High Point. We're both guilty of spending too much time in the Hickory Chair showroom. That appreciation for fine quality is reflected in the pieces on display at her business. Room upon room of beautifully styled vignettes featuring Henredon, Maitland-Smith, Century, Barclay Butera, Thomas O'Brien & Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair and other greats humble even the most seasoned ASID member. 

IBB itself is a full service interior design business. The showroom serves as both retail showroom and to-the-trade resource, making it a must-see for anyone with a penchant for design. I've been in a few times myself, but never seem to canvas the entire property. When you go, don't miss the glistening John Richard room. {Insider tip: Don't see what you're looking for? Ask for a peek inside the attached warehouse and prepare to have your breath taken away.}

Next, we ventured to the Design District for a visit to one of her favorite art galleries, Samuel Lynne Galleries. Shay expressed such fondness for the works of JD Miller, a "reflectionist" (his words) who is the great mind behind a method he refers to as acrylic sculpting. Rather than flat, framed works, JD's pieces have a true depth to them that makes them almost leap from the canvas. We were blessed to discover he was in that morning, and he was gracious enough to share his methodology and his inspiration. 

As lovely as his work was (and it is glorious) it was the artist's personality and warmth that made me an instant fan. he believes that we are all responsible for producing positivity and good energy. His works are his way of giving out what he seeks to return. Just listening to him speak was enough to make me want to rush home and begin expressing my own good works. 

For a real treat, be sure to attend a live in-studio event on May 21. JD will demonstrate his signature 3-D oil technique from 6-9 that evening. It's an experience you surely will not want to miss. RSVP here.

After seeing so much color and beauty, it was going to be difficult for our next stop to impress. But leave it to a Dallas event to blow away any predetermined expectations. Just after the clock struck noon we were elbow to elbow with fellow fashionistas at Stephanie Anne in Highland Park Village. If any city honors it's own, it's Dallas. Stephanie Anne is a multi-talented designer with a remarkable eye for style. She transformed her home accessory showroom into a DJ-spinning, champagne serving charity fête. We were in another world the moment we walked in the door.

The Super 10 Event served two purposes: it introduced her new line of glamorous jewelry and supported 10 remarkable charities. As attendees sipped cocktails and chatted, we were treated to a fashion show of her colorful and flowy jersey dresses and her impressively hand-crafted gold jewelry. Think: Egyptian royalty and you're almost there. Her pieces reminded me of those found on Pharoahs in ancient Egypt. This is no ordinary collection, and Stephanie Anne (by coincidence, a St. Louis native) is no ordinary entrepreneur. These 24K gold-dipped pieces are sure to be a hit.

As a fellow entrepreneur, I can't wait to see what she launches next. It's fun to see someone turn their stylish vision into reality. Swing by the glamorous boutique to see the pieces in person. Or... take note that Neiman Marcus will also be carrying her fine, fabulous pieces. Stephanie, I'll be seeing you again soon!

Like two modern-day Cinderellas, Shay and I soon realized that 1:30 was upon us and we had to return to reality. Translation: in the middle of this fun day of play and projects we have little ones, both of whom were due to be picked up from school in minutes. Our moments in crystal slippers were fading quickly and it was time to jump back to reality. Time to roll!

Looking back, I'm not sure how Shay does it all. Later that night she headed back out for an industry party honoring the launch of D Home Magazine's new blog. She's a very busy girl and I appreciated her taking time out to show me her version of the city. She's deeply woven into the fabric of this city's busy social scene and effortlessly glides from one role to the next.

Shay, thank you for such a fun outing. I look forward to our next adventure, as I know you still have dozens of fun locations up your sleeve! Hopefully we'll have a bit more time!

Show Me Your Dallas: Emily Johnston...

Yesterday delivered an amazing kickoff for a new series I'm hosting: Show Me Your Dallas. One by one I'll be exploring the city with bloggers, designer and new friends. Yesterday Emily Johnston of EJ Interiors and founder of Material Girls blog was my gracious southern host. Emily and I have "known" one another for years. We were to of only a handful of interior design bloggers on the scene years ago. Today the landscape of blogs is so fast that it's fun to meet one of the "original" crew.

Emily is a true Dallas girl. She knows the ins and outs of Uptown, the Design District and the jewel that is Knox/Henderson. In so many ways it was like cruising around with a longtime girlfriend. Funny how long you can "know" someone online before you finally have the opportunity to meet. We had a great time shopping (of course) and enjoying the early Dallas spring weather (perfection!). 

As we drove from one cool shop to another we dished all things interior design while separated by a bolt of Oscar de la Renta fabric between us. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who still need to invest in an SUV! (Love you, Emily! I'm normally trying to fit an oversized mirror in my sedan!)

Our first stop was Again & Again, a Leslie Pritchard boutique I'd seen mentioned in the latest FD|Luxe Magazine. We arrived too early (of course!) so we headed straight for what was to be my favorite stop of the day: Leslie Taylor Home.

The moment we stepped through the massive carved wooden doors I was smitten. Good thing Emily didn't drive an SUV, or we'd have been hauling away some fabulous French-influenced finds. The best way to describe this lovely designer showroom is to reference Suzanne Kasler's collection for Hickory Chair (which, by the way) is just around the corner). It has her feminine touch, soft color palette and "I've just stepped into my well-heeled Parisian girlfriend's apartment" vibe.

While there we chatted with Debbie Plimmer, who graciously offered to take our photo and enthusiastically chat about the rise of the design blogger community. Debbie seems to know everyone and everything and convinced me that there are many more areas of town yet to uncover. While chatting, the gorgeous Alana Villanueva of Dallas Decorum stopped by - another designer in the area I'm sure to run into again soon. Obviously Emily & Alana know that LTH is a treasure trove of fabulous furniture and accessories. I was very impressed that the showroom even offers impeccable lighting and area rugs. I plan to make this one of my regular stops when I'm out sourcing for goods. And, let's be honest, incorporating some of these terrific pieces into my own home as soon as possible.

If you're in the design district you MUST visit this incredible store. They are redesigning their site and periodically host designer/blogger parties. I can't wait to attend the next one. In the meantime, visit them on Facebook for more info!

Stay tuned for part two of the excursion tomorrow. Next stops: White Elephant, Found and Again & Again.