By Rebecca Sowell Hawkins
When old friends asked designer Jan Showers to rehab their Mediterranean-style house in the Bluffview section of North Dallas, it was, in many ways, a labor of love—or at least of friendship. Showers, the queen of Dallas glamour, was in the midst of writing her first book, Glamorous Rooms, and this project definitely fits in with the rest of her work.
“I have known the homeowners for many years and was familiar with their style and their collection of furniture and objects. They wanted a more streamlined look than they had lived with in the past,” says Showers. “The house is sited on an unusually large piece of land with extensive landscaping, so there are wonderful outdoor vistas from every window in the house, and it was important to enhance those—to emphasize the views, not upstage them with a complicated interior design.”
After architect Jeff Good revised the four-bedroom house’s interior architecture—altering the doorways and stripping out all of the moldings and elaborate built-ins—Showers introduced a group of finely crafted French and Italian 1940s furnishings to the owners’ first-rate collection of Oriental pieces, including fine Persian rugs. She rounded out the mix with a cache of contemporary glass.
Her vision for the living room was all about comfort, calm, and a mix of interesting and fine objects from several continents. She gracefully blended high-back lounge chairs and nesting tables from the 1950s with an Asian-style table and a modern painting. The homeowners’ own Coromandel screen mixes beautifully with newfound treasures, including pieces from Showers’ furniture collection and antiques showroom. The family room is grand enough for entertaining, with a Louis XVI—style table and chairs providing the ideal spot for coffee or games. “The process of mixing diverse periods, styles, woods, and finishes was a real treat—I’ve always loved surprises,” Showers says. It’s no surprise, however, that the end result is at once international, personal, and comfortable.