Friday, October 15, 2010

Discovering Dallas: Design District

Sure, it’s not a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare or air-conditioned mall, and yes, you’re better off having somewhat of a plan of attack--or at least a map--when shopping here, but Dallas’s Design District is an absolute cache of furniture, antiques, and home decor (plus some stellar eating and drinking establishments). It’s a common misconception is that this area--between the Trinity River and 35E--is only open to members of the the trade. While this was true historically, most showrooms are now open to the public and encourage retail purchases. Here, a handful of must-see stops, which I must confess, only touch the tip of the Design District empire:
Fancy Fixtures at Uncommon Market

For proof that this neighborhood is on the verge, visit Uncommon Market (100 Riveredge Drive; 214/871-2775), who recently traded in their Uptown digs of 40 years for a colossal space on Riveredge Drive. They’re putting a considerable amount of work into their new store, and right now it's a bit of a construction site (albeit one that allows visitors); however, a generous portion of their bespoke antiques and light fixtures is on display in one of the showroom's wide open spaces.

Home Decor, Uncommon Market Style
Walk into Anteks (1135 Dragon Street; 214/528-5567) and enter a world of leather, taxidermied animals, and Western artwork. This store has everything you need to outfit your West Texas ranch--or your Western-themed living room in the city. In appropriate Texas style, most everything is big here, from commanding solid wood desks (fit for a powerful Texas oilman) to Carolina-made leather sofas. Anteks moved into this Deisgn Disctrict location a year ago from Lovers Lane.

Home on the Range at Anteks
A Wallscape at Anteks
City View Antique Mall (909 N Riverfront Blvd. #B; 214/824-4136) is so much like the antique shops I’ve frequented in downtown MckInney and Jefferson that I didn't believe I was in Dallas anymore. You’ll walk down aisles flanked with a hodgepodge of goods spanning many decades, even centuries. The place is chock-full of stuff--from Fiesta Ware to jewelry and mirrors; bed frames to timeworn framed art. Take it slow or suffer sensory overload! There are some deals to be had.

Leatherbound Decanters from Italy at City View Antique Mall
The Patio at City View Antique Mall

One of City View Antique Mall's Eccentric Displays
Modern furniture retailer Smink (1019 Dragon St., 214/350-0542) is another newbie formerly located on Lovers Lane. The store also offers a chic array of oversize photographs and super-sleek pottery. At Big Mango Trading Company (1130 N Riverfront Blvd.; 214/752-4755) you can secure a towering tiki figure to place in your front yard, as well as a reclaimed wood table for your dining room. If you’re in search of an odd object and don’t mind wandering a maze of aisles looking for it, then Lula B's (1010 N Riverfront Blvd. 214/749-1929), which runs the gamut from cowboy to kitsch to collectible, is your spot. Well-edited sister shops Lost and Found (1225 N Riverfront Blvd.) aren't quite as overwhelming. You'll find Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern furniture, fine art, and a vintage motorcycle collection at Lost, while Found features fine antiques.
And because we all know nothing builds an appetite like shopping, you’ve got plenty to choose from: Mama’s Daughters Diner (2014 Irving Blvd.) for daily meat-and-three specials, Bleu Artichoke Café (1225 N Riverfront Blvd.), housed inside Found and a fine spot for a sandwich break, and Meddlesome Moth (1621 Oak Lawn Ave.) a hip, months-old gastropub with a wall full of craft beer taps.
Meddlesome Moth's Patio
A great time to do some exploring is Saturday, October 23, 
when the Riverfront Antiques District is hosting a streetwide sale. Here's a map:

No comments: