The Dallas Market

Well, the Dallas Market was so much fun!!!  This was my first trip there, so there was a lot to look at. We met with so many wonderful people and loved seeing all the creative ideas and designs. Arm in arm, my office manager Karen and my daughter Kirby were on a mission to see the whole market!


This was one of the pop-up showrooms they had set up on the first floor of the Trade Mart.  In the main building, showrooms went up 15 floors, and then there was an entire building of cash and carry. With thousands of vendors, choosing what to buy and what was unique was a bit overwhelming!!! Actually, it was challenging just deciding what kind of store I want mine to be. You will see with all my crazy purchases that I was struggling!


The first purchase of the day!  These wonderful linen aprons were so cute I couldn’t resist. They come in three colors and three designs – even a kids version – and I love the way they were packaged in a vintage bell jar. Such a fun gift!!!


Amy Howards showroom had a fabulous mix of contemporary accents and nicely finished, painted furniture pieces.


And, of course, how could you go to market without visiting the Aidan Gray showroom! They always do an incredible job designing and finishing reproduction furnishings, lighting and accessories. I have been lucky enough to meet owner Randal Weeks and his beautiful wife Cathy… getting to know them makes you love their furnishings even more!


It’s a real treat to follow Aidan Gray through the Cote De Texas Blog, which has featured not only Randal and Cathy’s personal home, but also hosts contests in which the lucky winners receive total Aidan Gray home redos with their furnishings!



I really loved meeting this pretty lady and hearing her story of how she developed this partyware line. Nora has designed interchangeable, ceramic decorative pieces that can change the style, mood and theme of a single serving dish. One platter instantly becomes perfect for any occasion!!! This is such a fun idea – you can start the collection for a loved one and then add more to their collection every year! Nora started the company, and then hired her brother when he graduated college… now her Dad is also on board. Although I didn’t purchase her wares, I think they’d make a great gift! To see more of Nora Fleming’s designs and find out how to order, go here.


Starting at about 6 p.m., the showrooms start serving champagne and light bites which made the evening so festive! I really loved this display with cactus leaves and antlers on the tray – I think I may have to copy this for my next soiree!!!



OK, I really went off on a tangent here, but how could I stay away with such a pretty model! This straw hat and bag line was exceptionally well made, and I really loved the color combos and designs.


An end to a tiring day, we met one of Kirby’s friends, Kristen (on the left), for dinner at SFUZZ – a fun atmosphere with amazing food. It was certainly a hip place – I was the oldest one there!!!


I just couldn’t resist picking up this jewelry line! Their necklaces have antique metal crosses and medallions, most from the 1800s and all with unique stories. My favorite was a cross that was given to a nun when she finished her training! The necklaces are made from sapphires, laborite, leather or pyrite. Simply exquisite!!


We stayed at the Warrick Hotel which was close to everything. The service was great, room spacious, and the air conditioning stayed really cold – we all loved that! The breakfasts was fantastic, but the dinner… I would recommend going elsewhere. Loved how they hung the frames and paintings over each other – Great idea!


This Saturday, February 2nd, I will be giving a lecture and book signing at the Villa De Lux Designer Showhouse at 2 PM. The home, located at 1 Longfellow in the prestigious historic Shadyside community, is one not to miss.  All the proceeds benefit Preservation Houston. Hope to see you all there!! xo Leslie


Rusty Arena - Couture Fabrics and Wallcoverings
Making Small Offices Beautiful


  1. I loved this post! My favorite part, however, was seeing the Aidan Gray furnishings! You see, I just painted a breakfast table set and was concerned about the finish until I saw this! It is almost exactly the same finish! If it's good enough for him then it is certainly good enough for me! I am actually awake because I came down from bed to look at the table again! LOL! Good thing I went online!
    I would love to see Amy Howard's refinishing paints! Maybe you can do a post on that in the future?!
    Looks like you had a blast!



  2. Very wonderful post! I I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again right here regularly. Good luck for the next!

  3. Victoria Athens says:

    In another life, I went to many of these trade marts, primarily in NYC, for my dream store. That was decades ago. We sold a combination of antiques, artisanal jewelry and decorative items for the home. I enjoyed going down memory lane on your tour of the Dallas Market, and I'm excited for you as you develop your store's personality. Have fun.
    XO, Victoria

  4. I loved this post…so many gorgeous things to see!…Looks like you had a wonderful time!…The Showhouse sounds wonderful…just wish I were closer…

  5. Gina Diamond says:

    Leslie, You have such great taste. I feel like I was at market with you. I KNOW I would get overwhelmed with so many choices. I am in the process of planning a store right now. It will not open for a few years as I want my youngest to finish high school. The theme behind my store is entertaining in your home. I love to entertain and have found it hard to find items that I need that don't cost a fortune. I also want to make quality fresh flowers more easily available and offer classes on floral design. I am currently taking floral design classes and loving every minute of it.

    I am still trying to define what I want my store to look like. There is a strong possibility my family and I will be coming to Houston in the fall and I would LOVE to see your store and meet you in person. You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your market finds!

  6. Leslie

    Thank you so much for taking us along on your shopping tour! Those aprons are fabulous!

  7. Leslie I would love to go to market with you one day. Love seeing the Aidan Gray and so many other shops! Fun, fun, fun! This is what keeps me going…

    2013 Artists Series