PaperCity Magazine

September 2019- Houston

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100 T he lounge area inside designer J. Randall Powers' offices could easily be mistaken for a Studio 54-era hangout. Tucked inside Decorative Center Houston, Powers' lair is swathed in sumptuous coal and oyster hues, the same shades that enveloped Halston's 1970s Paul Rudolph-designed townhome in New York at 101 E. 63rd Street. Halston is an ongoing influence, he says, but so is England — Powers is an avowed Anglophile and former antiques picker who likes to throw a good piece of English giltwood into the mix. On this particular morning, while sending emails, Randy Powers (his casual moniker), is spinning British pop singer Morrissey's beautifully moody tunes on his England-made turntable. Custom Lucite boxes house his large and varied vinyl collection. He's dressed in Gap khakis, a crisp bespoke white shirt, Belgian loafers, and a Brunello Cucinelli jacket with a colorful pocket square from Drake's in London. "I have all of Morrissey's albums," Powers says. "And I'm an enormous Fleetwood Mac fan. I also like old-school jazz like Chet Baker, and I have all of Bobby Short's albums from The Carlyle. But it depends on my mood — one day you'll hear Astrud Gilberto's 'The Girl From Ipanema,' the next you'll hear head-banging music like The Cult. It's all in a day's work." Powers' offices are also a stylish happy- hour destination for clients or showroom owners at the end of a long day. A Giacometti bronze étagère holds a dry bar setup, and two cases of Domaines Ott are stocked for rosé drinkers like himself. Powers seems like he's having way too much fun to get anything done, but that's far from the truth. He and his team of five — including senior designer Christopher Alexander — have 21 projects in the works, including a Dallas Turtle Creek Boulevard penthouse, an 1862 Newport, Rhode Island mansion, and vacation homes in the Hamptons, Aspen, and Palm Beach. In Houston, Powers is known for designing sophisticated interiors in River Oaks and Memorial for well-heeled clients, often with important art collections, on which he also advises. WHEN DESIGNER J. RANDALL POWERS WAS BORN, ACCORDING TO FAMILY LORE, HE SCREAMED "LOUIS QUINZE" INSTEAD OF CRYING. HIS CLASSIC ART-FILLED INTERIORS HAVE APPEARED IN COUNTLESS NATIONAL MAGAZINES, AND HE'S JUGGLING DOZENS OF PROJECTS AROUND THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING A HIGH-PROFILE REDO OF THE VERY PRIVATE RIVER OAKS COUNTRY CLUB. REBECCA SHERMAN CATCHES UP WITH POWERS AT HIS OFFICE, WHERE THE ROSÉ IS ALWAYS ON ICE. CLASSIC ROCKS IN CONVERSATION WITH J. RANDALL POWERS IVAN AGUIRRE

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