PaperCity Magazine

July 2015 - Dallas

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DECORATION T he Cee Zee skirted sofa from IBB Design Fine Furnishings takes inspiration from a vintage 1950s beauty from Palm Beach. Tailored and slightly curved (like all the best '50s-era socialites) the embroidered blooming branch along the back and cherry-red pillows are a nod to the Asian and preppy influences found in chic mid- century Palm Beach homes, as immortalized by photographer Slim Aarons. The sofa's namesake, legendary Palm Beach socialite and international beauty C.Z. Guest, would surely have approved. $4,530, at IBB Design Fine Furnishings, 5798 Genesis Court, Frisco, 214.618.6600, Rebecca Sherman IN THE BIG EASY BURNINGBRIGHT HIGHSOCIETY MINERAL RIGHTS T he exotic name, the glorious cascade of fiery ringlets… They're all real, she says. And there's a big, bubbly personality that goes with them. Born into a clan of orthodox Jews in Las Vegas, with family in Dublin and Germany, Empress Gilbert's father took a look at her "pink cheeks and bright orange hair and decided she looked like a little empress," Gilbert says. Her Hebrew name is Nooriah, which means "the Light of God," but the name Empress stuck. Her earliest connection to the precious and rare minerals she now sells at her showroom in the Dallas Design District, Empressive GeoDesigns, had humble beginnings at age 4, when she stole a penny from her mother's wallet to buy butterscotch candy then lied about it. "My mother got a big basket of rocks from the garden, and told me to go door to door and sell the rocks to show me how hard it was to make money," Gilbert says. She sold each one for a penny, tears streaming down her face, her copper locks barely contained under her tichel, or scarf. These days, Gilbert sells her rocks for a small ransom. A natural raw emerald on a Lucite pedestal fetches upwards of $50,000, while a 4-foot by 3-foot uncommonly clear quartz that just arrived in the showroom in early June has an asking price of $150,000. She has the largest collection of rare jet-black quartz in Texas, one of the most in- demand minerals among interior designers, ranging between from $16,000 to $20,000 each. Blue and green lapis from Afghanistan and green selenite from Australia are also rare and highly in demand. Gilbert also creates custom and ready- made lamps, tables and accessories from the thousands of geodes and minerals she sources. Earlier this summer, she received a shipment of dozens of large coral from Malaysia, including brush, brain and rare black corals. It's all naturally harvested — often washed up on the shores after typhoons — and certified for import by the United States government, she assures. "Large coral is trending quite a bit, so I'm bringing more of it in." Prices range from $400 for a smaller piece of brush coral to $3,800 for a 24-inch piece. "I like brush coral because you get a lot of look for the price," she says of the coral's delicate, filigreed design that blooms outward like a fan. Gilbert opened her first freestanding showroom last summer, and a year later, business is booming. She's open to the public, but her biggest customers are interior designers and oil-and-gas companies. One energy client from the Trans Pecos region has spent more than half a million dollars in less than a year on minerals for his offices, loading them up on his private plane. She's also working with regional artists to produce sculpture and hand-blown crystal goblets wrapped in jewels and precious minerals, which will be available in the store in late 2016. To read the full story, visit papercitymag. com. 1339 E. Levee St., 214.343.0000, empressivegeo Rebecca Sherman I n New Orleans, gas light fixtures still lead the way to many elegant Garden District homes and Creole townhouses in the French Quarter. In fact, many of the lanterns built 60 years ago by Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights continue to burn brightly in the Big Easy. Founded in 1945, Bevolo is best known for its copper and stainless-steel lighting fixtures, handmade in New Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. It's also the largest maker of handmade open- flame copper lanterns in the world. The brilliant minds behind Bevolo have focused on details that make them beloved in NOLA: The company never discontinues a style; it uses aviation technology to hand-rivet fixtures for strength; Bevolo's copper is so pure it is projected to last 300 years; and specially designed burners can save $200 to $300 in energy costs per lamp. What's not to love? The new Highland Park Pool House Lantern series consists of customizable freestanding lanterns with rings at the top for portability. Designed to hold a large candle, they can be used inside or out, poolside or Gulfside. Rebecca Sherman Empress Gilbert Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights' Highland Park Pool House Lantern in copper, $750 STEPHEN DUX STEPHEN DUX Coral at Empressive GeoDesigns K elly Wearstler is redesigning the world one product at a time. Furniture, fabrics, dinnerware, jewelry and carpet crowd her résumé, and now the L.A.- based design mogul adds lighting to the list. She has teamed up with Houston- based luxury lighting manufacturer Visual Comfort for a 60-piece collection composed of contemporary pendants, chandeliers, ceiling mounts, sconces and floor and table lamps in mixed metals, stones and unusual textures. The look is totally Wearstler, with warm brass and carved bronze; rich natural quartz, alabaster and fractured glass; and geometric and sculptural styles, such as her Cubist and Cleo collections, which play off all the angles. This collaboration is a good fit — 28-year-old Visual Comfort also produces lighting for some of the most influential names in design, including Aerin Lauder, Alexa Hampton, Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren and, in Texas, J. Randall Powers. $275 to $7,350 at Laura Lee Clark, 1515 Slocum St., 214.265.7272, Rebecca Sherman ILLUMINATI Kelly Wearstler Cleo lamp, $630 – $2,100 Strada oval pendant, $1,575 – $2,100 Halcyon desk lamp, $1,470 Wearstler's Precision floor lamp, $1,890

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