Dallas is gaining a reputation as one of the major interior design hubs in the US, we talk to Lauren Hudson, owner of Wells Abbott Showrooms and Wells Design to find out more about her growing businesses in the new home of design.
Wells Design is one of the oldest interior design firms in our region, it was founded by Herbert Wells, one of the first “society decorators” over 60 years ago.
I took over the firm from Jerry Jeanmard and as a result started the Wells Abbott Showrooms in 2017 with locations in Dallas and Houston.
Houston is where it all began but Dallas is in a fortunate position, it draws in an eclectic mix of designers from not just the local area but from five states: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The showroom side of the business turns three years old this month and we’ve also recently purchased two fabric lines that are both close to my heart, Rose Cumming Chintzes and Classic Cloth – I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished and what’s to come.
The lines I select for my showrooms are based on one simple factor – is this a line I would use in my own design work? If the answer is yes, then we have a potential match. I also look for lines that are dedicated to artisan craft. No “fast fashion” here!
Our showrooms provide an in depth knowledge base of each of our lines, expert advice when it comes to customisation and personalisation, an understanding of where the product fits in the overall scheme and suggestions of other products that could work for the designer. I fully support online sourcing but the showroom should provide a level of client service that the internet will never provide.
My influences, first and foremost – Herbert Wells and Jerry Jeanmard – both are the backbones of Wells Design and the Wells Design aesthetic.
I love the history of our industry. It provides context to today’s design and provides a certain type of warmth and grounding to current interiors. An interior that skillfully incorporates the past with the current is my favorite look.
Good design and beautiful interiors are artisan crafts which are disappearing these days with the demand for immediate gratification and delivery. People don’t tend to appreciate what they are losing when they opt for goods produced in this way. They are soul-less, and they make for soul-less interiors. Heritage brands preserve the artisan craftsmanship that creates depth and breeds quality.
One of the things I most love about the British brands we stock is their passion for preserving the artisan craftsmanship that I crave. It seems to be more of a focus in the UK.
Pimlico Road is one of my favorite places on earth! It is of course where I was introduced to Collier Webb. The quality and artisan look of the Collier Webb products on display immediately resonated with me.
I was also fortunate enough to visit the foundry, a major differentiating factor. It allows for a fully vertical experience for the designer – the sky is the limit in terms of bespoke creations.
A PASSION FOR BESPOKE
I fully support the “democratization of design”. Ultimately, I think it will make the world a more beautiful place overall. But with that democratization will come a certain saturation as well. Those in the highest end of the market will continue to crave products that are special, products they don’t see everywhere, products that are unique and personalized. This will drive an increasing bespoke market, in my opinion. That’s where I want to sit.
To find out more about Wells Design and the Wells Abbott Showrooms follow them on Instagram or find their websites here: