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Masks, Martinis, and More Beautiful

Designer Mark Sikes Celebrates His New Book at Wells Abbott

BY // 09.30.20
photography Jonathan Zizzo

A highlight of the design whirl surrounding the opening of Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas was undoubtedly designer Mark D. Sikes‘ book signing at Wells Abbott showroom in the Dallas Design District. Showroom owner Lauren Hudson, who also designed a room in the show house, honored her fellow decorator with cocktails and a book signing. Designers showed up to support Sikes’ recently published book, More Beautiful: All-American Decoration (Rizzoli), the follow-up to his bestselling first book, Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style.

The dashing darling of interiors, known for his classic all-American style and penchant for blue and white, had a long line (which, of course, was even longer as all guests were respectfully socially distanced) awaiting his signature, along with the the opportunity to pose a question or two and take a quick selfie. Many had been at one of the two preview days for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas, which included Sikes’ blue fantasy of a room, which the designer titled Casa Fiorentina in homage to the famed Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat estate Villa La Fiorentina, built in 1917 and famously owned by Rory Cameron, then Mary Wells Lawrence and Harding Lawrence. La Fiorentina has hosted everyone from a caftan-clad Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to Somerset Maugham, and delightful details in Sikes’ lush living room were through this lens: the old-school white landline telephone and the even more old-school bowl of cigarettes. His custom Iksel wallpaper stole the show.

Guests chatted with masks firmly in place, lifted only for seconds while Jonathan Zizzo snapped photos for PaperCity. Cassandra Fine Catering passed mini grilled-cheese sandwiches while guests perused the latest offerings from Wells Abbott — although, as Hudson lamented, so much was borrowed by designers for their rooms at Kips Bay that she and VP Michael Flores had scrambled to fill the empty spaces. Catching up (from beneath their chic masks) were Cornelia Guest, Heather Furniss, Andrew Gonzales, Lisa Fine, Tom Scheerer in from NYC, Beth Ewing, Doniphan Moore, Jennifer Klos, Chad Dorsey, Kips Bay’s Nazira Handal, Alex Eskenasy, James Campbell, John Pfifer Marrs, Trish Sheats (who has a room at Kips Bay), Lindley Arthur, Sarah Johnson, Liz Miller, Brittany Gaskill, Mia Smith, and, in from Houston, Michael Viviano, who has a room at Kips Bay, and Ryan Reitmeyer, as well as Lauren Hudson’s husband Brock Hudson and daughter Margaret.


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