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Texas Design Week Dallas — Divine Design Deliberations With Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller; Brian Sawyer & John Berson; Sara Story; and Hannah Cecil Gurney

Get Your Tickets to Texas Design Week Dallas Now

BY // 10.15.23

Some of the dreamiest designers and architects are making their way across the United States to land at Texas Design Week Dallas, October 30 through November 3. From Carrier and Company’s Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller to Brian Sawyer and John Berson, Sara Story, and de Gournay’s Hannah Cecil Gurney. Here’s what’s on their minds.

This is part of a series on Texas Design Week Dallas 2023.

Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller

Carrier and Company Interiors, NYC

The moment you knew you were going to be part of the design world

Jesse: In 1995, when I received an internship at Aero Studios, then with Thomas O’Brien & Bill Sofield in SoHo.  

Mara: From an early age, I loved family vacations to Colonial Williamsburg and episodes of This Old House. Then, as a design student in NYC, I ventured to my first antiques fair in Old Greenwich to purchase a copy of Parish Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design signed by Mr. Albert Hadley himself.

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Design books everyone should have in their library.

Jean-Michel Frank by Pierre Emmanuel Martin-Vivier; George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic by Maureen Footer; An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration by Mario Praz.

In a living room designed by Carrier and Company, deep-green-saturated walls and sofa, a neoclassical gilt mirror, and lounge chairs recall the apartment’s original period. The slipper chair belonged to Lauren Bacall. On the mantel are artworks by Thomas Libetti and George Condo. The majority of the furnishings, including furniture, fabrics, paint, lighting, and floor coverings, throughout are from Ralph Lauren Home except where noted. (Photo by Douglas Friedman)
In a living room designed by Carrier and Company, deep-green-saturated walls and sofa, a neoclassical gilt mirror, and lounge chairs recall the apartment’s original period. The slipper chair belonged to Lauren Bacall. On the mantel are artworks by Thomas Libetti and George Condo. The majority of the furnishings, including furniture, fabrics, paint, lighting, and floor coverings, throughout are from Ralph Lauren Home except where noted. (Photo by Douglas Friedman)

First important piece you bought. 

Overscaled, oil gilt Italian sconces from the Chelsea Flea Market. This was one of our first purchases together as a couple and remain a favorite, decades later.

You collect. 

Ceramics and artwork. .  . Things that fit in a New York apartment!

Museums you love.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Tenement Museum, NYC; and Picasso Museum, Barcelona. We’ve been told the Nasher Sculpture Center will be a new favorite.

Home scent.

Bulgari Au Thé Vert.

Movies you love because of the design elements.

A Perfect Murder, The Royal Tenenbaums, North by Northwest.

Second home.

Hudson Valley in Upstate New York.

Next for you.

We are thrilled to be hitting the road. We have a robust book tour with events in many our favorite places.

What, When, Where: Morning mimosas and panel discussion with Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller of Carrier and Company Interiors, Sister Parish, McLaurin & Piercy, and Meredith and Hunter Ellis, moderated by Veranda’s Steele Marcoux, Friday, November 3, 9:30 to 11:30 am, at James showroom, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas. For full schedule and tickets go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

Texas Design Week Dallas is October 30 through November 3 — a full week of salon talks, panel discussions, book signings, product launches, and cocktails with some of the most celebrated designers and architects in the country. For information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

Brian Sawyer, John Berson (Photo by John Huba)
Brian Sawyer, John Berson (Photo by John Huba)

Brian Sawyer

Sawyer | Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture, NYC

The moment you knew you were going to be part of the design and architecture worlds.

It was the moment I decided not to go to culinary school, instead pursuing graduate school in design.

Design books everyone should have in their library.

The Education of a Gardener by Russell Page; Mark Hampton: On Decorating; Italian Villas & Their Gardens by Edith Wharton; Sawyer | Berson: Houses and Landscapes.

First important piece you purchased.

An original hand drawing of the Hôtel de Crillon by its architect, Jacques-Ange Gabriel, from the Evangeline Bruce estate.

You collect. 

Mostly books and natural objects, minerals, shells, anything for my Kunstkammer.

Museums you love.

Museum Gipsoteca Antonio Canova, Italy; Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris; Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

Home scent.

Santa Maria Novella Melograno Pot Pourri.

Personal fragrance.

Acqua di Parma Colonia.

Movie you love because of the design elements.

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, designed by Sir Ken Adam.

Benjamin Moore color you gravitate to.

Winter Solstice.

Second home.

Bellport, New York. A beautiful hamlet on the Great South Bay.

Next for you.

A future book on our project Aynhoe Park in Oxfordshire, England; Sawyer. Berson’s foray into commercial and hospitality. More time to travel to new places.

What, When, Where: Illustrated talk, book signing, and afternoon wine with Brian Sawyer and John Berson Thursday, November 2, 1 to 3 pm, at Blue Print, 1505 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 100, Dallas. For full schedule and tickets go TexasDesignWeek.com.

Texas Design Week Dallas is October 30 through November 3 — a full week of salon talks, panel discussions, book signings, product launches, and cocktails with some of the most celebrated designers and architects in the country. For information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

527 Sara Story PORTRAIT 2023 _TJ_5160
Sara Story

Sara Story

Sara Story Design, NYC

When you knew you were going to be part of the design world.

Design and architecture interested me immensely from a young age. After graduating from college, I started working in marketing and soon realized, after pouring over spreadsheets, that I needed a more creative job. So I followed my passion back to school to pursue interior architecture. But I still work with a lot of spreadsheets. 

Design books everyone should have in their library.

The icons: Jean Royère, Jean-Michel Frank, Le Corbusier, Richard Neutra, Eileen Gray. Then move to the contemporaries: Tadao Ando and Pierre Yovanovitch. I also love collecting artists’ books: John Currin, Jonas Wood, Yayoi Kusama.

First important piece you purchased.

Gio Ponti club chairs that I had been admiring for a long time. As well as a Paavo Tynell chandelier from an auction for my home. 

You collect. 

Contemporary art — that’s my true love, as well as furniture and ceramics.

Museums you love.

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen — it’s the most magical setting; The Menil Collection in Houston; and the Guggenheim in NYC. 

Home scent.

I love the smell of Hotel Costes. It’s a proprietary scent is an elegant mix of mahogany, bitter oranges, tobacco. I have their signature candles in my home.

Personal fragrance.

An Italian scent called Ambra di Venezia — it’s heavenly.

Movie you love because of the design elements.

Anything by Wes Anderson. I love his atmospheres and design sensibility. Also Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love with Tilda Swinton — the Milanese design is swoon-worthy.

Benjamin Moore color you gravitate to.

Chantilly Lace.

Second home.

Our ranch in the Texas Hill Country.

Next for you.

Designing an apartment for myself in Paris. I spend a lot of time there, soaking up design inspiration and resourcing, so I’m excited to have a home base. And I’m going to summit Mount Kilimanjaro this fall — an adventure of a lifetime.

What, When, Where: Join Sara Story, Monday, October 30, 6:30 to 8 pm for an illustrated talk, book signing, and cocktails at MOUS, 2611 Farrington, Dallas. For full schedule and tickets go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

Texas Design Week Dallas is October 30 through November 3 — a full week of salon talks, panel discussions, book signings, product launches, and cocktails with some of the most celebrated designers and architects in the country. For information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

472 237 de Gournay Hannah Gurney 2023 PORTRAIT BirchLondon_DeGourney_01F10
Hannah Gurney (Photo by Birch London)

Hannah Cecil Gurney

Director, de Gournay, London

When you knew you were going to be part of the design world.

My father paid me pocket money to help roll and unroll sample panels of the early hand-painted wallpapers he was creating for clients. Growing up surrounded by these exquisite designs, I think it was perhaps inevitable that I would eventually assume a more meaningful role in the company (which is not to say that rolling panels is not a valid skill).

Design books everyone should have in their library.

A hard question to answer, as I have never not found an idea, tip, or picture of interest in the many books I’ve amassed over the years. For pure visual escapism, Around That Time: Horst at Home in Vogue is a spectacular compendium of the world’s greatest interiors photographed by Horst P. Horst, in an era when the rich and tasteful really were riding high.

First important piece you bought.

One of my favorite pastimes is a trip to an antiques market or fair with my father — ideally in Italy or France. They have been the source of my most treasured items. One in particular is an impressively deep sofa with elaborately carved arms and upholstered in a beautifully faded, marbleized fabric.       

You collect.

In an ideal world, it would be the work of Belgian artist Pierre Bergian, who paints interior scenes of a fascinating array of beautiful houses across Europe. In reality, it appears to be children! I have four so far.

Museums you love.

The recent transformation of the National Portrait Gallery in London proved to me that it really is possible to love a place more than you already had, and we were delighted to have our hand- embroidered wallcoverings installed within the newly renovated restaurant. Elsewhere, I’m especially fond of the Victoria and Albert Museum — not least due to its wonderful collection of Chinese wallpapers. Further afield, I’m in awe of the quiet elegance of Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie.

Home scent.

I find most scented candles eventually smell much the same. Fresh flowers, however, never fail.

Personal fragrance.

I don’t wear perfume.

Movie you love because of the design elements.

Having seen it just last week, I think that Barbie deserves special mention for the sheer vision of its production design. We worked with designer Sarah Greenwood on the 2020 adaptation of Rebecca, supplying wallpaper for the set, and I feel her efforts will guarantee her an Oscar.

Farrow & Ball hue that always works.

Surely that’s a trick question? They all work, always! I love the idea of using Cinder Rose but haven’t found the right place for it just yet.

Second home.

My husband’s family has a beautiful house in North Wales — the very wild, windy and wet part — where we now have a little cottage that has become a welcome refuge from the city.

Next for you.

We are nearing completion of our first showroom in Los Angeles — a city I’ve always loved.

What, When, Where: De Gournay director Hannah Cecil Gurney and de Gournay creative director Jemma Cave Tuesday, October 31, 11 am to 1 pm brunch; come and go opportunity to see the newest collections from de Gournay at Culp Associates, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Suite 500, Dallas. For full schedule and tickets go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

Texas Design Week Dallas is October 30 through November 3 — a full week of salon talks, panel discussions, book signings, product launches, and cocktails with some of the most celebrated designers and architects in the country. For information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.

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