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Step Inside Dallas’ Stunning New Wolf Hall

Interior Designers Cannot Get Enough of this Place

BY // 05.28.17
photography Samantha Jane Beatty

Designer Ann Schooler’s stunning new Wolf Hall showroom recasts venerable antiques in fresh, contemporary settings — echoing the way she’s styled interiors for years.

“I’m interested in finding fine pieces that every room needs just one of,” Schooler says. “You wouldn’t do a whole house with these, but every room needs something of high quality and high interest.”

Case in point: In a front room at Wolf Hall in Dallas, Schooler hung panels of late 19th-century Chinese hand-painted wallpaper, which had been rolled up and stored in their original boxes under a bed for more than 100 years.

“They are in perfect condition — the gold never oxidized, and the colors are so vibrant. We are used to the faded look of antique wallpapers, but these are how they were originally meant to color a room, with hot pinks and hot greens. It’s still very current.”

In other areas, hot-pink damask upholstery updates a pair of ancient Jacobean chairs from England, and hanging geometric metal ceiling tiles from a 1920s train station in Paris become works of modern art.

Standouts come from every era, such as a carved stone font from the Renaissance, which might have originated from a private chapel inside a fine Italian palazzo.

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“You can see how the stone is worn and rubbed from thousands of hands dipping into the holy water, all seeking hope and consolation,” she says. “I love things that come with ghosts of the past.”

A pair of large 1940s starburst mirrors was reclaimed from a Venetian hotel. “They  have an exuberance and animation,” Schooler says. “They feel like shooting stars.”

Wolf Hall is a collaborative effort between Schooler and talented people she’s purchased from for years, including London antiques dealer Timothy Langston, who has a respected shop on Pimlico Road.

“He has a fresh take on classic English furniture,” Schooler says, noting his 19th-century Chippendale-inspired presentation mirror is a rare find in chalk white and “a great balance between classicism and forward thinking.”

She has also brought in Austin-based Lauren Lachance’s renowned botanicals. A trained botanist who studied at London’s Kew Gardens, Lachance has created the largest collection of plant pressings in the world, including orchids, seaweeds, and wildflowers.

Wolf Hall began life as a 35,000-square-foot warehouse to store the overflow of extraordinary finds from Schooler’s frequent buying trips to Europe.

“The Design District is booming, and when I saw all that happening, I knew it was time to do this,” says Schooler, who is scaling back her work at Schooler, Kellogg & Co., the interior design firm she co-founded decades ago, to focus on antiques. (She still takes clients on buying trips to Europe to hunt for rarities, however.)

Wolf Hall is open to the public, but 90 percent of her sales are to other interior designers. She hopes to begin hosting fireside chats on antique-related topics, led by Langston and other guest speakers.

“Antiques take time to be appreciated,” she says. “You have to stop, take a breath, and think about them.”

Wolf Hall, 122 Howell St., 214.533.9299.

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