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An Interior Designer's Guide to the Dallas Design District


Dallas isn’t just about a great football team, urban cowboys and gushing oil wells. Hidden like a glistening pearl inside an unopened oyster, the Dallas Design District is an interior designer’s ultimate dream venue offering dazzling art galleries, fascinating antique shops and stunning showrooms featuring upscale home furnishings reflecting every style and taste imaginable. As the leading antique rug company in Dallas, Esmaili is proud to be a member of this vibrant community of interior design, art and antique enthusiasts who know they can find exactly what they need or hope to find in the Dallas Design District.

History of the Dallas Design District

In 1908, the Trinity River flooded downtown Dallas, leaving over 4000 people homeless and more than two million dollars in damage ($65 million if it were to happen today). City managers realized afterwards they needed to develop a permanent solution to prevent this catastrophe from happening again. Eventually, rerouting of the Trinity River supported by construction of a levee began in the late 1920s. A group calling themselves the Industrial Properties Association believed they could trigger a booming real estate business by dividing former floodway land among themselves.

Unfortunately, the stock market crash of 1929 and ensuing Great Depression delayed their prospects until after World War II, when investments and people poured into Dallas. With its freewheeling approach to business, Dallas and the Industrial Properties Association attracted the attention of Trammel Crow, a grain salesman who began establishing warehouses on land acquired from the IPA. Unprecedented demand for single-story warehouses lured owners out of crumbling, multistory warehouses, which contributed to the construction of the Stemmons Corridor and a rapid increase in commerce activity.

The swinging 60s and its embrace of postmodern/pop art brought a steady influx of interior designer studios, antique stores and furniture showrooms to the Dallas Design District, transforming warehouses into spectacularly successful shops. Today, the District is enjoying a colorful renaissance with five-star restaurants, charming boutiques, entertainment venues and upscale condo buildings augmenting its stellar reputation for having one of the world's the best selection of antique, vintage and modern rugs, furniture and other global goods available.

Must-See Dallas Design District Venues

Any interior designers visiting the Dallas Design District might be rightfully overwhelmed with options. While navigating the neighborhood, here are some of the standout businesses we recommend:

  • Coraggio (1025 N. Stemmons Fwy, Suite 250) — offers home and office furnishings synonymous with the highest quality, distinction and craftsmanship.
  • Ebanista (1025 N. Stemmons Fwy, Suite 400) – are famous for their artisan-made furnishings, rock crystal chandeliers and fabulous case goods.
  • Liliana Block Gallery (2271 Monitor St.) – features the works of international, national, regional and emerging artists offering a stunning variety of work representing all media aspects.
  • Materials Marketing (1626 Hi Line Dr., Suite A) – specializes in natural stone, hand-carved products such as fountains, fireplaces, pilasters/columns, hearths and flooring, meant for exterior and interior use.
  • Gracie (1025 N. Stemmons Fwy, Suite 620) – offers unique items such as custom-made furniture, hand-painted wallpaper and beautiful Asian artwork to complete your most challenging interior design projects.

Dallas Design District Antique Rugs at Esmaili's

Although the Dallas Design District is home to several antique rug sellers, Esmaili is considered the premier antique rug collector in Dallas because of his dedication and insight into finding the most gorgeous Oriental rugs overseas and bringing them back to Dallas personally. Located on 1500 Hi Line Drive, Esmaili's Rugs and Antiques is the first place interior designers and rug enthusiasts stop by when visiting the Dallas Design District. With a selection of antique, vintage and modern Turkish, Persian, Moroccan and European rugs, Esmaili's is as much a part of this vibrant, exciting district as those first warehouses were almost a century ago.

Visit the Dallas Design District today to experience a delightfully different, creatively inspirational world full of many things to see and do. For more information about our inventory or for assistance with finding the best interior design shops, please call us at (214) 651-7847.