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Dwell with Dignity: We Are All Butterflies

“We are  all butterflies… the earth is our chrysalis.”  - LeeAnn Taylor

We all evolve, even  radically.   Our homes can be the chrysalis that envelopes us as we work toward a renewed future, allowing us to emerge stronger, ready for new  challenges.   

This concept, informed by the  mission of Dwell with Dignity, the transformative power of beauty, and a  supportive environment for families working to change and improve their lives,  became our inspiration to create a space for the Dwell with Dignity Thrift  Studio which echoes the concept of Metamorphosis for us all.

Vignette concept board

We have many people to thank  for their part in the successful installation of our vignette.  It’s like a roll call from an Academy Awards  acceptance speech and I’m so worried I’ll miss someone.

Our metamorphosis.



First, I want to thank Bree  Hyatt and Stephanie Wiggins without whose hard work this project likely  wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.  Bree is a wonderful project manager.  She and I have worked closely for more than a dozen years and she knows  all my in’s and out’s.  With her  assistance I knew the project would be a success.  Steph Wiggins also leant her considerable  skills communicating with our trades and organizing everything that would  eventually be installed in our vignette.

My assistant Angela Burns (who  also manages our Marketing efforts) also leant her knowledge to promoting the  event via our Facebook page, Twitter, emails to clients and friends, all in an  effort to generate as much interest in the Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio as  possible.

My talented children donated  photos from their respective photography businesses to the vignette.  Peyton’s 9-piece botanical collection really worked  perfectly with the color palette for the vignette.  The rich golds and warm persimmon tones mixed  with undertones of purple and green seemed a fresh assemblage of colors that  would be universally appealing.  The  collection follows a single iris flower from bud to withered bloom.

Including my son Allan’s  photography introduced an edge to the space.  His works focus on the Dallas entertainment scene and the pieces I  selected feature a Dallas punk/alt rock band, The Gorehounds, and some of their dancers.

Allan also generously  underwrote his staff at Eveready Services, donating their time to pickup and  transport items for the vignette.  Installing all this furniture wouldn’t have been possible without  Eveready’s contribution.

If one were to start at the  floor and work one’s way up to the ceiling it would be crystal clear what a  large group contributed their talents, skills, and products to our vignette…

Pat Hicks from New Life  Hardwoods donated the fantastic limewashed oak floor.  Roosevelt White and his incredible installers  at Gleaming Floors proved it isn’t just floors they’re good at… they installed  the beautiful brick veneer accent wall, working with brick partially donated by Veneerstone.  

I can’t thank my brother, Michael Stallings, and his assistant Peter Day, enough for their contributions.  Michael, Peter, and Michael’s team of  craftsmen at Frias Studio contributed the pickled wood shelves lining our  vignette space.  They also contributed  their considerable skills in gilding by adding little touches of glimmer  throughout the space and the pair of vintage windows with panes of inset  mirror:

But the Before & After Award  goes to Michael for his re-done side table.  What started out as a shabby little brown table from the Dwell with  Dignity warehouse, coated with dust and cobwebs, became a stunning little cocktail  table, finished with grey stains with touches of black stain to highlight the  carving, an inset shard of selenite, and an onyx sphere for unique interest.


One of the most generous  contributions to our space came from the Scott + Cooner showroom.  Known for their contemporary furniture and  accessories, they contributed the wonderful “Little People” chandelier hanging  over our space (the little gilded figure was a unique touch added by Michael’s  assistant Peter).

Other trades and showrooms who  donated time or product to our project include: Sherry Hayslip Interiors  Boutique, Whitesmith and Company, Renee Rhyner & Co, Park Cities Oriental  Rugs, Juanita’s Draperies and Upholstery, Star Lighting, Cele Johnson, Lee Jofa  Fabrics, Kravet Fabrics, and  Larru Leathers.

The resulting library vignette uses  the new and the re-newed to highlight the many aspects of metamorphosis in  nature and our lives.  

Taking inspiration from nature  and literature, this loft style room becomes a library by adding two walls of  shelves complementing the bleached and pickled wood flooring.  The space  itself can transform from a comfortable sitting area to a dining room or even a  study using the desk located to one side of the sofa. 

If you are in the Dallas area, we would love for you to drop by the Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio from Friday, October 11 through Saturday, November 9.  There is a VIP Shopping Night on Thursday,  October 10 that begins at7:00PM.  Tickets are available at  If you aren’t able to stop by the Thrift  Studio, please think about supporting Dwell with Dignity in whatever way you  are able.  You can find out more about  this transformative organization by visiting

“Happiness  is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if  you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”  - Nathaniall Hawthorne



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