COTE DE TEXAS: Dallas Design Duo

Dallas Design Duo



One of my oldest friends, Julie, whom I first met when we roomed together at UT – and with whom I spend each summer with down at South Padre Island - lives in Dallas.  Her house is a large ranch  – long, in a L shape that overlooks a courtyard with the de rigueur swimming pool.   A few years ago she embarked on an update of her house – doing most of it herself.  She bought a new scrolled iron and glass front door and installed a row of columns with arches along the open gallery that flanks her living room.  She subtly fauxed the room in a neutral peach tone and added a beautiful  French stone mantel.  And then she stopped.   Furnishing the living room herself was above her skills, she admitted.  

Although she had lived in the house for most of her married life – the living room had never been professionally decorated.   The family room, though, had been – and the difference in the two rooms was obvious.  Julie  was more than ready to finally have  her front room  beautifully furnished.   When the time came to choose a decorator, she decided to give a somewhat new designing team a try.  Never mind that they were all friends - Julie had seen their work and knew that they would be perfect for her job.  They, like Julie,  loved French antiques and used them in all their projects.   The two decorators had an appreciation for fine furnishings and a knack for accessorizing and Julie felt since she had waited long enough for a nice living room – she was going to go “all out.”   So the designing du0 who go by their last names, RayWeitman, got the nod and the work commenced.  

Carol Ray and Marlene Weitman work in a different way than many of their peers.  Since they prefer antiques to new furniture – the hunt for furnishings is more labor intensive  than just quickly ordering from a catalogue.  It takes a thorough search of all the shops around town to find just the right piece to fit here or there.   The job therefore may take a while longer than one that is furnished over an afternoon at a showroom.  But Carol and Marlene are up for the long hours.  They love nothing more than a fun hunt for antiques for their clients.  

The two are both from Nebraska, but came to Texas to attend UT and never looked back – they moved to Dallas after graduation.  Neither majored in interior design, but  like so many of us  – they were drafted into the business by friends who had seen what they did with their own houses.   Drawing from their experience in designing their seven  houses between them – they partnered up and enrolled in interior design classes – selecting the courses they felt would best suit their clientele.   Let me take a wild guess – they skipped the class on “Fire retardant fabrics in hospital design.”  The business is now six years old and is growing each year.   By far, the highpoint of the RayWeitman partnership was being featured in The French Room by prolific design book author Betty Lou Phillips.   I remember reading the story about the beautiful house they designed and being intensely interested in who they were.   Phillips tends to showcase the same designers in book after book, but here was a new name with a great look.   When my friend Julie told me that she had hired the pair – I knew her living room was going to turn out great – and it did!!!  




image Once Julie had gotten the bones of the room done herself – she painted the walls and added arches and columns to separate the gallery from the living room, she was at a standstill.   Here is where RayWeitman stepped in, bringing in the first pieces of antiques – a side table and a French settee.  In the end – everything but the piano and a few chairs was replaced.




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This beautiful settee, painted and gilded would be reupholstered for the living room.  It was one of the first antiques RayWeitman bought for the room.




An eclectic mix of contemporary upholstery and antiques totally changed the living room.   The wall of windows were instantly warmed by the gorgeous curtains with beautiful trim down the leading edge.   A large rug defines the seating area.



Two matching chandeliers hang from the vaulted beamed ceiling.   A Spanish styled console table divides the long room into two separate areas.




To create interest, the two niches flanking the fireplace were given very different treatments.   An ottoman doubles as a coffee table for the reupholstered antique settee and the two clean lined club chairs.   The large Louis Philippe mirror does what all mirrors should do  - reflect something beautiful – in this case, the tw0 chandeliers!



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In this picture you can really see how large the chandeliers truly are – they fill the space perfectly. 




I love the brass andirons – so beautiful.   A lot of people don’t focus on the fireplace accessories – but see how wonderful it looks when you do!   This is my favorite part of the room -  I love this vignette with the Swedish chest.




The framed grisaille Zuber mural is my favorite thing in the room – so pretty!!!!!





The view towards the back of the room.  The antique textile pillows pick up the colors found in the rug.



Atop the chest is a collection of framed intaglios.   For information on the best company to buy beautiful, but very very reasonably priced intaglios – go HERE.



juliec2The entry way into the living room has this enfilade – with a beautiful painted trumeau atop it – reflecting the living room.



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RayWeitman also designed Julie’s powder room – using a piece of furniture, they added a sink and custom cut marble top.  I love the curved backsplash with the wall hung faucet!  So pretty.   The antique gilded mirror layered over the wall to wall mirror and the crystal sconces add sophistication to the room.



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And finally, the powder room floor was custom designed with a variety of stone and metallic mosaics that give just a hint of glamour to the room.





When this book by Betty Lou Phillips came out – it was a huge publicity boom for RayWeitman.  It’s not many designers that get the honor of being in a Phillips book, but this design duo made the cut.




Many pages were devoted to the large Dallas house they designed;  filled with French antiques, the house matched the book’s title.



This vignette is found off the entry hall set within an arched niche.  I adore the feminine French tea table and the crystal sconces.




How beautiful – the living room is painted a creamy ivory – as most of the downstairs is.  The simple but elegant stone mantel, with a French trumeau above it, is the focal point here, but the chinoiserie styled Mah-Jong table (set with antique Mah-Jong tiles) is amazing.  It was handed down to the homeowner by her grandmother!  



An assortment of antique textiles made into pillows rest on the sofa. 




The family room is really special – I LOVE the silk skirted console table.  The antique painted leather screen hanging on the wall, surrounded by a collection of blue export plates,  is stunning.



Vintage chairs with leather upholstery surround an urn turned into a table in the family room – check out the limestone walls and steel windows. 





This marble range hood might be the prettiest ever!  You can’t find Cararra like this anymore!!


 scan0020In the breakfast room, a large breakfront holds more of the blue and white transferware collection. 



scan0022The breakfast room has an orangery feel with its steel doors and windows.  



scan0021 My favorite!!!!  An antique French pastry table with a white marble top – I just love these!!!!




The guest room is all toile – notice the cute slipcovered headboard with bows.  Darling!



 Recent Project:image

This kitchen is a recently finished project by RayWeitman – stainless counters, what a luxury.  The hood is marble – I love the transferware platter used as a focal point.  





Another view of the kitchen with a farm sink and glass cabinets filled with more transferware.




And finally - a beautiful carved hanging shelf filled with transferware hangs in the kitchen. 


I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my friend Julie’s new living room  by RayWeitman and all the pictures from their portfolio.   If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and would like to talk to the two about a project, you can contact either Carol Ray at 214-649-1406 or Marlene Weitman at 972-365-0200.    I’m sure they would love to hear from you!


  1. OMG! I'm so jealous! I wanted to hang matching chandeliers in our dining room but sour puss wouldn't let me!! He says that's too formal for our small room, but I think he's crazy! I love love love that look! Do you have the Betty Phillips book, Joni? How do you like it? I'm on a book buying kick lately. What do you recommend oh wise one? :) Thanks for a Joni post - I've been craving.

  2. Joni, as usual, beautiful images. Don't forget I have tagged you!!

  3. Wow! Love the work they did for your friend's living room- fantastic!!!!

  4. Oooo la la.....simply stunning!

  5. I really enjoyed this post, and your friend's living room is so beautiful. I love that there is a seating area plus a special area for a grand piano.

    RayWeitman - thank you for the introduction! And, thank you for the mention :).

  6. Joni,
    There are a lot of interior designers in the US but I am sure that these people are two of the most talented yet discovered!
    Thank you for the introduction!

  7. I love this! I could live quite happily with this style. Your friend did a great job getting the room started. I love the little details, the corner you mention liking, the edging on the drapes and then the other corner with the chest by the piano and entry into the living room ~ so pretty. I may have to get a hold of that book as well!

  8. How fantastic for us all,--we all get to see & read about your friends home. How gracious to share the contact information.

    Truly, there is enough to go around.

    As always, you set the tone. Bravo!


  9. Your friend has amazing taste- which was carried through and complimented beautifully by the design team.

    How wonderful to have a home with such interesting architectural details. And the antiques to go with it.

  10. I am always MOST impressed by the self-taught designers who get it this right - kudos to this team, your friend Julie's home looks amazing!

  11. Joni, another great post! Question: Can a Zuber be selected in a size small enough to frame. This was a fabulous option for the owner and more unique than a print or painting.

  12. Joni, I always love what you share. When I opened your post, and I saw the 1st picture, I was in love with the grisaille and I read later that it was your favorite things ...

  13. Thanks for sharing your friend's beautiful home!

  14. Very much eye candy as usual! Wonderful post, thanks for sharing you're friends house, it's beautiful. I reallly love that black game table and chairs and the breakfront full of blue and white, gorgeous!

  15. Crap! So when you tell us you're going over to your friend Julie's house to watch movies and hang out...that's where you go? !!!!! That is beyond gorgeousness.

  16. Beautiful rooms! I love how the niches in your friend's living room were treated differently. And that Zuber grisaille... omg!

  17. Beautiful, Joni! I loved going on this tour, and please thank your friend for us. I just want to go sit in her living room and stare at everything. LOL! It's the kind of room where you can sit and be inspired.

    I'm starting to see what I missed by not attending UT! :-)


    Sheila (who has a little message for you on my blog)... ;-)

  18. I can never say enough wonderful things about your blog - it's simply excellent. I tell everyone that it's like a master's thesis awaiting with each post. Thank you for your sharing your insight.

  19. I have the other segments of the Zuber wallpaper in a screen hanging in my living room--it was pretty badly water damaged, so I kept it for me. Thanks so much for identifying it as Zuber. I thought it was, now I'm even happier that I kept it.
    These Dallas designers are a great team--not over the top, just a light touch.

  20. Really lovely home!! Such great style -- elegant and charming! LOVE the Zuber! Thanks for sharing -- love Phillips' books!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  21. Julie's living room turned out absolutely beautiful. I love the time the two decorators put into finding the perfect pieces for their clients. It truly shows in the end design.


    PS. The chandeliers are to DIE for!

  22. What a beautiful home. the Dallas Duo are a great team. Fabulous talent and it looks "liveable". I adore Betty Lou Phillips books, need to add this to my collection!

  23. Thanks for your comment about the map. I love your post , esp. this one with the steel windows with the arched top and the marble hoods.

  24. I don't know how you do it. Another beautiful post! Thank you and thanks to your friend Julie. So much beauty in this post. laurie

  25. Absolutely exquisite, Joni! Thanks for the beautiful tour.

    My favorite picture was the one in the kitchen that showed the transferware - just lovely.

  26. Julie's new living room is beautiful. Love the layout and warmth!

  27. Beautifulhome!
    I love that all-toile guest room photo.

    I clicked on Ray's name at the end of your post- and thought, 'I know that street'- well, it was in our neighborhood when we lived in Dallas, it was on our dog walk. I knew immediately without even looking it up which house it was!
    And OMG, it is a Gorgeous home and I do NOT do new homes, so that's saying a lot! It is on a slight curve of the road and the house follows the curve. It is beautifully done, and we used to always walk by pointing and talking about all the great features. I can only imagine how fabulous it was inside!

  28. I've always loved antique textile pillows. I've got several tapestries that are just waiting to be transformed into pillows. Great post Joni.

    On another note; I see that several of your blog followers are dying to come to Houston to see all these wonderful places you are telling us about. I'll be tagging along too. Just tell us what day the limo will be picking us up and make sure he knows that we'll need to go to your local Starbucks before the day begins!

  29. Just beautiful. Question, Joni, is Betty Lou Phillips also self-taught?

  30. "a huge publicity boom"

    You mean "boon."

  31. The stainless counters are very cool, you don't see those very often. Love that living room and the chandeliers are definitely wonderful in the space!!
    Thanks for showing us this house!

  32. The carved hanging shelf is my favorite with the powder room floor a fast second! Congratulations to Julie and RayWeitman on a beautiful and warm inviting living room! Simply stunning!

  33. This a great display of taste & talent. Just a wonderful pleasing to experience.

  34. Just fabulous!

    Don't forget to vote (AGAIN!) for me today.

    Please tell you readers too :-)

    xo xo

  35. oh my gosh so beautiful!!! so many details... some of my favorites are the toile bedroom... the prints over the pastry table... the steel windows set in the concrete wall... and of course that range hood.

    i find myself wishing i had your posts in print...


  36. Hi Joni, what a lovely home your friend has, it is so well appointed and peaceful. Loved the shopping trip, I am wanting some of the beautiful bird accessories. They really have a great selection. Kathysue

  37. I have poured over Betty Lou's books for years and am so proud to have another Dallas design team featured in her book...beautiful!

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