Five Quick Questions with AD100 Designer Jan Showers

Curating a Creative Life

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Jan Showers portrait by Carolyn Cruz

I’ve always loved a well-appointed room that had a little edge or bit of surprise somewhere in the mix. Interior designers are so fascinating to me; their process and sources of inspiration are intriguing. Imagine my delight when my artist friend Steve McElroy, introduced me to a rockstar in the industry. I was absolutely giddy. Genuinely nice, generous with her time, and creator of some of the loveliest spaces I’ve seen…I am forever a fan and future client of this Dallas designing dynamo.

Meet Jan Showers, President of Jan Showers & Associates, Inc. and Jan Showers Collection. She’s part small town Texas, part big city glamour, a little bit of European je ne sais quoi, and a whole lot of southern charm. She’s authored two wildly popular books (Glamorous Rooms & Glamorous Retreats), created a furniture line to die for, and been named one of Architectural Digests’ AD100 (the preeminent directory to the international world of design). With all of this going on, she somehow manages to look as though she is sipping from a fountain of youth and pure liquid joy.

Her surroundings are refined, yet practical, and always eye-catching. So much so that Veranda Magazine has included a feature of Jan in their Inspired by COLOR book by Clinton Smith. All this and she’s taken a few minutes to spend with little ol’ me. I’m both honored and delighted. Don’t think for a minute that Jan is inaccessible to you or your budget, “I love working with anyone who knows what they want and who is willing to (somewhat) push the envelope. I have a fabulous group of clients who are like this and I adore working with them.”

‘Bulgravia Project’, Townhouse in London. Just the kind of surprises that delight me in a room. (Photo by Kate Martin)

Jan offers authentic insights into her designing soul via social media, “I adore Instagram! I love keeping up with other designers and friends and am always inspired each morning when I look at my feed. We try to post primarily design related images but I cannot resist posting my dogs from time to time.” In between client meetings, travel, and tossing up some fantastic images on Instagram that will tease all of your senses…Jan answered my Five Quick Questions and left me craving more.

1.What is the most creative thing about what you do?

“Creating amazing rooms from the furniture selection to the colors used in the room…to the fabrics and wall coverings…to lamps and accessories—then putting all of that together. I believe that interior design can be an art form and, when done correctly, is beautiful and comfortable. I also enjoy designing furniture and fabrics. Collaboration is key in all of these endeavors.”

‘Texas Heat’, Dallas Sunroom. Grab a glass of sweet tea and sit a spell. (Photo by Jeff McNamara)

2. When did you know that design was the right thing for you?

“When I completed the first project for which I was paid! I always knew that I knew what I was doing, but having someone value your work enough to pay you for it is truly validating.”

3. What is the biggest misconception about your industry or creative endeavor?

“That a top interior designer is too expensive and not affordable. This causes people to try to do it themselves or hire someone who is not really a designer. We see this all the time and then, if the client hires us, we have to come in and deal with mistakes; often major ones. If you like a designer, I don’t care who it is or how well-known they are, call and find out about their fees. Most people will be surprised that they are affordable. In the end, a really good interior designer will save the client money.”

‘Dining Room in Oklahoma’. A subtle touch of color brings big impact. (Photo by Jeff McNamara)

4. What is your greatest obstacle in trying to balance creativity and business?

“The day to day of running a business can take away from creativity unless you surround yourself with talented and able people to take care of tasks that are not creative. I am very, very fortunate that I have a group of people working with me who are amazing.”

‘Jan’s Dallas Townhouse’, Living Room. Plush sofas and a finely curated coffe table make for a room you’ll want to live life in. (Photo by Jeff McNamara)

5. What’s the next big CREATIVE thing for you or your business?

“So excited about my new furniture collection for Kravet, Jan Showers II, because it’s my second one with them. It is very sophisticated and, I think, absolutely gorgeous! It will be introduced Fall 2018.”

Kravat is a fifth-generation family business that has become a global powerhouse in the design world. The line was inspired by trips to Paris and this new collection whispers of Couture; including fabrics, rugs, lighting, and wall coverings. Personally, I can’t wait to see the finished pieces.

‘Architectural Digest January 2016 Project’. Paradise Valley, Arizona. A room that beautifully showcases art and sculpture. (Photo by Jeff McNamara)

Jan’s career of three decades has given her a keen eye, a savvy business mind, and a playful spirit that shows through in everything she touches. Jan has designed a hand-knotted rug collection for Moattar, Inc., a lighting series for L.A. based designer Joe Cariati, and a cowhide rug collection for Kyle Bunting.

If you haven’t already clicked through and absolutely fallen in love with Jan’s designs, what are you waiting for? This woman has literally designed every possible thing you might need or want to create a space that is elegant, practical, and a true reflection of the way you live. My next trip to Dallas will absolutely include a visit to her gorgeous showroom to see her newest creations…and to find out where she got those shoes.

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