Feb 03, 2021

Semi Custom Stories: Jan Showers

Photo by Carolyn Cruz


With three decades of design and three books to her credit, Dallas-based Jan Showers is an authority on all things glamour and grace. When the iconic Kips Bay Show House came to Dallas last year, she fashioned “A Lady’s Study” with one of the most famed first ladies in U.S. history in mind. Working with the team in our Custom Division, a bespoke sofa inspired by a French antique was brought to life.


Q: Can you tell us what inspired “A Lady’s Study” for the Kips Bay Show House?

A: I always need to have a client for any project—or a muse at least.  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis filled that role for my “Lady’s Study”.  I knew that Jackie was a legendary note and letter writer and a well- known literary editor.  A private study would have been a requirement for her when she was at home.  I wanted a glamorous, yet useful desk and located a wonderful Karl Springer fully restored parchment one.  She would have luxurious fabrics for drapery and upholstery with lovely detail on important antiques mixed with fine quality contemporary art and vintage furniture.  We finished it off with a glamorous white cowhide rug to add to the luxurious vibe.


Q: Had you used our Semi Custom Program or Custom Division in the past?

A: This was actually our first time to use the Semi Custom Program but now that we know how simple and rewarding it is, we will definitely use it much more in the future!


Q: You came to us with a clear vision for your sofa design. How did the Semi Custom/Custom consultants help to achieve the design—the exact colors and patterns—that you had in mind?

A: The sofa in the Kips Bay room was inspired by a charming Napoleon III sofa I found on a buying trip to Paris.  The fabric and trims were all original to the antique sofa and we wanted to achieve the same look for our version of it. The luscious golden color we chose for the new sofa was quite unique, and we needed fringe, cording, tassels and rosettes as well as tape.  We showed the Samuel & Sons team images of the original sofa and they directed us to the Semi Custom and Custom programs. That team directed us to gorgeous selections in each category. We chose three shades of gold that were combined to achieve the look we wanted. It was perfection!


Q: In a few words, how would you describe your experience and the overall design process using the Semi Custom Program?

A: The process was easy and seamless and the final products were absolutely beautiful! The Samuel & Sons team was a huge help not only during the design process but also in accommodating our tight show house deadline.


Photo by Stephen Karlisch


Sofa details include the Semi Custom Orsay Rosette, Le Jardin Key Tassel and Twist Cord as well as the Normandy Silk Handwoven Braid inset on seat cushions.


Custom 8.25" Cross Weave Fringe



We're grateful to Jan Showers for the opportunity to share her Semi Custom Story.
Follow her work on Instagram @janshowers.

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