IMPROVING WITH AGE

BY NANCY BALDWIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Interior designers have found their Mecca in the Dallas Market Center. The world’s most complete wholesale marketplace offers floor upon floor of tantalizing home furnishings, including lighting and floor coverings.

“Our expanding design resources inside manufacturer showrooms and multi-line showrooms provide designers with a one-stop shop. We have hundreds of design resources across campus, and that includes several floors of the World Trade Center as well as the new Interior Home + Design Center (IHDC),” says Michael Bauer, Dallas Market Center’s vice president of marketing, home and design.

Driven by the area’s economic momentum and expanding housing market, Dallas/Fort Worth has become an epicenter for residential and commercial building. Professional designers increasingly turn to the Dallas Market Center to find the décor their clients need.

“Our open-daily traffic continues to increase, buoyed by the strong housing sector in the region, economic growth and consumer demand for more unique products,” Bauer says.

The Market Center has moved quickly to meet the growing needs of its design trade partners. Opened in 2017, the IHDC is part of a long-range strategic initiative to provide enhanced value to the interior design community and the home décor companies they shop.

“In addition to new resources, we have a year-round program of design events. The number of these events has tripled in the last few years, as we add seminars, trend tours, meetings and more ways to inspire and educate the design community,” says Bauer.

An example is the Dine + Design event, an education and networking luncheon for the design community. Attendees have the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about cutting-edge trends and hear from an industry leader during a keynote presentation. Exhibitors create vignettes in the atrium that serve as a gallery during a pre-event reception.

“Our twice annual Dine + Design has grown into a must-attend design event, with more than 500 attendees at each edition in the spring and fall. The motivation is to hear from trend experts, to network, and to be able to gain industry knowledge in a casual environment among peers,” Bauer says.

In addition, the Dallas Market Center offers a suite of design events in collaboration with professional organizations, including ASID (American Society of Interior Design), TAID (Texas Association of Interior Design) and IDS (Interior Design Society).

During the semiannual Total Home & Gift Market, the Market Center offers a full schedule of special events. Celebrity designers and trendsetters educate and inspire during presentations and panel discussions. Topics range from tactics to grow a design business to tips for diversifying design.

Other events include buyer education seminars from industry experts on growing a business with email, social selling on LinkedIn, display ideas, helpful apps and competing with Amazon.

The Dallas Market Center continues to evolve, with new showrooms and amenities taking center stage. A record-setting 52 new and expanded showrooms debuted during the January market. In the IHDC, expansions and additions included GO Home, ellahome, Bougainvillea, Roberta Schilling and Port 68. Soon to arrive is a large new showroom from American Leather by Contempo Designs, which joins Palecek and Visual Comfort near the central entrance. Expansions have continued in the Trade Mart and World Trade Center as well.

“Our design and lifestyle marketplace extends across campus into other buildings and neighborhoods, including the first floor of the World Trade Center and floors five, six, nine, 10 and 11. On these floors there are dozens of showrooms from important names,” says Bauer. In 2018, the Dallas Market Center maintains its focus on developing new programs, features and services for interior designers.

“We invite designers to discover a new Dallas Market Center. More new showrooms. Great customer service. Convenient access. We are truly delivering greater value than ever for our design community,” Bauer says.

Nancy Baldwin is a Dallas-based freelance writer and editor. Contact her at baldwinwriter@ gmail.com.