Deco-Dence Art Deco  
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Artwork - Icart Prints
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Bars - Cellarette
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Best Deco By Far
"D Home and Garden", Winter 2001
Modern Furniture

This store is a legend among New Yorkers, but relatively few Dallasites know about it. Art Deco was America's first modern furniture design, and Deco-Dence has one of the largest collections of restored Art Deco furniture anywhere. British cocktail bars are all the rage, and this is one of the few places in Dallas to get them. All Deco-Dence customers speak to one of the owners, who are probably the most knowledgeable in the city. 2827 Commerce St., 214-744-3326.

Deco-Dence: Clean lines and modern designs.
"DigitalCity Dallas", November, 2000
The avant-garde, urban ambiance of Deep Ellum made the warehouse space at the corner of Commerce and Malcolm X the perfect location for an art deco/mid-century modern retail store. Deco Dence came about when the collections of the owners just got too big, so they decided their personal collections could make them some money.

This store specializes in restored bars and bar ware from the early twenties to the fifties modern-style and also has modern pieces from as late as the 1970s. You can also find art deco lamps and smoke stands, Italian futurist armoires and the only limited edition Marilyn Monroe martini set in Dallas. The store's pride is its collection of restoration pieces by such big names as Saarinen, Breuer, Hoffman and Wassaily.

According to its owners, the store spends two to five months restoration time on each restored piece, so you won't find any second-hand prices. But what you will find is first-rate, custom-detailed cocktail cabinets in the style of the famous industrial designer, Paul Frankl. You will also find all kinds of unique, modern contemporary martini glasses as well as beautiful antique, art deco and modern cocktail shaker and glass sets.

So, whether you live in Deep Ellum and are looking to spruce up your loft or you just bought a brand new house in the mid-cities and want to fill it with some new-old style, Deco Dence is worth a drop-by.

2827 Commerce St.
Dallas, TX 75226

Best Place to Window Shop
"Dallas Observer", September 21, 2000
Best place to window shop

2827 Commerce St., (214) 744-3326

Place your greasy nose smudge next to ours and marvel at the brass and colored glass lamps lining the window sill, along with black-and-white Hollywood photos and various other gorgeous art deco baubles. But unless several Benjamins are burning a hole in your pocket, stay outside. Inside lurk antiques buffed and shined to prime condition, including a carved bedroom set that could fill a ballroom and that dining room set we love so much, but it's twice the price of our car and just a few hundred less than our college education.

Bar Basics
"The Dallas Morning News", Food Section, April 5, 2000
Here's everything you need to mix cocktails with the best of them:

At 16, you get your driver's license. At 18, you move out of your parents' home and go off to school. At 21, you're a legal adult. And then sometime around your late 20s, your friends stop showing up with a six-pack when they come to visit; they expect...

Art Deco Bars

Here are some places to buy a freestanding Art Deco bar:

* Deco-Dence: Deco-Dence lays claim to the largest selection of Art Deco bars in the United States. Prices range from $675 to $10,000.
2827 Commerce St. at Malcolm X Boulevard in Deep Ellum; (214) 744-3326.

* The Roxy: Always a good selection of bars and classic martini pitchers and glasses.
3826 Cedar Springs Road near Oak Lawn; (214) 520-7674.

* ASC Deco: Carries bars and bar paraphernalia; bars usually cost $700 to $1,500.
1805 Greenville Ave. at Lewis, just north of Ross; (214) 821-8288.

Louise Owens, The Dallas Morning News

Machine Age Mania
"Paper City", January, 2000
Hot in decorating parlance is industrial design - Machine Age Mania. This stylish design period, which spanned 1930 to the early 1940's, turned workaday household appliances into veritable objects of art. Designers such as Russel Wright, Henry Dreyfuss and Walter Dorwin Teague redesigned toasters, telephones, lamps, radios, desks and other everyday objects into sleek, streamlined and aerodynamic forms, using the newest, innovative materials, including chrome, aluminum, plastic and Bakelite. At Deco-Dence, an extensive collection of industrial designers is just a microcosm of the wares in their Deco-filled shop.

Deco-Dence, 2827 Commerce St., 214.744.3326 Brooke Hollis

Dallas Shopping
"City Spin Dallas", November, 1999
Deco-Dence has the selection to furnish your home with unique and classic furnishings that will only grow in value over time.

Deco-Dence features one of the largest selections of original classic European and American Art Deco furniture, accessories and collectibles in the United States. Deco-Dence is the rising star of Art Deco galleries and boasts clientele from across the United States and Europe. What sets Deco-Dence apart from the crowd of antique galleries? The Deco-Dence hallmark is the exceptional level of restoration work that is performed on the original designs. Their artisans employ the finest in old-world craftsmanship and afford each piece individual attention and detail. The results speak for themselves - unbelievable beauty and clarity in the restored lacquer finishes that cannot be created new today. It is a difference you can both see and feel. Deco-Dence, while specializing in fine, hand-rubbed lacquer finishes, offers its work at very competitive prices to what can be found on either coast. When you are looking for exceptional designs, beautiful rich woods and the highest level of restored lacquer finishes available in the country, you must visit the Deco-Dence gallery to truly appre-ciate the best in original 1920s through 1940s Art Deco furnishings. From pub tables to formal dining room suites, small English bedrooms to impressive Italian master furnishings and occasional tables to cocktail cabinets, Deco-Dence has the selection to furnish your home.

Open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday, by appointment.

Raising the Bar
"The Dallas Morning News", House & Garden, March 13, 1998
"Entertaining Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing"

Not since Nick and Nora Charles traded affectionate barbs over the chatter of living room guests in "The Thin Man" film series has the home bar enjoyed such popularity.

Formerly swizzle-stick challenged Dallas Poindexters are snapping up home bars - from small vintage pop-up bars (or cellarettes) and multipurpose buffets with flashy mirrored display niches to hip new rolling carts and retrofitted armoires.

"Let's face it, Dallas is the glitzy, glamorous hot spot of Texas," says Deco-Dence. "Everyone here wants to put on a show, to be a star, to feel larger than life. Having a hip little home bar works with the whole martini-and-cigar thing, and over the last three years especially, the popularity of these pieces has just skyrocketed."

Jim Parks at The Roxy agrees: "For customers, a vintage home bar represents the glamour of an earlier time, when smoking and drinking weren't frowned on. They're also conversation pieces, since at this point each one is pretty much unique." Sales have increased during the past two years, and some models are "practically impossible to keep in stock for more than a few days," he says.

Vintage bars cost less than reproductions and have an "attention to detail that designers of knockoffs just don't take the time to research and reproduce convincingly," Deco-Dence says.

Think fitted drawers with individual labels, tiny olive picks with a built-in cabinet holder, sparkling chrome-plated juicers, matching sets of drinking glasses and mirrored panels decorated with kitschy reverse-painted images of bar scenes or smoking-related paraphernalia.

You can almost smell Dean Martin's aftershave!

"Another nifty feature is folding mechanisms that let the top and front open up, and sometimes another serving area inside slides out," Deco-Dence says.

Although the originals usually cost less than copies, such style doesn't come cheap: Small refurbished side-table bars start at about $500; large buffet-style models go for $2,200 or more.

Careful restoration work often is required to bring a neglected piece back to World War II-era glory, including 15 coats of hand-rubbed French polish. Most prime vintage bars are imported from France or England. Americans jettisoned many domestically crafted bars in favor of increasingly biomorphic designs starting in the 1950's.

Anyone with more flash than cash can opt for something new. One example is a bar in a cart outfitted with an array of accessories. Ice buckets, highball glasses sporting retro geometric designs, sophisticated or whimsical cocktail shakers and crystal martini glasses are widely available at stores ranging from Crate & Barrel to Target.

"Besides the lower price, the appeal of the smaller models is also that they work extremely well at saving space," Deco-Dence says.

Armoires fitted to serve as bars also are popular options in homes and apartments that are short on closet space, he says. Since vintage armoire bars in excellent condition have become scarce, some customers purchase new wardrobes and customize the shelves for bar supplies.

"Customizing an armoire is usually a pretty simple process," says Joe Tobar, Jr., at Tobar Cabinet Shop in Duncanville. "Over the last 35 years, we've worked with everything from knotty pine to black walnut. It's really just a matter of measuring, matching the stain and working out exactly what the customer's needs are."

Other options sometimes available through vintage and antiques dealers camouflage barware when it is not in use: Globes (the top half swings open to reveal bottle holders and the mixing area) and suitcases (originally designed to protect glass bottles and decanters with special cushioning while traveling) that serve as kicky globetrotterstyle souvenirs when displayed at home.

So dim the lights, break out the hi-fi and exotic tunes, invite over a few friends in smoking jackets and Holly Golightly attire and turn your suburban oasis into the Copa Room at the Sands.

"A hip little home bar lets anyone live sort of a fantasy life," Deco-Dence says, "if only for an hour and a half."

Tim O'Reilly is a Dallas free-lance writer and a frequent contributor to House & Garden.

Deco-Dence Art Deco
3020 Canton Street, Dallas, Texas, 75226, US
phone:  214-744-3326  fax:  214-747-3326

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