While Elysian Collective founders Jamie and Michael travel outwards to find inspiration from every corner of the world, the local Texans find themselves rich in inspiration at home, too. There is much to be celebrated about Texas’ cosmopolitan cities as they serve as the backdrop to the state’s rising design and art scene.
Discover the unexpected pockets of Dallas through our handpicked guide, pulled straight from memory and experience.
"Rich in history and modernity, Dallas embraces the marvels of the past with contemporary updates that feel both classic and ahead of its time."
A cultural axis of the south, Dallas has the largest contiguous arts district in the nation. With landmark museums and street art in abundance citywide, those looking to lose themselves in a dynamic district dedicated to arts and culture will have much to uncover in Dallas and surrounding art hubs.
Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center is an oasis of beauty in Dallas. The grounds bring about a sense of serenity and stimulus, both in its quietest and loudest expressions of art. Adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art, it’s a beautiful wind-down from the larger museum’s sprawling exhibits while retaining its diverse curation of art, featuring a stunning collection of works by artists like Henri Matisse and Willem de Kooning.
The tranquil garden, though near the lively Klyde Warren Park and a highway, transports you out of the city entirely and into a space that feels devoid of time and motion.
Kimbell Art Museum
In nearby Fort Worth is the Kimbell Art Museum, a worthy departure from Dallas' Arts District. An architectural masterpiece of brutalist architect Louis Kahn, it is renowned around the globe for its European and Asian high art collections. The repeated barrel vaults are strikingly modern, creating a fantastical environment that draws you in with each step. Kahn designed a space in which "light is the theme," which pours in from skylights along the spine of the vaults and shines a natural, incandescent light on the pieces; an invigoratingly inspiring way to view the collection.
Though the collection of art is exceptional, Michael often finds herself gazing at the architecture of the buildings themselves. An addition designed by Renzo Piano—the renowned architect behind Paris’ Centre Pompidou—opened in 2010, complementing the progressive sensibilities of Kahn’s original design.
Nestled throughout the city are many home-away-from-home places to rest your head at night. When traveling, our soul often craves the comforting groundedness of the abode, and we sought out Dallas dwellings that provide luxury accommodations with the priceless feel of home.
In an awe-inspiring space that is fused with keen nods to the past, The Thompson Dallas brings the best of urban modernity to the luxury hotel sphere. Spacious rooms, plush bedding, large windows, ‘60s design accents, and outdoor space are all highlights to the stay. The style feels classic and contemporary, with cozy rooms that engulf you in an expanse of sanctum that embraces the bustling city outdoors. Driving the mid-century décor is the hotel’s historical roots; The Thompson is a reuse of The National, a modernist building originally designed by George Dahl that was built in 1965. The structure still preserves its DNA through its referential brass and walnut headboards, gilded accents, and vintage perception.
Looking for an upscale bite after a good night's sleep at the Thompson? Look to our favorite New York City classic brunch institution, Sadelle’s, to start your day. It’s located in the energetic Highland Park Village, and the famous salmon lox tower makes for a delicious breakfast or brunch outing in style.
Much like the dining culture of Dallas, the bar scene here offers many upscale locales that master ambience, complexity, and taste. Dallas’ bars light up the city nights and inspire wondrous delight in those who stumble into their dimly lit nooks and lavish interiors.
The Mansion Bar
If ornate and debonair are what you're after, the historical Rosewood Mansion Bar is the place for you—delivering on aesthetic, ambience, and sensuality. A brand that is dear to Jamie, the bar at Rosewood Turtle Creek is an elegant haunt that transports you to a departed place that imbues nostalgia and sophistication. The masculine, enigmatic environment underscored by dark wood and cognac leather carries an air of old-world sophistication; an estate-inspired space that could have once been occupied by intellectuals, businessmen, and the like.
Enjoy a quiet moment alone or share intimate conversations with a classic cocktail (Michael favors their dirty martini) in hand. Upholstered booths, antique décor, and top-shelf offerings all add to the high-class experience, fitting of its namesake. The bar is set in the original owner’s dining room, and it feels as it’s the perfect balance of warm and luxe.
Another Dallas landmark bar, housed in a building that dates to 1874, Bowen House is your quintessential cocktail bar with a novel, historical twist. One of the city’s last standing Victorian dwellings, it truly embodies the marked historical preservation and modern innovation of Dallas. Tucked away in the back is a hidden, speakeasy-esque mezcaleria called Santos Y Pecadores, and it’s the perfect next destination after your first round of drinks at Bowen House. The candlelit atmosphere feels mysterious and moody, and its experimental drink menu expands the feel of mystique.
EXPERTS IN THE KNOW
Our founders Jamie and Michael relish the opportunity to explore and experience, from their home towns in Texas to their travels around the world. Stay up to date with their excursions and discover their favorite recommendations here and on social media.
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
Inspiration and design ideas straight from the source.