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14.01 20140

Design Inspiration: Melissa Benge Collection

Over the holidays, I visited family in Dallas, Texas. Of course, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and design ideas when I’m out and about! One place I discovered while seeing how the old neighborhoods have changed was Melissa Benge’s store in Dallas. I was given excellent service by Monica, who invited me to look around and gave me Melissa’s card. Melissa gave me more information about her store.

mannequin at Melissa Benge

The building that the Melissa Benge Collection is in was built in about 1938. The part of the building she occupies housed the Alamo Glass Company for 70 years. Melissa says that when she moved in, it was very much a 1970s office building, complete with white peg board, low ceilings, and fluorescent lighting. It took her almost six months to remodel the space. She designed her logo and all of the store fixtures to coordinate with the logo.

Melissa Benge Logo

The building itself was pink, and the windows up high were boarded up. After taking the boards down, she replaced all the glass. She also restored all the original vintage hardware, and they still hand open by chains. Melissa decided to expose the original ceiling tin. They also kept the original floor by simply polishing the terrazzo in front and the old concrete in back. Melissa has vintage grill work at various places in the store, creating what she calls a “hacienda/maison” feel.

Grillwork

She also designed the front door, laying out design elements purchased separately for a French boutique feeling.

Storefront at Melissa Benge Collection

Her attention to detail was really remarkable. She told me in her email:

My style has always been “tough & tender” so I think the design elements appeal to both men & women.  I am so happy that men really enjoy looking around my shops, also.  I have always combined old & new, also.  Vintage pieces strike a chord in people’s hearts & memories & “new” keeps it all fresh & exciting.  Crazy about “opposites”!

Heart in antlers

You can see that tough and tender aesthetic throughout. This buffalo head was created by a chainsaw artist.

Buffalo head - chainsaw artist

She sells fashion accessories, clothing, and items for the home.

necklace

Details matter! Even the soap was wholesome and beautiful.

Soap

Melissa Benge tries to buy from American sources, and finds great pleasure in looking for that rare, unique piece that will set someone’s interior apart.

Antlers

For more of Melissa’s collections and learn more about her, visit her sites:

www.gunslingerofbandera.com

www.melissabengecollection.com

It was truly a pleasure visiting her store. I got a lot of inspiration from the trip. It’s always a joy to find someone else who puts a lot of thought and emphasis on beauty and design.

What inspires you? Have you visited some amazing stores lately? Let me know about it in the comments or on Facebook!

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