This is What Happens When Dallas Meets Paris
We found your dream girls' weekend getaway.
Published Jun 21, 2019 3:49 PM
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Austin-based interior designer Allison Crawford shares our unwavering obsession with French style. So much so, in fact, that it has largely informed the name of her business, HOTELette.
“I came up with it while I was in the car driving around Austin,” recalls the designer, who launched the curated collection of design-centric vacation rentals only two years ago. Wanting to bridge the gap between 5-star hotels and Airbnbs, each of Crawford’s three locations are centered around the idea of merging boutique hotel design with the comfort and feeling of home-sharing services. “I love everything French, and my fiance is Swiss, so I make him speak French to me. I feel like ‘HOTELette’ perfectly described my vision. They’re not hotels—but they’re chicer than a regular Airbnb.”
More so than her other two properties in Austin and Nashville, Crawford’s newest luxury stay in the Bishop Arts District in Dallas, Texas effortlessly embodies the perfectly imperfect je ne sais quoi known only to the French.
“For Dallas, I kept going back to this idea of a Parisian apartment,” says the designer of the 2,100-square-foot spread. “It has the molding, the high ceilings, and the original hardwood floors…I looked in Dallas for over a year trying to find the perfect property. It sounds so cheesy, but when I walk into a future HOTELette I get this feeling that this is the right house. I’m not a traditional real estate investor crunching numbers. To me, it’s more about a vibe, the building, and the neighborhood.”
Constructed in the 1930s, Crawford wanted to build on the three-bedroom home’s original character while introducing more contemporary and sculptural elements in a way that felt new and fresh. Like most of her projects, the space (which sleeps up to eight) was designed to meet the needs of bigger groups who want to get to know the area.
Infusing her bold eye for both color and art, Crawford filled the space with large-scale statement pieces and jewel-toned moments. As it rings true for every HOTELette, the designer made a point to source almost every item of furniture, decor, and artwork from local design shops, artists, and makers.
“For Dallas, I bought most of the items from Scout Design Studio and Again and Again, which are both awesome vintage stores,” shares Crawford.
In the dining room, a large abstract painting by Craig Schumacher served as the final touch. Picking up on the mustard yellows and muddy pinks in the room, the painting brings much-needed closure (and local character!) to the dining space. “I saw it and I was like, ‘I need to have that.’ The whole room was done and I was just looking for that large-scale piece. It’s like it was made for that spot,” says Crawford.
In the living room, the focal point is clear. “That light fixture is everything!” says Crawford. After stumbling upon the chandelier, first in a European design magazine, and then for real on Pinterest, she knew she had to build the room around the wave-like pendant. Building off the piece’s inherently sculptural form, Crawford played up the dichotomy between old-school character and contemporary design by bringing other shapely forms into the room—namely, cool statement chairs and mushroom lamps.
“I love to buy random vintage chairs because they’re always going to go somewhere. You’ll always need a chair. Stick them in a corner or use them next to the bed or at the foot of the bed,” suggests Crawford.
The double guest room tells a different—and much darker—color story. While Crawford admits that, when it comes to walls, she likes to stick with white, in each of her homes, she chooses one room to be her color-forward guinea pig. To create a sense of cohesion, the designer swathed the bedroom in Farrow & Ball’s Railings (a soft black with notes of blue)—the same hue she used for the exterior of the home.
Elsewhere, Crawford incorporated splashes of olive green and fringy woven finds (like a wall hanging above the fireplace by local fiber artist, Lauren Williams) for unexpected glamour.
Perhaps the most important thing to note about Crawford’s design style is the way she brings color into a room. Without overwhelming the senses—or, oppositely, boring the eye—she understands that there’s a fine line when spanning the rainbow.
“Whenever I get a new project, I always think to myself, maybe I’ll do something toned down with lots of neutrals. But I can’t stay away from color. My rule of thumb is to have a neutral base and add in pops of color through art and accessories, that way you can switch it around,” shares the designer. “If you keep your largest investments neutral, in my opinion, that’s the way best way to design. Here, I added the pops of colors through the Moroccan accents, vintage African mud cloths, throws, and artwork.”
Planning a trip to Dallas anytime soon? If this dreamy, Parisian-inspired rental isn’t enough reason, check out Crawford’s complete guide to the Bishop Arts District below!
“Get inspired to redesign your own home, or pick up a unique wedding shower gift at Set and Co. The selection is carefully curated with an exceptional color palate. Peruse the pantry section for exceptionally branded sauces and condiments that will take your kitchen decor to the next level.”
“Check out this large warehouse in Deep Ellum to find treasures and local artisans’ work at Flea Style. Dallas has the best vintage goods, and FleaStlye combines vintage gems with handmade new items to round out your collection. Shoutout to another #ladyboss, FleaStyle founder and CEO, Brittany Cobb.”
“The chicest arts and crafts store ever. This curated shop brings up so many creative childhood memories, making me want to sign up for all their workshops.”
“This store is as photogenic as its time of day namesake. Put on your cute outfit and get out your Instagram. Take in the olfactory offerings, home goods, vintage furniture, and find a gift for your bestie (or yourself).”
Beatnik Fine Goods
“Fabulous Moroccan goods, curated gift selection, and adorable baby clothes like vintage Osh Kosh overalls.”
“Oh, Again and Again, this might be the best vintage store in Texas. I’ve bought countless brutalist light fixtures, a Baughman sofa, and more. Be sure to do your homework and know your designers if you shop here- its a floor to ceiling warehouse chock full of goods.”
“Dirt has dreamy, exotic moody floral arrangements that will take your dinner party to the next level. Even if you don’t need a bouquet, stop by and swoon over the dark and earthy design of the space, and the invigorating smells. If you’re planning a wedding, this shop is a must!”
“A magical shop of so. many. good. scents. The Jackson Vaughn creations have a very Tim Burton vibe (in a good way) and the Texas line is perfect for out-of-towners looking for a luxury souvenir.”
The House of MacGregor Millery
“This hidden gem will have you daydreaming about a closet full of couture hats. Think Lady Gaga in that stunning pink hat on the cover of her latest album, Joanne.”
“Farm to table goodness with rustic charms. Craft cocktails are served in one-of-a-kind vintage stemware, and the menu is Italian inspired and eclectic. This is a great spot for a large group with varied taste, or to grab happy hour at the bar. Secret password, ‘I’m with HOTELette.’”
Taqueria El Si Hay
“This place has the best tacos in town. This place is not fancy and you’ll be standing in a parking lot waiting for take-out tacos; however, locals drive for hours to get authentic tacos from this legendary spot. When I say it’s not fancy, I mean it.”
See more rentals that are all about design:
Airbnb’s Best-Kept Secret is a Wildly Colorful Desert Retreat
Our New Favorite Boutique Hotel in London
Fact: Every Home on Airbnb Plus is Gold
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