Bold Pairings with Studio Thomas James

There’s no “one size fits all” in a Studio Thomas James project. We spoke with the Dallas- based design firm on their design philosophy and a recent project rich in expression.



No two spaces designed by Studio Thomas James are ever alike; each is individual to the respective homeowner and reflects their specific ideals and lifestyle. There’s no “one size fits all” in a Studio Thomas James project. Instead, we’ve built a portfolio of projects rich in expression, seemingly understated and highly detailed with their own unique emotional intelligence. Our interiors are rich in color, pattern, scale, and texture. We focus on the client and their architecture. If we had to summarize, I’d say, “classic yet innovative, playful yet refined.”

How do you convey to clients the significance that small details play on the overall look and feel of a space?

Whether adding leather wrap or custom brass rosettes to a staircase or peppering in highly personalized artwork, it’s the refinement and layering of unexpected details that elevate a project.

For example, I was just in a meeting and used a client's love for fine jewelry as a connection and comparison on quality and detailing. They immediately understood why the bathroom hardware was so important after making the connection.

You are passionate about how interior design can affect one's wellbeing, what effect did you want this space to have?

A convivial and welcoming atmosphere comes to mind. Lively conversation and joy enhance wellbeing. We wanted to create an atmosphere that would spark interesting conversation - our client does a lot of entertaining. The dining room is the perfect balance of edge and softness.The dark stone that has very little movement allowed us to use a variety of patterns and details. The pink walls and bold pattern add layers of texture and depth that draws you in. 

What was your process when designing the space?

Personalization is everything. It challenges the status quo and provides the essential details reflecting the passions and pastimes of our clients and how they like to live in a space. For this client we were inspired by her entrepreneurial prowess as the owner of a successful PR firm - specifically, her confident personal style and dramatic fashion sense. We took cues from her extensive wardrobe and knew we could go a little bolder than typical residential projects. She is fearless and often wears patterns and unapologetic color.

What made you choose this color for the walls??

We chose Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball, wanting a subtle, soft and slightly understated color to counterbalance the black and edgier pattern of our stone selection. Not only did it provide depth and interest but it provided the perfect pink backdrop for entertaining – everyone looks beautiful in pink hues.

Do you have any tips for choosing tiles and paint colors together?

Start with your stone and your hard surfaces. Use them to glean color and tone. Paint is easier to edit and pivot and evolve from but stone will endure for generations and should be well considered. We often select our hard surfaces for timelessness and get adventurous with paint, which can be changed up as life and mood evolve.

Product craftsmanship is extremely important to both Farrow & Ball and Ann Sacks. How important is that to you?

Our clients delight in viewing a juxtaposition of materials, the unexpected and seeing the traces of craft. In interiors, shortcuts never pay off. Taking the extra care to source quality materials will save you from hassle and expense over the lifecycle of a project, as they will endure. Beyond the investment factor, the results are what matters. You can tell when you step in a room finished with quality. The details stand out and, well, it just feels better.

This dining room was built for entertaining. What does your perfect tablescape and dinner spread look like in this space?

While the dining table in this room could handle a bit of color and pattern, our favorite tablescape for it would be a simple and clean aesthetic. I prefer a tailored tablescape. Simply add a bespoke vase, beguiling flower arrangement, and a refined meal–allowing the guests to shine.

What is your favorite neutral F&B color to use and favorite fun color?

Wimborne White is my favorite neutral. It has a warmth and depth to it, and we’ve used it in several projects. It always works. For sheer fun: Arsenic. And my “go to” color is Stone Blue.

Farrow & Ball Wimborne White No. 239

Farrow & Ball Arsenic No. 214

Farrow & Ball Stone Blue No. 86

What is a new Ann Sacks tile you are dying to use in an upcoming project?

Belcaro. We have already sourced it in an upcoming project.

May 5, 2023

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