Designer Favorites

Julia Andrews’ favorite things might have included raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…. But we have a much better list of favorites we can’t wait to share with you. We tasked the designers with a tough challenge: tell us one of your favorite pieces from a recent project. Each designer, project and piece is unique and completes the design scheme. Read on to see a few of Slifer Designs’ favorites.

Design associate, Aileen Phillips has a very particular item she loves, it fit the space perfectly and the design element shined – not literally. The design team needed to fill a spacious area in the master bedroom, but it had to fit proportionally with the space. “The dresser looks like it is almost floating; along with the matte-metal knobs and matte-metal finish is what makes this piece my favorite.” She adds that it is just unique enough to add that little je ne sais quoi to the room.


Melissa Dombroski, design associate, adores fun outdoor accent chairs. There’s so much to love about these light-as-air chairs that have just enough webbing that provides visual interest. “The ‘Lucy Lounge Chair’ from Janus et Cie is a fun unexpected piece. I love the subtle white and cream contrast with the wrapping detail!” It’s the perfect place to sit back and relax in the waning summer sun

Lucy LoungeLucy Lounge 1

Senior designer Marilyn Smith-Heaney – globetrotter and stylish maven wrapped into one – loves the mounted kissi pennies. They come with a bit of history, too, which she loves.

She explains that the long, thin iron rods were used as currency in West Africa starting in the 1880s, and they were used until the 1970s. The flattened ends were shaped like a wing, and the wires bundled and twisted together to create higher values. Beyond the obvious rustic beauty, kissi pennies were called “the coins with soul,” and if a penny was broken, it could not circulate until repaired by a blacksmith, who would restore its “soul.”

Kissi Pennies

President Yvonne Jacobs uses mixed metals and various woods to make rooms feel welcoming, unique and with a mountain-elegant touch. In particular, she fell in love with this sleek, contemporary buffet with elegantly slim legs – it’s a work of art in its own right. “I love this dining room buffet,” she enthuses. “The quality and craftsmanship are superb. The natural wood and metal fit perfectly into a mountain modern home.” This is a look so many of us love but have a hard time achieving.


Designer Kelsey Cole likes the clean, simple, yet elegant lines of the Holly Hunt Split Dining Table. The table is definitely not fussy but the “exquisite detailing with the split down the middle, and the Aged Brass on the base coming through the table top,” creates a conversation piece and piece de resistance at once. Kelsey adds in this particular room you simply cannot overlook the Welles Long Chandelier by Gabriel Scott. “I love making a big impact with lighting,” she adds emphatically.


Frances Karsh, senior designer, loves to add in unexpected design elements – some whimsical and some ethereal, but all eye catching. The stair runner from Stark installed in a traditional style inspired Houston home adds a fun bit of flair. In the same traditional home, she loves the Made Goods light fixture that is made from coco beads. It feels like a one-of-a-kind design and incorporates the traditional with modern.

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Finally, the Helman Chang dining table has a very subtle yet graceful feel to it. It adds to the space without stealing the show.  Fran adds that not only is it a stunning piece but it also is well thought out functionally: “The base does not interfere with seating, it works like a pedestal-type base and is far enough in so that chairs can fit anywhere around it.”


Finding the perfect piece, the favorite item isn’t easy. But once these designers locate it, they are all in and can’t wait to share it with their clients.  Hours spent researching pays off – and more than once a designer ends up with that item in their own home too.

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