ID Collection: One of Dallas' Top Design and Furniture Showrooms

At ID Collection: Osborne & Little Fabrics and Wallpapers

ID Collection is one of my newest blog sponsors and I'm excited to have them!

Founded in 2001 by partners James Williamson, Bonnie Martin, and Joseph Demoruelle, ID Collection is a multi-line design and furniture showroom in Dallas that carries it all, from hundreds of fabric lines, to classic furniture designs, reproductions, and contemporary pieces.

At ID Collection: Osborne & Little's newest fabrics

Early on, the partners divided up their duties. Says Williamson: "Bonnie handles the contract and hospitality, Joe's good at managing, and I do the residential, the merchandizing, and the marketing." Williamson has always been the face of ID Collection, at least to those of us in the design media, and his dry wit and irreverent sense of humor are legendary.

New Florals from Osborne & Little Fabric at ID Collection

He has worked in the design business for decades, but I didn't realize he started out as a toy salesman for Hasbro. Makes complete sense. "It was fun. I traveled three weeks out of the month, demonstrating toys in stores like Kmart," says Williamson, whose dad had a chain of 5 and dime stores in south Georgia where he grew up.

Black and White Fabrics from Designers Guild at ID Collection

Life in the deep south made a lasting impression on Williamson. "It grounds you, makes you not take yourself so seriously. I loved getting to know all the quirky personalities. Seems like all my neighbors were named Viola, Raweena, or some version of 'weena. We all lived in ranch houses that looked exactly the same, and it was like being in a John Waters movie when you'd drive down the street."

Gorgeous Colors from Designers Guild at ID Collection

Williamson's mother wanted him to be an anesthesiologist. Obviously, that didn't happen. Instead, he went to Georgia Southern and studied business and marketing, with an emphasis on advertising.

So where's that southern drawl you should have, I asked.

"We had a neighbor who used to be an off-Broadway actress who taught diction and acting classes, which we took to get rid of our accents," he says. "But it still comes out after too many glasses of wine."

Rebelot Light from Jane Hamley Wells at ID Collection

Some of ID Collection's more contemporary lines are fabrics from Designer's Guild, and furniture from Jane Hamley Wells. Williamson has seen Dallas go from being almost totally traditional in its preference for design to much more cleaner lines. "Years ago we were doing heavy chenilles, period rooms, and everything matchy-matchy. Now it's a whole mix of things, a more eclectic feel, especially among younger clients," he says.

Elena Chair from Jane Hamely Wells at ID Collection

"I love magazines and design books," says Williamson. "Every morning, I check all the blogs. Some of my favorites are All the Best, Decor Demon, and Style Beat. The Internet is so prolific, people can shop online whenever they want. I have to keep things in the showroom that are a higher level and of higher quality than what they can find online, so people will keep coming back. We keep things exclusive."

William Yeoward's New Furniture Line at ID Collection

In an earlier post, I wrote about William Yeoward's beautiful new furniture line, which was introduced in the U.S. in January and brought to Dallas by ID Collection. Yeoward's collection bridges that gap between classic and contemporary, with traditional references and cleaner lines. "People still need a bit of nostalgia," he says.

William Yeoward's New Furniture Line at ID Collection

"Dallas customers are very educated about design," says Williamson. "They travel a lot, and are always looking for what's new and hot. Dallas is still somewhat traditional, but we love color. I try to keep color in small doses in the showroom. Keep the big pieces in creams and grays, and mix and match accessories. The upstairs is full of color, though."

William Yeoward's New Furniture Line at ID Collection

Bed by Julia Gray at ID Collection

Some of ID Collection's more classic and traditional lines include Panache Designs, Charles Pollock Reproductions, George Smith, and Julia Gray.

"Last year was our 10-year anniversary," says Williamson. But what people don't realize is that it's actually a showroom that's been in continual business for 26 years, he notes. After the showroom Boyd Levinson shuttered, the new partners in ID Collection picked up all its lines and carried on, adding new ones along the way.

It's Williamson's job to keep things looking fresh. "I keep moving things around so you see them differently. I can have a chair in a vignette for six months, then move it and people will say, 'did you just get that chair in'? It drives me crazy, but I love it. Sometimes to get people to notice things you almost have to make them trip over it."

Alouette Entertainment Center from Panache Designs at ID Collection

"My defining moments"? asks Williamson in response to a question I asked about some of his more significant memories in the business. "When we paid off the investors. The fact that we have made it through the economic downturn. For my own life, it's waking up in the morning still having hair."


I asked Williamson to let me take a portrait of him for the story. "You know how I am about having my picture taken," he said. I told him to send me one of himself he liked, instead. I didn't hold out hope for getting one, and then this crazy shot of Alex, his SPCA kitty, arrived in my inbox. Love it. Says so much more about the guy than any portrait could.