Calypso St. Barth

Calypso St. Barth. Photos by Melanie Johnson
Summer at St. Barth . . . designer Jan Showers regularly spends holidays at the glorious French Caribbean island of St. Barth and I love reading her Jan's Notebook posts about it when she travels. The closest I've come so far to the island, however, are periodic trips Calypso St. Barth in Preston Center. It's really one of my favorite stores in Dallas (there are two, one for clothes, the other for home d├ęcor), and I think it's because it feels more like a boutique than a retail shop. Small and carefully edited for breezy, sophisticated items that are often hand-made in France (such as their lighting) or locally-produced (such as their custom bedding by Peacock Alley and furniture by Arteriors Home), it's a great place to find something unusual to add to your room. 

So when designer Abbe Fenimore told me she'd been invited to host an evening with wardrobe stylist Kristin Skilling at Calypso St. Barth last week, I asked her to bring back some photos of her favorites piecees–I love these beautiful images from photographer Melanie Johnson. Above left is gorgeous blush, yellow and gray ikat bedding designed by Peacock Alley exclusively for Calypso St. Barth. "It made me want to go home and start everything over," Abbe told me. "I'm a fabric freak anyway." The chandelier over the bed is made by hand in France from wire with drop crystals. At right, Abbe loved the textures from the monochromatic pillows and how they set off the "sweet and girly" chandelier in front. "It's all really simple and pretty," she says.

A gold pretzel makes a stack of books look like something special

Abbe bought this peacock tray for herself, which she says is perfect for the dining room table, where she tosses her keys and glasses and everything else in her hands when she walks in the door. She loves the pig banks. "It's funny to see so many tailored and feminine things in the store, then you come across these gruff pig banks with corks in their bellies. But it works!" 

At left, art, cowhide rugs, tufted right...seersucker napkins. "Aren't those amazing? They told me they fly out of the store, they cant keep them in stock. How many times do you see seersucker napkins? And they're oversized, too. They'd look great mixed up like this on the table, too. I really love that taupe one (bottom) with the pink stitching...."

 A French-made, hand-painted mercury glass chandelier in the shape of a bell jar.....

At left, a white leather sofa with nailhead trim and a gorgeous Missoni right, a collection of white soft-as-a-bunny faux fur pillows with hand painted designs. "There's something mysterious about them that draws you in. Normally I'd never buy a skull pillow, but I could definitely see this one with some feminine things at home. I love it when something like this gets me teetering on the edge of buying it...."

Abbe brought a few pieces from Calypso's home store into the clothing store around the corner, to mix things up. She especially loved this woven table...."The clothing store has all kinds of bright neons, jewelry, and bright little flip's the little things that make it work," Abbe says. "You can wear a black dress, but it's what you wear with it that makes it. Same with a room. You can have a beautiful linen slipcover sofa, but it's what you do with it that's important."

Special thanks to Melanie Johnson for the use of her beautiful photography