Every room tells a story at the Design District’s Selby House

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Cat Carothers, owner of Selby House, carefully cares for each piece. (All photos: Selby House)

Selby House founder Cat Carothers describes her style as eclectic contemporary. It’s easy to see why. Each mix-and-match piece in her Design District studio exudes chic in its own inimitable way.

His vision was simple. Organize and customize timeless furniture that feels collectible and undecorated. With over 10 years of interior design experience, Carothers has a knack for blending modern design with traditional and historic pieces.

“I am drawn to things that have a story, that have meaning. Things that you can pass down from generation to generation,” she said.

Cat Carothers calls her style eclectic contemporary.
Carothers restores and reupholsters iconic designs. Above, the Womb chair; below, the Groovy chair.

Among her favorites: a Womb chair, which she found at an auction. Originally designed by Finnish-born architect Eliel Saarinen in 1946, its wraparound form is one of the most recognized representations of organic mid-century modernism.

“It was one of the first iconic pieces I was willing to spend a little more money on,” she said.

Other finds include a first edition of the Groovy chair by Parisian designer Pierre Paulin Søren and the Danish rocking chair by Georg Jensen. Carothers restored and reupholstered both rooms; the first in Rogers & Goffigon loop, the second in Rosemary Hallgarten alpaca.

In addition to seating, Selby House offers an assortment of tables, lighting, mirrors, ceramics and other decorative items, all arranged in cove-worthy vignettes.

Vignettes highlight the furniture and decorative accessories of the workshop.

Case in point: a sexy Vladimir Kagan curvilinear “cloud” sofa is flanked by a sculptural Wharton Esherick mirror and a round three-legged oak coffee table.

The studio itself is in a multi-tenant building just off Irving Boulevard. “It’s such a cool space. It fits my brand, my personality,” she said. “Coming from New York, I wanted to be in a neighborhood that has a creative spirit, close to other designers, upholstery sellers and woodworkers.”

It’s not just the pieces that have a story.

The name Selby House honors Carother’s great-great-great-grandfather, George D. Selby, and the shoe company he founded in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1880. was a time when shoes were not accessible to everyone. My grandfather changed that,” she said.

“He left an indelible mark on this world, a shining mark for the younger generation to look up to for inspiration.”

Featured artists include Huda Hashim.

Upcoming projects include collaboration with other Dallas creatives, including artist Huda Hashim. “I want to give artisans who don’t have their own studio a place to display their work,” she says.

Unlike interior design, where you shop for a specific client, the Selby home showcases Carother’s personal taste and aesthetic. Go-to sources include Instagram, Round Top Antique Fair, and auction houses.

Her best advice: Go with what you love.

“If you want to invest in a piece, you have to like it, whether it’s old or new. At the end of the day, everything will be consistent.

The Selby House is located at 2042 Irving Blvd., Suite #140, in the Dallas Design District. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.

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