Now Playing

Designing Lives

Our reigning tastemakers look fabulous and live stylishly—and Dallas is better for it.

Lael Brodsky

Rajan Patel

Wendy Konradi

The Activist
Lael Brodsky

She’s as comfortable in sweats and a curly blond ponytail piled atop her head, calling plays for the second-grade basketball team she coaches, as she is bedecked in Balenciaga, stepping out seal-sleek from her Greenway Parks modern on the arm of husband Peter. Such is the comfortable-in-her-skin persona of Lael Brodsky—socially adventurous, fashionable, crunchy (cue the chicken farmer pictured left with Polish hen Big Momma)—and determined that none of that gets in the way of what she cares about most. “My job is to raise good kids. Not rich, successful kids, but happy kids; good, kind kids.” When she’s not in carpool mode to three children, ages 8 to 12, tweeting and posting on social media or playing tennis, she opens her Frank Welch-designed home for dinner parties notable for their guests’ atypical mix of age, careers and political leaning. She also holds meetings for her two biggest charitable passions: North Texas Food Bank and Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. It is as glamorous by night as it is family-friendly by day. She’s an utter original and our favorite bleeding heart. We just can’t get enough.

The Purveyor
Rajan Patel

Rajan Patel has pushed Dallas’ taste forward since he started creating strange and wonderful botanical compositions (you could never call them flower arrangements) under the stairs at Stanley Korshak years ago. An engimatic man, Patel has always been press-shy, preferring to let his choices speak in his store. He opened Grange Hall in the space that formerly housed the shop and office of the late legendary decorator Marguerite Green, a lot to live up to. There, he has created an aesthetic grotto of the magical and mysterious, an internal world unlike anything we’ve ever seen. From Adolf Loos-designed crystal from Lobmeyr to bronze boxes covered in thorns, Patel’s dark style eye is refined and muscular, precious yet powerful. Visual peace meets the disturbing in his world. He’s our favorite conjurer of shopping dreams made real.

The Designer
Wendy Konradi

You might call Wendy Konradi’s style one of high contrasts and graphic details: precisely cut platinum hair, necklace from the K/LLER Collection in porcupine quills and bronze, all framed by a palette of black or white. Konradi, an interior designer who trained with Naomi Leff in New York and has been working with Emily Summers Design Associates here since 2000, favors both the delicate and strong. Airport security once stopped her because her Alexander Wang handbag had grommets that looked, to TSA eyes, like bullets. Accessories, whether on her body or in a room, are always bold and exude fine craftsmanship. “I do like high contrast. I’m often teased that of all the colors in the spectrum, my favorite color is white, both in fashion and interiors. White is such an equalizing color. I’ve always been a fan of a crisp, white shirt.”