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Cover Story - Posted March 27, 2015 10:45 a.m.
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photos by Shannon Richardson

Gary Pfeffer: Collections

Gary Pfeffer’s design and decorating career in Amarillo has now expanded to his second generation of clients. The Borger native opened Gary M. Pfeffer Interior Design and Decoration in 1987 after earning an interior design degree from Florida’s Ringling School of Art and Design. As an interior designer, he primarily caters to homeowners as well as commercial clients seeking a more residential look, “as in a doctor’s office waiting room,” he says. Through Collections , his shop in Wolflin Village, he offers luxury fabrics, custom draperies, home furnishings, carpeting, and more.

A fixture in the business, Pfeffer has built such a good relationship with clients that they are now turning to him to update work he did when he was first starting out. “Through the years, as things change and people either remodel or add on to a house, you’re updating something you did 20 years ago – changing fabrics, changing colors,” he says. Today he finds himself working for the grown children of some of his earliest clients.

Other loyal clients have enlisted his services to help them downsize in retirement. Many end up moving to an apartment or townhouse once their children leave the nest. “In that case, you’re editing,” he says, describing the process of thinning out a large collection that can appear cluttered in a tighter space. “You use some of their best items and give them a new look but in a smaller location.”

He describes his own tastes as eclectic, preferring to combine 18th and 19th century French and English antiques with more modern, streamlined pieces. While most of his Amarillo clients have very traditional design preferences, recent trends indicate that might be about to change. “Something that might be very trendy and new on the East Coast might take awhile to trickle down to our area,” he says. “But the swing within the last few years has been toward a cleaner look, with less clutter.”

Q&A

Where do you find inspiration? Travel, architecture and historic homes, including my own!

How do you begin the creative process? I look at what my client is expressing both consciously and subliminally, and then begin my design process with what I understand.

Is there a signature touch you like to add to your design work? Client curiosities and black candles.

How is the design world different than it was five or 10 years ago? The trend toward minimalism is reversing.

How important is technology in the design process? Which advances have most affected your work life? The internet has brought a world of resources to people’s fingertips; however, nothing can replace personal inspiration.

What is the most important factor when designing a room? Bonding with a client, and then pushing them forward to where they are comfortable and into the next moment.

What is your favorite design trend? Making people become alive in the rooms I create.

What is the easiest way to update a room? A flash of color on the walls.

What is your favorite room to decorate? The main living area of a home, where people are going to live.

What are the biggest influences in your style? Travel ... The Wallace Collection in London, a national museum, and Vaux le Vicomte, a baroque French chateau, are two places that come to mind.

What is the biggest design faux pas? A Volkswagen-size custom lampshade!

What is your own house like? A composition of elegant, edgy, contemporary and eclectic and a repository of my family’s world travels.

GET THE LOOK


Mid-century Murano glass lamp $795
Mixing something vintage with a Lucite base gives it new life.


Modern hand-blown crystal liquor decanters from Portugal large $395; small $295
Incorporate more than one on a drink cart in a living area.


Resin coral $49.95; Murano glass bowl $125
As an accessory on a cocktail table or in a bathroom, faux coral mixed in with genuine follows current trends and adds texture.


Vintage bowl $98; decorative sphere $49
Bring a bit sheen and reflective character to a side table.

All items from Collections

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit heyamarillo.com and jasonboyett.com.
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