When Mackie McCauley, founder of J. Mackie & Associates, retired at the end of 2015, his business partners wanted to keep the brand alive while putting their own stamp on the showroom. A few months later, owners Amber and Ken Graves officially switched the moniker of the furniture and accessories wholesaler, which has served designers from the Big D down to Mexico for half a decade.
“We changed the name to C. Maddox for our son, Camden Maddox,” says Amber Graves, explaining that the couple wanted to keep the familiar “M” logo for the business. They commemorated the transition in June during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market by handing out small champagne bottles bearing the C. Maddox & Company name to new and longtime customers who came to browse the 30,000-squarefoot space, located on the ninth floor of the Dallas Market Center.
Now, the showroom is undergoing another facelift, as Graves and her team of six full-time associates swap out everything from the wall paint to the chandeliers for the New Year.
“I usually try to get inspiration from High Point,” says Graves, who made her most recent pilgrimage to the North Carolina home furnishings market in late October. “A lot of the bright colors are still very popular. There’s definitely more gold coming out than silver, which is kind of crazy.” Other trends she noted during the five-day event include furnishings that combine Lucite and wood, heavy marble accessories and occasional furniture, and wallpaper in bold prints, from geometric shapes to medallion motifs in unexpectedly vibrant colors.
Although many manufacturers are hearkening back to the 1960s and ’70s for inspiration, Graves prefers to combine traditional and contemporary styles in her displays. “I do an eclectic mix here so one style doesn’t feel old. It always feels fresh to someone walking in,” she says. Her signature touch is the unbridled use of accent pillows throughout the showroom. “I’ll throw those around on the sofas and chairs or beds. I have a ton of them, and I keep them coming in. There are probably new pillows coming in every two weeks,” she quips, noting that accessories in bold colors and patterns can change the entire look of a room.
Pillows aside, the spacious layout at C. Maddox features numerous inviting vignettes, from classic sectional sofas in soft grays and taupe to a funky leopard-print settee, high gloss wood dining table, azure blue leather ottoman and shiny chrome side chairs with cowhide upholstery. From wall to wall and everywhere in between, the showroom gleams with colorful artwork, dazzling lighting fixtures, and beautifully crafted vases, bowls and platters.
“I don’t like to get on one trend—too much of one thing is no good,” says Graves, laughing. “I’m all about a change, so if something doesn’t work, I’m out there trying to change it.”
With more than 40 manufacturers represented in the North Texas showroom, she has plenty of inspired pieces to choose from. Although C. Maddox & Company is known for its upholstery lines, it also carries several case good manufacturers, including Taracea, Lorts, Mr. Brown London and Modern History, among others. The showroom also recently added furniture by Caracole, which offers everything from art deco-inspired beds and sofas to mid-century modern dressers and nightstands, and super sleek contemporary chairs, desks and consoles. In addition, C. Maddox carries a number of accessory lines, fine art suppliers and rug manufacturers.
Designers can purchase items straight off the showroom floor, which means the inventory is turning over constantly, and the staff is also happy to fill custom orders. “The vibe of our showroom is really friendly and upbeat. My guys don’t compete for sales,” says Graves. And although the name may have changed, she notes that one important aspect of the business has stayed the same: “We just continue striving to deliver great customer service.”
Leslie J. Thompson is a Dallas-based freelance writer with a passion for interior design.