Homes are made for community. They are gathering places where family and friends can share a meal, celebrate a milestone or enjoy uplifting conversation. The idea of creating beautiful spaces to bring people together is central to Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design, which has expanded its offerings since it was founded by artist and designer Gary Riggs in 2004. The business not only provides residential and commercial clients with high-end furnishings, fine art and interior design services but actively teams with area nonprofits to improve the lives of others in the local community.
“We have thrown several charity events at our showroom,” notes Bianca Rowen, president of Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design and daughter of its namesake founder. In the past year, the business has hosted fundraisers for Patriots of America, Ranch Hands Rescue and Bob’s House of Hope, the first safe house in the country for adult male survivors of sex trafficking. The latter charity plans to build additional residences for the young men it serves, notes Rowen, and Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design hopes to help furnish the homes by donating select items from its vast inventory.
Given that communities are made up of individuals and families supporting one another, it only makes sense that Rowen eventually joined her father’s business, which has put down deep roots in the metroplex. Although she earned an undergraduate degree in child development and pursued a career in childhood education, Rowen learned the ropes of the interior design industry working alongside her father as her own family grew. “When my kids were younger, I was working nights and doing purchase orders and inventory for the showroom,” says the mother of four boys. Later, she took over the accounting and eventually learned all facets of the business.
With two of her kids now grown and one leaving the nest next year, she decided to partner with her dad full time. Rowen now oversees the day-to-day operations of Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design, while Riggs focuses his time on serving clients and bringing innovative design ideas to life. “He loves to not have to worry about the business,” says Rowen, adding, “He has that creative mind, and now he is able to just create.”
Originally an artist who painted television and movie sets for the Osmond family in Utah and the original Footloose movie, Riggs moved to Dallas in the ’90s and began to showcase his fine art paintings in local galleries. After a patron visited his home to pick up a few of his pieces, she reached out to him about helping to pull together some furnishings she had purchased for her living space. Word of his design prowess quickly spread, and Riggs officially switched careers when he opened his original showroom in Allen in 2004. He later moved the business to the Galleria area, before relocating in early 2019 to the current space at 1500 Dragon St.
The sprawling 18,000-square-foot showroom located in the heart of the Design District is a feast for the eyes, inviting visitors on an enticing tour of color, texture and composition. The space features dozens of vignettes, each meticulously arranged with luxury furnishings, fine art and high-end ornamental décor that reflect Gary Riggs’ sought-after creative touch. Yet every design space likewise feels effortless, as if the items were meant to cohabitate.
The aesthetic ranges from antique to ultramodern and everything in between. One space features a regal king-size bed with an intricately carved tiger oak headboard and sumptuous gold and navy bedding, which is flanked by two dresser drawer nightstands with diagonal wood inlays. In a nearby nook set up as a living area, a gold-framed coffee table with a mirrored top is an elegant counterpoint to a Japanese-inspired gold and black triptych wall art hanging behind a contemporary low-back white sofa.
Riggs has a gift for creating exquisite cohesion in the rooms he designs, often marrying a client’s favorite pieces with new furnishings and artwork from the showroom to create a captivating space that fits their taste and lifestyle. In addition to Riggs himself, two interior designers are on staff at Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design, which offers complimentary interior design services with the purchase of its furnishings. The accomplished team is known for transforming spaces in weeks or even days, rather than months, so people can spend more time enjoying their home.
Sometimes clients will express skepticism during the design process and comment that an item won’t look good in their space, Rowen notes. “They can’t visualize what a piece would do,” she says. Riggs encourages them to trust the process, and inevitably, the clientele is consistently wowed by the results. “He’s so good at finding what people love, whether it’s traditional or modern,” says Rowen, proudly.
In addition to the vast selection of new and antique fine furniture, home accessories and gift items, Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design offers custom fabrics, wallpaper and rugs. True to its commitment to fostering community, the showroom also serves as a fine art gallery, highlighting the work of talented painters and photographers from here in North Texas and around the globe. “It’s great to have that art on hand for projects and be able to find a home for it,” Rowen says.
The business also now is pooling resources with Mae Reedy Design to help residential clients achieve a comfortable and elegant living space, whether starting from scratch with architectural designs or remodeling an existing property. The expansion is just one more way Gary Riggs Luxury Furniture and Design gives back to the community, by offering clients more options and collaborating with talented artists and designers in the area, Rowen notes. “That’s where my passion is,” she says.
“I love the design and the furniture, but giving back is my thing.”
Leslie J. Thompson is a Dallas-based freelance writer with a passion for interior design and international travel. Read more of her work at lesliejthompson.com.