Only a few months after relocating to Dallas’ bustling Design District, Dulce Interior Consignment Showplace was forced to close its doors in the face of COVID-19. For six long weeks, the 6,700-square-foot showroom on Riverfront Boulevard remained eerily quiet as state and county legislators hashed out regulations to keep residents safe. Meanwhile, Dulce’s co-owners, Jorge Fernandez and Simon Veeren, wondered how the delay would affect business on the heels of the recent move.
As it happens, quarantine was a boon for the high-end interior consignment store and art gallery. No longer commuting to work or running errands, city dwellers found themselves staring at the same chaise lounge or dining suite all day and grew weary of the view. When the shutdown was lifted, locals couldn’t wait to go shopping again.
“A lot of customers didn’t know they weren’t happy with their furniture until they spent more time at home,” says Fernandez, adding that Dulce was a hub of activity during the usually slow summer season. Nestled among a row of boutique furniture stores, the new showroom draws a steady stream of foot traffic and offers ample parking, something that was lacking at the Oak Lawn location, where Dulce had been since 2001. The ever-changing inventory of contemporary and mid-century modern furniture and original art also keeps customers coming back for more.
“Everything is on consignment,” explains Fernandez, who says that some consigners have been with Dulce since it first opened. “We receive furniture every day. It’s not like a traditional furniture store, where you receive the collection for the season.” Instead, the owners review photos and details provided by consigners and choose specific items for resale.
“We have high-end furniture, great quality and big-name brands that are gently used but much better than retail prices,” Fernandez says. Recent inventory included furnishings designed by Jonathan Adler, Mies Van Der Rohe and Benny Linden, as well as more casual pieces from companies like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and American Leather. The owners ensure every item is in very good condition since most customers don’t want a project and are looking for affordable, higher-end furnishings and décor that reflect their personal style. Receiving each new shipment is like unwrapping a present, Fernandez says, and customers feel like they’re hunting for treasure.
Every crevice of the showroom is filled with an eclectic mix of furniture, accessories and wall art spanning several decades. From sleek chrome side tables and vintage credenzas to dining chairs upholstered in orange velvet and blue leather sectionals, the vibrant selection covers a range of modern and contemporary styles. The decorative items are equally varied and include bronze sculpture, geometric vases and mottled metallic candleholders.
“A lot of customers have mentioned that they need to do a second and third round because they see different things, and there are too many items to capture in one round through the showroom,” says Fernandez with a chuckle.
Equally captivating is the selection of original paintings by artists from Texas and other parts of the United States, as well as Mexico. Recent displays include mixed-media work by New York native Jackie Fuchs, a portrait by Colombian artist Leandro Velasco and an abstract diptych by local up-and-comer Jessica Medina. “We had a customer from Mexico City who flew in just to see a piece of art that we had,” notes Vereen, adding that the showroom also sells art on consignment for people who are downsizing or changing out their personal collection.
All the furniture, accessories, artwork and lighting priced above $50 are pictured on Dulce’s website, which is updated daily. Customers also can order online, and the showplace will gladly arrange shipping anywhere in the United States. “We ship a lot to Florida, California and New York,” notes Fernandez.
The active home interiors store always has great deals, he adds, and it offers special discounts on items that have been in inventory for a month or more. Customers also can take advantage of twice-annual sales on Dulce’s full inventory of vintage and modern furnishings to find distinctive pieces for their home.
Although the battle against COVID-19 isn’t over, and Dulce’s staff still takes needed precautions to ensure their customers’ safety, the owners are excited to finally be settled in their more spacious location. “It’s a bigger place, and there’s more light,” says Fernandez. He leans back in his office chair, with a look of contentment, and says approvingly, “We are happy and blessed that we are open.” *
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.