Understated Glamour by Jan Showers

For our design inspiration today, we are taking a look at some seriously chic interiors created by Dallas, Texas based interior designer Jan Showers. The celebrated designer is one of the most elegant figures in the world of interior design today. Her innate elegance and sense of style are translated in her design work with a signature Understated Glamour that is at once both highly visual yet tastefully restrained.  Let’s take a look!

At the heart of Jan’s designs is the mixing and combining of various periods and styles, striking a perfect timeless balance. The designer is known for her studied eclecticism, which often includes a mix of glossy mid-century modern, classic to modern French and Hollywood Regency, created with an artful blending of antiques and her own bespoke designs. The interiors that the designer creates are highly attractive and quite luxurious while also remaining relaxed and supremely comfortable.  This collection of rooms that I have gathered from multiple homes completed by Jan perfectly speak of her design’s Understated Glamour, which is, as the designer notes “the most glamorous statement of all.”

Jan believes that the living room should be both formal and comfortable.  In larger rooms, one should create multiple smaller, more intimate seating zones that are inviting.  In the opening photo above, Jan has done just that.  The large antiqued mirror gives the room instant glamour.  Anchoring the space is the “New York Sofa” from the designer’s home collection with silk pillows added for color.  The center table, also from the designer’s collection, is the gold-leaf “Sabine Coffee Table”, with antique mirror top and shelf, which she has stacked with books to make the space more welcoming.  The line drawings are by Don Bodine.  Added in the way jewelry is added, the designer has included colored murano glass lamps and accessories.  To me, this space really feels like a modern version of Coco Chanel’s private salon in Paris.


In this grand formal living room, a Swedish Empire style chandelier is suspended from the coffered ceilings.  Scale has been observed in every detail here.  Jan believes in keeping the draperies simple in design while using wonderful fabrics that look and feel luxurious.  She always includes a table next to every sofa and chair for placing ones glass or book, one of many design ideas for living rooms.  Make the style grand but livable.


Here we have another intimate gathering within a larger room.  A perfect way to dress up a corner with understated glamour.  An antique coromandel Chinese screen is used to establish the space while giving it a worldly sophistication.  A Clarence House zebra tapestry has been used on the “Palm Beach Banquette” from the designer’s collection, while an ivory hairy hide has been used on the pair of 1940’s ebonized fauteuils.  A Maison Jensen coffee table and a pair of Hinson floor lamps complete the scene.


This smart conversation area has been created with the designers “Palm Beach Banquet” in a buttery leather, paired with a sophisticated Biedermeier-style chair.  The pair of vermeil floor lamps from Maison Jansen are pure glamour.  A bar cart rounds out the scene, and is one of the designer’s trademark design features.  Would you care for a drink dear?


In Jan’s dining rooms, two lighting elements are always used: chandeliers with dimmers and lamps.  Here the designer has placed a pair of 1940s glass rod lamps on the Louis XVI-style painted console with marble top.  A pair of frosted Venini chandeliers are suspended above a custom mahogany table with bronze details.  The “Antibes” chairs and host chairs are from the designer’s collection, and have been upholstered in bittersweet chocolate leather.


Since guests will likely remain in the same place for a period of time, it is important to mind the view from all perspectives.  In this dining room, the designer has used a gold-leaf Japanese screen painted in the Chinese manner, which must surely glow beautifully in the light from the Venini fume chandelier and candles.  The Louis XVI style dining table is paired with French Ruhlmann-style chairs from the 1930s.


This dining room is all about classic design glamour.  The Barovier chandelier designed by Andre Arbus is reflected in the Venetian mirror from the 1940s, which is flanked by plaster torchieres which add style and drama.  A French dining table from the 1940s is surrounded by Louis XVI style dining chairs upholstered in leather.


I agree with Jan’s design ideas for bedrooms.   This really should be the most luxurious room in the house.  It is our personal sanctuary where we both begin and end the day.  It should be tailored for your comfort.  The color selection is very important, for you want calm here.  In this bedroom, Jan has used custom bed drapery to really give the bed a grand presence when looking at it, and a more secluded feel while in it.  Matching tables on either side create balance and symmetry, in addition to providing surface space and storage.  A Louis XVI style bench at the foot of the bed completes the composition in understated glamour.


Naturally, the bedroom should reflect the spirit of its owner.  This bedroom was designed for a debutante and the old school application of traditional and feminine qualities reflects that.  Custom bed treatments envelop the upholstered headboard, and dress the bed.  The button tufted “Mercer Bench” from Jan’s collection is placed at the foot of the bed.  The room also includes a pair of French slipper chairs in the style of Andre Arbus from the 1940s.


Here again the designer has used custom bed drapery to ennoble the bed.  Another thing to consider when selecting a rooms colors is how well you will look in it.  Choose colors that will complement your skin tones in the same way the style fits your personality.  In this room the bedding includes a sumptuous mix of linen, silk, and suede textures.  Matching “Manhattan Side Tables” from the designers collection balance the set, which is completed with a Louis XVI style bench at the foot.  The large mirror is a bonus for me personally, for any available space is a good place for a mirror, the bigger the better.


In this private library, the designer takes the glamour up another level.  The room has been enveloped in its entirety with rouge lacquer: the walls, trim, ceilings, window frames- and the effect is stunning.  Every other color used within just pops.  Here a pair of 1940s fauteuils in faux leopard flank a Portoro marble topped coffee table.


Here we have another private library in which Jan has used a single deep shade to encase the room…even matching the drapery, to dramatic effect.  Jan’s “Hadley Sofa” from her collection anchors this end of the room, and is flanked by a pair of signature style floor lamps.  The French coffee table is gilded iron with a mirrored top.  The pieces that make this room really special are the pair of 1940s Louis XV bergeres in their original acid green leather.


Jan believes that a homes entry halls should be statement making.  The entry should set the tone for the rest of the home.   In this entry, we have a 1950s Vistosi Murano chandelier whose fluid shapes echo those of the space itself.  A James Nares painting hangs over a tufted upholstered bronze bench, which is always perfect for such spaces.  A bronze framed mirror by Maison Jansen hangs over a lacquered commode, on which a sculptural lamp by Wily Daro sits.


For our final photo, we have this entry hall which perfectly demonstrates understated glamour.  The walls are covered with warm silver-leaf tea paper.  A mirror framed mirror hangs over the mirrored “Jan’s Commode” from the designers collection, which is flanked by a pair of eighteenth-century painted Italian slipper chairs.  A murano glass lamp and other accessories are displayed which enhances the sparkle.

For interior designer Jan Showers, glamorous interiors are fundamental to all of her work.  Though glamour is difficult to define, the designer is certain of what it is not.  “Glamour is not a fad, and it is never over the top.”  In one of her two beautiful photo filled books showing her work, “Glamorous Rooms” and “Glamorous Retreats“, the designer states “Glamour is at the intersection of timelessness, simplicity, originality, and unqualified confidence in good taste”.  I think that sums it up brilliantly!

**You can also see the designers Home collection, which I referenced many times above, on her website, along with her antiques.  You can also find information on the nearest showroom where her items are represented.

All photos shown with written permission and with special thanks via www.Janshowers.com

Photography by:  Jeff McNamara Photography @ www.jeffmcnamara.com    Brian McWeeney @ www.brianmcweeney.com    Steve Karlisch @ www.stephenkarlisch.com

note:  2014 AD100- Architectural Digest

Thank you all so much for reading along my friends!!  I trust you all have been inspired by the glamour shown in today’s post.  If you have enjoyed this post, please share it along below.. Have a great day!


Please like us and share:
Recommended Posts
Showing 3 comments
  • Jan Showers

    Thanks so much for this lovely post! You selected many of my favorite images and projects.
    Again, many many thanks!

pingbacks / trackbacks
  • […] interior designer Jan Showers.  The room has been completed in the designer’s signature understated glamorous style and includes Italian voile bed hangings, a Louis XV- style bench, and French blue silk duvet and […]

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search