July 12, 2014


7 best ways to beat the summer heat around Dallas-Fort Worth

From our friends at Dallas Culture Maps learn how you can best best the summer heat!


July 08, 2014


Summer Office Renovation

Summer Office Renovation

 As the heat starts to engulf our summer days here in TX and the days just get longer and hotter with no prospect of being able to get out for a leisurely walk with the dogs, I try to look around the shop and start making myself stay busy inside.  So, as I look around I start to make a list of all the spaces that I need to tackle to either organize, decide to give a fresh new look to or BOTH!  My husband and I are fortunate to work side by side together at M.A.Designs, so he is a good eye and extra hand to help with my summer renovations. 

For the first project we are starting in the office.  It needs some new life to the drab space and some definite organization.  During the summer I tend to adore lots of color but always with a touch of simplicity.

Simple designs are always a motto around here.  To make a space redesign focused it's nice to break down the space with 5 categories of design that you want to focus on to make the space your own.  I broke down into 5 categories that describe the perfect office for me. White, color, plants, brass and patterns. I want every inch of my office to be cheerful and inspiring, but balanced with minimalism and not overloaded. Just like a blank canvas, a few pops of color here and there, inspiring patterns, touch of brass and gold for light and a few plants for freshness will do the trick.

5 Categories That Describe The Perfect Office

The fun part is, that when redecorating an office, you can get a bit crafty too!  Below we have listed some perfect DIY projects that not only truly make the space your own by allowing you to create your own decor items, but also help you save a few bucks on the budget!  So get creative, be bold and take charge of your summer office renovations with these DIY transformation ideas! 

DIY Design Ideas For Summer Renovations

1. Besides all the office essential, it’s relaxing to have some fun decorations! I feel for this simple paper wreath, that would look just perfectly on any wall, or desk!

2. Who need post its when you can have your own mini chalkboard! And how sweet and rustic it looks on wood?

3. Putting washi tape in a good use! Cords don’t always need to be messy and white!

4. Watercolor, with bright colors paper tags, as color swatches to add some pop into your desk.

5. One of my favorite coasters probably. And so easy to make. Leather silver and leather gold.

6. Probably the most easy and fun DIY for an office. All you need to use is nail polish to give a new “breath” to your office tacks.

7. I would say yes to color dipped everything, especially a plant pot!

July 02, 2014


3 Fun Dresser Makeovers

How much time do you have? HGTV Magazine shows you three cute ways to redo a basic wood dresser, no matter your time constraints.

Your Blank Canvas

You can transform a drab dresser in only a few hours. More time to spare? Check out these three ideas for any schedule and style. See a link at the bottom of a slide? Click it for details on each project, including step-by-step images and specific paint colors. Happy DIYing!

A Few Hours: Stick-On Decal Sheets

Remove the drawers and knobs. Dip just the tip of the brush into latex paint. Dab the bristles on a paper towel, then brush the paint onto the dresser with quick, light strokes so the wood grain shows through. Paint the entire frame, including the legs, using this dry-brush method.

A Day: Paint Stripes

Paint the drawer fronts and frame with one color of latex paint. Let dry, then insert the drawers. Tape off your first stripe by applying delicate-surface painter’s tape. Repeat, running another piece of tape parallel to the first. Use a utility knife to slice the tape between the drawers, pressing down the edges.

A Weekend: Decoupage and Monogram

Prime the frame and drawer fronts. Let dry while you cut the wrapping paper into strips and squares. Apply Mod Podge matte finish onto the dresser frame and back of the paper one piece at a time. Stick the paper to the frame, overlapping the edges and smoothing out air bubbles. Apply a coat of Mod Podge … More

View Original Article HERE from HGTV:

June 28, 2014


Original Vintage Jack Daniel Whisky Barrels! New Barrel Projects Coming Soon!

We are so excited at Morgan Allen Designs to get our hands on 5 original Jack Daniel Whiskey barrels!  They are awesome the vintage wood, the stamp of Jack Daniels, the unique design from a sticker that was placed on the barrels when they were used in barrel races, make these barrels unique and one of a kinds! 

So, as I sat at the shop and after staring at them for awhile I didn't want to just use them as a table base, although I love that and was the first thing we did with one of the barrels that you can see below.  Make for a perfect high top round table with our custom tractor seat bar-stools.  A fabulous rustic chic look don't you think?  Well with the other four barrels I want to get creative, I want to re-purpose them into a furniture design that's not only unique but gives these barrels a new purpose from their old like of aging and holding whiskey.  My search started on Pinterest, of course :)  And wow was I shocked, surprised and oh so inspired to see all the different designs and creative ways people of re-purposed and up-cycled their barrel projects! 

Take a look at the Pinterest search I found and tell us what is your favorite re-purposed barrel design!  What would you like to see our MAD Team create?  Just comment below and we look forward to posting what custom barrel designs we end up with!


June 25, 2014


MAD Summer Sale In The Dallas Design District

We have started our MAD Summer Sale at our storefront in the Dallas Design District!  We have everything from Kreiss Collection Beds & Couches to custom repurposed and up cycled furniture designs & home decor all on sale up to 62% OFF!!!  Stop by the store before June 30th to take advantage of these ridiculously awesome pricing!

June 13, 2014


The Only People For Me Are The MAD ones...

We couldn't say it better....

The only people for me are the MAD ones, the ones who are MAD to live, MAD to talk, MAD to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the one who never yawn or say a commonplace things, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... Jack Kerouac


June 10, 2014


Looking for a venue to host your next event in Dallas?

Look no further!  At M.A.Designs we are now offering event services in the Dallas Design District.  Everything from a girls night out, art / jewelry / sewing party, movie night, birthday party venue and everything else in between.  Within our 6,000 square foot space we can turn your dream event or small get together into a reality.  There is nothing too small or big for our M.A.Design team and we have the capabilities to do everything for decor, staging and catering in house so all you have to do is show up and enjoy your event.  Contact us for more details on how we can accommodate your next event!

Learn more about our events here: http://www.morganallendesigns.com/collections/m-a-d-events
Contact: Ashley or Blake Penn at 214.760.9902 / info@morganallendesigns.com

June 07, 2014


Design District Food News: Lunch at Oak, new menu at PakPao and delivery!

Jun 06, 2014 01:19 pm Authored by Jennifer Smart

There’s always something going on in the Design District and here’s a round-up of the latest news at some of the neighborhood’s most popular restaurants.

A few weeks ago we sent out a note announcing that Oak is now open for Friday lunches. From 11am – 2pm every Friday you now have yet another lunch option in the neighborhood. Oh, but here’s the real news, they’re calling their lunch the Three Martini Lunch. Here’s the scoop. ”Choose one (or several!) of any three handcrafted martinis to celebrate the end of the work week. The martinis will be mixed and served on a cosmopolitan cart, designed locally by Morgan Allen Designs. Three options of martini will be available for $8, as well as a nonalcoholic choice (also $8).”  Um, count me in.

Our Kimber Bar Cart will be OAK's new rolling martini cart. So summon it over for a choice of three martinis (one classic and two not classic), then watch as your drink is prepared table side. Then take the rest of the afternoon off. 


June 03, 2014


8 Tips to Get Your Art Collection Started

Do you have bare walls? Are you looking to start an art collection but don't know where to start?  We have 8 tips to help you get your art collection started! 

Start with a budget: While you don't need a lot of cash to start an art collection, it does require that you figure out how much you feel comfortable spending. If you're thinking about a long range collection, it's a good idea to set aside a small amount of money every month, maybe even start a special savings account with funds earmarked for your new hobby.

Buy what you like: Ignore the art critics and statements of what others think you should like or buy and just trust your gut. Educate yourself by going to galleries and museums, reading art magazines and blogs, and attending the art fairs at the schools near you, and read up on the artists that you're interested in.  Maybe it's not a national know artist collection you start but one of local artists!  It's always great to support your local artists.  Check out some of our local artists painting HERE online and in our store!

Go for quality: You may be eager to get something up on your bare walls, be patient and wait for things that you really love. If you must have something to hang up right away, don't be afraid to fill your space with personal stuff. Rather than going for the generic, surround yourself with pieces you love — your kid's art, blow ups of your favorite photographs, stuff created by your friends, and favorite movie posters — as placeholders until something else comes along.

Don't skimp on framing: A good frame not only sets off a piece of art to its best advantage, but also preserves it from environmental damage such as sun and dust. Develop a relationship with a good framer whose eye you trust, whose style you like and who uses materials like acid-free mats and UV protectant plexiglass that will keep your piece safe and in good condition for years to come.

Learn about the artists: Find out about the artists that you are purchasing from.

Check for authenticity: Make sure that you're getting the "real deal". Many pieces will come with a certificate of authenticity, and some limited edition pieces will be numbered and hand signed by the artist themselves.

Build your collection: It's often the first step that's the hardest to take. Once you've bought your first piece, build your collection slowly while teaching yourself about art.

Using art to enhance your decor: If you have light color walls and bare space then you can take your art collection in many different directions.  You could go with bold dramatic colors to bring a sense of flare into your home or you could go with pastels and watercolor paintings to give your space a more sensual and calming effect to your walls.  It's really up to you how you can use art to enhance your decor, as long as you LOVE the pieces you are collecting then you have achieved enhancing your decor through your art!


May 30, 2014


Morgan Allen Designs is Full of Treasures

Get the latest scoop on the newest, trendiest and best loved local shops and eateries in the city right here on the LocalSugar blog!

By : Shelly Markey

The Design District in Dallas has long been a mecca for interior designers, but as more of the showrooms are opening to the public, we have seen an influx of fun and unique shops pop up recently. One of those is Morgan Allen Designs-a one stop design shop where they sell everything from vintage finds and repurposed designs to jewelry, apparel and accessories. Owners Ashley and Blake Penn have a passion for the hunt and love to bring treasures to Dallas that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Morgan Allen Designs Interior

The shop feels clean and uncluttered and merchandise is displayed creatively to give the shopper some great ideas on how to use the items in their own home. The fun is to be creative about the uses of each piece. For example, the original 1960's Italian vintage solid heavy brass rams head dining table bases in the center of the room can accomodate a 6-8 foot glass table top or could also be used as floor sculptures.

Crib Chair

We loved this cozy chair and were surprised to find out it was a re-purposed vintage baby crib. Add some colorful pillows and they give any nursery that warm vintage feel. Morgan Allen Designs will customize these chairs if you have a particular fabric you would like to use. These chairs are regularly $299-$350 but are on sale for a limited time for $199.

1920's Telephone Table

A 1920's telephone table is one of the favorite finds here. It's fabulous as it is but M.A.D. would paint it a custom color and re-upholster the cushion to create a one of a kind piece to match your home. This piece is priced at $175.

Custom stained and weathered metal table tops

Along with the re-purposed furniture you will also find pieces that are works of art like their custom stained and weathered metal table tops made from galvanized steel. Anything that lays flat on the top of the table can be stained into the metal to create a personal design. They have used crosses, horseshoes, gears, keys and stars and can even stain monograms and names. The customization process takes 4-6 weeks for custom orders and can be any shape, style or size. Prices range from $300 for end tables to $1350 for a dining table.

More treasures in the back of the store

Apparel and accessories in the M.A.D. Closet

The back of the store is spacious and filled with more treasures and design layouts. Find larger furniture pieces, mirrors, area rugs and artwork from local artists. Make sure you take a peek in the M.A.D. closet where you will find vintage chic clothing and fun accessories. Clothing and accessories range in price from approximately $29 to $150.

Locally designed jewelry

Be sure to check out the eclectic jewelry collection by local designers displayed throughout the store-including pieces by Blake Penn. The price range on the jewelry pictured above is $29-$199. More custom designs of initials and hand stamped jewelry ranges from $99 and up and M.A.D. works personally with clients to create one of a kind jewelry designs.

After you get a feel for what's in the shop you can always take advantage of their M.A.Design Hunts where Blake and Ashley will go on a hunt for exactly what you are looking for. It's a fun, creative process for them to source and find unique and one of a kind pieces they can bring to their clients that adds a custom style and touch to their home.

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