March 31,2023

2010 AD100: Emily Summers

by David Stewart

Emily Summers’s first job out of school, where she majored in art, was in the fashion office of the original Neiman Marcus store in Dallas. Stanley Marcus, she recalls, became a friend and mentor: “He aimed high and expected the best.” Through him, Summers met luminaries in the fashion and design industries, associations that continued into her own interior design practice, which accelerated when architect Antoine Predock asked her to collaborate on a major southwestern residence in the early 1990s.

The hallmark of Dallas-based Emily Summers Design Associates is an elegant and fresh contemporary interior that integrates architecture and art. Summers approaches commissions from an artistic point of view, creating, as she calls them, “spatial collages of color and texture.” She designs furniture for each project, often combining her own work with custom pieces and 20th-century furniture and decorative objects. “I love serene rooms where art is more important than wallcoverings,” she says, citing a recently completed residence, in which she installed a Donald Moffett video of gently swaying trees to mimic actual trees visible beyond. Along with architect Carlo Scarpa and artist Koloman Moser, San Francisco interior designer John Dickinson was an early influence. “I saw his spare, intelligent approach to design in the 1970s and adopted one of his observations: that a room is finished when you cannot remove something without its being missed.”

Emily Summers



  • David Stewart
  • March 31,2023

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