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Furnishings: Iron Skilled

William Kissel

In her previous career designing gardens within buildings, Pamela Worley often employed iron sculpture. “I like the weight of it,” says the Texas native, adding that her affinity for wrought iron, as well as steel and aluminum, stems from her appreciation of antique Spanish metal furniture. “I love the elaborately designed light fixtures and the heavy legs the Spanish put on many of their pieces,” says Worley. “I also like sculpture and animals, which probably comes from my landscaping background.”

These interests have influenced her first furnishings collection, which earned the interior landscaper–turned–interior designer a Design Innovation Creativity and Excellence (DICE) award at the Dallas World Trade Center last year, before she officially launched the line in January. (Worley is CEO of her eponymous company, which is based in Dallas, and her business partner, Linda Kay Jones, is president of sales and marketing.) Worley says that the fin de siècle–style desks, tables, chairs, beds, fireplace screens, and sconces, all of which are produced in Mexico, “incorporate small decorative elements that make each piece special.” ables with sturdy iron tops and sinuous legs, for instance, depict, in aluminum, birds and leaves. Bar carts made of metal and glass swivel on delicate legs fitted with castors. “I love to entertain,” Worley says, “so I like to design pieces that move freely about the room or that can be tiered together as well as used separately.”

Whether portable or stationary, Worley’s ironworks often display a certain equipoise that perhaps is most evident in her iron desk ($4,320). Finished in bronze, the unit comprises legs sculptured in a delicate floral design, and a 300-pound top with three drawers. “It’s a heavy piece, but it’s surprisingly stable, and the drawers pull out very smoothly,” she says. “A lot of desks are either too manly or too sleek-looking, and I think this piece offers a nice balance.” She was so pleased with it, in fact, that she scaled down the fanciful legs and replaced the desktop with a serpentine-shaped slab of marble to create a contemporary coffee table reminiscent of a Spanish antique.
 
The robust materials and subtle embellishments may lend broad appeal to the ironwares, but, Worley points out, some of her work is not for everyone; men may have trouble sleeping in a bed or sitting at a table adorned with daisies and tulips. “Luckily, most of the details are subtle,” she says. “You really have to look closely to see what they are.”

Pamela Worley Collection, 214.573.7999, www.pamelaworley.com

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