UK Retailer OKA Enters Dallas Knox Neighborhood With ‘Millennial’ Home Furniture

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A UK retailer is set to open a store in Dallas’ Knox neighborhood which he says is on trend with a change from traditional interior design with colors and patterns from beige and gray modern.

This is the first flag in North Texas for the OKA brand, the UK home furnishings company that learned the nuances of the US market with its 2018 purchase of Dallas-based Wisteria.

Texas is the second most savvy interior design market after the New York tri-state region, said Krista Stelling, senior vice president of OKA.

“It’s part of the culture here. How people treat their homes and the way they want to live is important to Texans, ”Stelling said. “Hiring a decorator is normal in Texas. People are doing it.

Traditional design is booming and some are trying to call the style “great millennium,” she said. Better Homes & Gardens said the trend is an “ode to the old school” and an “antidote to mid-century modern and minimalist interiors”.

That is why the design features more wallpaper, flowers and colors. Millennials are early adopters, breaking with their parents’ penchant for “anything neutral,” Stelling said. “Think floral chintz from the 1980s. Reese Witherspoon’s style. It’s like going back and updating your grandma’s rooms.

OKA will open its 9,000 square foot store on November 1 on McKinney Avenue, just south of Knox Street. The space had been occupied by RH until May, when this store completed a new location around the corner.

Interior of the OKA store in Houston. OKA announced its opening in Dallas in November.
(By Bengtsson)

London-based OKA opened its first US store in April in Houston in a former Wisteria. OKA bought Wisteria from its founders Andrew and Shannon Newsom, but decided last year to shut down the local concept and get through the pandemic with one brand. Its brand name was sold to a Georgia-based company that operates online under the name Wisteria.

OKA, pronounced oh-ka, has a whimsical story behind its name. The brand’s three founders in 1999 – Sue Jones, Annabel Astor and Lucinda Waterhouse – have traveled the world for goods and design. They were inspired by rich natural colors, including the earthy yellow ocher color of the curry. They decided to name their furniture brand ocher, but with a British accent, losing the “r” sound.

The long space has two entrances, on McKinney Avenue and behind a parking lot. It will feature spaces and vignettes that the store describes as unassuming elegance, with inviting armchairs and lamp bases that can be mixed and matched with patterned fabric shades. Table decors are layered with block print tablecloths, colorful glassware and the iconic blue and white Kraak porcelain of OKA.

Interior of the OKA store in Houston on West Alabama in the former Wisteria store.  Dallas-based Wisteria closed in early 2020. The company was acquired by UK-based OKA in 2018.
Interior of the OKA store in Houston on West Alabama in the former Wisteria store. Dallas-based Wisteria closed in early 2020. The company was acquired by UK-based OKA in 2018.
(By Bengtsson)
Mix and match lampshades at OKA, which promotes colors and patterns in its furniture designs.
Mix and match lampshades at OKA, which promotes colors and patterns in its furniture designs.
(By Bengtsson)

“This store will be one of our absolute shining stars because Dallas is a sophisticated design market,” Stelling said.

Kips Bay Decorator Show House, a big charity event in New York City, chose Dallas as the second city for this reason, she said. This year, 26 leading American designers and architects are transforming 5138 Deloache Avenue into Sunnybrook Estates in Preston Hollow. It opens to the public on September 24 and funds several local charities, including Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit that works to house homeless families.

OKA, which operates 13 stores in the UK, will open its third US store in February in Westport, Connecticut.

Exterior of the OKA store in Houston, which opened in April in West Alabama in the former Wisteria store.
Exterior of the OKA store in Houston, which opened in April in West Alabama in the former Wisteria store.
(By Bengtsson)

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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