By Babs Rodriguez
Coppell’s original post office is small in size but big on design thanks to owner Dana Pugh, who is expanding her treasure island
Interior design consultant, stylist and treasure hunter Dana Pugh likens her tiny Coppell retail space to a flowing river: The Tattered Style Home you step into today is not the one you’ll wade into next week — or even tomorrow.
Tidy and organized by nature, Pugh embraces lean, clean design and neutral colors, and curiosities that fall into both categories.
A collector with a curator’s soul, the shopkeeper has a keen eye for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and artisan-made wares that make Tattered Style Home an antiques store-gallery-gift shop hybrid. The inventory of new, rustic, collectible and desirable things — from furnishings and housewares to jewelry and artwork — turns over rapidly thanks to dedicated fans. But there’s always a box of something awaiting its turn in the limelight of the 500-square-foot former post office in the historic heart of the small town. It’s clear that after four successful years, Pugh needs more space.
The answer is literally next door. A ’40s-era laundromat-turned-gas station will become Tattered Style Too, a showroom/sales space for larger pieces including more furniture. An opening is planned for as early as October. And as temps cool, a green space behind the two stores — a historic community gathering place shaded by century-old trees — will again host events. Beginning in November, expect Saturday appearances and wares from local artisans ranging from ceramicists to woodworkers.
Pugh, who grew up in Grand Prairie and has lived in St. Louis and West Texas, says she and her husband migrated to Coppell when looking for a place to raise their three sons. The schools appealed to her, as did the historic downtown where the couple eventually bought the parcel of land that included the old post office, the adjacent green space and a midcentury house that she has plans to restore. But the renovation of the recently acquired vintage filling station comes first.
“I’ve always had a vision for what Tattered Style Home could be, and as we acquired the other properties, it became clear how we’d tie it all together.” But while there will be more space and events, hours of business remain limited to Thursday through Saturday (she does take appointments for other days). “The rest of the week I am sourcing, restoring, styling, staging and running the back office.” Pre-pandemic, she was out and about shopping every couple of weeks. Pugh hopes to return to that soon, as well as take a couple of far-flung buying trips every year. While she enjoys good flea markets here and abroad, she notes, “I don’t go to estate sales or garage sales.”
Her finds often show up @tatteredstyle on Instagram. “I don’t really market myself,” Pugh says. “But I do get a lot of interest off of my Insta account, selling to customers in Fort Worth, Denton, Flower Mound, Dallas; and I ship to both coasts. That interest encourages me.” Return visitors tell her where purchases from Tattered Style Home have landed in their homes. More than once during our visit, Pugh breaks away to hug client-friends or to answer questions about the diverse collection.
“You are in my apartment in California,” a young female shopper tells her mid-embrace. “You are popping in LA.”
The interior designer doesn’t have time for full-on interior remodels anymore, but clients tap her vision for installation and styling help.
They find Pugh’s joy in upcycling, reuse and sustainable products contagious. Everything has a story, and visiting with her is as delightful as the shopping. “I tell people they are welcome to drop by, stay, decompress and not buy a thing.”
Her eye for the collectible and the covetable came from her mama, Pansee Fern Pickens Cox, who had a vintage shop in Grand Prairie called Little House on the Prairie. “She is my hero. Everything you see is her influence. In the ’60s, after my dad and grandparents died, she struggled to raise four children. Thrifting was a necessity that she made an adventure. Since I was a little girl, treasure hunting has been fun for me.”
“I love what I do,” the self-described “picker” says. She swivels between boxes of new offerings waiting to be unpacked, gestures toward the perfectly arranged shelves and laughs. “I work 80 hours a week to avoid a 40-hour job.”