Sometimes I impulsively buy this-is-so-amazing-I-can’t-pass-it-up furniture and accessories (a) even though there is no place in my house for them, (b) because I do not want other people to have them and/or (c) I think to myself, “This will be great for my client…once I meet and actually GET that client.”
Before heading to America’s Mart in downtown Atlanta for the January 2011 Gift & Home Furnishings Market (see part 1 of my post about the market), I had a pep talk with myself all about the art of not buying anything, instead simply going to look and photograph amazing finds for the Interwebs.
$475 later, I gave in; however, I actually have clients who needed things and therefore my trip was a major success. The money was, of course, spent but it wasn’t mine so it doesn’t count, so stop judging me, okay?
Take a stroll through a few awe-inspiring temporary exhibits packed with items sure to spark new trends within the design community, from poodle lamps to tables pairing polished glamor with woodsy rustic. Yes, I said poodle lamps. No, I didn’t purchase any….yet.
Natural textures were abundant in almost every design scheme. Upon entry, I was pleasantly surprised to see Curb Appeal: The Block’s Chip Wade had created an uber-gorgeous living room vignette. The transitional room sported tons of coastal modern flair with some Swedish influence. Oh, and the color scheme? While I’m a big fan, I also can’t help wanting to call Chip up myself and shout “Hey man, that’s the color scheme of my house! I did it first….so there.”
The belle of the ball was the Julian Chichester’s Mr.Brown booth with a great slogan, “English Informality for a Modern Life.” While Old World touches were abundant, modernized takes on traditional, hand-made pieces were equally as popular. Notice the chair, buffet, mirror and wallpaper styles? All super-traditional yet modernized with less ornamentation, clean lines and new color-ways. Until now, I would never consider anything sporting cameos modern; however, the scale of the silhouettes in the wallpaper take it from stuffy and fancy to updated and fun.
Luna Bella mixes the fanciful vibe of Auntie Mame with the classic, turn-of-the-century, industrial touches of The Time Machine. At first, I was drawn in by the chrome, plum and faux mink stools, then I made my way over to the mirrorred living room. Sure, mirror has been around forever but this go-around it seems to be used less as panels on walls and more as furniture and accessory material. The swan art must be good luck; a few hours after leaving America’s Mart, Natalie Portman took home a Golden Globe for playing…a back swan? See, good design is capable of almost ANYTHING!
Of all the temporary exhibits, Camilla House is where I spent the most of my time with the America’s Mart photographer, Ashley. Why? Um, did you see the photos above? Not only was there a poodle lamp with a feather shade, there were also uber-formal pieces given new, playful identities with color and upholstery. Sure, Louis chairs have been all the rage ever since Phillipe Starck introduced the Ghost Chair; however, these interpretations with clear vinyl backs, poppy oranges and pinks and Audrey Hepburn portraits put a new spin on the old classic. The chrome and rustic wood table was so in demand, it took us about 14 takes to get a shot of it without excited humans gushing over it and walking into frame.