Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bouncing Around Atlanta Market

Please pardon me while I get my blogging brain back in order!  Between popping down to Atlanta for a quick twirl around Americasmart and Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday, I feel as if my social skills need a bit of polishing.  (And not to mention that I took a nice, long break for Christmas.)  I feel a “baptism by fire” kind of week coming on.  Full blazing speed ahead!


(My downtown Atlanta view from one of the crossover bridges at the mart.)

First, let me share a future tip with those of you who book downtown rooms so that you can be closer to the hub of activity.  My friend Beth and I found a lovely Sheraton, right at the Perimeter Center Mall area with easy access to 285 so no traffic clogs on the way in and out of town.  Marta was just five minutes away by car and our hotel shuttled us back and forth in such a fashion that we felt like Queen Bees.  They even drove Beth by her car to get her gloves so that she wouldn’t be cold!  Lovely rooms, breakfast included, goodies on the Club Level, and all for a very affordable price.  Nurture and nesting when away from the home front!


(The High Design Wing was opened at the 2011 January market.  This shot was taken in the morning before the crowd poured in.)

In speaking of nesting . . . I did bounce around the market to gather sources for my interior design projects.  I totally missed Thursday because of a bout of one of those 24 hour “situations” so maybe ‘bouncing’ isn’t exactly what I did.  I did have to make up for lost time on Friday, though.  The market plan went out of the window, with the exception of the Christmas decor I had to purchase for a client.  To save you from reading my version of the Dead Sea Scroll, I think you might just enjoy browsing through the photo album, below.  I just decided to go with the flow and to see where my feet took me.

There are permanent showrooms, which are open in between markets, and then there are temporary showrooms which are open only during the show and on certain days.  I always try to plan my visits around the days the temporaries are open so that I might discover some new, up-and-coming vendors.  Often the minimum opening orders are smaller so it’s nice to be able to “test” a few things without a major investment.  It’s not only about the product, it’s about the shipping dates and if the vendor can meet them, as well as the freight rates and customer service follow-up.  I want to have a great vendor experience so that I can offer up the products to my clients, nary a cringe factor attached.  (We all know what that cringe factor means!)



There definitely was the magical feeling of the holidays still intact at the market.  In fact, there was so much to see, I almost got lost in the glittering forests of trees!  I took note of how the trees were not only layered with ornaments, but also in how they were fleshed out with extra ‘greens’ to give them a full-bodied texture.  (Just a little hint for your 2012 decorating.)


By the way, the wise old owl was seen roosting all over the different showrooms.  Even had them in the holiday displays.


Maybe 2012 will be the “Year of the Owl”.  We could certainly all benefit from a little extra wisdom and foresight.


There was even time to squeeze in a session with Mary McDonald and Nathan Turner.  My apologies for my photography but there was a lot of movement and heads in the way.  They had a great turn out from fans of the Million Dollar Decorators Bravo TV show.

Here are some of my tweets from their presentation:

Wanda Horton @WandaSHorton 13 Jan

“Nathan Turner reminds designers to style for photo shoots even if project seems good.”

“Mary McDonald - Take your own camera shots before pros to control best angles or see what needs tweaking.”

“Even Million Dollar Decorators have challenges with getting clients to finish design details. #ATLMart

“Mary McDonald loves oversized urns. Makes simple areas grand.”

“Five elements provide interest without overdoing space. #ATLMart

“Sometimes #interiordesigners have to take risks on their own dime to create the right look for the room. #ATLMart

“Mary refers to Bohemian style project for affluent as "hippy deluxe". #ATLMart


(Look over and around the head to see some of the lovely stylings of Nathan Turner and Mary McDonald.  Sigh!)

To be honest, the impression from their show left me feeling some of the designers were a bit snarky and provided fodder for the stereotype I try to avoid.  (Yes, I know that it’s supposed to make for entertaining TV but I don’t like rewarding bad behavior, even if it’s to make things “interesting”.)  Mary showed her witty but softer side, at the event, and I can see that Nathan is her perfect foil. 


(I did find a great source for fab, fake furs!  Guess who ordered a couple, along with some awesome pillows?  After watching the Golden Globes, I think we’ll be seeing the influence of “My Week with Marilyn Monroe”.)

By Saturday morning, it was time to wrap up the trip and head home.  Americasmart is a great place to source if you have a gift/home decor shop.  I enjoyed checking it out after a few years of being absent from the show.  It’s absolutely a place where there is something for everyone and I do mean everyone!  (Dancing life-sized polar bears would have appeared in my pics if they didn’t have a “no photos allowed” policy.)  For this interiors gal, I do have to say, I’ll still be spending more time at the High Point show.  Don’t get me wrong, Atlanta is a happening town and this is a huge market with massive amounts of vendors . . . simply a different side trip from my regular sources. 

And that’s just my humble opinion. 

 All My Best

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