Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Things That Inspire

Today I'm thrilled to kick off the "guest post" portion of the Shop Like a Design Blogger guest post series with Holly from Things that Inspire. Holly's taste is impeccable, representing the best of Southern style -- little wonder she's quickly become a tastemaker in Atlanta. I cannot wait to see what she and Suzanne Kasler come up with for her new home in Atlanta. I have no doubt it will find its way into at least one (or three) design magazine. Great style aside, Holly was also one of the first "big bloggers" to really start reading Odi et Amo, and she's been a huge source of encouragement and inspiration to me over the past year. I can also personally vouch for Holly's recommendation of Whole Foods as a source for flowers. Just this past weekend I bought some calla lilies, hydrangea and roses (all in white) to pull together a quick bouquet for my sister's bridal portrait and they were absolutely gorgeous -- way above anything you'd expect to find at a grocery store.

* * *

I never really think of myself as a shopper, as I loathe to shop for clothes and shoes. However, perhaps this characterization is not entirely accurate; when it comes to the home related items, I can spend all day shopping (more of the window shopping variety). In fact, when I have an hour to kill between appointments, I will often head to one of my favorite home stores to get a little inspiration.

I tend to like to shop for items in person, although I have certainly been successful shopping based on a photograph only. When I first moved to Atlanta, I furnished several rooms in my house almost exclusively from furniture catalogs (I had no idea where to go in Atlanta for great furniture and accessories). Now, I definitely have my favorite sources for furniture, art, accessories, and rugs both on the Internet and around Atlanta. Some are 'to the trade' only, but many are open and available to the public. Here are a few that I like to visit - all of these stores sell and ship to customers around the country, so I will note the contact person where appropriate.

Mrs. Howard

I can't even recall how I first heard about Mrs. Howard, but from the moment I walked through the beautiful antique double doors that mark the entrance, I knew it was a special place. The owners, Phoebe and Jim Howard, are world renowned for their skill at creating beautiful environments, using both decor and exquisite architectural details. I can't tell you how many times a reader has emailed me saying that they want their own home to look 'just like Mrs. Howard' - it is truly a space that inspires.

The wood paneled room on the ground floor of Mrs. Howard simply takes my breath away. This might not look like my usual style, but the incredible color of the wood in this room is truly perfection. Look at the detail in the trim moldings; the details are what define the experience at Mrs. Howard, as no detail is overlooked. The architectural finishes provide the perfect backdrop for the carefully selected arrangement of furniture, accessories and lighting - without a doubt, Mrs. Howard is one of my 'go-to' places in Atlanta, and there is no better place if you are on the hunt for the perfect lamp.

I have even purchased accessories from the Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper blog - I bought these green jars for my dining room after seeing them in a photo from the Jacksonville store!

Max and Company

Max and Company is the companion store to Mrs. Howard; believe it or not, I did not learn about its existence until it had been open for over a year!!! The vibe is a little more casual, a little more streamlined, and the price point is a bit less. Perhaps it is the color palette or that gorgeous antique terra cotta floor on the ground level, but there is something about Max & Company that really resonates with me. What I love the most about Max & Company and Mrs. Howard is that everything is available for purchase right off the floor; the instant gratification factor of taking something straight off the floor and seeing it in your own house within 30 minutes is a big selling point for me!

This is the view from the stairs at Max - I snapped this picture just last week.

I love nesting tables of any shape and variety, and these are particularly appealing.

My favorite bedroom vignette at Max - with the unusual chevron floors laid in an interesting diamond pattern. I love the soft lilac on the walls of this room. Anything you see in these pictures from Max and Company and Mrs. Howard is available for sale; please contact Leah (lkennelly [at] jmhoward [dot] net) for more information.

The Stalls

Without a doubt, the Stalls is one of the best antique consortiums in Atlanta. Whenever I open a magazine to a spread by an Atlanta designer, without fail they have sourced at least one, and usually several, of their items at the Stalls. I visit the Stalls at least once a month; the inventory is constantly changing, and this is one of those places where you must buy immediately if you fall in love with something - everything is one of a kind, and more than likely it will be gone next time you visit. Here are a few things that caught my eye on a trip to the Stalls last week:

This lovely French barometer would be the perfect thing for a small wall, or a place between two windows or doors.

This mirror is really striking in person - it would look wonderful in a powder room or a front hall.

These little hanging keys caught my eye.

I always like a quatrefoil in any form, and this iron light with its quatrefoils and hearts is so charming.

These column lamps make a strong and attractive vertical statement.

Something about this console table really appeals to me...must be the calligraphy like flourishes. I purchased the Neoclassical style pedestals on the left for a client in DC, and they are waiting to be packaged and shipped.

I took these pictures last week, so if anything catches your eye, please call Randy at the Stalls at (404) 352-4430.

Whole Foods

Flowers always make a house look and smell so wonderful, and my favorite place to buy fresh flowers is the flower market at Whole Foods in Buckhead. I quickly snapped a picture of the beautiful flowers for sale this week - you never know what you are going to find, it all depends on what is fresh. I might have to head back there this to buy some hydrangeas - one of my favorite flowers! I attracted quite a few strange looks when taking this picture, and two customers even asked what I was doing. I smiled and told them I was writing an article on where to to shop for the best decorative items in Atlanta!

Carpets of Dalton

I love sisal rugs, but was afraid that my husband and children would not respond to them as well as me. So, I quietly purchased a small custom sized sisal for the front hall. It was well received (and became my dog's favorite place to hang out), so a few months later I bought a large sisal for the family room. The cost of a custom sized sisal rug is very reasonable, and it is even more reasonable when purchased through Carpets of Dalton. I like the 'Siskiyou' collection by Fibreworks; it comes in nine different colors (I like #774 and #777). I always get the thinnest tape possible (Carpets of Dalton can't do smaller than 1"), and I specify for the tape to match the color of the sisal as closely as possible. Custom sized sisal rugs can be ordered from Carpets of Dalton and shipped anywhere in the country, so it might be worthwhile to get a quote! I highly recommend getting samples of the siskiyou colors, as they range from a dark chocolate brown to a light straw color to a quite yellow toned color. More than likely your local rug store carries this line, as it is one of the standards in sisal rugs.


I love original art, and think that art is a wonderful way to bring in color and vibrancy to a home. Although I like to shop at galleries all over Atlanta, my favorite place to buy art is the annualSpotlight on Art Artists Market, which takes place in February every year. The SOA Artists Market features a great mix of established and emerging artists; I have bought many wonderful paintings at the Artists Market over the past six years, including the piece that is in my front hall (by Holly Golson Bryan), and the piece shown above (in my living room) by Linda James. I also love to go to some of my favorite galleries around Atlanta, including Huff Harrington Fine Art, Gregg Irby Fine Art, and TEW Galleries (all of these galleries ship anywhere in the country). Huff Harrington Fine Art has a new blog that is definitely worth checking out, the Artful Lifestyle.

Quatrefoil Design

Of course, one of my favorite places to shop is Quatrefoil Design, the companion store to my blog. At Quatrefoil Design, it is our goal to offer unique items that can't be found in your local store, all custom made, and all at a wholesale price point. Although right now we primarily offer framed intaglios (as seen in this arrangement that we call 'the Holly', in my own family room, and as seen in the picture earlier in this post with the green jars from Mrs. Howard), we are about to expand our product offerings into framed architectural renderings (coming in late April) and custom embroidered pillows (coming in early April). By the way, this paint color is Benjamin Moore Harbor Town - like Averill, I love Benjamin Moore paints and have been thrilled with this shade for more than 7 years. Also, note the sisal rug from Carpets of Dalton - I picked a a lighter tone for this room.

I only sell items that I would be proud to put in my own home, which seems to resonate with my readers and customers. The picture above shows one of our newest offerings - the 'Petite' framed intaglio, which has a 2" thick frame and can stand on its own, making it possible to use as an accessory or part of a hanging collection. (We are having a giveaway of a petite intaglio this week, so come on over to Things That Inspire when you are done reading this post!)

A collection of images (and a close up view) of some of our products.

That charming little pillow in my front hall is another one of our latest designs. We worked closely with a professional embroidery workshop to create this design; the thread count of the monogram and laurel motif is very high, and the quality of the workmanship on the pillow is of the highest standard (including hidden zipper and down filled pillow insert). This size - 16" x 20" - is perfect for so many places - on an arm chair, in the middle of a sofa, as the accent pillow on a bed. We are still defining our standard color offerings (white linen, off white linen, natural linen, and brown will be among them, with contrast trim); we can also do completely custom and match the embroidery to any material that a customer sends to us. Click here for more information.

Our Davidson pillow is available with a calligraphy flourish and flayed edge detail (as seen in picture), or a custom monogram with flange and pleated corner.

And my personal favorite, the Wellesley with custom monogram and French pleats (also available with flange and pleated corner). For more information on any of these products, please visit the Quatrefoil Design store.

I hope you enjoyed this foray into the world of shopping like a blogger! I would like to thank Averill for inviting me to participate in this wonderful series; I have come to realize that knowing where to get the fabulous items for your home, and in particular the fabulous items at the best price, is truly the key to being a successful shopper and blogger.

Next Week: Alison from My Little Happy Place.


Things That Inspire said...

Thank you SO much for inviting me to participate in this series! I had a lot of fun gathering my pictures and thinking about my sources.

Off to link to this post on my blog, and do a facebook shout out!

Jeanette {A Passion for Home} said...

I can attest to Holly's fabulous taste as she has helped open my eyes to some wonderful things. I now have a strong desire to visit Atlanta so I may see these places in person myself. In the meantime, I live vicariously through her blog.

I love the theme you've chosen for guest blogging. I hope you do it again soon!

Christy said...

Averill, what an amazing guest post. I have never been on her blog before - but I am going to hope over there right now! I loved reading the whole piece and now wish I lived in Atlanta and could go visit Mrs. Howard in person (and all the other stores - but Mrs. Howard? That name is just awesome and the photos made me drool! Especially the lilac bedroom!). Fabulous guest post! Looking forward to the rest in this series!

Fran said...

This is a wonderful series! This post was amazing and if I'm down in Atlanta, I now have places I must visit.

Kathysue said...

Averill, love that you are doing these great post. such fun reads. I love Holly and her blogs was one of the first blogs I started following. I am a huge fan of Phoebe Howard and I know how much Holly loves her and has the same style sense. Can't wait to see her finished home,how exciting. Thank you for doing these guest post, always informational and inspiring, Kathysue

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Great post, I'm definitely feeling inspired to make the rounds and hunt for beauties in my own town!

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Wonderful post! I've never been to Atlanta, but now I want to go and check out these shops. At least I can head to my local Whole Foods for some fresh flowers!

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Great sourcs, looking forward to more installments of this series. I see myself collecting several new resources! Thanks...Janell

Denise said...

Found you through Isabella & Max blog. Wow! You have exquisite taste. I particularly this post! Glad I found you! I am now an avid follower!

Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

If I lived anywhere near the area, I would probably figure out a way to sneak into Mrs Howard every day, I am such a stalker of her blog and site.
Great collection of sources, Holly! Thanks Averill!

Style Redux 2 said...

This definitely captures Southern style. Atlanta is clearly a great city for interior design.

Cristin said...

What - Holly's store has new pillows?! Love them. Great resource list too.


Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi said...

What a great post! Loving this series.

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous post!
Quatrefoil looks like a fab shop!
I am so excited for this series, darling Averill!


Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Love her post and this whole series. Cannot wait to gather a ton of new resources. And, I was glad she didn't mention one of my favorites (that will be on my list), which is located in Atlanta.

Slumber Designs said...

The lamps, the mirrors, the pillows... oh how I love posts like this. It gives me so much inspiration!! Girl, you sure know how to pick out great pictures.

Lindsey said...

I absolutely adore Things That Inspire, am thrilled to have some new ideas. I suggest you find someone in Salt Lake City for this series!

annechovie said...

Great post! I enjoyed reading about Holly's haunts and picks and some of my old hangouts from when I lived in Atlanta.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I truly enjoyed myself....this was so fun!!! Special thanks for all the local introductions.

It's hard not to comment on everything, because it was all so wonderful...

Of course I love all the exquisitely framed intaglios! I am so exited about your new items and I love that you purchased the classics...they look so beautiful in your home!

The Zhush said...

Holly and Averill, I can not tell you both how much I enjoyed reading this! As a big fan of Holly's blog, I really loved the peaks into her home and all her great shopping tips (every day I grow more envious of the Atlanta area) and of course coming here to your blog is always a treat too...b/c of creative ideas like this very post! I want to move into that lavender bedroom...its perfect. Thanks both of you for all the great inspiration!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I agree with everyone else Holly (and you too of course Averill) have impeccable taste. Always a real pleasure to read Holly's blog and this post was another treat to read. I just want to move to Atlanta now. Great series Averill, it was a marvelous idea. Happy Easter to everyone x

Willow Decor said...

What a great post!! I can't wait to see the new pillows!!

Tiina said...

This was really good post! I adorea all the shops, wish we would have more shops like that in Stockholm!

Have a lovely Easter

Huff Harrington Fine Art said...

What a wonderful post! Holly is an amazing wealth of information and resources, even to us native Atlantans who think we've already found all the diamonds in the rough. :) Can't wait to check out some of her suggestions!

Many thanks for mentioning our blog and gallery- we are so honored!

Good luck with the new house! It's going to be absolutely stunning when it's finished.

Best wishes,
The Huffington Ladies

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails