Thursday, July 16, 2009

Inspirational Atlanta Designers

Every year I like to attend the home furnishing market at AmericasMart in Atlanta. It is fun and fascinating to see the new designs by the furniture and decor lines, see what trends are emerging, and generally soak in the atmosphere of a place devoted to furniture, decor, and design. I almost missed the Mart as I was in Colorado, but I got back just in the nick of time and was able to go on the last day. This year, the Home Furnishing market seemed to have a special focus on design as an integral component of the Mart, and to my delight there were rooms designed by six of the top designers in the country, all based in Atlanta: Suzanne Kasler, Bob Brown, Carole Weaks, Stan Topol, William Peace, and Matthew Quinn. The home design showcase was called 'b.inspired', and each designer had 10 'Things That Inspire Me' listed next to their rooms. I spent over an hour admiring every detail of the rooms. Here are the rooms from Weaks, Brown, and Kasler - I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Carole Weaks has long been on my radar, as she was mixing contemporary art with more traditional furniture and antiques many years before I started to gravitate towards this look. She designed a bedroom for her room at the Mart, and it was lovely. The bed is one of my favorite designs, made by Lewis Mittman, and the benches at the base of the bed are by Amy Howard. The chandelier is by Niermann Weeks.

I particularly liked the black cabinet, which is available through Smith Grubbs (to the trade only).

The next room was by Bob Brown. I always love seeing his work; it is comfortable, elegant, versatile, and clean lined. I appreciated that one of the things he listed in his '10 Things That Inspire' are the design blogs! Although this room is not really my personal style (it is a bit too masculine), it is beautifully and masterfully put together and a pleasure to look at. It takes a great eye to create a gallery wall like this, and I love how Brown used hanging lights instead of table lamps. I also like the contrast welting on the sofa and pillows.

The other side of the room has another wonderful gallery wall. It is amazing what the designers were able to do with their rooms; there were unique challenges given that the rooms did not have natural light or windows.

As much as I liked all of the rooms, my favorite was, of course, by Suzanne Kasler. Her style really speaks to me, and this room was a great reflection of her style. The room featured many pieces from Kasler's collection for Hickory Chair and Visual Comfort, as well as a few antiques. I love the dining table; if I could redo my own dining room, this table would be on my short list. Without its leaves, it is a small oval; with its leaves, it is quite long and seats 12. The chairs are antique, from Kasler's own collection. Her popular 'Alexandra' chair can be seen in the back - the quatrefoil shape is a classic form that she listed as one of the things that inspire her. I really like how she arranged the wood in the fireplace - quite sculptural.

Here is the room from the other side. The Swedish writing desk is antique. The slipcovered chair is from Kasler's Hickory Chair collection. I found the wall display to be quite beautiful, despite the fact that I am not an antler fan (although I do find European mounted antlers to be slightly more interesting). The room information said that Kasler used items from her personal collection to round out the room....

...and look what I spy. The bench that sat in the entry of her old home was used in the room at the Mart! The fabric is so distinctive with its custom embroidery. This antique bench was the inspiration for the 'Woodward bench' in Kasler's collection for Hickory Chair.

I wish I could have taken pictures of the other rooms, but the batteries in my camera died. The other rooms were also quite striking! I hope this is the start of a new tradition at the Mart. I found it to be very well done and quite an unexpected surprise.


  1. Such gorgeous rooms and such inspiration. I love the neutral colors. Just beautiful. Hugs, Marty

  2. So beautiful! I'm with you on Suzanne Kasler's designs, just amazing.

  3. What gorgeous rooms! I love all of them - so inspirational. I adore the muted colors in the rug in Carole Weaks' room, as well as that chicken wire armoire. You're right - the gallery wall in Bob Brown's wall is so well done! And Suzanne Kasler's dining room is just stunning - so feminine and comfortable. I actually do love the use of antlers; reminds me of one of the walkways in the Chambord "hunting lodge" in France!

    Thank you - as always - for sharing such inspirational rooms!

  4. I sure wish your batteries would have had more juice so you could have taken more pictures. Rats!
    I love the bedroom of Carole Weaks, that chandelier is wonderful.

  5. Kasler's bench is stunning! All the rooms are gorgeous but I really liked Brown's room -- I'm a sucker for a great gallery wall and some contrast welting though.

  6. Thanks so much for showing this! I missed the show this year and this was a treat to see!

  7. I'm sure designers joke and provoke to see if folks are paying attention: The nudes in Carole Weaks bedroom. Most folks don't have even demure nudes in their homes. What is the effect of these? What is Ms. Weaks trying to do?

    You'll never get in trouble with botanicals.

    I like Kasler's antique dining chairs a lot. I'm not sure why - a substantial seat cushion but the rest of the chair seems light as a feather.

  8. Hi Terry - thanks for the heads up on the images. I have been experimenting with larger and larger size pictures, and I must have gone too large. I could see it all on my monitor, but I know that everyone's monitor is different. I went ahead and put in standard size pictures, so hopefully the problem is resolved.

    I frequently see nudes in Carole Weaks designs; in fact, the symphony showhouse that was on Tuxedo featured a bedroom by Carole, and it had nudes too.

  9. I got to see these rooms on Friday before I left town..."they" would not let me take pictures and were watching way too carefully for me to sneak some. I am so glad you were able to get these and share. I really wanted Suzanne Kasler's to show all of the antlers...DH would have loved that. It is inspiring to see what the "big dogs" do!

  10. I love Suzanne's room of course! and i also like the second one - the one you said you thought was masculine. There's something about it that appeals to me!

  11. Beautiful, beautiful rooms! :) Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and for your kind comments.

  12. Great rooms! I love Bob Browns gallery wall.

  13. Can you tell me the style and or maker of the Kasler dining table in the photograph? I also adore it. Thanks so much

  14. Love that gallery wall..., what a master piece!

  15. Alice D, the dining room table in Kasler's room is from her collection for Hickory Chair. Just go to hickorychair.com, and look at the Kasler collection.

    The real trick is figuring out which finish it is, as there are dozens of finishes. Perhaps if you go to Kasler's website and email her office, they can tell you.

  16. Of course you know I LOVE the Kasler room. Given the restrictions its seems the most airy and light filled. I love the rug on the floor - is it an antique or perhaps a new design from her Safavieh partnership?

    Wish I could have gone!

  17. I, too, love Suzanne Kasler's room. I hope that this great Southern design aesthetic is making its way to the LA area. A return to more feminine design would be so welcome. Thanks.

  18. Suzanne Kasler's room was my favorite as well. I enjoyed this post. It was wonderful reading the pieces that you loved and getting your perspective on her room. I'm so glad you didn't miss seeing it.


  19. You are so fortunate to live in "the" mecca where inspiration abounds.... you're right up there with the big guns! Luanne

  20. I love Bob's room, I'd just add a bit more color to femininize the room but the style is till wonderful but that bed by Lewis Mittman is my favorite.
    Thank you for sharing.

  21. Love the Susan Kassler room. It has this modern sweedish french look that I love. So inviting and warm and yet uncluttered.Thanks

  22. Oops, I opened this the other day when it arrived and didn't comment in the end! I would love a book called PRETTY. And it is so fitting that you would be the one to tour and document these spaces, because your blog is so beautiful, and intelligent and well researched!

    Great post, as always!



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