atlanta design guide!
Atlanta practically invented the word sprawl. So, naturally, shoppers discover charming town squares and clusters of cool stores all over the 20-county metro area. But, in our opinion, certain districts reach critical mass. Here are five neighborhoods that warrant a day (or two) of shopping. Of course, this is Atlanta, so plan to drive.Buckhead: Home to two major malls and most of Atlanta’s top fashion boutiques, Buckhead has long been the city’s swankest shopping district. Bustling Lenox Square features national retailers like Crate & Barrel, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, and Anthropologie. Home-related stores at the more sedate Phipps Plaza include Tiffany & Co. and Frontgate. At the nearby confluence of West Paces Ferry, Roswell, and Peachtree Roads—the epicenter of Buckhead—are the Atlanta locations of posh kitchen-and-bath fixture maker Waterworks, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and Design Within Reach. The Atlanta showroom for Paris Ceramics, with its exquisite antique and new stone, marble, and terracotta tiles and mosaics, is also along this strip. Not-to-miss local retailers include:
- Shop Scad Atlanta: the Atlanta branch of this Savannah store is definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of independent design.
- Pieces: Owner Lee Boren Kleinhelter gives vintage furniture a stylish new life—think ’50s-era Swedish deco-style chairs upholstered in burlap.
- Pollen: This tiny gem is half floral design, half home accessories. Handmade, vintage, and unique finds make it the go-to place for impressing your hippest friends.
- Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts (404-233-3400): This Atlanta institution started as a nursery and still specializes in orchids, hydrangeas, and live plants. But now it offers a mind-boggling array of clever and cottage-y home accessories.
- Lush Life: Aptly named for its tropical plants and divinely scented candles and bath products, this local favorite offers luxurious home accessories often inspired by nature.
[Nosh: Dine with ladies-who-lunch at Souper Jenny (404-239-9023). Jennifer Levison’s hearty soups and salads, served by a dramatic waitstaff who are mostly starving actors, are worth the standing in line.]Westside: This once-industrial area first attracted shoppers with two competing fabric warehouses: Forsyth Fabrics and Lewis & Sheron Textile Co. Next came the spirited Mexican furniture and accessories of No Mas! Home & Garden and yet more fabulous fabric from The Silk Trading Company. But the real tipping point was the opening of Westside Urban Market shopping center, which made the crossroads of Howell Mill and Huff Roads into one of the city’s top shopping destinations. Highlights of the area are:
- Star Provisions: The kitchen and tabletop shop attached to nationally acclaimed Bacchanalia restaurant deserves four stars of its own.
- Kolo Collection: Chic outdoor furniture from the world’s top manufacturers.
- Poliform Switch: Impeccable modern credentials from the likes of Poliform, Knoll, Flexform, and Promemoria.
- B. Braithwaite: The giant topiaries outside may remind you of Disney, but don’t look here for Mickey and Minnie. This nursery store and children’s boutique is all understated elegance and refined whimsy.
- Bungalow Classic (1197 Howell Mill Road, 404-367-8522): Good taste will out. This furniture and home accessories store takes a fresh, youthful approach to classics. Lamps—like one with a white porcelain faux bois base—are especially cool.
- Belvedere: Longtime designer’s secret source for mid-20th century classics, both iconic and lesser-known lines. Fabulous lamps, accessories (love the shagreen boxes), and new furniture complement the vintage look.
[Nosh: If Martha Stewart opened a restaurant in Atlanta, it would be the new JCT Kitchen & Bar — sleek and homey at the same time, serving fresh contemporary cuisine with a Southern accent. Elegant Bacchanalia’s is one of the city’s top restaurants, and Taqueria Del Sol serves addictive gourmet tacos.]Miami Circle: Atlanta’s long love affair with antiques continues along Miami Circle. If you’re seeking something with a provenance, head to fine galleries like William Word and The Gables Antiques. Or transport yourself to the European countryside at Dearing Antiques and Foxglove Antiques. The street is also home to high-end fabric, rug, plumbing, granite, and other home suppliers, plus several art galleries, including the much-respected Fay Gold Gallery.
[Nosh: Festive little tapas bar Eclipse di Luna (eclipsediluna.com) is hidden at the end of the street.]Peachtree Hills: Known best for the trade-only Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, this district has recently gone democratic with the opening of a new retail enclave, The Galleries of Peachtree Hills. The classical French complex quickly filled up with some of the city’s most prestigious art, home, and antique galleries. As you walk along the street, be sure to stop in:
- Mrs. Howard and Max & Company (404-816-3830 and -3831): Phoebe Howard’s updated traditional look is as refreshing as the seashore, from which she often takes her inspiration.
- Travis: The retail outlet of ADAC stalwart Travis & Company still offers French antiques, but with more of a 20th-century bent and lighthearted attitude.
- Leontine Linens: Ultra-luxurious and elaborately monogrammed linens. Very Old South.
- A few of the showrooms in ADAC West (next to the monolithic ADAC proper) are also open to the public: Kay Douglass, owner of South of Market, turns French and Belgian industrial artifacts into character-rich light fixtures and home furnishings. Renaissance Tile & Bath is the place to find cutting-edge bath fixtures, as well as the best of the classics.
[Nosh: Restaurant Eugene’s elegant interpretations of the freshest local ingredients immediately earned national accolades when it opened in 2004. But don’t rush, this is a treat to savor.]Midtown: Atlanta’s hottest new shopping district caters to neighborhood loft dwellers with contemporary tastes. International retailers like Ligne Roset and Kartel have landed here. IKEA is nearby in the new live/work/play complex called Atlantic Station. But we’re especially partial to two Atlanta-based stores:
- Retromodern: Pop goes the plastic! If you don’t catch the joy of modern design here, you’re hopeless. Remember why Bubble Chairs and Alessi corkscrews made you smile.
- Space: A milky white floor, eye candy in streetfront windows, sleek Italian furniture and home accessories—all are museum-worthy cool.
- Beehive Co-Op: great designer showcase
[Nosh: On your way over to Atlantic Station from Peachtree Street, enjoy the savvy décor and fresh cuisine of The Globe (globeatlanta.com).]D*S Reader Additions:
- Heliotrope: home accessories
- Dora Rae: unique home and personal accessories
- Pollen: unique gifts and floral arrangements
- Belly: home accessories and fresh foods
- stanton home furnishings
- Armour and Co.
- paris on ponce
- Rue De Leon: antiques and gifts
- antiques and beyond
- Alcove Arts
- City Issue
- Metropolitan Deluxe
- Traders: home accessories and furniture
- Junkman's Daughter
- ICE Atlanta: annual indie craft festival
- Scott Antique Market
- Savvy Snoot
- Kudzu Antiques
- Youngblood Gallery
- Star Provisions: gourmet food
- Providence Antiques
- Victory Vintage