Retail Meets Design

By Christina O’Flaherty

Retail meets design in the most stylish manner during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®.

With the launch of ANTIQUES in Building 1, Floor 2 and DÉCOR | Light & Lifestyles in Building 1, Floor 8 as well as HIGH DESIGN® in Building 2, Floor 1 and HD Home in Building 1, Floor 1 there are more design-driven resources available in our temporaries than ever before.

This elevated aesthetic highlights the intersection of retail and design, where interior design is influencing retail and merchandising in a major way. The new Retail Meets Design vignettes, curated by the Southeast’s top retailers and interior designers in Building 1, Floor 14, Vignette Gallery, 14-D-9, showcase how easy incorporating these influences can be. Furniture, décor, entertaining, outdoor and other lifestyle categories come together effortlessly with high design pieces and antiques alike.

Curious how you can work antiques into your store? We asked Toma Clark Haines, chief executive diva of The Antiques Diva® & Co., to share some of her top tips for incorporating antiques into a design.

Is there a different process for buying antiques vs. bulk merchandise orders?
Yes, absolutely. If you see it and it’s what you’re looking for, you should buy it. It’s not going to be there forever. The one-of-a-kind element makes it a radically different process. Also, the proportions are not always going to be what you’re looking for. For example, an 18th century chest of drawers was built for the dimensions of that era. You buy antiques because you love the patina, the quality, and the story. You make the room work with the piece, not the piece work for the room.

What is one key sourcing tip you can offer when it comes to antiques?
The antiques dealer is your friend. Get to know him or her. Even if they don’t have the specific item you’re looking for, they may have it in a warehouse or can source it for you. Developing relationships with dealers, particularly ones that match your specific vibe, is important.

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What are your top tips for navigating the new AmericasMart ANTIQUES collection on Floor 2?

  1. Walk the floor in both directions. The reason you do this is because your eyes will be attracted to one set of dealers going one way, and then on the reverse trip you will notice other vendors.
  1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Antiques dealers in general expect that negotiations will take place. The best way to get a bargain is to buy more than one thing and to simply say, “Is that your best price?” It’s polite and it pitches the question so that you’re not coming across as being pushy or aggressive.
  1. Ask questions. When you see a piece you want, get to know it. What type of wood is it? Where did you source it? You’re buying the story; this is not mass produced, so the details matter. Also, the more questions you ask, the more interested the vendor thinks you are and will most likely be more willing to work with you.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the new ANTIQUES collection, click here and to learn more about purchasing logistics, click here.

To get more tips from Toma, RSVP to Tyler Jones at tjones@americasmart.com to attend one of her guided tours of ANTIQUES in Building 1, Floor 2: Thursday, Friday, or Saturday during Market, starting at 1 p.m. Also, join us on Thursday, July 14 at 10 a.m. for Aged to Perfection: Why Antiques are Essential to Design Today, and How the Industry is Meeting Digital-Age Demand (0.1 CEU) in Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

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The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, July 12 – July 19
ANTIQUES: Thursday, July 14 – Sunday, July 17, 2016
Temporaries: Thursday, July 14 – Monday, July 18, 2016

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