Catching Up with Stan Topol

St Regis - Stan Topol 2 - Living Room

Award-winning Atlanta-based designer Stan Topol is a fixture at AmericasMart Altlanta, whether he’s scouring Market for new finds or creating a Market Vignette.

Topol once again put his timeless style on display for us in the vignette installation in the Building 1 Lobby, so we asked him to reflect on the foundations of his creative impulse and how he builds a space from scratch.

AmericasMart: Your mantra is “Timeless Design.” How do you begin to create “Timeless Design” in an empty room? Is it one particular item that begins to set things in motion?

Stan Topol: When I see an empty room, I really don’t think about “timeless” or any other design feature. I look at my client and see how they will use this room that we create. It’s more about them, and how I can lead them into a comfortable situation that they are proud of today and will be for the next decade or longer.

AM: There are so many different ways to approach color, as many people seek out unique accents or bold feature walls. Are there certain timeless colors that you feel work in nearly every setting?

577_estroff  /  stan topol _paper cityST: My approach to color is quite simple. I look at my client, check their wardrobe and build our color palette from that. In fact, one day I will tell you a story about Joseph Braswell (the former head of Parsons Interior Design) and his gracious explanation of a Dining Room he did for a lady once who lived on Park Avenue.

AM: Is there a classic structure to building around the key furniture piece in a room? How nontraditional should one go? Can you abandon the settee or bedroom chair for something else? Or even swap the coffee table in a larger living room for, say, several end tables?

ST: A great furniture plan or layout should be able to be translated into either a traditional furnishing plan, a contemporary one or a transitional one. When I taught school, I insisted that a plan has to allow a lady to walk through her room without bumping a chair or a table. How you treat a room is really up to a decorator and their client… That’s why we personally hand draw each person’s room. A plan doesn’t determine the style or the trends that may be current. Remember: Current trends are just that.

AM: When it comes to acquiring art for a client’s space, does their taste dictate the selection, or do you let your vision of the room guide you?

ST: ART. Now we are into my world. I am quite serious about this subject. Our background is art history, and I am proud of that. Knowing the various periods of fine art from the earliest days to the 20th century is vital as one directs or suggests a direction to their client. In fact, one of my favorite moments was with a client in New York City looking for fine art. He saw me wandering away from the presentation and found me almost shaking from delight when I saw a certain painting. He told the dealer he would take that piece before I even rejoined the group. A Franz Kline painting can still do this to me…as can a few others.

Topol_Lutgert_artist_Jules_Olitski

Painting by Jules Olitski

AM: When you’ve completed a room, what about it usually expresses timelessness to you?

ST: Regarding the term “timeless”: Marvelous interiors can and do last a lifetime. The trendy moments we see come and go, but quality, comfort, and simple styles never go out of style because having style means you don’t have to be “stylish.”

AM: Of course, we always like to have our experts impart a bit of their wisdom to the new shoppers at AmericasMart. What key thought should they contemplate as they begin their experience here at the Market?

ST: AmericasMart offers to me and every other decorator or designer a world of choices. You could fly to NYC and go through three or four buildings to find everything that they have in Atlanta in one location.  Come on… Is that really a choice, or do you just want to have dinner at Cipriani’s?

Take a moment during as you enter or exit Market this week to appreciate Stan Topol’s timeless design on display in the Building 1 Lobby. And if you run into him during Market before we do, make sure you ask about that Joseph Braswell story. And while you’re at it, extend an invitation to Cipriani for a drink and discussion of the latest Whitney exhibit during a future visit to New York. Just for kicks.

As a teenager, the Mississippi-born Topol took flight to New York where he became assistant to legendary interior decorator Billy Baldwin. After returning to Atlanta to open his eponymous firm, Topol went on to Chair the Interior Design program at the Art Institute of Atlanta as well. His client list stacks as high as the number of design magazines that have featured his work and includes the Lutgert Companies in Naples, FL, the St. Regis Hotel, and a longstanding relationship with Atlanta’s most famous European export, Sir Elton John.

Stan Topol and Associates is based in Atlanta, GA. For more information visit www.StanTopol.com or call (404) 885-9889. 

Top 6 Things You Need to Know for the July 2017 Market

Even the savviest AmericasMart Market veterans will find something new this year at July Market. Here’s a quick roundup of the changes you need to know about.

Parking and Getting Around

AmericasMart LIVE

Can’t-miss keynotes from Nate Berkus Erik Qualman and Sarah Jessica Parker, and on-scene reporting from Brian Patrick Flynn, Jenny Heinzen York and Patti Carpenter are part of the debut of AmericasMart LIVE programming – including demos, thought leader presentations, and spotlights of product, retailers, showrooms and trends – to be broadcast across the AmericasMart campus and on our digital and social networks.

Uber Pickup

Uber pickups are from ONE location this Market: Building 3 on Baker St.

New Dining Options

Building 3’s Food Court has moved to new locations throughout the building:

Floor 1

  • Market Café
  • Market Café Grab-N-Go
  • Market Coffee

Floor 2

  • Big Kahuna
  • Cash Bar Beer, Wine, Cocktails, & Snacks

Floor 3

  • Coffee/Wine Bar
  • Shane’s Rib Shack

Floor 4

  • Chicken Salad Chick

Floor 5

  • Chick-fil-A

Floor 7

  • Jersey Mike’s Subs

Floor 11

  • Chick-fil-A

See all of the locations here, https://www.americasmart.com/dining-guide

Time for Temps

Here’s a quick overview of the Temporary product collections. DÉCOR | Light and Lifestyles is joined by Home Accents & Home Furnishings on Building 1, Floor 8. Tabletop & Entertaining has expanded on Building 2, Floor 2. Holiday, Halloween, Floral & Baskets and Cash & Carry Jewelry have reorganized on Building 3, Floor 1.

Remember, ANTIQUES on Building 1, Floor 2 opens at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 13 and closes at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.

The Great Reset Vignette Exhibition

2018 will be a year of monumental shifts set to impact design, retail and industry practices. Seven digital influencers create vignettes inspired by WGSN’s Autumn & Winter 2017/2018 trend report using AmericasMart products. See the Gallery on Building 1, Floor 14.

And a Bonus Seventh Tip

It’s not new information, but remember Friday 14 and Saturday 15 are “Shop Late Til 8” nights, so push dinner back a little bit and schedule a few more showroom visits.

 

Naturally Beautiful

How a love of antiques transforms lifestyle design
By Brooke & Steve Giannetti

Portrait of mid 40's caucasian male-female couple in stone archway looking into dining area of home.

Antiques tell a story, and we believe every home should have its own narrative that embraces history and collections from the past.

We’re known for our “Patina Style” which is our design philosophy based on our belief in the beauty of worn natural finishes. Patina style was born from the combination of Steve’s passion for industrial and architectural antiques and my love of Belgian linens and delicate antiques. In our own homes and the ones we designed for our clients, we found these pieces allowed us to live in beautiful spaces without worrying about each nick or imperfection.

Why do we love designing with antiques? Every antique brings its own personal story to a room. Each worn edge, every mellowed piece of brass is the result of daily experiences the antique has with the people who live with it. When I walk into a room that’s decorated with antiques, I feel their personalities fill the space. Unlike new furniture, each antique is unique. No two pieces have the exact same wear or signs of age. Using antiques ensures that each space is unlike any other, and the combination allows the singular personality of the homeowner to shine through.

Ageless Treasures

When we go on buying trips, we look for pieces with specific characteristics rather than provenance. During our search for antiques, we look for those natural materials that age wonderfully over time… a chesterfield sofa that is still upholstered in the original aged leather, an unfinished wood farm table whose top is dented from the many family meals, copper pots so tarnished that you can almost smell the minestrone soup simmering in it many years ago.

We work with clients of all ages, and we find millennials have been brought up in a time of mass production, yet they are becoming more aware of craftsmanship and the value of pieces with authenticity. Even some of the modern houses Steve designs that are full of contemporary art are always enhanced by antiques.

Artistic Serenity 

Overall, we strive to create serene spaces. This desire is behind our love of antique Swedish pieces. Their pale painted finishes in neutral grays and blues provide a calm color palette to our life. Swedish antiques also have a combination of rustic and refined detailing that allows us to design spaces that are both elegant and comfortable.

We also find ourselves drawn to furniture pieces that embrace the artists and craftspeople who made or used them… the sketch made before the drawing, the wood hat molds from a millinery, or the draper’s table from a cloth merchant. These utilitarian objects add another layer to the story of a room.

Accessible Design 

As a designing couple (Steve as architect, Brooke as designer), we transformed our Los Angeles office into a retail space, which gave us the opportunity to create a store that mixed the antiques we love with our custom furniture. We began to design our own upholstered pieces specifically to complement well-designed antiques. We’re always drawn to furniture pieces that have classical proportions; we use the same classical proportions and human scale.

We cover our pieces using only natural materials that only get better with use. Our linen slipcovers get softer and more comfortable. Our leathers get more comfortable and more complex as time goes by, and our velvets are more beautiful with every crush. It’s part of the beauty of treasured, worn objects.

Steve Giannetti is a renowned architect who specializes in the unique combination of classical and modern architecture. Since founding the firm in 1994, he has designed homes around the world for clients in nearly every architectural style. Steve is now working on homes in California, France, Connecticut and Nashville. Brooke Giannetti runs the company’s interior design studio and is the author of the design blog, Velvet and Linen. She and Steve are the Authors of the books Patina Style (2011), and Patina Farm (2016). The firm’s work has been published in Veranda, The New York Times, Santa Barbara Magazine, C Magazine, and Good Housekeeping, as well as several other publications. Together they own the store Giannetti Home, located in Los Angeles, Calif., which also functions as their studio. They live on Patina Farm with their three children, mini goats, dogs, Sicilian donkeys, chickens, and Hector, the house bunny.

Find ANTIQUES at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market July 13-16, 2017.

Here We Grow

Expanded categories and new Floorplans for Temps in July

With so many distinct product collections, the Temporaries at AmericasMart are always evolving to better meet the needs of buyers and effectively reflect the marketplace. Here’s a glimpse of what to look for.

REVAMPING HOLIDAY AND IMMEDIATE

David Smith of David Christopher’s Collection appreciates being a part of Americasmart because, he says it seems to be the place more retailers from North America are attending. He sees customers from California to New York and Canada to the Caribbean. His Temporary exhibit is part of the newly reconfigured Holiday, Floral, Baskets and Cash & Carry sections in Building 3, Floor 1, which was executed to improve flow of traffic and ease of shopping.

Alex Carol Jewelry, also a part of this section, has been in business for more than 30 years and looks forward to seeing returning customers and welcoming new buyers from all over the world at Americasmart. 

What should buyers expect in the newly reconfigured areas? “Many of the exhibitors remain the same and the ease of shopping for both holiday and floral products with a flow into our immediate delivery area for quick jewelry and accessory needs have not changed, but the floor plan will facilitate smoother shopping,” says Mary Ellen Jackson, executive director of Tradeshows at Americasmart.

Rick McCormack with M & M Jewelry is excited about the reconfiguration. “I am sure the new layout will increase traffic and certainly make it easier for buyers to navigate the floor,” he says.

SPREADING FUN AND FRIVOLITY

Lexie Robinson with Wild & Wolf also is excited to be part of the growing On Trend Gifts section. While Americasmart has a General Gifts Temporary collection, this area was created as a curated stand-alone to house what Laura Dadisman, director of Sales at Americasmart labels “modern, quirky, all funky and just fun” gifts.

The On Trend gifts section, housed in Building 3, Floor 5, has been growing by leaps and bounds, and over 40 percent, Dadisman estimates, are international vendors. All are on top of trends and bring fun and clean lines to buyers, she adds. Sam Herrbach, director of Wholesale— North America for Australia-based Sunnylife says the section “exposes us to new buyers, creates brand awareness, and gives us the opportunity for face time with our existing customers.”

The section hosts fun happy hours and “really cool giveaways,” Dadisman says, as extra incentives for buyers. “We do temporary tattoo bars—all complimentary for buyers. They’re only going to get the whole experience of AmericasMart by shopping this collection.”

SETTING THE TABLE FOR GROWTH

Seeing that tabletop and entertaining was moving into higher-end territory, the expanding section is on a floor above High Design in Building 2, Floor 2, sharing buyers. “It’s more aligned to it name now,” says Amy Schlick James, executive director at Americasmart. The section has a lot of neat, colorful and design-driven products for entertaining and tabletop, James says, adding that Americasmart works hard on grouping products together in a very category-specific fashion so buyers can shop with ease.

Jennifer Williams of Sobremesa by Greenheart, a tabletop vendor says she loves being a part of Americasmart temporaries because the Chicago-based company can garner a wider audience at Americasmart.

“Americasmart has built a strong reputation as being the premier destination for buyers in the gift and homeware industry,” says Eric Damer with Merritt International, a tabletop vendor that will be introducing fresh melamine and acrylic lines along with new stylized lacquer trays with gold leaf highlights for the summer market.

Vendors are gearing up with show specials and a whole host of incentives so expect continued excitement as the temporaries evolve.

For more information: Alex Carol Jewelry, alexcaroljewelry.com; Art by Amy, artbyamy.com; David Christopher’s Collection, davidchristopherscollection.com; M & M Jewelry, mm-jewelers.com; Merritt International, merrittusa.com; Sobremesa by Greenheart, greenheartshop.org; Wild and Wolf, wildandwolf.com; and Sunnylife, sunnylife.com.

Images courtesy of Art by Amy, David Christopher’s Collection (Butler Studio), Merritt International, Sobremesa by Greenheart and Sunnylife.

Recipes for a Fantastic Fourth of July

Looking for some inspiration for your Independence Day menu? We asked some of the chefs who’ll be in the Demonstration Kitchen this July to help us prepare the perfect summer meal:

Sloppy Joe Burgers with Grilled Onions
Created by Chadwick Boyd

Heirloom Tomato Coleslaw
Created by Hudson Rouse

Savannah Lump Crab Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce 
Created By Gerry Klaskala

Bandoffee Trifle With Candied Bacon
Peach Party Liquor

Created by Kevin Gillespie


Sloppy Joe Burgers with Grilled Onions                                                                   Copyright © 2017 Lovely & Delicious Enterprises, Inc.                                             Created by Chadwick Boyd

Sloppy Joes are about as American as you can get. And they were a big part of my childhood. As kids, we would eat them at least one night a week. Classic ingredients of ketchup, yellow mustard, a bit of brown sugar and a tich of apple cider vinegar come together for that signature BBQ sweet and tang that makes these sandwiches irresistible. This recipe, featured in my show “Reel Food,” uses all the classic Sloppy Joe flavors, yet reimagines them as burgers. They are great for summertime grilling, but can easily be done inside on a grill pan or a large 12″ cast iron skillet any time of year. The sauce is lip-licking good, so I suggest making a double batch.

 

Makes 4-6 burgers, depending on how hungry you are

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion – one half diced, the other half thinly sliced
  • ½ medium green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4-6 brioche buns (find them at a local bakery or use hamburger buns as a substitute)
  • For the sauce
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat grill to medium high heat – 425°F-450°F.

Meanwhile, heat a large 12″ cast iron skillet on the stove to medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes to get it good and hot. Add the olive oil and heat through for 1 minute. Place the diced onion and green peppers in the skillet. Sauté until soft and translucent 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Place the beef in a large mixing bowl. Add in the jalapeno, chile and chipotle powders, celery salt and pepper. Mix well with clean hands or heavy handle wooden spoon. Add in the cooked onions and peppers. Mix until fully incorporated. Form into 4-6 patties, depending on how large you want them to be. Place on a large plate.

Add the rest of the onions to the skillet and let soften and char, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

While the onions are cooking, place a medium-sized skillet on medium heat. Add in all the ingredients for the sauce. Using a whisk, vigorously stir and bring the sauce to a low bubble – 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer while grilling the burgers. Stir occasionally.

Place the burgers on the grill and cook 4-5 minutes until the burgers are browned on the bottom and have grill marks. Place the brioche buns open face along the side of the burgers to warm and crisp up, usually 2-3 minutes – set aside on a clean plate. Using tongs or a large spatula, flip them over and continue cooking another 5-6 minutes until medium or slightly pink in the center. Remove the burgers from the grill and place immediately into the brioche.

Thickly slather the burgers with the sauce and top with the grilled onions.

Serve. Use the extra sauce for dipping.

**If cooking indoors in cast iron: Place the patties in the large skillet and cook 7-8 minutes until the bottom is fully sealed and dark brown. Flip and then cook 7-8 more minutes, or until slightly pink in the center.


Savannah Lump Crab Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce                                                Created By Gerry Klaskala

Ingredients 

  • 6 oz. – All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbl. – Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. – Salt
  • ¼ tsp. – Cayenne
  • 8 oz. – Jumbo Lump Crab
  • 4 oz. – Sauteed Scallions
  • 6 oz. – Water

Directions

1. Combine dry ingredients
2. Add crab, scallions and water. Mix just enough to incorporate ingredients.
3. Carefully scoop or spoon mix into ½ oz balls and fry in 350 degree oil until cooked through.

Thai Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

¼ cup – Mae Ploy
1 ea. – Thai Peppers, minced
¼ tsp. – Ginger, minced
2 Tbl. – Lime Juice
1 tsp. – Cilantro

Directions

1. Combine ingredients and stir well


Heirloom Tomato Coleslaw

Created by Chef Hudson Rouse

Ingredients

  • 1 table spoon celery seed
  • 1/8 cup pickle brine
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickles
  • 1 1/2 cup Dukes Mayonnaisel
  • 3 heads of cabbage thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots grated
  • 1 vidalia onionthinly sliced
  • 4  heirloom tomatoes sliced

Instructions

Whisk first 4 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add cabbage, carrots, onions; toss to coat with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours. Toss in sliced heirloom tomatoes before serving.


Peach Party Liquor                                                                                                       Created by Kevin Gillespie

The name is inspired by the show Squidbillies on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. I recently became a Squidbillies cast member, playing myself. The show is hilarious. It’s not for everyone, but I love how it explores the idea of these ultra-redneck characters that are, absurdly, squids. One of the characters, Early Cuyler, makes something he calls “party liquor.” One weekend when the cooks at Woodfire Grill were getting together on Sunday for some fun, I said, jokingly, that I would bring some “party liquor.” And it would include moonshine. “You can’t bring moonshine,” they said. “We’ll all go blind!” I wanted to show them it wasn’t so bad, so I mixed the moonshine with really strong tea and juiced peaches. It tasted like Snapple peach tea and you could barely detect the moonshine. It was so good that we drank all of it. We got to goofing around and thought it would be fun to have a dart tournament. Someone had brought a blow dart gun. Before long, one of us had a brilliant idea and asked, “What if we shot someone with one of these?” That soon digressed into a series of retaliatory dart wounds. That’s when I knew it was time for me to go. Just as my wife, Valerie, and I were walking out the door, I felt this pain in the back of my leg. I craned around, and there was a blow dart sticking out of my calf.

Ingredients

  • Water – 2 cups
  • Black tea bags – 4
  • Agave nectar – ½ cup
  • Peaches – 8 ripe baseball-size ones, pitted and peeled
  • Moonshine – 2 cups
  • Lemon juice – 1/4 cup

Directions

1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Add the tea bags, and steep the tea in the hot water for about 30 minutes; you want to end up with very strong tea. Add the agave nectar to the tea and stir until blended. Cool the tea to room temperature.
2. Using a juicer, food processor, or heavy-duty blender, puree the peaches until they are completely smooth. Pour into the pan of tea along with the moonshine and lemon juice, stirring to blend. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids. Cover, chill, and serve ice-cold.

Moonshine / White lightning or moonshine refers to any illegally distilled, unaged white whiskey made in an unregulated still at home. But you can find perfectly legal white whiskey called moonshine in just about every liquor store across the country. Any corn-based liquor will do just fine in this recipe. If you can’t find white whiskey, 80-proof Cathead Vodka from Mississippi is finished with corn and makes a great substitute.

Bandoffee Trifle With Candied Bacon                                                                       Created by Kevin Gillespie

My restaurant Gunshow has no investors. To raise money I did a series of fundraising dinners all over the country. I customized the menu for each group—except for dessert. I’m not much of a pastry chef, so I stuck with my slam-dunk combo of bananas, toffee, and candied bacon. I made it several different ways. At first, I plated it as a deconstructed modernist dessert. Then in Seattle I served a much bigger group of folks and the modernist plating turned out to be too time-consuming. Out of sheer necessity, I made it into a trifle, and that’s what made the dish even more successful. It’s a layered dessert of vanilla custard, Candied Bacon (page 139), crushed shortbread cookies, fried bananas, toffee caramel, and chocolate ganache. You can totally make this at home. The layering makes it look awesome in a glass dish. Serve it with coffee and your friends will think you’re badass.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 3 bananas 5 ounces 65% chocolate,
    chopped
  • 12 ounces shortbread cookies
  • 2 cups vanilla custard or pudding
    (see Good to Know)
  • 16 strips Candied Bacon (page
    139), chopped, 2 pieces
    reserved for garnish

Directions

To make the caramel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and stir in ¾ cup of the cream. Return to a boil and decrease the heat to a low simmer. Simmer, swirling occasionally, until the mixture reaches 235°F, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350°F.

Peel the bananas and fry until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to cool.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup cream in a small saucepan just to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.

Place the cookies in a large zip-top bag, squeeze out any excess air, and roll with a rolling pin a few times to make very coarse crumbs; you should have about 3 cups.

You can make one large trifle bowl or individual servings in 8-ounce canning jars. To assemble, layer one-third of the cookie crumbs, half the custard, half the bacon, half the fried bananas, half the caramel, and the chocolate; continue layering on the remaining custard, bacon, bananas, and one-third of the crumbs; top with the remaining caramel and crumbs. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Cut the reserved bacon into long strips and garnish each serving with a strip.

See these chefs and more in the Demonstration Kitchen at the July 2017 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, July 11-18, 2017.

 

Red is all the Rave

Fall fashion sets its sight on red this season. Whether you choose a handbag or dress you’ll definitely make a statement with this bold and daring color.

Featured Lines include Love Poppy Jewels, Slyvia Benson, Liebeskind, WYLDR, ADA and Ark & Co.

Shop items in this bold color and more during the August Atlanta Apparel Market®          August 1–5, 2017.