A Welcome Resource

Hospitality buyers look to AmericasMart
By Jessica Harlan

A growing number of buyers for hotels and restaurants are shopping AmericasMart, seeking trendsetting looks and pieces that will set their spaces apart from other commercial establishments.

“Today, both hospitality buyers and consumers follow fashion, culture, and lifestyle closely,” says Monica Porter, Certified GREENleader for Montes Doggett. “They are in sync and will ultimately have an eye for the same look and feel when choosing items, whether for a home or a [commercial] project.”

Montes Doggett

Among the trends she’s seen in hospitality design are simple, clean and oversized statement pieces and new interpretations of familiar, everyday shapes. Porter adds that buyers are gravitating to items that can stand on their own, rather than collections. Meanwhile, Leslie Thompson of Up Country Home, believes the hospitality trade leads in design, and consumer trends are more likely to follow that sector. Right now, she says, “there is a big trend in creating spaces for communal dining.”

Bigger and Better
Mac Cooper, president and CEO of Uttermost, sees an emphasis on texture and color with natural hues, rather than busy patterns. He says furniture pieces have a softer look with curvy lines rather than sharp angles. And hospitality buyers are often drawn to products that have connectivity features, such as USB ports in lamps.

Pasha Furniture, Inc.

Cooper says that rather than cookie-cutter spaces, hospitality designers aim to create unique experiences. “They are seeking eye-catching, one-of-a-kind designs that fit the narrative of the hotel design,” he says. “In the larger, bigger-budget properties, the art is almost exclusively local, with exotic public area pieces.” Sam Kural, CEO of Pasha Home, agrees. He says oversized statement pieces and custom orders are what draw hospitality buyers to his showroom. While retail buyers are choosing from the designs on the floor, his hospitality clients, “have a vision of what they want. You might go from one of your existing designs and modify it, or you start from scratch,” he says. They’re looking for bold products, tall pieces that can make a big impression, and modular shapes that can be arranged and used in a number of ways.

One of the most popular items in the Pasha Home showroom for commercial spaces, is an oversized round ottoman. Because of its size, too large in scale for a home but perfect for a hotel lobby, “It tells hospitality buyers that we can do what they’re looking for,” says Kural.

Custom Rules

Matouk

In bedding and textiles, it’s a slightly different story. Eugene Paceleo, director of hotel sales of John Matouk & Co., notes that hospitality buyers who frequent his Atlanta showroom are looking for trendsetting textiles that can be adapted to the wear and tear of commercial use.

“We do a lot of delicate, high thread count bedding,” says Paceleo. “These might be applicable to presidential suites, but for the most part it’s at a price point where it may not be the optimal purchase for hoteliers. But we can change the base fabric to a lower thread count percale or sateen, and fade-resistant cotton tape.” This achieves a similar look but with a more durable fabric that can withstand frequent washings in commercial machines.

Thompson of Up Country Home echoes the idea that hospitality-geared items must have more durability than something destined for a consumer home. “A chair must withstand thousands of impressions, or wallpaper must be able to be washed. If a product isn’t durable then it won’t be considered by an experienced hospitality designer,” she says.

Paceleo says that while white bedding has been the standard in hotel bedding—a trend that’s also translated to retail—a new, younger breed of hoteliers is pushing the envelope with touches of color and other elements of differentiation. “A duvet cover might be made of a heavier fabric,” he says. “There might be a bright throw or runner, or a satin stitch in a contrast color. They’re trying to achieve something a little different in the rooms, something that can be a hotel’s signature.”

As with Pasha Home, Matouk sees a lot of custom business, which the company can nimbly address with its factory in Fall River, Mass., which keeps rolls of fabrics on hand that can be cut and sewn to order with no minimums. “If you have a suite and you need a silver cotton coverlet in a specific size, we can do that for you, there’s no issue with minimums and reorders,” says Paceleo.

Broad Choices

Uttermost

With vendors that can accommodate custom needs, or which have the kinds of bold statement pieces that hospitality buyers are seeking, AmericasMart is an increasingly important resource for commercial properties. Thompson says that in the past, she saw few hospitality designers at AmericasMart, but she is seeing more and more. She believes this is in part because an increased number of residential designers are focusing on hospitality projects.

“Hospitality buyers and designers are finding AmericasMart a necessary source for their needs,” says Porter. “In turn, they are pushing our capabilities as designers and manufacturers, to attract a buyer that might not otherwise have been our intended market.”

For more information:
John Matouk & Co., 508.997.3444, matouk.com; Montes Doggett, 866.834.9857, montesdoggett.com; Pasha Home, 336.889.2114, pashahome.com; Up Country Home, 404.749.4749, upcountryhome.com; Uttermost, 800.678.5486, uttermost.com.

Images courtesy of Uttermost, Pasha Home, John Matouk & Co., and Montes Doggett

Hotty Toddy Homecoming

Creating hospitable promotions inspires customer loyalty

From an early age, Douglas Self knew he had a creative and an analytical mind. Oxford, Miss., nourished both. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi and got his start in retail working for Oxford Floral during his college years.

“Oxford Floral was one of the premier gift shops in Mississippi and I learned as much from owners, Bette and Jeff Butler, as I did my general education. Together, it was an incredible base for my career,” says Self, owner of jdouglas, with showrooms in AmericasMart and High Point.

Loving to put collections together and to be in front of customers, Self had long thought of opening a retail store. “Visiting Oxford for SEC game weekends, I realized I had to carry all my tailgating and dinner party supplies with me. There was a void in the market,” he says.

He opened Provision Oxford in October 2014, near the historic downtown square. The lifestyle boutique features his personal blend of home furnishings, tabletop, gifts, personal care items, jewelry, some ladies apparel, and original art. “It’s a gracious, hospitable place to see and buy beautiful things. But it’s more than great lines. We strive to offer an extraordinary experience, to treat customers as if they were visiting our home for a party,” he says.

Building Loyalty
The name says it all. “Provision means to provide things not readily accessible, and I wanted to give back to this university and community,” says Self. The shop helps residents and weekend-condo owners furnish their homes, buy gifts, or entertain with style, but Self also hosts Fridays This Fall events during home football weekends.

“We showcase Southern artisans or designers (preferably someone with a Mississippi or Ole Miss connection) and invite guests to attend a lecture, trunk show, or book signing,” he says. Last year, the store brought jewelry artists Elizabeth Wise Hannon, Gresham Hodges and Taylor Miller; floral expert and author, John Grady Burns; Mississippi born painter, Marilyn Mulherin; Ole Miss alumnus and Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine, Clinton R. Smith and author/designer James Farmer to town.

“We support a charity with each event by donating about 10 percent of the proceeds,” he says. In the past Provision Oxford has contributed to Peyton’s House (a youth ministry); Love Packs, Chucky Mullins Fund, Alexa’s Team (childhood cancer) and the St. Jude marathon.

Giving Back
The events help artists and charities, engage customers and increase sales. “People want to know who is coming, and we let them know by social media and e-mail,” he says. “This is a cultural town and people look forward to learning about and meeting talented artists. It gives them another activity to share with guests on football weekends.”
He also hosts special brunches or cocktail parties in the store for local sororities and fraternities during their parent weekends, allowing the group to choose their charity. A recent Derby Days event made more student customers aware of the shop, and they, of course, told their parents. “It’s the extra things you do to cultivate a business and build a brand that makes people want to work with you,” says Self. “You have to create the right environment.”

For additional information about the store, visit www.provisionoxford.com or like the store on Facebook.

To learn how to boost sales surrounding seasonal events and holidays, attend our upcoming Lunch Seminar: Spring Into Sales on Wednesday, March 8, during the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®. Join flower magazine founder and editor-in-chief Margot Shaw and retail and merchandising experts Kristin Alber of Restylesource, Dina Woodruff of Peridot, and Pacita Wilson of Pineapple Park as they share visual merchandising tips, product picks and seasonal tabletop displays that are sure to inspire and make your sales bloom. Complimentary lunch is included and begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

Images courtesy of Joe Worthem

Rise Up!

 

feb17_gameday_r2-011. Regina Andrew Design, Inc. 2. Bonnie & Neil/Karen Alweil Studio 3. CODARUS 4. Mr. Brown 5. Picnic Time, Inc. 6. Pom Pom at Home/CODARUS  7. Catstudio 8. Midwest-CBK 9. Entryways 10. SARO 11. Zuo Modern 12. Picnic Time, Inc.

Shop an array of Gift and Home products at the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®, March 8 – 10, 2017, and The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® July 11 – 18, 2017. Select showrooms are open year-round.

The World of Rugs in Atlanta

How any retailer or designer can shop and sell rugs
by Alix G. Perachon

Only a few years ago, there was a sharp divide between items that are handmade and those that are machine made. Decorative carpets are generally designated as handknotted and flatwoven rugs, both antique and new, exhibiting classic oriental and European designs. Meanwhile, handtufted and machine made rug patterns were typically more limited.

Today’s buyer has an unparalleled choice of rugs at all price points ranging from traditional to contemporary and from handmade to machine made. Thanks to revolutionary technological advances in construction and materials, machine made area rugs now offer a level of artistry and durability that was a dream a decade ago. Hence the latest color and design trends are no longer reserved for the high-end boutique rug market, but are universal regardless of the carpet’s creation—handknotted, handtufted, flatwoven or machine made.

As the rug is the foundation of the room, what better time to learn the basics and shop at Market? Here are need-to-know decorative area rug facts to guide you as you explore the exciting January Market.

A Kaleidoscope of Color and Design

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Produced in a variety of handmade and machine woven constructions, these are among the most important area rug design types that you will view at Market:

1.Traditional: Patterns are inspired from age-old oriental designs in mainly traditional colors originating from regions including Persia, Turkey, and China including Sultanabad, Tabriz, Serapi and Oushak.

2. Transitional: Transitional rugs have been a leading force in the last five years concurrent with the casual, informal look popular in interior design. Often integrating classic and contemporary elements in the same piece, they are available in a virtually infinite range of styles. These are some of the looks falling under the transitional rug umbrella:

Oriental—Traditional oriental rug patterns—including Sultanabad, Tabriz, Serapi, Oushak, and Central Asian—exhibit a modern twist with a broad range of contemporary colors such as various shades of grey, cream, blue, and aubergine.

Ikat—Inspired from southeast Asian tie-dyed textiles, these boldly patterned rugs come in a variety of colors.

Vintage—These are generally 30-to-60-year-old oriental rugs whose colors are often chemically washed to create a more subdued “shabby chic” effect. There are also reproduction vintage-style rugs.

Over-dyed—These can be vintage pieces or reproductions that have been “over-dyed” in mainly vivid colors—including neon greens, oranges, purples, and electric blues. Patterns are often intentionally partly “erased” to create a distinctive offbeat look.

3. Moroccan: Ranging from the authentic handcrafted nomadic pieces from Morocco to reproductions, Moroccan-style carpets are characterized by ivory, brown, black, and multicolored backgrounds with geometric motifs including squares, oblongs and diamonds.

4. Contemporary: These rugs range from subdued monochromatics to graphic geometrics and florals. Avant-garde designs—including painterly impressionist and cubist patterns have revolutionized the area rug repertoire. The finest pieces are considered modern works of art in their own right—generally handknotted or handwoven in all-natural materials such as wool and silk—but cost a fraction of contemporary paintings. While Nepal has been at the forefront of contemporary rugs, other countries of production are now also involved.

Texture, Texture and More Texture
Texture, rather than pattern, plays a key role in determining the beauty of many contemporary carpets. Traditionally, decorative rugs were mainly either pile (e.g., handknotted, handtufted, and power-loomed) or flatwoven by hand or machine. Now an impressive array of construction techniques, often combined in the same piece, create sophisticated textural effects. For instance, “high low” rugs feature a combined pile and flatweave construction where the design is raised pile and the ground is flatwoven. Subtle textural variations are also obtained with a variety of cut and loop pile techniques.

Tonal rugs’ exquisite subtlety is achieved through techniques including the artful shading of hues, known as abrash, which creates richness and depth. Moreover, natural silk or silk-like materials (e.g., bamboo and banana silks and viscose) often accent specific areas or are blended with other materials, such as wool, to create a more lustrous effect. Additional materials used to produce textural effects include aloe, linen, and jute. Never before has there been a more exciting time to shop for decorative rugs. Now it’s your turn to discover what’s making the area rug market tick.

Vibrant New Home for Rug Temps
During The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring the National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA, buyers have the opportunity to explore collections from a broad spectrum of exhibitors. In addition to the showroom offerings, the temporary exhibits have a new home on Floor 7 of Building 1. Proximity to some of the top home accents, furnishings, linens and textiles companies in the industry creates a unique synergy.

“Locating our area rug temporaries so close to our home temporaries creates a seamless buying experience. Our rug temps have long been a staple of savvy home buyers, and now they can shop and source these exhibitors even more conveniently,” says Kevin Malkiewicz, vice president of leasing for AmericasMart.

Retailers and designers can conveniently source a variety of exceptional rugs from across the globe as they shop other categories. “As the floor is often the first thing the eye notices when you enter a room, decorative rugs are a key element in interior design,” says Alix Perrachon, principal of Alix Unlimited, LLC. “Decorating has never been easier thanks to your ability to select rugs from a dazzling array of styles and price points, all conveniently located in one building at AmericasMart together with the latest in home accents, furnishings, and linens collections.”

The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring the National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA runs Wednesday, January 11 – Sunday, January 15, 2017. The Temporaries are open in Building 1, Floor 7 from Thursday, January 12 –  Monday, January 16 and select showrooms on Floors 3 – 6 are open through Tuesday, January 17.


Acknowledgment: The author would like to thank Reza Momeni of Momeni, Inc. and Alex Peykar of Nourison for their invaluable information.

Alix G. Perrachon is a writer, speaker, and consultant in the rug industry to the interior design trade. She is the author of The Decorative Carpet—Fine Handmade Rugs in Contemporary Interiors published by The Monacelli Press/Random House, the only book to feature rugs from the decorative standpoint, and of countless articles on oriental and decorative weavings and antiques. An ASID CEU-certified speaker, she has lectured on decorative rugs all over the country. She was an international judge for the Carpet Design Awards in Hanover, Germany and moderated the decorative rug panel at the Architectural Digest Design Show/New York Times Design Series in 2016.

Home Starts Here

Diversity of product leads to buyer success in Building 1, Floors 3 through 6
By Laura Raines

Four years ago, AmericasMart made a bold decision to integrate home furnishing exhibitors into its traditional rug floors (3-6) in Building 1. The showcase of diverse collections gives buyers access to more products, ideas and expertise.

“Retailers and designers appreciate the one-stop approach of having so much complementary merchandise within easy reach,” says Kevin Malkiewicz, vice-president and leasing manager.

One-stop buying works for the designer needing the perfect rug to complete a client’s den; the furniture store owner expanding into rugs; the carpet retailer adding more home accessories; or the lifestyle shopkeeper looking for display vignettes inspired by the latest trends.

“A creative lifestyle rug and home furnishings environment fits with the changing marketplace which has fewer specialty stores and more merchants selling online and across multiple product classifications,” says Malkiewicz.

AmericasMart Atlanta

Dimond Home

Elk International Group readily adopted the idea. “We took a leap of faith by moving to a larger location on the 6th floor, historically a rug floor, several years ago,” says CEO Bradford Smith. ELK is a manufacturer and distributor of lighting, wall décor, gifts and home accessories. Other home furnishing exhibitors have joined them.

“The floor has broad appeal to customers wanting to shop multiple categories in one location, while allowing greater opportunity to view merchandise in lifestyle settings,” says Smith.

Complimentary Collections
ELK’s designer has incorporated more than 400 new products into vignettes that
focus on modern farmhouse, urban and contemporary styles for the January show.
“Concrete tables and lamps, designer outdoor portable lighting, hand painted wall art, mirrors, and home furnishing accessories are shown in ‘wa-la’ settings that draw new customers,” says Kerry Radar, ELK showroom manager. “Catalogues and online ordering are a convenience, but people like to see things put together, to see the scale and how colors blend. It gives them ideas,” she adds.

AmericasMart Atlanta

Justina Blakeney Collection/Loloi Rugs

Other exhibitors agree. “Buyers today are looking at the décor and furnishings in all-encompassing approach; most are buying at least one other category, making it important for them to see how rugs coordinate with other aspects in their vignettes and store settings,” says Cyrus Loloi, principal of Loloi Rugs, located on the 4th floor.

Atlanta’s market symbolizes newness and freshness in the rug market, says Loloi. “This will be one of our largest product unveilings to date, with everything from new machine-made rugs, to hand-knotted carpets, as well pillows and new throws.” Loloi customers include large and small furniture stores, luxury designer showrooms and flooring specialty stores. “While inexpensive rugs are getting more beautiful all the time with the advancement of technology; we also see a strong market supporting the skill and artistry that goes into a fine rug.”

Full Coordination
Michael Marks, of Capel Rugs, an AmericasMart exhibitor since the early 1970s agrees that “Atlanta is a great rug market.” The company recently moved to the third floor, wanting to be closer to its competitors. “There is a synergy and community showing near other rug suppliers. Whether designers or retailers are looking for classic, transitional or contemporary styles, or the fast-growing niche of outdoor rugs, they’ll find it here,” says Marks. “An area rug can change the direction of a room, making it a popular home accessory in today’s economy.” And a good complement to other home furnishings.

AmericasMart Atlanta

Capel Rugs

Showing amidst rug and home furnishing showrooms makes rugs less intimidating
and more accessible, says Andrew Peykar, vice-president of operations for Nourison, a leader in the rug market, with a large showroom on Floor 3. Displays such as his
compact Rug Boutique helps place rugs in non-traditional rug stores. Diversification is
a benefit to everyone, he says. Key is for buyers to be able to source complete collections conveniently, which is simple at AmericasMart in Building 1, Floors 3-6.

Shop Floors 3-6 during The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring The National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA, Wednesday, January 11 – Sunday, January 15 and select showrooms open for The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, Tuesday, January 10 – Tuesday, January 17. Come visit the new Lighting & Decor Lounge in Building 1, Floor 5, 5-B-1 during Market and join us Wednesday, January 11 from 4 – 6 p.m. as we celebrate the debut of Lighting & Decor, a new magazine from Scranton Gillette Communications.The Lighting & Decor Lounge will feature a dynamic lineup of events with industry leaders, celebrity appearances, happy hours, trend presentations, and much, much more, Thursday, January 12 – Sunday, January 15:

Lunch and Lounge: Noon
Daily Dialogues: 1 p.m.
Happy Hour: 4 – 6 p.m.
Linley+Lauren’s Fab Five at Five Trend Presentations: 5 p.m.

Visit AmericasMart.com/January to learn more.


For more information:
Capel Rugs – 404.577.4320, capelrugs.com; ELK – 800.613.3261×312; Loloi Rugs – 404.220.2616, loloirugs.com; Nourison – 201.368.6900, nourison.com

Images courtesy of Capel Rugs, Dimond Home and Loloi Rugs

Happy Thanksgiving

AmericasMart Atlanta

Top image: Juliska 1. Jan Barboglio 2. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 3. IMAX Corporation 4. DEMDACO 5. K & K Interiors, Inc. 6. Midwest-CBK 7. Blue Pheasant 8. Moser Crystal 9. DCI – Designs Combined, Inc. 10. Melrose International, LLC 11. Juliska  12. Global Views 13. Bunakara 14. Loloi, Inc. 15. RAZ Imports, Inc. 16. Sea Stones 17. Bloomingville 18. Sertodo Copper 19. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 20. Michael Aram

Shop Holiday & Floral/Home Décor, plus an array of Gift products, during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® January 10 – 17, 2017, and select showrooms open year-round.

Sunshine Slowdown

By Chris Gigley

Somewhere on South Florida’s vast and clogged network of roads, routes and highways, Carol Adams is on her way to one of her four interior design and home decor stores. But the owner of Excentricities says her life is a lot easier than it used to be.

For about 28 years, Adams owned and operated another Excentricities location—in Long Island’s gilded Hamptons area. On paper, the Hamptons was a natural fit. The place has lots of vacation homes, disposable income and the kind of irrational high demand for redesign projects that keeps a business like hers flush with work.

Adams herself, however, lacked the one thing her business was known for—balance.

“Our business is spread equally between interior design and retail,” she says. “Our customers can buy anything in our showrooms right off the floor, which often happens. We also try to find one-of-a-kind items to create an interesting mix for our customers.”

Excentricities has been that way since 1986, when Adams opened her first two stores. One was the Hamptons location. The other, in North Palm Beach, is now the flagship store. In 2003, Adams opened a showroom in Delray Beach, Fla. The West Palm Beach location debuted in 2012, and the fifth showroom, in Jupiter, opened its doors two years later. With business booming in South Florida, Adams did the only sane thing this year and closed the Hamptons store. While she still does a lot of running around, at least the distances are commutable by car.

SHOPPING THE RIGHT VIBE

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Adams says she is careful not to streamline the way she buys for each Florida store. Her philosophy is simple. “I just buy whatever I like, frankly,” she says. More specifically, she buys what she likes for each store’s particular customer base, and that makes for a lot of walking when she comes to Atlanta.

“I can’t tell you how many different vendors we have,” she says. “It’s probably anywhere from 500 to 700. I’m not saying that they’re all repeat orders. If it doesn’t sell we don’t buy it again.”

Each store carries several furniture lines with plenty of accessories lines mixed in. Adams says on her most recent trip to The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, she was pleasantly surprised by how much she found.

“The market has changed dramatically,” she says. “I used to go there to buy little gift items, but there is a lot more furniture now. I found a lot of new vendors. It was great, and it was easy.”

CREATING A STORE IDENTITY
Adams deserves as many breaks as she can get, because even with a more concentrated business she still has plenty of challenges. Above all is maintaining each store’s unique identity per its clientele. “In West Palm Beach we get a lot of wealthy people from Palm Beach, while Delray is more of an eclectic, funky town. It’s very charming,” she says. “In North Palm Beach we get a little older crowd, and Jupiter is a mixed bag.”

Her newest location just might become the most lucrative. “The community is a bit older, but a lot of young people are moving in,” she says. “It’s just booming. It’s unbelievable. I’m a native Floridian, and when I was growing up no one would go to Jupiter. Now everyone wants to go.”

A customized buying strategy is just half the secret to maintaining each store’s character. The other is having the right staff. Adams has 14 employees spread among the four stores. She says she’d love to have more, “but we’re always short of staff.” That means Adams is always on the road to one of her locations to work with staff and clientele. Then, it’s off to the next store. Then the next.

“I’m like the energizer bunny,” she jokes. “I’m always on the go.”

The difference now is that she feels more grounded, and Excentricities is better for it.

For more information, visit excentricities.com.
Images: Steve Tutterow Photography