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.

An Interior Designer’s Guide to Shopping at AmericasMart

Welcome to January Market! See Brian Patrick Flynn’s take on the top tips for interior designers shopping at AmericasMart—they’re sure to come in handy for your Market week.

More Quick Tips for Market

  • Download and use the AmericasMart app. It’s the Market must-have and a FREE buyer tool that allows you to search for exhibitors, lines, categories, events and more, navigate campus by buildings and floors, and easily access your customizable Market Plan.
  • Study the color-coded building schematic in the Atlanta Buyer’s Guide (pick one up at Registration) and match your purchase plan to the categories and floors.
  • First time to Market? Whether you are an interior designer or retail buyer, we invite you to attend one of the New Buyer Breakfast orientations with our Retail Services team for help with anything you need: Thursday, January 12 – Saturday, January 14, 2017, from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. in the Building 3, Floor 11, Buyer’s Lounge, 11-W359.

Note: Information presented in this video is subject to change at any time. Visit AmericasMart.com for current policies, registration requirements and general information. 

Quick Bites

The Fiesta Dinnerware Demonstration Kitchen will be teeming with mouthwatering aromas, flavorful bites and divine drinks from Atlanta’s top chefs and mixologists at January Market beginning tomorrow.

See what our roster of culinary experts have to say as we get up close and personal and make sure to add their events to your Market Plan.


Wednesday, January 11  |  Noon
Coastal Appetizers
Presented by Chef Amanda Egidio of Big Green Egg Culinary Center

Amanda Egidio

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Chef Amanda Egidio

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Houston’s, Venkman’s.

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
Farm to table.

Top cooking tip?
Cook with love, enjoy the journey.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Coconut.

 

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
Pitt Mitts for my Big Green Egg.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Grilling/wood fire authentic cooking.


Thursday, January 12  |  Noon
Cajun Creations & Cocktails
Presented by Chef Cooper Miller of Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall and Mixologist Stephanie Marville of Venkman’s

Cooper Miller

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Chef Cooper Miller

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Ticonderoga Club

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
On the rise.

Top cooking tip?
Simplicity.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Northern Chinese.

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
Japanese mandolin.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Gourmet rotisserie.

Stephanie Marville

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Mixologist Stephanie Marville

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Umi, La Tavola, Varuni Napoli.

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
Growth, energetic, comforting.

Top cooking/cocktail tip?
Prep!

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Amaro. It adds a unique depth of flavor to any cocktail but can also be enjoyed on its own.

 

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking/cocktail tool?
A GOOD wine key. It’s versatile and you’ll be surprised how often it comes in handy.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Culinary techniques being implemented in prep for craft cocktails.


Saturday, January 14  |  Noon
Compliments of the Chef
Presented by Chef Jomo Morris and Chef Lasheeda Perry, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta and Bar Margot

Jomo Morris

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Chef Jomo Morris

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Holeman and Finch Public House

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
Eat what you crave.

Top cooking tip?
Taste your food.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Everything pork.

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
Gray Kunz spoon and Y shaped peeler.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Gochujang.

Lasheeda Perry

Girls Inc. of Alameda presents TASTE 2016

Chef Lasheeda Perry

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Tuk Tuk

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
Rustic, Southern and flavorful.

Top cooking tip?
Lemon is the salt of baking and pastry.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Bourbon.

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
Offset spatula.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Back to the basics.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I am new to Atlanta, but I am ready to explore and to join the group of amazing chefs here in Atlanta.


Saturday, January 14  |  4 p.m.
Tavern Fare With a Southern Flair
Presented by Chef Mark Nelson of HOBNOB and Chef Nick Anderson of Ormsby’s

Mark Nelson

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Chef Mark Nelson

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
BoccaLupo

What dish/drink or three words best sums up Atlanta’s food scene?
Bourbon, craft beer, fresh ingredients.

Top cooking tip?
Don’t be afraid to season your food. Always add the seasoning at the end and taste before adding more. Most food is under seasoned.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
My all-time favorite ingredient is octopus.

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
My small immersion blender.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Asian buns are definitely a trend that chefs are playing with right now, doing non-Asian applications.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Chefs and kitchen staff work extremely hard in hot, fast paced environments. Show them some love when they get it right.

Nick Anderson

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Chef Nick Anderson

Favorite Atlanta restaurant/bar other than your own?
Taiyo Ramen in Decatur

Top cooking tip?
Don’t over complicate it.

Favorite ingredient, food, dish or cocktail?
Salt and Thai basil.

What’s your can’t-live-without-it cooking tool?
My butcher’s steal.

What food trend/ingredient do you see on the horizon?
Well prepared, simple and easy food.


Hungry for more? Check out all of the tasty cooking events, as well as many workshops and parties happening during Market at AmericasMart.com/Events.

Chef demonstrations sponsored by Atlanta Magazine.

A Reason to Celebrate

Commemorating 20 Years of Holiday & Floral/Home Décor
By Helen Anne

It’s party time! Holiday & Floral/Home Décor is marking 20 years of success with a celebration during the January 2017 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. The product center, initially marketed using the “Art of Christmas,” has expanded to include celebrations that create family traditions.

Executing a new exhibit concept in 1996, AmericasMart redesigned space in Building 1, brought exhibitors with substantial Christmas lines together into one area and began promoting products designed for holiday celebrations. By focusing marketing efforts on a certain type of product located in a collective space, AmericasMart hoped to increase traffic to all exhibitors.

Loyal From the Beginning
Vaillancourt Folk Art, owned by Gary and Judi Vaillancourt, manufactures highly-detailed, hand-painted chalkware collectibles. The company was one of the first exhibitors to move to the 20th floor where artist-driven companies are highlighted. Gary Vaillancourt says the move has been very profitable for their business. “Right now, [the 20th floor] is probably the place to go in the show,” he says. “We see every major department store and every major catalog.”

Vaillancourt-AmericasMart AtlantaIn the beginning, however, it took creativity to develop foot traffic in the new center. The Vaillancourts relied on appointments with large buyers, but worked diligently with fellow exhibitors to build business with smaller buyers. “We would do different things,” Gary Vaillancourt says. “We would have scavenger hunts and Halloween parties and Easter egg hunts.” He even admitted to having photos of himself dancing a tango with Bethany Lowe, another early exhibitor in the product center.

Bethany Lowe, artist and creative director at Bethany Lowe Designs, remembers those early days well. Her company specializes in one-of-a-kind, collectible Christmas figurines and ornaments, as well as products for other holidays and family celebrations. She still designs and hand-finishes her high-end products, while her daughter Erin Glennon serves as CEO.

Lowe says she sent three Santa figurines to her first Atlanta Market more than 25 years ago. “I sold out my production for the year with one show,” she says. “After that, I was hooked on Atlanta.”

When the product center opened in the mid-1990s, it didn’t take long for Bethany Lowe Designs to move in. “We jumped on board on the 20th floor in the second year, and we’re really happy we did,” Lowe says. “It was appealing to me that the Mart was willing to offer dedicated showrooms to a select group of artists.”

All About the Relationships
Bethany Lowe - AmericasMart AtlantaBoth Bethany Lowe and Gary Vaillancourt credit the close-knit community of exhibitors with helping them maintain a competitive edge. Glennon echoes those sentiments. “We’ve been in a prime location for going on 20 years,” Glennon says. “People know where we are, and we’re absolutely a destination. That recognition is based, in part, on the relationships we’ve built in that building—from fellow exhibitors to the AmericasMart staff.”

Stephanie Voss, director of marketing for K&K Interiors, says her company also found a home in Holiday & Floral/Home Décor because K&K had an emphasis on the Holiday product category. Since first exhibiting on floors 19 and 20, K&K has experienced sales growth each year, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. “The shows represent a reunion of sorts for us because many of our customers are like family since they have been doing business with us for so long,” Voss says. “The ambiance is always upbeat with music, the smell of baked cookies, laughter and plenty of hugs.”

Kurt S. Adler is also celebrating an anniversary this year – the company’s 70th. Founded just after the end of World War II by Kurt Adler, the company is guided today by his children – Howard, Clifford and Karen. As the decades passed, the company has modified its product line from European traditions such as Black Forest Christmas Trees to blown glass ornaments, bubble-blowers and limited edition ornaments. With a nod to the past, its collection of Hollywood Nutcrackers has been popular for the past decade, and animatronics, fiber optic trees and interactive advent calendars carry it into the future.

Always Evolving and Growing
Julie H. Fry, CEO of Select Artificials, has had a decades-long association with AmericasMart, but only moved to Building 1 in late 2014 with a grand opening in the new space in January 2015. With the expanded showroom, Fry says Select Artificials continues to welcome both long-standing and new clients. “It is a great way for old friends, I mean customers, to see our product in a different venue,” she says. “It reinforces relationships.”

Building 1, Floor 20 - AmericasMart AtlantaAnother relatively new exhibitor in Holiday & Floral/Home Décor is Kaemingk, an international company focused on seasonal products from Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter to summer gardens. Mark Hooper, USA sales manager for Kaemingk, says the company’s experience has been so positive, it’s making an investment in its showroom this year. “We see Atlanta as one of the strongest markets in the U.S. and Building 1 the best place for our type of products,” he says. “We’re expanding our showroom for the 2017 January Market,” he says, “doubling our space from 7,000 to 14,000 sq. ft.”

As Holiday & Floral/Home Décor moves into its third decade, exhibitors are excited about the future. They expect their products to stay rooted in Christmas with continued expansion into Halloween, Easter, spring, Valentine’s Day and family traditions. They also have great plans to introduce their products to new buyers.

Join the exhibitors on Friday, January 13, from 4 – 7 p.m. as they celebrate 20 years of Holiday & Floral on Floor 20 and visit all the Holiday & Floral/Home Décor showrooms in Building 1, Floors 16-20 during January Market. And, keep in mind many exhibitors are Open Year Round between Markets as well.

Images courtesy of Bethany Lowe and Vaillancourt Folk Art.

PANTONE Color of the Year 2017: Greenery

Today, PANTONE announced its Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery.

“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings,” according to the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.

At AmericasMart, we’re also seeing Greenery – in home furnishings, home accents, gifts, tabletop and more.

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Global Views

How can you use Greenery in your designs or store? Check out our trend report “Tropical Escape” in the January 2017 edition of the AmericasMart Magazine, arriving to your stores, homes and offices this month.

Get an inside glimpse into the selection of the PANTONE Color of the Year and learn more about key color trends for 2017 — where they are coming from, why they are happening and where they are headed in the future — from Laurie Pressman, vice president of the PANTONE Color Institute in a presentation “Home 2017: At a Crossroads for Color + Design” on Friday, January 13 at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

Biggest and Best Gourmet and Tabletop Collection to Date at AmericasMart

AmericasMart® Atlanta advances our long-standing role as the center of global entertaining trends with our January 2017 presentation of the largest-to-date permanent Gourmet Housewares, Gourmet Foods and Tabletop and Entertaining collection at The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®. The multi-floor showroom collection showcases more than 800 lines housed in nearly 150,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The collection’s growth is fueled by top lines and designs enhanced by the accessibility and connectivity of tabletop and gourmet product strategically located and aligned to ensure natural shopping synergy. Buyers from both categories can easily source complementary merchandise on contiguous floors, and can access adjacent Building 1 home furnishings offerings, which encourage interior designers and furnishings retailers to explore new categories. This expert design has made AmericasMart the Market of necessity for top tabletop and gourmet manufacturers and specifiers, and yielded a Marketplace of flagship showrooms.
New-to-Atlanta exhibitors Crow Canyon Home, Spiker, SCS Direct, Promaster, Rojemac, Prima Design USA and TMD Holdings join lines including Versace, Wolf Gourmet, Q Squared, WusthofHoliday Fried Pecans, Stonewall Kitchen, Tervis, Baccarat Crystal, Juliska and Spiegelau at the January Market.

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AmericasMart’s permanent showrooms are complemented by the temporary Gourmet Foods, Housewares, Tabletop and Entertaining, and juried Tabletop LUXE and Gourmet LUXE collections. Highlights include Architec Brands, Coast and Cotton and Talisman Designs in Housewares; Ben & Lael, Inc., Britten Couture Home, Gitter Gallery, LLC, Libbey, Inc., Nora Fleming, LLC, Mahogany Home, Le Cluney, Magenta, Sobremesa by Greenheart and French Studio Imports in Tabletop and Entertaining; and Georgia Grown, Cherry Republic, Jelly Belly Candy Company, Louis Sherry Chocolates, Owl’s Brew, Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, The Resident Chef, Savannah Bee Company, Verdant Kitchen, Beautiful Briny Sea, and DeBrand Fine Chocolates in Gourmet Foods, plus many, many more.

“From the pantry to the kitchen to the table, the must-have product is all here,” says Kristi Forbes, AmericasMart vice president of Gift Leasing. “Not only do we have the most comprehensive collection of housewares, gourmet and tabletop product, AmericasMart sets the trends and the standards for the industry.”

Exhibitors are reporting a wide range of buyers at the Markets. Chris Rosse of Rosse & Associates, Inc., who has shown at AmericasMart for more than 30 years, reports a mix of buyers including Latin American stores ordering high-end luxury items and younger buyers sourcing better casual product with a focus on organic or handmade craftsmanship.

Buyers are able to find inspiration like never before with a more interactive educational series in the Demonstration Kitchen, sponsored at the January 2017 Market by Fiesta Dinnerware, which launches its new color exclusively at AmericasMart. On tap are an appearance by Paula Deen; designer Nathan Turner shooting and live streaming his popular new Design Network “Snack Chat” series with food and lifestyle expert, Julia Reed; Annette Joseph, author of “Picture Perfect Parties” presenting “The Ultimate Party Pantry & Food Styling Workshop;” and a designer panel discussion “Home for the Holidays: Setting the Trends in Tabletop & Seasonal Décor” with Reed, Joseph, Bonnie Mackay and Steve McKenzie, with more events to come.

“AmericasMart has a fantastic demonstration kitchen, the best of all the markets,” says Jonathan Pearson, chief executive officer of Kitchen 2 Table. “It is the heartbeat of the facility.”

Other events at the January 2017 Market include a fundraising event for Les Dames d’Escoffier and Gourmet Catalog’s Start of the Year Member Conference.

For more information about The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market in January 2017 including events and exhibitors, visit www.AmericasMart.com/January.

“Diamonds of Design” Vignette Exhibition Celebrates 60 Years of Design Inspiration

Presented in Partnership with The Coastal Living, Southern Living
and Sunset Designer Network

In celebration of the diamond anniversary, AmericasMart® Atlanta assembles the most brilliant designers from coast to coast in Atlanta for the latest designer vignette gallery, Diamonds of Design presented in partnership with The Southern Living, Coastal Living and Sunset Designer Network, whose members epitomize the highest standards of design talent across the three unique brands. Diamonds of Design premieres at The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®, January 10 – 17, 2017.

Eight members of The Designer Network will use products sourced from AmericasMart showrooms and temporaries to create vignettes showcasing their favorite eras, decades, design icons or moments in time from the last 60 years. The designers include:

Joni Vanderslice and Shell Neely, J. Banks Design Group
Lauren Liess, Lauren Liess & Co.
Lauren DeLoach, Lauren DeLoach Interiors
Anna Braund, Anna Braund
Dana Wolter, Dana Wolter Interiors
Meredith Ellis, Meredith Ellis Design
Jenny Wolf, Jenny Wolf Interiors
Betsey Mosby, Betsey Mosby Interiors

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Kristin Alber of FOUND by domestic bliss and presenting sponsor REstyleSOURCE will again participate in the exhibition, creating vignettes in the Floor 1 lobbies of AmericasMart Buildings 1 and 2. The exhibition is sponsored by AmericasMart showroom partners: Accent Décor, Castelle, CODARUS, Currey & Company, Jaipur Living, Oly, and Up Country Home.

“For decades, the pages of Southern Living, Coastal Living and Sunset have featured the best in home design, and today The Designer Network represents the most brilliant designers from coast to coast, highlighting design aesthetics seen across all of our publications,” says Misty Chandler, marketing manager, Homes and Licensing, Time Inc. “We’re thrilled to present the Diamonds of Design Vignette Exhibition with AmericasMart Atlanta, the definitive source of design inspiration and innovation for the last 60 years and decades to come.”

“AmericasMart has been the catalyst for design trends for 60 years,” says Dave Savula, executive vice president, AmericasMart Home, Gift and Apparel Showroom Leasing. “The Diamonds of Design vignette exhibition showcases our leadership and innovation within the design industry by celebrating the past while looking forward to the future.”

The Diamonds of Design Vignette Gallery is located in Building 1, Floor 14, space 14-D-9, with additional vignettes in the lobbies of Buildings 1 and 2. It will be available for viewing throughout Market, and will continue to be on display until June 2017.

For more information about Diamonds of Design, visit www.AmericasMart.com/DiamondsOfDesign and follow #DiamondsOfDesign on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For additional information about January Market programming, visit www.AmericasMart.com/January.