Market watch: Style statements

Mr. and Mrs. Howard living room furniture and accessories


If you think a trip to IKEA is a dizzying experience, try the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market. Housed in AmericasMart Atlanta, the event takes place in four buildings that take up an incredible 7 million square feet of showroom space. That means this facility is one of the world’s largest permanent wholesale trade centers—and it also means intrepid interior designers can easily walk several miles in a day

while exploring all the latest goodies. Combine that with a scouting visit to the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center campus—no slouch with 550,000 square feet and 60 showrooms—in nearby Buckhead. This trip is not for slackers! Luckily, the sight of exciting new items for clients’ homes provides enough energy to keep designers returning eagerly year after year.


Karen Giffel is an interior designer servicing the Capital Region. She frequents design markets and reports the latest trends to inRegister readers. Contact Karen at [email protected].



Here are a few of the design trends spotted during the July market:


Clear thinking

MW-clear stool.2
Gabby “Angela” stool
MW-clear chair
Pebblehill Designs “Mariah” chair

Ever since Philippe Starck shattered the design world’s expectations with his now-iconic “Ghost” chairs, acrylic has been at the forefront of furniture design. Even on furniture pieces that have a traditional style, clear details provide a twist that elevates them to a transitional style. These see-through pieces help provide balance to rooms that are otherwise filled with lots of texture and pattern.


Modern classics

Tobi Fairley for CR Laine “Stella” upholstered screen
Ambella Home “Palm Beach” chair, ottoman

The fashion industry ultimately steers interior projects, and in observing the trends for this category we couldn’t help but admire the use of vintage materials with a modern approach. Think bold
colors that make a statement on classically styled furniture pieces, or hand-applied gold or silver leaf on lamps accented with vintage glass components. This trend is chic and sophisticated, with strong attention to details like nailheads and the Greek key motif.


Objets d’art

MW-flower art

MW-game table

Tommy Mitchell began his career as an art restorer, and he found himself intrigued by the use of metal.
Mitchell’s own work, which includes metal sculptures created with copper, brass, steel and gold leaf, is now available both as striking furniture and as art for art’s sake. His creations all feature luxurious finishes influenced by his years handling patina-rich antiques, and each is handmade in Mitchell’s North Carolina studio.


His and hers

MW-Howard LR
Mr. and Mrs. Howard furniture collections

MW-Howard DR

Married designers Jim and Phoebe Howard formed the furniture brand Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture with a vision of capturing beautiful design by pairing traditional and current sensibilities with a foundation of timeless design theory. These designers believe an elegant room is characterized by harmonious composition, so their American-made collections come together in order to form a perfect union.