Design in the ATL! GuyGirlTravel Dishes on Atlanta's Hot Spots

Wednesday around these parts is like my sabbath if you haven't already figured out. Yes, I avoid doing a post myself like overbearing children avoid eating sugar-free food (or anything green... unless it's Slime...  or boogers).  I can't help it.  Let's call it what it is and just move forward. I know you still love me regardless.

So anyway, I had the most recent pleasure, during this year's Design Blogger's Conference in Los Angeles, to meet the wonderful, lovely, talented, insanely beautiful (Claire... did I get in all the adjectives you wanted?) long lost sister.  Needless to say she's decided to jump into the crazy world of blogging with her new blog A Guy and A Girl Travel the World.  Making you jealous?  Spend some time on her site and you'll be committing at least two of the seven deadly sins. Lust?  Envy?  Heard of them?

Needless to say, I treat the DCoop Bloggie like a confessional (except for that Boudoir post. And the Kneepad post.  And the... nevermind) so what more could you expect from the Reverend Honorable Brandon then to hand over the orb and scepter to Claire and let her try her hand at making you commit those same sins here.

It's OK.  I won't make you say any Hail Marys. But please drop a dollar in the tithe bucket on the way out.

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Hello design lovers! I must start by saying that I am not a designer by trade, but I am fascinated by how the eye can look at a space and create something livable, functional and beautiful. As an artist, you are inspired by the life surrounding you whether in your own town or while traveling to another city. That’s where I come in! I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do so. I recently returned from three amazing weeks in Thailand. (Edit: I told you she was going to make you jealous!)  It was my first trip to Asia and the minute we landed my senses were in overload. The vibrant colors in the meticulously placed tile on the temples, the smell of cooked chicken and burnt rice along the streets, the sound of a million scooters whizzing by in morning rush hour and the ebb and flow of emerald waters makes that every sense melt in its wake. These don’t even begin to touch what is available for the creative mind to draw from by venturing out into a new world.

But today, I am going to show you a little bit of my everyday world. If you love to travel and you love design, then put Atlanta on your list! This southern gem is the region's go to design destination. We are home to interior masterminds Suzanne Kasler, Charles Neal, Brian Watford, Décor Demon creator Brian Patrick Flynn and Heery International. When you are in town, there are two major areas to find the best in furniture and accessories.


Huge homes, old money, great restaurants and the soon to be “Rodeo Drive” of the south all reside in the Buckhead area. Set inside the perimeter, it’s also where you will find Atlanta Decorative Arts Center.

If you are a designer and haven’t visited ADAC, book your ticket now! The site states “the ADAC campus consists of 550,000 square feet with 60 showrooms offering 1,200 of the industry’s finest product lines…” Having been there, I can tell you that this “campus” is more of a playground.  Eyes dance across the ceilings lined with luminous chandeliers, hands graze the rows of luxurious fabrics and you will find yourself saying ‘I want that and that and that and that.’ If the showroom hopping leaves you hungry, they have a little café called The Hungry Peach that serves up a delicious breakfast and lunch.

Want more fun? Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts Inc. brings outdoor and indoor delights. From the outside, this cottage store looks cute and quaint, but inside it is an antiques and garden mecca. With every turn of a corner there are little pieces of heaven.

Kathy over at Live the Fine Life wrote a lovely piece with great photos on her blog here. (edit: in case you were curious, Kathy is Claire's awesomesauce mom!)

Another great spot to add to your list is the popular Miami Circle. Full of antiques, artists and more, this area is known for its fabulous selection of both new and old. It’s open to the public and trade six days a week (select few open on Sunday).

Shop for a bit, and then walk over to Eclipse di Luna for some tapas and sangria. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your purchases after consuming the sangria. It goes down a little too easy and you may wakeup with buyer’s remorse.

West Midtown Design District

Knoll, Mary Bairstow Designs, SWITCH Modern and Masterpiece Lighting are just a few of the design spaces in this newly developed design district. This area is a true eat, work, live, play epicenter. Here are some must do and see places:


Artmore Hotel: Renovated in a 1924 Spanish Mediterranean building, this boutique hotel brings southern hospitality with a modern twist to Midtown Atlanta. The courtyard and bar are a must for an afternoon Moscow Mule or Champagne cocktail.



Savvy Snoot: Lovely consignment shop full of reasonably priced finds.

SWITCH Modern: Lots of thoughtfully constructed pieces in this store including Arne Jacobsen Egg Armchair.

Maison Atlanta: Furniture and accessories for every home and personal style.

Room & Board: This is always a great place to stop whether you are looking for something specific or just want to look. Make sure you seek out the sale section for pillows, art, rugs, etc.

Forsyth Fabrics: Wake up your senses in this fabric lover’s store. From the classic to the questionable, every style, color and type of fabric you could dream of is in this store. Hit their sale section too for some incredible deals.



Abbatoir: A personal favorite of ours, this farm to table restaurant doesn’t waste a bit of anything in the kitchen. To start, order the Ceci peas with cumin salt (fried chickpeas) and the pommes frites with duck fat mayo. Then go crazy with the rest because everything is so good.

West Egg Café: Great for breakfast or brunch. Get there early if you don’t want to wait because they don’t take reservations.

Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge: Caffeine up for your shopping trip here. The coffee is wonderful and the french press serves up a good amount for a low price. If coffee isn’t your thing, then stop by in the afternoon for a cocktail.

Flip Burger Boutique: Top Chef winner Richard Blais has transformed your everyday burger here. For dessert, try my favorite burnt marshmallow nutella shake. You won’t regret it.

If you bring the family along with you, there are plenty of things to do to keep them busy while you comb through the design goodies. A CityPass is the most economical way to visit the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola, Inside CNN Studio Tour, High Museum of Art and Zoo Atlanta for $49! Also, LEGOLAND Disovery Center just opened in Buckhead and will be a huge attraction for all ages.

Atlanta is a great city all around but if you can’t make it here, I encourage traveling anywhere. There is an amazing life waiting for you to discover, explore and inspire.

Thank you Brandon for letting me chat a bit about design in our little city. Contact me if you have questions or need recommendations @guygirltravel on Twitter!

Photos via:Portman Holdings, Live the Fine Life, Artmore Hotel, White Provisions, Revitalizing Places

D.Coop was not compensated for this post. Though Expedia may be making a little money.