Blogger’s Choice: The Design Lover’s Guide to Atlanta

When they’re not curating content or penning posts for their thousands of followers, these Atlanta bloggers (and two frequent visitors) are hitting the streets in search of the latest quality design finds our Southern city has to offer. From nationally renowned showrooms and boutiques to inspiring architecture, innovative exhibitions and trend-setting dining concepts, discover a city custom-fit for design aficionados.


Jennifer Boles, The Peak of Chic,

Brian Patrick Flynn, Flynnside Out,

Haskell Harris, Magpie by Haskell Harris,

Capella Kincheloe,

Christina Loucks,

Kelly Ottinger, Kelly Market,

Mandy Kellogg Rye, Waiting on Martha,

Holly Stree, Things That Inspire,

Erika Ward, Blu Label Bungalow,


design district: Buckhead
Buckhead is home to some of the most posh residents, residences (just take a drive down Tuxedo Road), restaurants and shopping destinations. It’s also a design lover’s dream, elegantly peppered with galleries, sophisticated boutiques and the inimitable Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC).


Huff Harrington Home
Located next to the St. Regis in a small upscale plaza, Kelly Ottinger describes Huff Harrington Home as a gift-giver’s paradise. “They have a great selection of tabletop items, linens, jewelry and accessories—all with a French flair,” says Ottinger. 102 West Paces Ferry Rd., (404) 467-0311;

Gramercy Fine Linens & Furnishings
The owners’ Southern roots and love for Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood provide the blended inspiration behind this shop that is brimming with crisp, expertly monogrammed linens. Says Capella Kincheloe, “What’s more Southern than your custom monogram?” 2351 Peachtree Rd. NE, (404) 846-9244;

Owner Lee Kleinhelter’s love for the casual elegance of the Hamptons and the midcentury modern pop of Palm Beach is evidenced in the one-of-a-kind selections at Pieces. “I’m endlessly inspired by Lee’s imagination,” says Haskell Harris. 3234 Roswell Rd. NE, (404) 869-2476;

W. Port
Shop timeless apparel and accessories that are heavy on luxe and quality at this Roswell Road shop. Also, don’t miss incredible vintage pieces (think Chanel, Prada, Gucci) from the owner’s personal collection. 3232 Roswell Rd., (404) 565-1644;

Mrs. Howard and Max & Company
Adjacent to each other in townhome-like settings, these sophisticated shops feature room vignettes where everything is available for purchase directly off the floor. “Mrs. Howard is traditional while Max & Company is more transitional. Both are filled with wonderful furniture, lighting and accessories,” says Street. 425 Peachtree Hills Ave., Suite 23, (404) 816-3830;

The Shops of Miami Circle
Although open to the public, this resourceful destination’s 80-plus showrooms cater to the sensibilities of design industry insiders. Just ask Miami Circle devotee Holly Street. “Pryor Fine Art and Anne Irwin Fine Art are two of my favorite galleries,” she says. “I also enjoy looking for antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces at Foxglove Antiques and The Nicholson Gallery. For exquisite antique chandeliers and lighting, Maurice Chandelier is a must,” Street adds. Miami Circle off Piedmont Ave.;

Buttermilk Kitchen
Chef Suzanne Vizethann’s dishes may taste familiar to ADAC fans, who first fell in love with her Southern comfort specialties at The Hungry Peach Cafe. At her new breakfast and lunch spot, Street suggests the pimento cheese omelet, while Mandy Kellog Rye promises, “The potatoes are everything!” 4225 Roswell Rd., (678) 732-3274;

Souper Jenny
On weekdays there’s typically a line outside this tiny cafe that’s packed with patrons clamoring for Jenny Levison’s healthful soups, sandwiches and salads du jour. If you’re dining in, be charmed by the eclectic decor and dinnerware, and be sure to thumb through one of the inspirational books you’ll find lying around. 56 East Andrews Dr. NW, (404) 239-9023;

Cafe Lapin
Located in the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center, this French Country-style cafe is an ideal lunch destination. Ottinger frequently pops in for “the best assortment of chicken salads.” Jennifer Boles recommends saving room for owner Mattie Hines’s delicious cookies and cakes.  2341 Peachtree Rd., (404) 812-9171;

Holeman & Finch Public House
This James Beard Award darling is most famous for its nightly ritual. At 10 p.m., 24 off-menu burgers are fairly distributed on a first come/first serve basis. But happy hour is also prime time at this social spot. Harris is partial to the Damson in Distress cocktail. “It reminds me of the damson berry moonshine my family blends in cocktails,” she says. “Packs a punch!” 2277 Peachtree Rd. NE, (404) 948-1175;

King + Duke
Ford Fry’s newest concept occupies prime Buckhead real estate at the corner of West Paces Ferry Road, taking advantage of an expansive outdoor dining area. “Ask for the popovers to start,” recommends Rye. “And I die for their onion soup and ratatouille.” 3060 Peachtree Rd. NW, (404) 477-3500;

Settle in for an impressive culinary experience at Chef Gerry Klaskala’s richly appointed restaurant. “The food is always excellent; the warm lobster cocktail served in a martini glass is my favorite,” says Street. “And the decor is beautiful, with the main dining room exuding the ambiance of a private home or art gallery,” she adds. 490 East Paces Ferry Rd. NE, (404) 233-7673;

Watershed on Peachtree
This iconic restaurant moved from its Decatur home to south Buckhead in spring 2012. The menu is still delightfully soulful with gorgeous Smith Hanes-designed interiors to match. “The decor is modern farmhouse and the food is a new twist on classic southern cooking,” says Street. 1820 Peachtree Rd. NW, (404) 809-3561;

Pie Shop
Stop in for a fresh slice of pie in a variety of seasonal flavors because, as Harris muses, “Who doesn’t love pie in the afternoon?” Pie Shop boasts devotees across the country who have these indulgent confections shipped to their doorsteps. 3210 Roswell Rd. NW, (404) 841-4512

Chef Fuyukiko Ito serves up some of the city’s freshest sushi in this modern space designed by Atlanta artist Todd Murphy. “Take in the scene with a Paloma cocktail,” suggests Ottinger. 3050 Peachtree Rd. NE, (404) 841-0040;

The St. Regis Atlanta
Located in the heart of Buckhead, The St. Regis Atlanta is within walking distance of destinations such as Huff Harrington Home, Swan House, King + Duke, W. Port, Pieces and Souper Jenny.  Plus, as Street notes, “It’s right across the street from Whole Foods and the best juice bar in Atlanta.” 88 West Paces Ferry Rd., (404) 563-7900;

Swan House & Atlanta History Center
Built in 1928, the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center gives a glimpse into the grandeur of 1920s and 30s Atlanta. “It is thought to have the only Ruby Ross Wood-designed interiors still in existence,” notes Boles. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd., (404) 814-4000;


349 Peachtree Hills Ave. NE.
Open Monday-Friday
Both the latest design trends and top-quality classics pack the mammoth 550,000-square-foot ADAC campus. Despite its size, the John Portman–designed center, now open to the public, maintains its polite Southern sensibilities while providing an unparalleled experience for interior designers and consumers alike. Industry professionals from across the nation come to explore its 60 showrooms of furniture, fabric, rugs, lighting, accessories, floor and wall coverings, antiques, art, kitchens, bath, tile, stone and beyond. Here are a few must-visits:

Ainsworth-Noah  Suites 518/418;
“It’s a one-stop shop for everything on my list when I visit ADAC for design jobs. Love the owners, love the history, love everything about it. Such an icon in the Atlanta style world!” —Haskell Harris

R Hughes Atelier  Suite 413;
“They have the go-to fabrics for masculine spaces.” —Brian Patrick Flynn

Schumacher  Suite 303;
“This new showroom is a must-see. Their fabrics are fantastic—I love the Asian prints.”  —Erika Ward

Kravet Fabrics  Suite 139;
“[Stop here] for super-duper affordable upholstery-grade fabrics and grasscloth wall coverings.” —Brian Patrick Flynn

While You’re There: Stop by The Hungry Peach Cafe for the Mastered Pimento Cheese.

design district: West Midtown

West Midtown’s Westside Provisions District (WSPD) first opened as a meatpacking plant in the early 1900s and went through a stage of abandonment and disrepair from the 1960s through most of the 1990s. In 1998, two entrepreneurs took a shine to its artsy, urban grit and began a revitalization project that included relocating Anne Quatrano’s Bacchanalia from Buckhead to its new home in the old Star Provision plant building. WSPD has since emerged as the city’s preeminent “go-local” shopping and dining destination.

Bungalow Classic
This beautifully edited shop, noted for refined, current-day classics, houses a mix of antiques, reclaimed furniture, upholstery, lighting and accessories. 1197 Howell Mill Rd. NW, (404) 351-9120;

Lewis & Sheron Textiles
Established in 1944, this spot has become a major resource for design professionals as the place for quality fabrics, trim and general inspiration. 912 Huff Rd. NW, (404) 351-4833;

Ann Mashburn and Sid Mashburn
If Atlanta has a royal style couple, it’s likely Ann and Sid Mashburn. Their eponymous boutiques do more than sell apparel—they’ve started trends in Atlanta and beyond, which have gained the Mashburns national media recognition. “Both shops have a curated selection of clothing, accessories and shoes that can’t be missed,” says Ottinger. 1198 Howell Mill Rd.,(404) 350-7135;;

Atlanta Made
Kincheloe praises this co-op style shop as “the best place to get great gifts and locally made furniture; it’s amazing to see all the talent that is in the Atlanta area—available in one shop.” 1187 Howell Mill Rd. NW, (855) 285-6233;
West Egg Cafe
Open Monday-Friday with an all-day breakfast menu, this Southern diner is almost always bustling. The fried green tomatoes are top-notch, and the boozy milkshakes are a great way to kick off or end a meal. For an entrée, Kincheloe recommends the biscuit with veggie sausage, egg and cheese. 1100 Howell Mill Rd., (404) 872-3973;

Star Provisions
Pop in Anne Quatrano’s market to sample the famed chef’s daily fare—a lovely selection of simple sandwiches, seasonal salads and decadent desserts. Take home some of the finest cheeses you’ll find in the city, along with meats, wine and any items you need for an expertly hosted meal. 1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW, (404) 365-0410;

The Optimist
Design aficionados will delight as much in the decor as the daily catch here. As Harris says, “I’m infatuated with the decor, particularly the wood-fired stove.” And Rye warns against missing the fried green beans, noting that “they are better than French fries.” 914 Howell Mill Rd., (404) 477-6260;


Walk the Atlanta BeltLine
Atlanta urbanites are quite proud of the city’s most progressive transportation project, the Atlanta BeltLine. Though it’s still in its early phases, visitors can walk or bike on the finished 2.25 mile eastside segment to get a glimpse of what will be 33 miles of multiuse trails that connect 45 in-town neighborhoods—and will eventually include a hop-on/hop-off shuttle. Make your way through a self-guided tour of the BeltLine:
START at Piedmont Park at 10th Street and Monroe Drive. Cross the street to enter the BeltLine, where you’ll be greeted by a mural by Atlanta street artist Hense. (Visit to download a map with interesting details about all the art you’ll see along the trail.) As you’re walking or peddling, consider these stops:

Paris on Ponce
Pause to walk through this quirky warehouse of antiques, found objects and local artisanal wares. 716 Ponce de Leon Pl., (404) 249-9965;

Ponce City Market (under construction)
Upon completion of renovations to the historic Sears building, this 1.1 million-square-foot space will house restaurants, shops, residences and offices a la Chelsea Market in Manhattan (fittingly, as both projects were developed by Jamestown Properties).

Parish Foods & Goods
Pop into the downstairs market for a soda and snack and take advantage of the tables placed out back especially for BeltLiners. 240 N. Highland Ave. NE, (404) 681-4434;

City Issue
Just a few steps off the BeltLine, this shop specializes in mid-century, vintage and modern furnishings. 325 Elizabeth St. NE, (678) 999-9075;

Kevin Rathbun Steak
Perhaps save this for last and enjoy one of the best steaks in the city, followed by a scotch and cigar while lounging on the BeltLine-side patio. 154 Krog St. NE, (404) 524-5600;

Irwin Street Market
You’ll come to the end of the Eastside Trail and see Irwin Street Market on your right. Walk in to discover a community of local artisanal food vendors, have a cone from Jake’s Ice Cream, pick up a bagel or doughnut or sit and have a sandwich. 660 Irwin St.,


design district: Midtown (Proper)
Across the Interstate connector from West Midtown is the heart of Midtown’s commercial district, rich with cultural and culinary experiences. Here are a few favorite destinations.

High Museum of Art
A jewel of the South, this iconic museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions that range from the eclectic (Howard Finster’s folk art) to the grand and worldly (this year’s “Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden” show). 1280 Peachtree St. NE, (404) 733-4400;

MODA: Museum of Design Atlanta
A progressive museum dedicated to all things design and architecture, MODA’s current exhibit, “Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things,” features the stories behind the design of 36 ordinary objects (think paperclips and bubble wrap) that revolutionized daily life. 1315 Peachtree St. NE, (404) 949-6455;

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Visit the city’s Eden for over-the-top exhibitions and sublime scenes. Every spring, hundreds of thousands of tulip buds emerge for a Holland-esque floral fest. 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, (404) 876-5859;



Empire State South
Stop here for breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner, and perhaps even a quick game of outdoor bocce ball. Hugh Acheson has created a beloved community restaurant that’s also become a favorite for visitors in town for business or pleasure. “It’s a feast for the stomach and the eyes,” says Erika Ward. 999 Peachtree St. NE, (404) 541-1105;

Loews Atlanta Hotel
Located in the heart of Midtown’s business district, the hotel counts multiple restaurants, Piedmont Park, the High Museum and MODA all within easy walking distance. Best of all? Tend to your tired feet at the end of the day with a warm soak. “The tubs are deep and fab and Calgon-take-me-away,” says Harris. 1065 Peachtree St. NE, (404) 745-5000;


design district: Downtown
John Portman can take credit for much of downtown’s design wonders, including architectural masterpieces such as the Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency, Westin Peachtree and the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. The visual tour of his work is alone worth the trip.

AmericasMart Atlanta
An important part of the city’s economy, AmericasMart Atlanta houses the world’s largest collection of home, gift, rug and apparel merchandise in its 7 million square feet. Brian Patrick Flynn is a Mart regular and especially loves the Four Hands showroom for their “industrial-transitional style furniture with tons of texture and artisanal detail.” 240 Peachtree St. NW, (800) 285-6278;

(Context) Gallery
Visit this showroom in the historic Freeman Ford building to find iconic modern design pieces and brands such as Cappellini, Cassina, Knoll and Vitra. 75 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE, (404) 477-3301;

The Sundial
It’s almost an Atlanta rite of passage to have a cocktail or meal atop the Westin Peachtree at The Sundial, the restaurant that revolves 360 degrees in just less than an hour. Ward suggests this is the best way to view Atlanta, “especially if you are with your sweetheart.” 210 Peachtree St. NE, (404) 589-7506;  

Sweet Auburn Curb Market
Peek into Atlanta’s history in this former municipal market, originally built in 1918 and restored in the ’90s as part of the rehabilitation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s childhood neighborhood. Today, you’ll find a sampling of some of the city’s best eats—from soulful southern plates to raw juices. 209 Edgewood Ave.,

>> DO
SkyView Ferris Wheel
This new addition to Centennial Park offers rides in gondolas that give a fun perspective on glittering downtown views. 168 Luckie St., (678) 949-9023;


see Serenbe
This 1,000-acre community has gained national recognition for its smart design, environmental principles, artful programming and performances and delicious dining. “Make the trek on a Sunday and enjoy a fried chicken lunch at The Farmhouse,” says Rye. “Then, venture through the inn grounds to pet the farm animals. And don’t miss a walk through the community to gawk at the gorgeous homes and shop the local boutiques.” 9055 Selborne Ln., Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia 30268, (770) 463-9997;


>> DON’T MISS: Design Bloggers Conference
March 2-4, 2014
It’s the event of the year for interior design bloggers, and the first time the East Coast is playing host. Held at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead, this year’s conference offers a hot list of speakers like Jeffrey Alan Marks, Candice Olson, Timothy Corrigan and Suzanne Kasler—and the chance to mix, mingle and learn with industry leaders and new media innovators alike.