We had some amazing sponsors who believed in me and this project, and who took a chance on the dynamic group of designers who make up the African American Top 20
, Zinc Door
, Baker Furniture
, Robert Allen
, Kravet, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Robin Wison Home
, The voice That is
, Nest 301
, The Tile Bar
, Bjork Studio, Abbey Carpet & Floor
, Hines Furniture, Lights Online, Faux Decor
, Peacock Alley
, Catania Silks, Verde Home
, W Hotel Downtown
, Uptown Magazine
and KBG Multimedia.
We were at the "whatever, whenever" W Atlanta Downtown.
It was the perfect place for the Welcome to Atlanta Mixer, to get a late night drink, talk design and walk to great restaurants with new friends. Loved the W team who went above and beyond to make our stay flawless.
There were so many design students, bloggers and young designers who were elated to be in the presence of so many talented designers as well as design legends Sheila Bridges, Ron Woodson
, and Roderick Shade
. They took pictures with HGTV Design Star
winners, Danielle Colding (Season 7 winner)
and Tiffany Brooks (Season 8 winner)
and got a first hand glimpse at what's possible for their design careers.
Our panel discussion was fun and insightful. The designers really opened up about their design careers, their high profile clients and the business behind what they do as a designer. I was inspired by the candid nature of the panelist and appreciate their openness about the wins and loses that come with this industry.
went above and beyond with the lunch reception for the panel. The showroom was beautiful and the food delicious! Hope Deer at Baker, made the experience even more personal by included a DJ playing hip music that keep everyone moving and grooving. It was the perfect place for the lunch and I hope they sign on for next year.
|Loran Gross-Bryant, Ron Woodson, Lisa Turner and Michel Boyd on the Panel at ADAC|
My one on one with Sheila Bridges
was an out of body moment for me. I have followed Sheila's career since 2002. I had to contain my enthusiasm and ask the questions that the audience wanted to hear, but all I really wanted to do was hold her hand and talk design like we were old friend. Sheila was a gem! Even though the friendship only exist in my head, the conversation was everything I expected. She was very transparent and just an over all amazing spirit. It was refreshing to hear about her life and her journey from her perspective. The crowd loved her as well and gave her a standing ovation at the conclusion of the talk. We sold out of her book "The Bald Mermaid,
soon after arriving at the Robert Allen showroom
. It seemed everyone wanted to take a piece of Sheila home with them.
There are times when the stars align and everything is just perfect. The Blogger Loft Party at Atlanta Designer Michel Boyd's
home was one of those times. First of all the decor was AMAZING. Michel is such a force when it comes to Style and his home is no exception. I was in awe of the space from the moment I walked in the door. Everything was perfect! As the night progressed and the guest arrived, we enjoyed drinks and food and laughed into the night. Some naughty guest found their way upstairs to Michel Boyd's closet where an impromptu fashion show and photo shoot broke out. This is the same closet that was a finalist for the Architectural Digest best closet contest, so you know it was fashion fun to be had.
The party fell on the eve of Michel's birthday and we all raised a glass to him as a spontaneous round of Happy Birthday broke out in the crowd. Some party goers who were not use to how things go in our community, didn't know what to do when at the end of the traditional version, we went right into the Stevie wonder version of Happy Birthday. Pictures were taken and friendships were forged. Wendy Estes of Zinc Door
sponsored the HashTag printing which allowed guest to take home memories from the event and serve as proof that they were indeed at the hottest party in town.
After touring the Atlanta Symphony Show house
and relaxing in the spaces created by Smith Boyd Interiors
and Palmer Design Group
, we met up for brunch at Del Frisco's Grill
in Buckhead. Both Janice's and Michel's spaces were the topic of conversation at brunch, prompting the group of designers to toss around the idea of pulling together their resources to do a show house at an upcoming #AATOP20 celebration.
The brunch was the last event planned for the weekend, but no one wanted the party to end. The socializing and hanging out continued well into the night. After noticing that a large amount of people where still in town, Janice opened up her home for Sunday evening Dinner by up and coming Caribbean chef Carlington Brown.
The weekend concluded with the launch of our new magazine "Iconic Home" Stay tuned for ways to get your hands on a copy. It has some great articles and features a special profile of the designers on this year's list.
I hope you'll want to join us next year as we join together to celebrate the best of African American Interior Design.
All Photos by R Ashford Photography