Design to Delight in Atlanta
November 19th, 2011

We had a brief but beautiful November weekend in Atlanta, and were impressed and inspired by the vibrant design work throughout the city. Here’s our visual postcard of the city, with fabulous gates, shiny turtles and even a topiary teddy bear.

The gates at Piedmont Park (above). We didn’t realize what a spectacular Autumn arrives in Atlanta. We loved how the silhouette of leaves, punched through the iron work on this gate, lead the eye to consider all the different shapes they will find in the park itself.

Aged Antebellum beauty (above). Yes, there are far more pristine examples of the Southern neoclassical style, but somehow the faded, paint-peeled character of this neglected chapter of the DRA (Daughters of the American Revolution, where have you gone to?) seems to hold greater mystery for us than its spruced up neighbors.

Popping color at the High Museum. Richard Meier’s building is piercing white against this blue sky, and the triptych of Warhols provide a jolt of color.

A “zoo” at White Provisions (above). This site was originally a meat packing plant that dated from 1910. Nearly a hundred years later, it was reborn as a restaurant and retail hub for the Atlanta cool crowd. It’s a marvelous success. And the ghosts of animals past seem to have let loose a preponderance of animal imagery. We sipped on “Bee’s Knees” cocktails at Abbattoir (top right), were charmed by the big white pig signage, and loved the topiary teddy bear that sat outside a children’s store (below).

But most impressive might have been the glass-eyed, gleaming sea turtle (above) that greets customers at Sid Mashburn’s eponymous shop, a destination for Atlanta dandies. This is the kind of wonderful, singular store that requires a memento: we chose this belt, with its unexpected brass hook closure. Check out Sid Mashburn’s charmingly designed and illustrated website, which also includes women’s offerings from Ann Mashburn.

No visit to Atlanta would be complete without a drive through the rolling hills of Buckhead to peak over hedges into the lives of the other half (or, these days, the top one percent!). Swan House is one of the most exquisite; how beautifully the ironwork arcs into swan-like shapes.

Aurevoir, Atlanta! We definitely hope to see you again before too long.


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