Atlanta knows style. Walk by any of the ultramodern storefront windows along the 800 block of Peachtree Street, and you may think you're in Paris, London, or Milan. The Midtown Design District sashays sleek home fashions into the South.
You might think that "modern" means cold. Not so. These items don't demand a contemporary house, but most carry heavy prices for a once-in-a-lifetime purchase or for pure window-shopping pleasure.
A Universe of Design
Stop first at Space, where showroom vignettes create serenity. In one spot, cinnamon-hued block chairs sit next to a polar bear-white sofa, all atop a fuzzy cocoa rug. "These pieces have classic lines that you can live with for years," says owner Tim Hobby.
While the feel is of an upscale furniture showroom, Space doubles as an idea factory. Hand-loomed throws, pillows, and candles cost less than $100, and splurges such as 600-thread count sheets start at $300. Sofas and beds begin at around $3,000.
Looking Back to Modern
Across the street from Space, Retromodern.com sets design back with its mid-century modern furnishings. In one corner, a collection of Italian housewares by Alessi tempts you with its affordability ($45 for French press coffeepots and $29 for polished steel platters). Retromodern.com's other accessories focus on designs that make you smile-such as the egg-shaped hanging chair ($4,218).
Next door at Kartell, colorful stacks of plastic chairs, tables, and step stools grab your attention. Although durable enough for outdoors, these fit handsomely in the middle of your house. Stool prices start around $69.
At the end of the block, Ligne Roset also provides a stunning display of bedding, tableware, lamps, and storage pieces. Almost every item offers more than one function. Glass-and-steel coffee tables lift up on X-shaped legs to become dining tables. Sofas transform into double beds. Major items here start at $1,500.
One thing's for sure. Any furnishing you bring home will have a dramatic impact on your decor.
Where Form Meets Function
The Midtown Design District sits in the 800 block of Peachtree Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Take Exit 100 from I-75/85 to Peachtree; turn left, and go four blocks north of The Fox Theatre. The parking lot adjacent to Retromodern.com costs $5 per day.
Kartell: (404) 601-1275
Ligne Roset: (404) 881-0500
Retromodern.com: (404) 724-0093 or www.retromodern.com
Space: (404) 228-4600 or www.spacemodernworld.com
Where to eat: For dinner, indulge at Eno, a bistro with a Continental flair, on the same block. Or select wine and cheese next door at Barrelman.
This article is from the August 2003 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.