Shopping Atlanta’s Westside
The district once known for its rugged industrial character has gone from edgy to hip. Check out four new shops on our radar.
Written by Kelly (Kunkel) Eagle
The district once known for its rugged industrial character has gone from edgy to hip, thanks to the success of pioneering ventures such as the Westside Marketplace as well as renewed vigor from long-time standbys in the textile and design business. And, as new developments such as White Provisions’ mixed-use redevelopment of a former meatpacking building will prove, the fun is just beginning. For now, though, we invite you to check out four shops currently on our radar, from Chattahoochee Avenue down to the Howell Mill Road/Marietta Street intersection.
A former designer and her husband open the doors to their own personal Walden.Create a super-stylish green home—floor to ceiling—with unique finds at Waldenour.
Who: Karen and Brad Raymer. She worked as a designer at ADAC for 18 years with Dan Carithers, then Tom Hayes and Toby West, while Brad worked in the corporate world until life events led them to open an eco-conscious store.
The Store: Open since Spring in the Brickworks development on Marietta Street, Waldenour offers one of Atlanta’s largest inventories of green products and in a relatively modest space. Aimed toward those who are allergy prone, medically sensitive, or just looking for sustainable products, the store carries organic fabrics, furniture and cabinetry, upholstery, bedding and bath towels, as well as countertops and vessel sinks made from recycled glass and concrete. Soon, those south of the city will be able to visit Waldenour without coming into the city—a location in Palmetto is in the works.
The Style: “We wanted to offer products and furnishings that could be modern, traditional and transitional—all in one,” says Karen. She has even stepped in to work with one of the furniture manufacturers carried in the store called FurNature, helping them design pieces and finishes that are more contemporary. The Raymers feel strongly about helping develop the green community, so much so that they’ve partnered with EcoBella in the Highlands. “They wanted to carry our natural wicker line, and now we’re going to stock some of their products,” says Karen. “Everyone has such a great story about how they got into the [green] business, and we’re all motivated for the same reasons,” she says.
Why the Westside: After meeting with the developer, Karen and Brad knew this was the place for their store. “[The developer] kept the existing buildings and renovated them. He didn’t have to, but he did,” says Karen. “And that spoke to us. It’s really the perfect fit for our company’s mission.”
Where: 1000 Marietta St., Suite 114, (404) 745-3025, waldenour.com.
Stylish and sustainable goods from around the world land in this “green” enclave.
A sampling of the eclectic finds at Verde Home. Rowan wing chair with silk throw; A soapstone carving-turned-lamp. Madison entertainment center, Anemone vases. Candle pots made from mango wood.
Who: Paul Baird, Kent Schneider, both formerly of Rugs by Robinson, and Laura Walker-Baird of Laura Walker LTD.
The Store: The owners pulled from their individual backgrounds to create the unique vibe of Verde Home. The new venture is a combination of furniture, accessories, rugs and fabrics—all made from sustainable resources—and beautifully orchestrated by Laura Walker-Baird in the 3,300-square-foot showroom.
The Style: Verde Home gives Atlantans eco-conscious home goods from around the world. All the fabrics and accessories are green and abide by fair-trade regulations. “We’re all about style and sustainability,” says Baird. “If people don’t like the look of the product, there’s no sense in it being sustainable or eco-friendly because you’re not going to sustain yourself as a company. It has to look good, and it has to be something people want.”
Why the Westside: When they stumbled upon the Brickworks development, Baird says they knew it’s where they were meant to be. “We wanted to be in this area from the beginning. Could we have been open earlier elsewhere? Maybe. But we want to grow with this development and grow with the Westside,” he says.
Where: 1000 Marietta Street, Suite 244, (678) 927-9113, verdehomeinc.com.
Funky patterns and bold finishes to help you Live Famously.
Who: Stacey Sheron, a fourth-generation fabric industry giant, brings her custom creations to her hometown.
The Store: Inside the spaceship-like showroom are brightly woven fabrics covering custom furniture finished with Sheron’s signature “spit shine” finish, which includes 40 colors concocted by Sheron herself. The funky designs fill in the mod, white-lacquered showroom at the back of Lewis & Sheron on Huff Road. Conceived more than five years ago, Staceage has been kept top secret, just as Sheron had hoped—so well, in fact, that people who received invitations to the grand opening gala weren’t exactly sure what they had been invited to.
The Style: Though this is her first effort at launching her own lines and store, don’t underestimate Sheron and the vision she has for her brand. “I definitely think that design and your home should make you happy, and I think [the store] is capable of doing that,” she says. Inspired by every era in history, and the future, she wants her customers to feel glamorous with her custom creations, hence her tagline, Live Famously. Sheron doesn’t just create fabrics; she designs furniture (each one plaqued and numbered), rugs and wallpaper. Her goal is to make something new every day. “I believe that this store is an organic life form, and I’m going to nurture it and see what it wants to become,” says Sheron. “I just want to create opportunities for me to create.”
Why the Westside: It was a natural move to start (literally) within the family business, but it was the boom of development in that area that sealed the deal for Sheron. “It’s so exciting for me, as someone who was born in this city, to see what’s happening over here,” she says. “And I hope I can be a part of its continued growth.”
Where: 912 Huff Road, (404) 350-3233, staceage.com.
A refreshing mix of East and West.
Who: Jason Russell and Chad Salenius. The two had worked in advertising, but they began importing furniture from the Far East, which led to opening their own store last Spring.
The Store: Italian leather couches with clean lines are paired with Asian antiques—some close to 300 years old. The showroom is divided into small seating vignettes, which cozies up the big space and helps you envision the incredible antiques—many are massive—fitting in your home.
The Style: “Design is about an eclectic look now, about bringing new and old together,” says Russell. Case in point: A deep-seated couch in mustard yellow leather is mixed with an antique Asian coffee table and topped off by a contemporary piece of art—a refreshing mix. Salenius and Russell handpick every piece in the showroom, and Salenius says that being able to offer antiques that are more than 100 years old and less than $1,000 surprises people—in a good way.
Why the Westside: Being in-town and surrounded by all of the growth on Marietta Street, Atlantic Station and the Westside, Russell says they want to grow right along with the neighborhood. “Everyone over here helps each other out,” he says. “We want this to be a shopping destination in the city.”
Where: 1240-C Chattahoochee Ave., (404) 350-7990, homeidentity-atl.com.
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