The Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, more commonly known as ADAC, opened up to consumers in October 2012. ADAC General Manager Katie Miner and ADAC Director of Marketing Melissa Wilson cite many changes in the industry, including the introduction of Houzz, increased readership of home magazines and homeowners wanting to become more involved in the design process as the key reasons they decided to open ADAC to the public … “so that consumers could be included in the process, and they can now come to ADAC to see all of the products available to decorate the home, a lot of which is not available at retail stores.”
Today, Katie and Melissa answer some probing questions we—and likely others—have about ADAC and how to make the most of a visit.
Are there any misconceptions about who can shop at ADAC and what can be found?
KM & MW: A common misconception of ADAC is that it is all high-end product for the very elite. In actuality, ADAC has beautifully designed product, with an element of craftsmanship at a wide range of price points. Consumers will also find a variety of product that cannot yet be found in retail stores.
MW: In addition, many people believe that ADAC is a place where you need to know the industry and/or have a design background—this is not the case. ADAC is a great place to ask questions and learn from knowledgeable showroom staff about the products and the value of working with a designer.
How can customers use the ADAC resources to their fullest? Can customers actually shop in the ADAC showrooms?
KM: ADAC offers a variety of resources for consumers in addition to shopping the showrooms:
- ADAC: Behind the Windows program, now in its sixth installment, assists consumers in seeing product in a livable setting, as well as being able to see a designer’s special style first-hand.
- We have offices for professional services, such as offices at ADAC West and the new ADAC Design Studios, including professional associations IIDA and ASID.
- Each month, we host designer tours, which give new shoppers a more in-depth look at individual showrooms, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at how to shop ADAC.
Consumers are invited to shop and explore ADAC showrooms. While in some showrooms, the general public can purchase off the floor or at retail prices; in other showrooms, assistance through a trade professional may be required. Sometimes professional help or collaborating with a designer is required due to the training needed to determine scale, proportion and balance, as well as customization options.
For one weekend each year, ADAC showrooms pull product for the ADAC Sample Sale. For three days, the public is invited to take advantage of discounted pricing on designer brand, high-end home furnishings, outdoor furniture, rugs, lighting and accessories. [Details about the sale are at the end of the article.]
MW: Retail consumers can use ADAC as a resource for an entire project, from start to finish. ADAC is the best place in the Southeast to become educated about how products are made and the inspirations behind designs. Consumers can go into any of the showrooms to see products first before they hit the wider marketplace. Also, if consumers are interested in finding a designer, ADAC can assist with finding someone, or help an individual understand the process in working with a designer, ultimately providing education on the true value of working with a designer.
Do people need an appointment to visit and shop?
No, people do not need an appointment to visit and shop ADAC; guests are welcome to come and shop at their leisure. However, if someone is looking for something specific, the ADAC team is always happy to make introductions in order to make a newcomer’s visit efficient and effective.
What services are directly available to retail consumers? Does ADAC provide interior designers if you are looking for one?
KM: There are several showrooms located at ADAC where consumers can make purchases:
- Brooks & Black Fine Art & Framing, Inc. – Specializes in Art and Framing
- Peacock Alley – Specializes in linens and bedding
- Janus et Cie – Sells outdoor furniture and accessories
- Bath & Tile Companies, such as Porcelanosa, Renaissance Tile & Bath and Ann Sacks
Along with ADAC West, in the main building, consumers can visit Design Galleria and work with one of their in-house designers to design a dream kitchen, bathroom or closet.
ADAC can help connect consumers with interior designers through ADAC Design Studios, ADAC West Designers, IIDA, ASID and ADAC: Behind the Windows. While ADAC can assist with this, the showrooms listed above also have designers and staff that can assist with the process.
MW: We have numerous designers on-site within ADAC and ADAC West, as well as two professional trade organizations for designers where we are happy to guide consumers. Also, through the ADAC: Behind the Windows program, we have created a mini-showhouse at ADAC which highlights unique perspectives of top design talent and ADAC product in livable settings.
Tell us more about the new ADAC Design Studios.
KM: With the success of our designer offices at ADAC West, we knew we needed to take it one step further, so we developed the ADAC Design Studios. A main part of the design process is to explore, see, touch and feel products. This new environment gives these trade professionals the opportunity to conveniently use ADAC as their sample library, which ultimately results in a complete and streamlined experience for the client.
MW: The ADAC Design Studios is a highly collaborative environment of interior designers, architects and high-end custom home builders. Someone could come to ADAC, hire a team, and completely source products for a new home or office. ADAC is a one-stop shop.
Are ADAC events and programs open for public registration or are these to-the-trade only?
ADAC views its role in the design community as an educational resource for designers and consumers. Therefore, a majority of all ADAC events are free and open to the public. There are some trade-only events that focus on educating designers on industry practices or use of products at a technical level in order to better serve their clients. Through our many events, we are bringing the pages of design magazines to life, and through these events, we provide opportunities to meet fabulous designers in person.
How many of your customers are from the regional area as opposed to local residents?
ADAC is the design center for our surrounding 10-state region in the Southeast. With new outreach efforts through key cities in the United States, such as Charleston, Birmingham, Nashville and more, we are seeing higher levels of regional traffic than ever before.
What is a little-known gem about shopping at ADAC, an insiders’ tip per se, that we can share with our readers?
KM: ADAC is affordable. Many people think that they can’t afford ADAC. I recently priced a sofa at a well-known major retailer against a sofa here at ADAC, and for a few hundred dollars more, I got a sofa that will last me a lifetime.
MW: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even the best designers ask lots of questions in the showrooms. It doesn’t matter your level, whether you are a consumer or design professional, the showrooms are ready to help. If you need a product to fit within a certain price range, ASK! Showrooms have access to numerous alternatives; it is expected that you will discuss options, as their role is to help guide you.
ABOUT THE SAMPLE SALE:
The ADAC Sample Sale takes place May 15 to 17 in ADAC’s lower level parking area. Hours are Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., including extended shopping hours; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participating showrooms include beau studio, Brice Ltd., Brooks & Black Fine Art & Framing, Inc., City Collection Furniture, David Gallery, French Market Collection, Go Home Ltd., Grizzel & Mann, Holland & Company, Logan Gardens, Mark Williams Design Association, Peacock Alley, Porcelanosa USA, Smith Grubbs & Associates, Tritter Feefer Home Collection, Trowbridge Gallery and more. Visit adacatlanta.com to learn more.
ADAC is located at 351 Peachtree Hills Ave. N.E., Atlanta. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. ADAC West showrooms are often open on Saturdays, as well. For complete details, visit the ADAC website.
Thanks to Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography for the beautiful photos in today’s article. See more of her work at catmaxphotography.com.