Over the last several years, Pepper Place has become the Magic City destination for all things food, fitness and after-5 fun. That’s thanks in part to the ever-popular Pepper Place Market, which features local produce and artisans, but it’s also because of its sought-after restaurants (Ovenbird, Bettola, and Blueprint on 3rd just to name a few), happy hour hot spots (Back Forty Beer Company or Hop City Birmingham, anyone?) and exercise options. But this ever-evolving historic district also has deep design roots.
From media companies to in-demand designers and on-trend boutiques, the design expertise found at Pepper Place runs the gamut. “Pepper Place has such a plethora of talented, creative people and entrepreneurs,” says Black Benak President Hannah Benak, who also runs Instagram’s @looksandmerit. “The whole area has such an energetic vibe to it, and I think all of us very much feed off of that. I am proud to have called Pepper Place home for six years, and it’s great to see the evolution of really exciting people choose our little area to call home.”
We wanted to find out what design trends are taking center stage this season for home, wardrobe, and beyond, so we stopped by some of Pepper Place’s best-known shops to find out from the experts what they’re falling for this season.
5 Top Design Trends for Home & Fashion
Cantley & Company is seeing a trend toward warmer, natural materials — particularly with bar stools. Instead of the cotton and linen looks that were once so popular, the shop is now seeing materials like mohair and cowhide. “Not only does cowhide offer durability — you can literally clean it with a hose — but it also adds a whole other level of texture,” adds Cyndy Cantley, owner of the bespoke custom cabinetry company based at Pepper Place.
FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead is also seeing an increased interest in home goods comprised of natural materials, especially with grazing boards made of wood and marble. “Not only are people seeing that grazing boards are beautiful and great to display on kitchen counters, but people are also seeing that they are amazing as serving pieces for parties,” says FarmStand’s Alexandra Stone Flowers. “Big and bold grazing boards made of natural materials are a great choice for something that’s beautiful and also functional.” (SB TIP: When you stop by FarmStand at Pepper Place, be sure to check out their new Farmstead Laboratories line of CBD and hemp products like serums, lotions, soaps, candles and more.)
Living in Color
Fashion designer Billy Reid is opening his Pepper Place storefront this month. In terms of current fashion design trends, he says that more women are opting out of the all-out neutral looks and instead mixing in some color. For his fall collection, Billy is taking the neutral palette of grays, blacks, browns, and ivories and mixing in tones of mustard, gold, teal, sky blue and caramel. “Color seems to be the most prevalent on the street, and it’s made its way to the racks,” explains Billy Reid. “People are mixing color well into their daily wardrobes for freshness.”
Color isn’t just for clothing, though. More pops of color are also making their way into interior design this season as well. The folks at Design Supply are seeing a richer color palette in items all across the board — especially in warm colors like caramel, cranberry and ochre, explains Laura Vogtle, owner of the art and interiors shop. “We’re seeing it in everything, from artwork that incorporates those colors or furniture pieces that bring in those colors,” she says. “Smaller accessories like pillows are also bringing in more of those trendy colors as well.”
Completely neutral tones are also getting left behind in kitchens and bathrooms as well. Laurie Wolter of Ferguson is seeing clients select bolder colors or even classic hues for a more colorful approach to interior design. “People are really starting to make their homes reflect who they are and incorporating a lot of color,” she explains. “I’m seeing people go for punches of color, like a soft teal or blue range or even bathroom tubs.”
Richard Tubb Interiors, one of Pepper Place’s original tenants, brings color into the space through both art and furniture. A bold couch adds interest and a statement-making element to a room while an abstract piece of art introduces color into an otherwise neutral space without feeling over-the-top.
Texture & Patterns
Textures and patterns are on the rise. That’s not only the case with fashion, but also with interiors. Draperies, rugs, and upholsteries are seeing more texture, especially mohair; patterns, such as florals, plaids, and geometrics, are hot as well. “We’re trying to bring in fabrics with more texture because we find that’s how people are making their design a little more interesting,” says Laura at Design Supply. “Textures and patterns are a great way to add interest, especially in rugs.”
One thing that never goes out of style is local pride, and Yellowhammer Creative is brandishing plenty of that with its line of screen-printed posters, art prints, and T-shirts. One of the shop’s most popular lines is the neighborhood prints, which feature hand-illustrated and hand screen prints of areas all over Birmingham. Their landmark series is equally as popular, with prints and T-shirts featuring Oak Mountain State Park and even a new Vulcan Park print.
Pretty metals have had their fair share of time in the spotlight, and that will only continue — at least at Pepper Place. Cantley & Company loves lacquered brass for its ability to easily add another element to a kitchen or bathroom. “Unlacquered brass hardware is not our mother’s brass from the ’80s,” Cyndy adds.
FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead is all about copper, another metal having a moment. From flasks to ice buckets, the shop has an assortment of copper items — even cookware.
When you’re ready to start incorporating any of these top design into your home or wardrobe, we recommend you had to Pepper Place and indulge in the design expertise found there. From fashion to interiors, you’ll find all the hot trends at this bustling Birmingham hot spot!
This article is sponsored by Pepper Place.