Although its impressive square footage would suggest otherwise, Urban Home Market is no big-box franchise. And that’s exactly how Kathy McMahon, who owns the expansive space, likes it.

Urban Home Market

Urban Home Market is hidden in plain sight at The Village at Lee Branch on Highway 280.

Urban Home Market

Kathy McMahon, an interior designer by trade, opened Urban Home Market three years ago in an effort to bring a wider selection of home décor east of Highway 280.

When outfitting a home, Kathy suggests buying big items in neutrals, and then splashing in playful colors and patterns in the form of pillows and other accents. Image: Urban Home Market

When outfitting a home, Kathy suggests buying big items in neutrals, and then splashing in playful colors and patterns in the form of pillows and other accents. Image: Urban Home Market

Urban Home Market

With years of experience in interior design, Kathy McMahon has cultivated a sense of style that blends a little bit of everything. It’s a style she decided she needed to share with her adopted hometown of Birmingham three years ago — so she opened Urban Home Market, a refined home décor store. Image: Urban Home Market

Located at The Village at Lee Branch, Urban Home Market offers a wide selection of hand-picked home décor items. With several designers on staff, each item goes through a fine-tooth comb before it hits the floor — ensuring only the best items make the final cut.

An interior designer by trade, Kathy has spent decades honing her eye for design. Opening Urban Home Market three years ago, she says, was fulfilling a lifetime dream. “What we’ve done is brought something to this side of town that’s different and unique,” says Kathy, who moved to Birmingham in 2002, lured by the area’s verdant landscape. “It’s not your typical furniture store.”

Because Urban Home Market isn’t restricted to keeping certain items on display, the store is constantly changing. What customers see on the floor one day could be completely different the next, Kathy says. From ornate light fixtures to local art, the store boasts a little bit of everything. “We try to create little vignettes throughout the store that people could envision in their home,” Kathy says. “When people come in here, it’s different every time — and that’s what we love about it.”

Urban Home Market

With so many options, it’s not hard to find just the right item to make your home shine.

Urban Home Market

Originally from Michigan, Kathy admits she’s enamored with Southern foliage. Indigenous plants are sprinkled throughout the store, giving customers a sense of place.

Urban Home Market

The store offers a wide array of bedroom furniture and textiles, creating colorful combinations that fit any preference.

Urban Home Market

Decorative vases dot tabletops throughout the expansive store.

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Urban Home Market

Urban Home Market has no shortage of accent pillows and other decorative options when it comes to outfitting your home.

Most items are sourced regionally, giving a healthy nod to Alabama artists and craftsmen. And, like any design guru, Kathy makes frequent trips to market so the store stays stocked with the latest trends in home goods. Some pieces — like a pair of 200-year-old Egyptian doors — can only be picked out by the most seasoned eye, however. When considering whether or not to incorporate an item into the store’s mix, history plays a big role, Kathy says.

“I like learning the history behind the pieces I buy,” she says. “For example, if it came out of a house that’s 150 years old, it’s kind of neat to think about what that piece has seen.” 

Urban Home Market

Cozy and inviting displays are peppered throughout the market, where furniture is constantly being edited and updated. No two days in this shop ever look the same.

Urban Home Market

Much of what goes into the store is hand-picked by highly qualified interior designers who have a passion for mixing and matching different design elements.

Urban Home Market

Kathy says she likes to think of the space as a living Pinterest board, where customers can mix and match items.

Urban Home Market

Look up at Urban Home Market to see the wide array of light fixtures and chandeliers that are sprinkled throughout the thoughtfully curated space.

Urban Home Market

A seasoned market shopper, Kathy says metallics are on trend and here to stay; while timeless autumn decor abounds throughout the store.

Urban Home Market

Kathy says much of her inspiration comes from high-end interior design, but, keeping budget-conscious shoppers in mind, she strives to replicate high-dollar looks with cost-efficient finds.

Mixing modern and classic motifs is a common theme at Urban Home Market. For instance, Kathy says, modern metallic accents and traditional furniture are a frequent pairing. The goal of the space is to marry a mix of pieces “to keep things interesting,” the designer says. “I think the days of the standard set are gone,” she adds. “I like to take some gold elements and mix them in with the new, or even take architectural pieces and rework them into a space.”

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Much like an artist would, Kathy’s strategy for outfitting a home is similar to starting with a blank canvas; opting for basic items in classic neutrals first, and then painting in pops of color in the form of accent pillows, throws and small accessories. “It’s the way to go, because it’s really easy to change those elements,” she says.

Urban Home Market

Natural elements like moss, ferns, wood, clay and stone form this striking vignette.

Urban Home Market

Because every home should smell like fresh linens and Southern goodness, Urban Home Market carries their own line of scented candles.

Urban Home Market

Urban Home Market carries works from several local Birmingham artists and jewelers.

Urban Home Market

With several interior designers on staff, Urban Home Market offers personal consultations for customers seeking a more customized and guided experience.

As the store continues to shift with the seasons and feature a revolving cast of furnishings, Kathy says she hopes Urban Home Market can help shoppers develop an eye for creating a more stylish and comfortable home.

“I’ve been doing this for a long, long time,” she says. “It’s been a wonderful adventure.” 

Urban Home Market is located at 1001 Doug Baker Blvd, Suite #101, Birmingham, AL 35242. Hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m to 6 p.m., and Thursday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call (205) 980-4663 or visit urbanhomemarket.com

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