By Nadia Ramlakhan
At the winter edition of the Atlanta International Area Rug Market featuring the National Oriental Rug Show, slated for Jan. 13-16 at AmericasMart in Atlanta, attendees can expect to find additional hustle and bustle due to the opening of a new hotel and restaurant in downtown Atlanta in conjunction with leading area rug manufacturers showcasing their introductions for 2016.
John Portman, renowned American architect, designed Midnight Sun restaurant nearly 50 years ago and recently created JP Atlanta to replace it. Portman’s latest work in the continuing revival of the city he has been developing for more than half a century will serve as a signature restaurant space. The building will also be home to the new 203-room Hotel Indigo, Atlanta’s fourth location for the boutique hotel brand.
Chelsea Peabody, strategic relations and media relations manager, AmericasMart Atlanta, called the new developments a “game changer” for both the show and city. “We’re seeing a vibrant resurgence in this part of town and having an anchor restaurant and hotel that is integrated with the street is going to be really great for the city.”
Scheduled to debut at the show is the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year. A series of vignettes will be on display in the Design Exhibition where seven interior designers will each design a space based on the Pantone colors for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Designers will use products sourced exclusively from AmericasMart showrooms. “Pantone is a voice of the industry,” Peabody said. “It is so inspirational to see what these designers come up with; it’s always better than we expect.”
The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market will take place simultaneously, Jan. 12-19, and is expected to attract a larger audience and more foot traffic for exhibitors. Peabody said an increasing number of lifestyle brands are relocating to showcase their products alongside rug collections. “It goes along with the AmericasMart floor-to-ceiling product offering in Building 1. We are seeing some rug companies wanting to move up and some home décor lines moving down to the rug center.”
The show’s educational programming will feature a variety of keynote speakers and seminars including mini 15- to 30-minute workshops in which retailers can stop by to learn about topics such as social media, retail knowledge and technology. In addition, Design Campus Live will return for an expanded three-day summit Jan. 15-17 featuring educational presentations, networking events and guided showroom tours.
Several manufacturers will unveil innovative products at the winter market. “Among the many important aspects of this home furnishings exhibition, Atlanta is the primary market for our rug division,” said Arash Yaraghi, principal, Safavieh. “Our focus will be on high-quality, luxurious area rugs that use high-touch textures to interpret and stylize the evolving new lifestyles and the remarkable trends in fashion happening all around us. Our new Brilliance Rug Collection, which we will introduce in Atlanta, is one example of our high-style, transitional rugs that offer exceptional, designer-look quality at a sensible price point.”
Harounian Rugs International will introduce Grammercy, available in grays, blues and beige; and Mastercraft, a collection of rare, classic Persian designs, among others. “The strong color trends we identified and promoted during 2015—‘We have the blues’ and ‘We have more than 50 shades of gray’—will continue in 2016,” said Greg Jordt, executive vice president, sales and marketing.
The rug and home industry’s signature event,the America’s Magnificent Carpets Awards (AMCA), will again recognize the best in area rug introductions Friday Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Peachtree Ballroom at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.
For more information, visit www.americasmart.com/content/market-home.html.