Find out Interior Designer Bradley Odom’s Favorite Atlanta Picks
Check out his 8 favorite spots in the city.
Bradley Odom, former Director of Design Education at West Elm, a division of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., has been creating a buzz in interior design ever since he opened his store Dixon Rye in Atlanta's West Midtown in the fall of 2016. You could say his sensibilities have been largely shaped by his Southern roots (born in Mississippi) and having spent considerable time in New Orleans and Birmingham.
A creative mix of raw and refined elements, Dixon Rye has the feel of a curated gallery with a Southern accent on its distinctive presentation of one-of-a-kind housewares, antiques and furniture. Located on the site of a former ironworks business, the shop is the sort of reconverted industrial space where you might encounter a vintage Art Deco piece next to contemporary pottery from the exclusive French atelier, Astier de Villatte.
In a recent conversation with Odom, he talked about how he likes to spend his down time with family or friends in Atlanta and the list is full of great suggestions, even for those who have lived in the city for years.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden
“It may seem a cliche to start with the obvious, but I am a huge fan. It is high on my list, especially during tulip season. I use to travel weekly and would always seek out the local botanical gardens, yet my love for the Atlanta Botanical Garden never wavered.” Odom also makes it a point to visit the gardens during the annual orchid show and to frequent the on-site restaurant Longleaf, formerly known as Linton’s.
Sean’s Harvest Market
“It’s the perfect after-church brunch place. The environment there feels very L.A. to me. It’s an open area. You don’t walk into a restaurant. It’s more like a little bar on the side of a building and you go up to a counter, you order and you might or might not find a seat and if you do, it’s a barstool. And it’s outside so it’s the perfect place for a beautiful Atlanta day.” But the main lure at Sean's Harvest Market is the food. Odom raves about their Southern Breakfast Casserole. “It’s just super tasty. It’s like going home and having mom cook for you. Sausage and cheese and eggs is kind of hard to beat. The macaroni and cheese is also excellent. Give that a try. Everything there is really good and fresh and homemade.”
The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project in the city that will eventually connect more than 40 intown neighborhoods via a loop of multi-use trails, all of which are based on railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta. Some of the trails opened in 2008 with more recent additions such as the Westside Trail opened in 2014. One way to enjoy a lovely spring weekend in the city is this go-to destination, especially if you like walking, cycling, people-watching and contemporary art by local artists (such as the painted mural below). There are also guided bike tours where participants can learn about Atlanta's rich history and view various intown neighborhoods from a different perspective while cycling.
Odom particularly favors the West End Bike Tour that occurs every Sunday at Hammond House. “For those of us who live in Atlanta and don’t frequent that neighborhood it’s the perfect inside tour of a neighborhood that’s up and coming. I was really surprised by all the things that are happening over there when I did the bike tour. And they provide the bikes. If you haven’t been on a bike in five years or so it’s not so long that you’re going “Oh my god I’m not going to be able to make it.”
Bread & Butterfly
This cafe and bistro in the heart of Atlanta's bucolic Inman Park neighborhood has recently developed a cult following, especially for breakfast outings. Odom recommends “the soft scrambled eggs with cold smoked trout” but he also praises Bread & Butterfly's design aesthetic. “The atmosphere is so well done. Square Feet Studio designed it. It’s perfect. It feels quaint, it feels local. It’s like being transported to a whole other European experience.”
The Antique Factory
Odom states that this Chamblee institution “has been one of my go-to spots for unique, one-of-a-kind mid-century finds for years.” One of his favorites purchases from The Antique Factory were two chairs upholstered in bright red vinyl. “At first I said, ‘I can’t wait to change the upholstery on those.’ But I lived with that red vinyl for a couple of years on those mid-century pieces and I ended up re-upholstering them in black vinyl and they’re amazing.”
Peachtree Battle Antiques
Located in a circa 1900 building with a classic brick storefront on the city’s most famous boulevard, Peachtree Battle Antiques is high on Odom’s best-of list for its “endless booths of great finds and inspiration.” He also shares a cautionary tale from his visits there. “They had a leather wingback chair that I took pictures of the day that I was there. I kept saying, I should just buy this chair and my good friend Susan who works there said, 'You just need to get it.' No, I’m going to wait. I don’t really need it. So I waited and I drooled over the pictures on my iPhone for a couple of weeks and finally said, I’ve got to get this chair. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s the perfect man’s leather wingback chair. It would be great in any room. So I go back to get it and it was gone. I was totally devastated obviously. It really taught me a lesson. When you see something you really love, you need to get it.”
Specializing in 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th century period architectural pieces from Europe and America, Architectural Accents has been a one-stop shop for homeowners, decorators and interior designers for over 30 years. Odom recalls a display of a “a sixteen set dining table. I don’t remember the exact dimensions but it definitely seated sixteen people and it was made from old Georgia pine. They made that table specifically for us. They had one on the floor that we really liked; it just wasn’t quite long enough. That’s probably one of my favorite purchases that we made from Architectural Accents.” He also enjoys rummaging through their old hardware fittings and antique mantels.
The St. Regis Hotel Bar
“The best drink spot in town” is how Odom sums up the bar at The St.Regis Atlanta in Buckhead. He particularly loves the atmosphere. “It feels warm and masculine which is how I sometimes describe my design aesthetic.” He also enjoys the old world smoking room ambiance and the impressive art collection. “Of course, the libations are great and there’s a fun crowd there. I usually order the King’s Men. It’s a rye whiskey drink.” [The cocktail menu describes it as smooth Ambler rye whiskey, lemon, brandied cherry juice and Invocation Belgian style golden ale.]