A walk on the wild side

Don’t come looking for beige at Martin Nash’s showroom in Atlanta. With its urban feel, the showroom uses glamour, color and materials in unexpected ways to help create spaces that are both sophisticated and surprising.

The owner and background: Nash moved to Atlanta from London as a child when his father was hired by Lockheed Martin. Growing up in a European household in the South gave him a different perspective. "I like to think I live in the 'New South,'" he said. Nash studied interior design at the Art Institute of Atlanta and worked for premier showrooms in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) for 16 years. He opened the Martin Nash showroom in 2013 with his business partner and best friend, interior designer, Dee Simmons.

The showroom: With its urban and organic feel, the showroom is an eclectic mix of furniture, lighting, art, found objects, plus textiles and wallcoverings. For Nash, it's about the unexpected. We mix old and new, contemporary and classic. We're the anti-beige, anti-corporate showroom in ADAC.

What makes my showroom different from other stores/showrooms in Atlanta: The showroom brings a little New York and Los Angeles to Atlanta. Many of the manufacturers we represent are new to Atlanta. We sell "lifestyle," not "product."

Is the showroom open to browsers or buyers: People are welcome to browse and get inspiration, but they must purchase through a design professional.

The main goods: We represent several industry-leading manufacturers, such as William Switzer, Interior Crafts, Chip + Company and Maya Romanoff. The showroom's main artist is Colombian-born Esteban Patino, whose work was recently featured in the "Sprawl" exhibit at the High Museum of Art.

Known for: The showroom's living wall that lights up the main ADAC atrium. Originally, there was a graffiti mural depicting the Atlanta cityscape. The most recent installation is a bold comic strip, featuring a journey through the showroom.

Other favorites: The Balinese artifacts and found objects from Chip + Company. They bring a necessary and curated layer to the showroom.

Popular gift items: Vintage Emilio Pucci and Vera Neumann scarfs made into throw pillows ($500 to $600 each).

People would be surprised to learn …: We carry gallery and museum quality artwork. People don't think of ADAC as a destination for art. "We're intent on changing that perception."

Local artists/sculptors we represent: Esteban Patino, Todd Alexander, Dane Jefferson, Bruno Armesto, Emily Humphreys, Eunice Chang and Brycedius Samples.

Always on the hunt for: Anything you won't see anywhere else in Atlanta.

Claim to fame: Bringing an urban grittiness to ADAC. The graffiti mural made a pretty big statement. "'This is not your grandmother's showroom' is a comment we have heard many times."

As seen in: Elle Decor, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Atlanta Magazine Home and Modern Luxury Atlanta.

Favorite Atlanta-area home/design stores (other than my own): Paris on Ponce and Scott's Antique Market.

Every room needs: Accessories that are old and collected.

Design pet peeve: Playing it safe. Yaaaawwwn …

Current design obsession: Organic Modern. It doesn't have to be shiny and smooth to be modern.

New (or re-emerging) designs I like: French Moderne furniture from the 1930s and 1940s. Timeless design.

Designs I am glad to see go: Stuffy traditional.

Unusual request: A designer wanted a sectional sofa for under $2,500, including fabric. We sent her to Rooms to Go.

Biggest design mistake I have made: Trying to follow design trends.

Biggest mistake homeowners make: Trying to copy a page out of a magazine or catalog.

Favorite piece in my home: A vintage 1920s ad poster from Paris of a Mexican brand of Chocolate.

Can't stop buying: Vintage amber cocktail glassware.

Dream project: Designing a boutique hotel.

Latest project: The large, comic strip mural in the showroom, featuring Sasha, the new spokesperson for the showroom.

Find Martin Nash at:

Website: www.martinnash.com

Facebook: Martin Nash Showroom

Instagram: martin.nash

Twitter: MartinNashADAC