Robert Brown opens his first retail shop, Townhouse

The award-winnning designer discusses his style, inspirations, and plans for the store
Photograph by Amber Fouts

This month, award-winning interior designer Robert Brown is opening Townhouse, his first retail shop, in the Galleries of Peachtree Hills. Now any shopper can tap into his expert eye for art, accessories, and furniture gathered from around the world. Design is actually a second career for Brown, who spent twenty years in apparel manufacturing, a background that informs his attention to tailored details. We talked with him as he prepared to make another professional leap.

What motivated you to open your own store? Shopping for accessories in Atlanta is a challenge. Every designer says that. Part of designing a space is a great lamp or a bowl or a coffee table book or a sculpture. I’m intrigued by Sid Mashburn’s business model. I want end users and designers to feel comfortable here, to stop by and have a drink, though we won’t have a Ping-Pong table.

Why did you decide to open a retail space instead of a wholesale showroom? The lines are blurring more and more. ADAC is open to the public now. It absolutely doesn’t bother me. In other cities, the boundaries are even looser. I’ll be in Paris next week, and all the fabric stores are on the street.

What type of merchandise will you carry? We’re picking some vendors that people know and some they’ve never heard of. I’ve got a supplier in Belgium and one in Mexico City. It’s going to be pretty international. A couple of young artists are lined up. And we’ll be carrying my furniture collection, plus a couple of other licensing deals that are in the works.

How would you describe your signature aesthetic? It’s all about the mix. I love an acrylic sideboard with a crunchy antique lamp. I love period pieces, but I like antiques that are simple, classic, and cleaned up. I have a slightly masculine aesthetic coming from my menswear days. I don’t typically do a lot of color, but we’re going to throw some color into the shop. We’re painting one room red, and there will be orange upholstery and a painting with some pink. It’s a bit of a lab for me. It will be fun to experiment.
425 Peachtree Hills Avenue, 404-917-1333

This article originally appeared in our April 2014 issue under the headline “Q&A: Robert Brown.”