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Peace And Tranquility

Designs And Décor For Comfortable Yet Stylish Looks Make Home A Haven

Spending more time at home -- combined with dealing with so much fear and uncertainty in the world -- have inspired people to create a space where they and their families can feel nurtured and comfortable. Some are renovating entire homes; others are sprucing up a bit.

“We think that now, more than ever, it's important to make your home a sanctuary,” says Barbara Williams, director of corporate projects and merchandising and design with Stock & Trade Design Company. “This can be accomplished by something as simple as organizing and decluttering the pace, changing out some key pieces of furniture, or a more in-depth remodel or renovation.” 

Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Stock & Trade has been in business for eight years. In that time, it has grown from a single boutique space into five gallery showrooms across the Southeast.

“Our showrooms offer a wide selection of custom upholstery, furniture, lighting, rugs, accessories, and unique objects, as well as custom pieces from local artisans,” says Christopher Rankin, vice president of creative and merchandising, and brand and product development and design. “We’re committed to providing beautiful and affordable home furnishings…pieces infused with clean lines, modern sensibility, and classic style, making them a desirable part of your décor for years to come.”

Besides their incredible inventory of in-stock pieces, there are thousands of special order options. “When stocking and merchandising our gallery showrooms, we focus on three things:   style, quality and value. Every showroom is curated with great attention to detail, giving each a ‘lifestyle’ feel that's warm and inviting. We want clients to be wowed and inspired every time they visit.”

When changing up a home, Christopher recommends keeping it simple and comfortable. “We suggest starting with an assessment of what's staying...those pieces that have special meaning or serve a purpose versus those pieces that no longer function as needed, or are simply dated and need to be replaced.”

"Updating doesn't have to involve a major renovation or large sums of money,” says Barbara. “Something as simple as fresh paint, new lighting or new artwork can have a major impact and dramatically change the personality of the space.”

In vogue now, she says, are transitional styles with clean lines, classic styling and neutral colors. It’s important to think about who will be using the space, and take into account lifestyle needs as well as beauty. “Functionality and comfort are also more important than ever, with performance fabrics being in high demand,” says Barbara. “With today's hectic lifestyles, there are so many different fabric and finish options available, that are easier to care for and more family friendly. Neutrals are still at the top of client demand, particularly when it comes to major purchase items like upholstery or drapery.”

Neutral, though, doesn't necessarily mean a sedate beige. Muted shades of blues and greens also serve as neutral color palettes, and many designers and clients now regard typically richer colors, such as navy and olive as neutrals, which clients love.
If unsure about what furniture to choose, what artwork to hang, or what colors will work best, there’s no need to do it alone and become overwhelmed. Stock & Trade has a team of talented sales and design consultants to assist with design needs, no matter how big or small the project may be. 

“Our design team is available to consult with clients in our showroom, or by appointment in the client's home,” Christopher says. “They then build a design plan tailored to that client's needs based on client feedback and information they've compiled from those consultations.”

With a few exceptions, he says that most items at Stock & Trade are available from the showroom floor or store back-stock. “We also maintain a vast inventory in our distribution center. Lead time on special ordered items varies by vendor.” 

No one is sure what this new year will bring, but at least you and your family can have a beautiful, calm and safe place to relax, have fun, do schoolwork, or work from home. When things do start to reopen, you may not be in a big hurry to leave the peace and comfort of your newly redecorated home.