Design centers are one-stop shops for the interior design trade, offering year-round access to multiple showrooms and product lines. Some centers are associated with annual or semi-annual markets, while others are not affiliated with a major industry event. Following is a snapshot overview of several design centers in the U.S. and Canada provided by design center representatives.
ATLANTA DECORATIVE ARTS CENTER
Hours: Mon - Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Product Categories: ADAC is a 550,000-squarefoot design center featuring more than 60 showrooms. The ADAC showrooms offer more than 1,200 of the finest product lines including home theater product, tile and stone, fabric, rugs, lighting accessories, floor and wall coverings, antiques, fine arts and framing, kitchen and bath.
Market Events or Notes: Attending the spring and fall markets at ADAC each year is a must. ADAC opens its doors and welcomes designers to experience up close and personal access to the industry’s most notable and media elite, while providing complimentary access to educational presentations, celebrity guest events, book signings and a plethora of networking opportunities through cocktail parties and events.
Key Notes: ADAC offers a variety of additional services to help designers improve their business. For example, most keynote presentations are immediately followed by a reception held in a showroom. This not only allows the attendees to see various showrooms, but allows the showroom representatives to network and discuss their products with attendees. Another service that is very beneficial to designers is ADAC’s monthly Trade Talks. These presentations enable showrooms to present and discuss an industry trend, such as custom lighting. These talks not only serve as great educational opportunities, they are great networking opportunities as well.
ADAC offers monthly tours, which are led by designers and focus on a particular product or project type. These tours allow visitors to network with allied professionals and consumers, but they act as an efficient way to learn more about products and showrooms. From best industry practices to new techniques, trends, and even what’s hot for design on social and digital marketing, ADAC programming is curated with the designer in mind. ADAC serves as a major regional and national shopping resource via a convenient Southeastern location.
Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Product Categories: Hundreds of showrooms in the Home & Design, Home & Rug, Home Accents and Fine Linens, Home Accents & Furnishings, Holiday & Floral/Home Décor, General Gift, Gourmet & Housewares, The Gardens and Tabletop & Gift collections.
Market Events or Notes: At market, designers are able to source product from our full permanent collection as well as our complementary temporary collections including HD Home, HIGH DESIGN, Home Accents & Home Furnishings, Fine Linens & Home Textiles, Tabletop & Entertaining and The Gardens. Market programming includes trend discussions, tastemaker presentations and networking opportunities.
Key Notes: Between markets, designers are treated to amenities including valet parking, complimentary entry for clients and guests, a private designer workspace with concierge service and one-on-one attention from the industry’s furniture, accessories, textiles and rug purveyors. Monthly special events include exclusive offers and educational seminars.
AmericasMart allows designers to easily create full lifestyle projects for their clients. Design-driven lines give designers all of the resources they need to design for their clients’ whole homes. Having a comprehensive marketplace allows designers to maximize their time, adding to their bottom line.
BOSTON DESIGN CENTER
Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Product Categories: Accessories, antiques, art/art services/framing, audio/video/ telecom, bath, building products, closet and storage solutions, conference tables, custom millwork, desk and system furniture, fabrics, floor coverings, furniture, interior design, kitchens, lighting and lamps, lighting controls and systems, office seating, offices and services, paint, storage and file systems, tile and stone, wall coverings and window treatments.
Market events or notes: Educational programming, product demonstrations, network- ing, top speakers, new product, and networking opportunities to meet new clients.
Key Notes: Largest conglomerate of luxury interior furnishings in New England. Top regional destination for design related events and programming. Diverse offerings of showrooms representing both international and domestic product lines.
DALLAS MARKET CENTER
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (outside of market)
Product Categories: 200+ showrooms open daily with categories across the board from home décor and housewares to gift and gourmet. With a wide breadth of product available year round, Dallas Market Center is a place where designers can find one-of-a-kind products.
Market Events or Notes: During market, interior designers benefit from seeing new product releases, are able to discover rare finds in the temp area, an can take part in one of manydesign partnerships.
Key Notes: Dallas Market Center has very strong ties to the interior design community in this region including year-round events in association with key professional organizations. Designers can see the latest trends and also earn CEU credits during planned events including Design Campus Live, IDS Look Up, and Dine + Design, to name a few. More than half of our annual marketplace traffic is during non-market periods, driven by the convenience of showrooms being open daily for designers. Resources are key in our business, and we are proud of the productive partnerships we help maintain between manufacturers, sales reps, showroom managers, designers and their clients.
DENVER DESIGN DISTRICT
Hours: West Building Mon – Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; individual showrooms are open on weekends by appointment. A few of the showrooms on the street are open on the weekends.
Product Categories: 40 showrooms with furniture, fabric, tile, kitchen and bath, flooring, reclaimed wood, lighting, etc.
Key Notes: Online designer referral service (one on-duty each day to meet potential clients), invitations to speakers (inspirational and educational), presentations, networking events, printed directory, newsletters (enews and printed), free Wi-Fi and discounted hotel pricing, etc.
Denver Design District is a five-state regional center. Products not available elsewhere. Designer discounted pricing. Customer service. Free parking.
INTERNATIONAL MARKET SQUARE IN MINNEAPOLIS
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Select showrooms, including kitchen and bath as well as The Sale Room, are open Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Product Categories: Throughout International Market Square, designers find the area’s largest collection of traditional to contemporary furnishings. Over 63 showrooms feature fine furniture, fabric, floorcoverings, lighting, wallcoverings, art, kitchen & bath products, remodeling & building products, foliage & landscape products, textiles, antiques, home theater products, decorative accessories and more.
Market Events or Notes: While IMS doesn’t host a major market such as High Point or NeoCon, regular programs are in place such as our monthly trade series FYI@IMS: Information, Inspiration & Innovation to provide ongoing benefits as markets such as new product reviews and educational opportunities.
Key Notes: IMS serves as the heart of the design community with custom order showrooms, offices for interior designers and architects and six industry trade associations such as ASIDMN, AIAMN, IFDAMN and NARI. IMS also offers concierge services, casual meeting spaces, lockers, restaurant and catering service, deli and general store, free parking, tenant dock services, and participation in The Design Connection program, a referral and purchasing service linking the public with professional designers. The IMS experience includes custom order showrooms for residential and commercial furnishings providing designers with unparalleled resources, superior customer service and support. IMS is a collection of showrooms, industry related businesses and organizations that support the design industry through their products and services.
LAGUNA DESIGN CENTER|
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday – select showrooms are open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment.
Product Categories: 36 Showrooms are open and the product categories are: Luxury Home Furnishings, Outdoor Furniture, Lighting, Fine Art and Custom Framing, Fabrics, Rugs, Bedding, Hand Crafted Luxury Bedding, Kitchen Cabinetry, Flooring and Custom Windows/Doors
Key Notes: Featured Designer Program, Designer Directory and Visitor Center designer recommendations.
LAS VEGAS DESIGN CENTER
Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding posted holidays. LVDC is closed to consumers during the biannual Las Vegas Market.
Product Categories: 28 showrooms, over 100 lines across furniture, fabrics, lighting, floor coverings, wall décor and decorative accessories.
Market Events or Notes: During market, the entire World Market Center campus opens and features over 2,700 lines across 5 million square feet of permanent showroom and temporary exhibit space, creating the largest designer resource in the Western United States. In addition to the latest products and trends from leading manufacturers, designers and retailers can take advantage of a broad range of complimentary CEUs and programming, seminars and networking events.
Key Notes: LVDC offers a variety of showrooms not present in other design centers west of the Mississippi. It is the exclusive western home to brands like Global Views, Studio A, Four Hands, Cyan Design, Safavieh, Phillips Collection, Nourison and more.
SAN FRANCISCO DESIGN CENTER
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Product Categories: 100 showrooms; accessories, antiques, appliances, architectural elements & carvings, Asian art, fine art, handcrafted art, sculpture, bar stools, baskets, bathroom faucetry & fixtures, bedding & bed linens, beds, sofa beds, billiards & pool tables, blinds, bookcases, brassware, buying services, cabinets, carpet, carpeting, ceramic ware, chairs, chandeliers, china, glassware & crystal, clocks, consoles, counter tops, decorative hardware, desks, doors, draperies & curtains, drapery hardware, entertainment centers, fabrics, fireplace surrounds, fireplaces, floor coverings, flooring, fountains, furniture repair, furniture (Asian, bedroom, children’s, computer, contemporary, country, dining room, health care, home entertainment, home office, hospitality, Italian, leather, library, metal/steel, mountain, office, outdoor & casual, traditional unfinished, upholstered, wicker, wood). Game tables, green (eco-friendly & sustainable products), lamps, leather & suede, lighting, mattresses & box springs, mirrors, office systems, paint, paneling, pedestals, pillows, planters, porcelain, rugs, shutters, table bases, tables, tapestries, tile, ceramic & hand-painted, trimmings, wall coverings, wall systems, weavings, window coverings, window shades, wrought iron.
Key Notes: We offer an annual lunch-and-learn series called Designers’ Wednesday (the first Wednesday of the month for eight months) that focuses on CEU seminars, design subjects that are inspirational, seminars that promote good business practices, or stimulating speakers that provide all manners of creative possibilities for their business. We also offer moderated workshops called “Designers Dish” where designers can talk about what’s working within their businesses, what’s not working, how they can change, how they bill clients, how to deal with difficult clients – it’s a forum for primarily sole-proprietors as they don’t have the opportunity to bounce ideas off their colleagues. We hold these workshops four to six times a year. Our showrooms carry exclusive manufacturers/ products that are unique to the SFDC in the Bay Area.
SEATTLE DESIGN CENTER
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Product Categories: SDC has 16 showrooms and dozens of product categories. They range from accessories to cabinetry, flooring, furniture, fabric, lighting, wall and window coverings and everything in between.
Market Events or notes: SDC has not held a design center-wide market since May of 2013, but plans to bring this vital piece of programming back in 2017. The benefit to designers in attending market is learning, experiencing and networking with regard to new product, trends and relationship building. A successful market event is filled with quality content, great speakers and provides a well-rounded experience mixed with education and networking.
Key Notes: SDC prides itself on being the nucleus of the design community in the Northwest. As the only design center in the region, the Seattle Design Center provides international lines and regional knowledge with regard to product. SDC also provides badging opportunities for designers and their clients. While designers regular to SDC may forego a badge, those coming less frequently are able to get their names in front of the showroom owners and managers. Similarly, by badging a designer’s client(s), showrooms are provided a heads up that the person they may be talking with is an end user and therefore pricing is not discussed. Rather, it is later discussed with the design professional.
SDC is a regional design center servicing the needs of design trade professionals (primarily) in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and British Columbia. The number of exceptional and varied lines (all represented under one roof) includes everything from textiles milled in Italy to a light fixture handcrafted in France or a custom-sized dining table made locally.
Hours: Mon - Fri 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Select showrooms are open Tues – Thurs 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. All showrooms are open after hours and weekends by appointment. Our facility offers a VIP Concierge service for designers, which means we will open any showroom for designers in the event the particular showroom was closed due to staffing issues/weather conditions.
Product Categories: 38 showrooms with Accessories, Art & Mirrors, Area Rugs and Pillows, Bed, Bath and Table Linens, Case Goods, Dining Furniture, Bedroom Furniture, Fabrics & SOFA Resource Centre, Fireplaces and Fireplace Accessories, Flooring and hard surfaces (soapstone, stone, granite), Kitchen & Bath including 22 appliance brands, Lighting, Motion & Media Room Furniture, Office Furniture, Upholstery & Fashion Furniture, Window & Glass Wall Systems, Window Treatments, Wall Covering, Ceiling & Special Finishes (including products for architectural projects) and Outdoor.
Market Events or Notes: Our building has been the venue of choice for over 43 years for the annual Canadian Furniture Show. The Canadian Furniture Show has been held since 1972; it is owned and produced by the Quebec Furniture Manufacturers’ Association. The only national furniture show in the country and the seventh largest trade show in Canada, it brings together industry professionals, manufacturers, retailers, designers, importers and suppliers from Canada, the United States and all over the world, to display their latest collections and trends. It is the place where buying decisions are made for the entire Canadian furniture industry. The show is over 425,000-square-feet and is the biggest furniture showroom in the country. The 2015 edition of the Show welcomed almost 250 exhibitors, including more than 50 Canadian furniture manufacturers. The Canadian Furniture Show will be held from Saturday to Monday, May 28 to 30, 2016, at The International Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario.
Key Notes: Our services include Wi-Fi, VIP gated free parking, onsite café, business services via the SOFA Office, concierge services, access to delivery services, furniture donation (new relationship with the local Furniture Bank), product on loan and living library of catalogues, books, samples etc. Our Appliance centres are experiential spaces with live cooking events. We also offer out spaces for product launches, association meetings and industry networking events including contractor speed networking.
SOFA is an incubator, nurturing design and manufacturing businesses by providing onsite support and marketing. For the past three years, we are host to the Color Marketing Groups Chromozone color forecasting event (On May 6, a group will be identifying and forecasting the 2018 color palettes from Toronto, which will later go on to hopefully become part of the North American 2018 palette). We are an educational platform, conducting beneficial seminars and workshops like: CEUs on Business of Design, Trend Reports, Social Media, Technology and Marketing Workshops.
MEMBERS OF DESIGN CENTERS INTERNATIONAL INCLUDE:
- Atlanta Decorative Arts Center
- Boston Design Center
- Dallas Design District
- Denver Design Center
- International Market Square
- Laguna Design Center
- Las Vegas Design Center
- Merchandise Mart
- Michigan Design Center
- New York Design Center
- San Francisco Design Center
- Seattle Design Center and Source of Furniture + Accessories
INTERIOR DESIGN IN CANADA
According to statistics provided by SOFA: Source of Furniture + Accessories, a Canadian design center in Ontario, there are more than 25,000 individuals working in various roles in the interior design and decorating industry in Canada and 4,000 + registered interior designers. Of that number, 31% of the interior designers specialize in residential, and 77.4% are female. The average pay for a senior interior designer is C$65,131 per year for individuals with more than five years of experience.
The SOFA design center serves many of these designers. Linda Kafka, managing director for SOFA, said the center also functions as an important gathering place for the industry.
“We are more than a collection of permanent showrooms,” Kafka said. “Today’s design center is a hub where the interior furnishings industry and design community connect, communicate and collaborate.
“We are actively involved in the success of our tenants while diligently working to support and ultimately sustain the interior design industry,” Kafka said. “Our Canadian design center has been in existence for more than 42 years, playing a vital role in connecting furniture manufacturers to dealers and designers. Today, we have evolved to become a partner in our tenants’ businesses by focusing on helping them grow their client base and increase their bottom line through branding and strategic marketing.”
Prior to her role with Designers Today, Cindy attended markets as both a consumer home furnishings editor and interior design client. She has written about the design industry for more than 15 years and still finds editorial inspiration in every corner of the world, from Italian villas to Atlanta urban lofts to country escape tiny homes.