When Ryan Hughes and Steven Leonard of R HUGHES designed the back room of their ADAC showroom, they created a multifunctional space for client meetings, presentations, and social gatherings. Earlier this year they hosted dinner for twelve. The guest list included lighting designer Jonathan Browning, eight principals from top Atlanta design firms, and Elizabeth Ralls, Editor of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles.
The invite was an attractive proposition for busy professionals who rarely have the luxury of relaxing and sharing an evening with their peers, no less in special surroundings like R HUGHES. “Anything Ryan Hughes puts his hand to is always perfection,” says designer Barbara Westbrook. Susan Ferrier calls R HUGHES “a departure” from what is historically featured at ADAC. R HUGHES is an experience that indulges the senses through color, texture, scent (LE LABO’s Santal 26 candles are always burning) and sound — designer Oliver Neil looks forward to the custom playlists. Needless to say, everyone who was invited showed up.
The table of 12 was fully engaged. Ryan says, “For me, the biggest highlights of the evening were first, hearing how everyone runs such successful businesses in all very different ways. And second, each of us sharing what event or person changed the trajectory of our careers.” The conversation lasted till midnight. Ferrier says, “I didn’t know i would have that much fun.”
In their own words*, here are impressions of the night.
Jim Howard, James Michael Howard
From that evening I discovered how diverse, yet how alike and focused we all are. Despite the differences in our aesthetic, we all yearn for knowledge and all are devoted to being the best we can be. It also reinforced that collaboration is without question essential to doing things better, as the sharing of perspectives can bring out greater results.
Barbara Westbrook, Westbrook Interiors
I was surprised and delighted at how gorgeous all the black on black was in the space. It was not too much or off-putting in any way. The table top is a luxurious black leather, the Jonathan Browning light fixture is black and gold, and the walls, a deep black plaster. Every black surface has a different sheen so it worked. I felt like I was surrounded by darkness and our table was an elegant glow of light.
Oliver Carter, Neil | Carter
The dinner was a clever way for Ryan and Steven to introduce us to Jonathan in a more casual setting that allowed for more intimate conversations with not only him, but the other designers in attendance.
Susan Ferrier, Susan Ferrier Interiors
I was excited to be able to relax and have dinner with friends... all principals of companies who share common interests, worries and concerns. When I go to industry events, I am often bombarded by sales reps and I can never even make it to the bar! Here, however, every conversation counted, it was elevated, and I felt no pressure. And Jonathan had time to show me his new remarkable pieces in a more casual way.
Lead Photo: David Christensen
* In some cases, written responses have been edited for grammar and brevity, but not meaning or context.