by Marcy Lee
If you haven’t been to Kudzu lately, you’re in for a surprise. Atlanta’s oldest antique store has transformed itself into a full-service furniture store with new selections of furniture, lighting, accessories, and special-order sofas to complement the traditional mix of antiques and vintage. “We looked around and realized there simply weren’t any interesting furniture stores in our area, so we decided to create a unique mix of old and new, and it has really taken off,” says co-owner Kate Lawes. “We are building on the success of our store in Sandy Springs, Kudzu and Company, which sells more new than old and has built a strong following with designers and decorators from all around Atlanta.”
Kate and her husband, George, have rebranded the Decatur store as Kudzu Antiques + Modern and filled it with a carefully curated mix of contemporary furniture and lighting from some of the industry’s best manufacturers. “We still have 75 of Atlanta’s best vintage dealers, but we are creating a new look that reflects today’s trends, is not something you see everywhere, and delivers value for the money,” says George. “Kudzu is no longer just an antique store, but a full-service home store with everything from sofas to gifts. When people walk in, they are amazed at the diverse selection. We’re even selling fashion now, and our women customers love it,” says Kate.
One walk through Kudzu will convince you of that. There are still lots and lots of great vintage and antique items, enough to satisfy any “antique-aholic,” but round a corner and you feel like you’re in some hip new furniture boutique. And the selection is really interesting, much more so than most furniture stores. “One advantage we have,” notes George, “is our access to items from all over the world. We direct import containers of industrial style furniture ourselves, and we travel regularly to Europe looking for unique vintage items to mix into our showroom of new merchandise. That gives us a look that no one can match.”
“And we’re continually expanding our gift and accessories lines,” adds Kate. “It’s hard to find an interesting gift these days, and we think we can fill that need.”
That may be one of the most fun things about walking through the “new” Kudzu – you’re continually surprised by what comes next. And with almost 25,000 square feet to shop, you’re bound to find something you just have to take home. “We want people to feel that every time they come they’re going to find something different, and to love what we do so much that they’ll bring their family and friends the next time,” says Kate. “And they do.”
For more information, visit KudzuAntiques.com.