Bradley Odom is the talent behind one of the best stores in Atlanta, Dixon Rye. Dixon Rye is filled with an expertly-curated assortment of interesting vintage finds, fine antiques, and a mix of interesting new upholstery, casegoods, art, accessories, and art. Prior to opening Dixon Rye, Bradley was an award-winning graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and had a very big career in retail. Bradley’s experience as Director of West Elm and J.Crew allowed him to collect inspiration from communities and individuals across the world, and ultimately, informed his eye for quality design. At the helm of Dixon Rye, Bradley has developed a distinct style all his own which marries the rough with the refined. He has an expert eye for juxtaposition, interesting pairings, and an innate ability to create just the right amount of tension between pieces in order to create spaces infused with personality and character. I visited Dixon Rye on my last visit to Atlanta in January and hope to return soon! In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more about Bradley today!
Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?
Bradley Odom: Dark and moody—masculine colors with immense texture. At Dixon Rye we talk a lot about identifying the hero of a room and letting it be a hero. For me personally, the hero is usually something leather or a cool architectural find.
PC: How has living in Atlanta influenced your style?
BO: I’ve been in Atlanta now for 17 years – so hard to believe. I’m originally from Mississippi, but definitely consider Atlanta home. I opened Dixon Rye in October 2015 with the intent of creating a furniture and design destination that mixes authentic Southern expression with modern sensibility. The store is filled with carefully curated furniture and décor pieces that speak to my Southern roots from living in Atlanta paired with a strong passion for beautiful things.
PC: What does your home say about you?
BO: That I’ve been busy the last 10 years. I recently decided to do a complete update to my bedroom, starting from scratch. I designed a bed for Dixon Rye that is going to now be my bed, in leather. The bed and my art are the inspiration for the entire room. I am continually finding a new hero which means I will redesign a room to honor that piece.
PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?
BO: There is inspiration all around us. We aren’t great about stopping long enough to see it. We are all so busy that we sometimes miss what is around us and think inspiration has to be a special, planned activity. Don’t get me wrong, traveling gives me life. I was fortunate enough to travel often in my prior role and got to see so much of the world that inspires me, but I really try to make an effort to find inspiration in the city I love, Atlanta—our forest in the city. I’m very visual and a collector of images, which is exactly why I created the weekly inspirational diary, Quiet Decency, we send out each Sunday. I really wasn’t sure it would resonate with people, but the following has been overwhelming. You can sign-up, HERE, to receive.
PC: Who are your personal style icons?
BO: I can’t say that I have a particular icon, however, I find myself following anyone who has a vision. Visionaries, in general, are forward minded, global, out of the box thinkers and aren’t too concerned for what everyone else is doing. I prefer that over what someone else has done.
PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?
BO: Humility. Where there is humility, there is usually trust and integrity.
PC: What is your guilty pleasure?
BO: Ice Cream! It’s an issue. Jenni’s Ice Cream has an almond butter brittle that is hard to pass up.
PC: Who or what has been your professional influence?
BO: There are a two: My friend Glenn, whom I met in 2005 has become a father figure and mentor for me. He challenged me out of my routine job and helped me to understand my talents which led me to taking risks. I also had the honor of working with Mickey Drexler during my J. Crew years. And although I never reported directly to Mickey, we met several times. In a visit once to one of my stores, he asked me to join the corporate jet to fly to the call center, which at the time was in need of a rebranding, to connect the center to the same experience as the stores. I joined the trip and two weeks later had a job offer for a Director’s role. I will never forget Mickey seeing something in me, that at the time, I didn’t see in myself.
PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?
BO: Having an inner peace (Quiet Decency) that allows me to rest every night, feeling fully challenged and fulfilled.
PC: What can we look forward to next from you?
BO: The ongoing project that is forever evolving is Dixon Rye, of course. I’m constantly sourcing the newest discoveries that fit our aesthetic. At the moment, I’m most excited to see how we’ve given new life to some of our antique finds. I love to re-envision an old piece with new fabrics or hardware. We have also recently launched our online shop. In June, all products will be featured on the online shop! We have two local design projects that are really coming together. Both are full renovations and both families have been really receptive to thinking forward. Sometimes you worry that you are pushing them a little too far out of their comfort zone, but I am always honored by the trust they put in their designer! In the Fall we’ll begin working on phase II of a recently completed Farm House project. We’re building a new kitchen and turning the existing kitchen into a bar area. You’ll see the first phase in Atlanta Magazine Home’s Fall Issue. Then of course there’s my bedroom project. Feels so great to finally be working on my space again.
Go-To Outfit: White jeans, Tretorns and a navy blazer and I hardly leave home without my AERO Studio leather bag.
Style Mantra: Don’t over complicate it, but don’t be so basic, well, that you’re basic. You have to have your own style that works for you.
Scent: Tom Ford, Ombre Leather
Piece of Jewelry: My eyewear
Color I Never Tire Of: White– it’s the perfect palette cleanser.
Flower: Although I never tire of the magnolia, I do love ranunculus
Indispensable Design Element: Texture
Era for Design: Early 1900 Bauhaus era
Dream Project: A Boutique Hotel
Fabric/Textile: I love textiles that can function as art. Currently obsessed with a Mulberry for Lee Jofa Rain Dance Fabric. It’s this beautiful embroidered fabric that’s able to stand alone as a statement piece in any room or as simple as a wall hanging. Menswear plaids get me every time. The Johnstons of Elgin wools are beyond fabulous. I’m currently building my bedroom around Glen Isla in Olivine.
Hostess Gift: Certainly depends on the party and level of friendship, but I love gifting the Arrow Platter from Astier de Villatte.
Meal: It’s a toss up between a good burger and sushi.
Drink: Good Coffee
Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Being outside with my pugs.
3 Things I Love About My City: Four distinct seasons, each of which I love for different reasons. I love being outside and Atlanta has some really great hikes within the city. Lastly, community. Atlanta is a big city but still has that smallish town feel because it’s the South.
Weekend Destination: If you follow my Instagram, you’ll quickly learn that I escape Atlanta for Old Edward Inn in Highlands, NC every time I get a chance. It’s a quick 2.5 hour drive from Atlanta. The team at OEI are so accommodating and I’ve been going for so long that they just know what I like…which is mostly to just be.
Hotel: Ilse Crawford Designed ETT HEM HOTEL
Museum: Victoria and Albert Museum
Artist: David Hockney
Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Robyn- Call Your Girlfriend
Actor: Paul Newman
Prized Possession: A photo of my Mother as a child standing in a field of flowers. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Risk Worth Taking: The last 7 years have been all about risk for me. I decided to go back to school Full-Time in 2000 to get an Interior Design Degree from SCAD. Shortly after, I left my corporate job in 2015 to launch Dixon Rye. Definitely worth the risk!
Greatest Extravagance: Good food
Go-To Color Palette: Dark Greens for a bit of a naturalist aesthetic. Sometimes when working on a new project, I have to stop and say…No Greens!
Rule to Break: All of them! I’m an “ask for forgiveness” kinda guy.
Movie Set Design: A Single Man
I can never have too many… Travel books and Navy blazers