Peace and inspiration are what Andi Beaton Mickaels hopes to stir in others when they enter her new storefront, Off the BEATON Path, located off U.S. Highway 280 in Dadeville.
The home décor and staging business that opened last July features a variety of styles for many different tastes.
“Decorating has always been a passion, as well as a stress reliever of mine. I’ve always loved decorating, helping friends decorate; it just gets me charged when people get inspired,” said Mickaels.
Originally a manager for nuclear projects, Mickaels chose the store’s name for several reasons. First of all, Beaton is her maiden name. In addition, this chosen path is far from how she normally does things. Mickaels said she always has a plan, and opening this store was a spontaneous choice after she and her husband, Kirk, moved to Lake Martin fulltime from Birmingham.
After finding this location, Mickaels, along with Kirk and her father, renovated the interior in about four weeks. The store is set up with an eclectic range of furniture and accessories and distinctive areas are staged to design room set-up options.
“It’s been fun exploring different styles. Sections of the store appeal to different characters but are not necessarily slanted one way,” said Mickaels. “We have rustic, modern, industrial, farmhouse – whatever clients want to incorporate.”
Off the BEATON Path has an area for staging and decorating consultation where customers could lay out pictures and pieces they might want to use within a room. People could bring in pictures of pieces they already own to work around, or simply scroll through magazines to see what appeals to them.
“Sometimes people don’t really know their desired style, so we have to start by recognizing what they like. Mixing what they currently have, even if it is different styles, is often the best way to achieve the look. Between looking at photos and products, they begin to see the bigger picture,” said Mickaels.
Home consultations also are an option. They are typically 90 minutes long, which Mickaels said at times could be more than long enough for a potentially overwhelmed homeowner.
With the store open Tuesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., most of the off-site staging she does is done Sundays, Mondays or before the store opens. Off the BEATON Path also is open by appointment to accommodate customer’s schedules.
“My husband is the most supportive person I know, along with my dad. Either of them will do anything that they know brings me happiness,” said Mickaels.
This extends to the twice-a-year trip the couple makes to Round Top, Texas, where the 90-person town swells to 60,000 with 20 miles of antiques, unique dealers, vendors and talent.
“We are most inspired out there. When you come over that horizon and see the line of vendors, it’s just amazing. We always bring a truck and trailer and come home jam packed with stuff,” said Mickaels. “It’s a lot of fun for us.”
The baseline of Off the BEATON Path’s inventory comes from Round Top, including its overall style and the couple’s big finds.
They also source materials for the store out of the Northern seaports, along with Oregon, Washington, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The fun, filler stuff – as Mickaels calls it – is found at market and other areas to which they travel.
While Mickaels’ main focuses are stocking the shop and home staging, she also is available for decorating. She prefers to complement existing businesses though, not compete, as she is not a certified decorator.
“I always tell people it’s best to buy a piece that can be used in different places. You don’t need new everything to create a new look. You can add a few fresh pieces to create the design you want,” said Mickaels. “Sometimes people can’t see past one use for stuff they’ve had for so long. A different look doesn’t have to be a big investment.”
There is no discrimination in the size, type or location of home in which Mickaels will work either. From apartments to third homes, Mickaels said she has had a lot of fun exploring distinctive styles.
Mickaels said she truly believes everyone should be inspired by their homes. They should create environment that makes homeowners proud and happy.
“People may or may not love their jobs, but there is no reason they can’t love their homes,” she said. “I truly believe everyone should be inspired by their homes.”