The blackbird is known for its simplistic beauty and smart thinking, according to Wayne Rollins, owner of the Black Bird Home Gallery, the best-kept secret in home design in Sarasota located at 1540 Main Street. That’s part of the reason he named his new and unique gallery for the bird with dark imagery and simple lines. The store is like nothing else in Sarasota, and Rollins takes specific measures to make sure of that. He hand-picks every item sold in the store and travels far and wide to find them. From California to North Carolina to China and everywhere in between, Rollins seeks out pieces he loves and features them in his store. You won’t find any matching sets in the boutique style gallery—a trend that Rollins says is growing across the country.
“I find that people don’t want to buy something and set it up in their home, and then go visit their neighbor and see the exact same set,” he says. “Our philosophy is simple: Surround yourself with pieces that you love, and mixing styles is okay.”
The Black Bird Home Gallery has been on Main Street for a little over two years and is Rollins’ first venture into retail. Wayne and his wife Mindy moved to Florida from Los Angeles, Ca., and much of his style, he says, comes from trends he watched emerge on the West Coast. The Rollins’ were drawn to Sarasota for its cultural environment and wanted to raise a family while doing what they love: inspiring others to set their own design trends.
“Many people who move to Florida want to get rid of their old heavy furniture and move into a lighter, more Tommy Bahama-type scene,” Rollins says, “but they then end up missing some of their antiques. What we try and promote is that you can have both. Surround yourself with things that you find beautiful. The furniture shouldn’t demand your attention or darken the room, but you can fit pieces in here and there that you love.”
Walking into the gallery gives customers a good idea of exactly what he’s talking about. Beautiful and unique pieces in all different styles fill up the space, creating a very warm and cozy feel. Yet nothing is a set. The beauty of the natural landscape inspires the furniture lines with organic and textural, yet sophisticated pieces. The result is comfort with fashion.
You’ll find tables with petrified wood bases, a room divider with gold-laced pearl tiles, ceramic animal sconces and pieces that incorporate all of the elements at Blackbird. “Not all sofas need to be TV sofas,” Rollins says while pointing out a unique and funky piece that can be a centerpiece for a room.
He says he very rarely buys anything twice and sometimes gets a bit weary when his favorites go out the door. “I don’t buy anything that I feel lukewarm about, and that is a concept that everyone should weave into their home design,” he says. You’re bound to find plenty to love at this trend-setting and understated design mecca, the Black Bird Home Gallery.
- Black Bird Home Gallery is the creation of Mindy and Wayne Rollins. Originally from Atlanta, they lived in Los Angeles for years pursuing careers and interests in art, film and interior design. Finally ready to find their forever home and realize their creative dreams, Mindy and Wayne moved to Sarasota in 2008 and opened Black Bird Home Gallery in November 2009. They live with their son on Longboat Key. For more information go to www.blackbirdhomegallery.com