Listopedia: The Design Files’ top New York design stores
New York is well known for being the best place in the world to go shopping, so we’ve shortlisted ten of the best design and interiors stores we visited.
I’ll preface this list by saying NEW YORK IS EXPENSIVE. Especially when it comes to interiors and design. Admittedly, many of the stores listed below are eye-wateringly pricey, but since most of us aren’t really in the market to buy actual furniture or bulky homewares whilst on holiday, I like to think of New York’s incredible design store scene as the world’s most inspiring window-shopping opportunity. This is where you must become a sponge, absorbing all the beauty and visual stimuli around you, in order to return home abuzz with fresh creative ideas for your own home/store/whatever!
ABC Carpet and Home
Don’t be deceived by the somewhat uninspiring name, this place is the bees knees (and it doesn’t actually sell carpet). ABC Carpet and Home is the home furnishings store of your dreams. For a self-confessed interiors junkie like me, no trip to New York is complete with a trip here. Set over six levels, ABC Home stocks an exhaustive range of vintage and new furniture, contemporary and classic design pieces, and an eclectic array of homewares, soft furnishings, tableware and kitchenware from across the globe. Like so many other NYC department stores, the in-store visual merchandising is an art form in itself, especially around holiday time. You’ll need an hour or two to browse if you want to check out every floor (which you certainly should). Make time to lunch in the excellent in-store restaurant, ABC Cocina, too. 888 & 881 Broadway
MOMA Design Store
An oldie but a goodie, Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art has an excellent design/gift store and bookshop, with locations both within the museum itself, and on Spring St in the bustling detail hub of SoHo. The SoHo store, set over two levels, is a great spot for last minute gifts, design objects and exhibition merchandise. We LOVE the art and design bookshop downstairs! ‘Cos, you know, design books are such a convenient thing to bring home in a suitcase. 81 Spring St, SoHo
Michel Verian’s store was introduced to us by Australian ex-pat stylist Glen Proebstel, who is a fan of the eclectic edit of homewares, accessories, soft furnishings, furniture and lighting in this beautiful SoHo store. There’s something very personal about the way the products are curated here, it’s always varied, there’s a particular focus on handcrafted things and small manufacturers, and it’s one of the few stores in NYC where you can be assured of seeing a range of pieces that you truly haven’t seen anywhere else. , SoHo
The Future Perfect
The Future Perfect has a long history of championing young American designers. Its first incarnation was back in 2003 as a humble furniture and homewares store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (long before the hipsters claimed the area as their own). Back then, the store, founded by NY native David Alhadeff, was central to the rise of many Brooklyn-based designers and makers who have since gone on to great things (such a lighting designer Lindsey Adelman (http://www.lindseyadelman.com) – she’s HUGE now!). After 12 years in business, The Future Perfect has had a coming of age. Now with stores in San Francisco and Manhattan, the brand has morphed into slick retail gallery showcasing both American and International designer furniture and lighting in super stylish surrounds. 55 Great Jones St
Home Stories in Brooklyn is a serene, understated shopping experience. We’re talking fresh crisp linens, a muted palette of greys, whites and neutral tones, handcrafted rugs, baskets and ceramics, and an elegant selection of furniture which is both contemporary and timeless.
This store is the brainchild of husband and wife team Paul and Sophie Yanacopoulos-Gross, who, with their teenage children, moved to Brooklyn Heights from Geneva, Switzerland in 2014 after spotting a unique retail lease opportunity on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. This dynamic creative duo brought 30 years of design experience with them when they relocated, and wasted no time designing their beautiful new store, which introduces a distinctly European aesthetic to New York’s retail landscape. 148 Montague St, Brooklyn Heights
Nalata Nalata is a little slice of Japanese minimalism right in the heart of Manhattan. Here you’ll find a considered edit of Japanese homewares and functional gifts at various price points, all beautifully presented.
Nalata Nalata was a popular online store before opening their bricks and mortar store, with a loyal online clientele from across the globe. For this reason their website is well stocked and worth a visit – we particularly enjoy their blog (http://nalatanalata.com/journal/) authored by store co-owner Stevenson S.J. Aung, which documents many of his research trips to Japan. 2 Extra Place
John Derian is one of those iconic and well-loved independent Manhattan retailers who kind of ‘owns’ the street his shop is in. I mean this not literally, but figuratively speaking, since his presence has expanded to three adjacent shop fronts in the leafy East Village – one store for his eclectic bric-a-brac, gifts and famed decoupaged homewares, one for his custom designed furniture, and another for endless piles of linen, quilts and soft furnishings, imported French furniture and well, more gorgeous stuff. This is an intensely visual and layered shopping experience. 6 E 2nd St
Steven Alan Home
Steven Alan makes clothes. Specifically, they make GREAT, grown up, understated ladies (and some mens) clothes. But, they’ve also just opened their first little homewares boutique, and would you BELIEVE our team stumbled across it completely by accident less than an hour after they opened, on their very first day in business? What can I say, we’re magnets for great design!
This sweet little store on Atlantic avenue in Brooklyn channels a slightly Japanese aesthetic, stocking a sweet edit of handcrafted ceramics and glassware, linen napery, lighting by Isamu Noguchi, and a small selection of bedding and soft furnishings. If you’re lucky you might even be offered a delicious chilled green tea while you browse. By the way, Atlantic Avenue is a great local shopping strip in Brooklyn for boutique retail, particularly secondhand/vintage furniture and lighting, take the subway to Hoyt – Schermerhorn Streets and make an afternoon of it. 373 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Matter is a design store with a ‘retail gallery’ vibe to it. You’ll find a cleverly curated selection of both American and international furniture, lighting and design objects, including an in-house range, manufactured locally, called ‘Matter-Made’. To be honest, their collection spans far beyond what’s actually on display in their showroom at any given time – for this reason we highly recommend a browse of their website. Our favourite recent finds here include an Akoya Pendant by US design studio Rich Brilliant Willing, glass objects d’art by Seattle artist John Hogan and the quirky ‘Shape-up’ chandeliers by Roll & Hill. 405 Broome St
Okay this one blew my mind. Entering this showroom, with its lofty ceilings and almost medieval arches, you’re instantly humbled by the sheer scale and sense of history and nostalgia in this space. This really is retail at its best and most bewilderingly beautiful.
Surprisingly, BDDW started as a small and decidedly ‘indie’ retail outlet for talented young American furniture designer and craftsman Tyler Hays. His first store, opened in 2005 on the Lower East Side, was a humble space renovated by Tyler himself on a shoestring. In its current incarnation, BDDW is an insanely impressive showroom in Crosby Street, SoHo, showcasing Tyler’s own designs alongside various other lighting and furniture, all handcrafted in America. Over time, BDDW has somewhat reluctantly become a luxury brand, albeit one with real homegrown authenticity, though the company is now developing a lower-end wholesale line to broaden their offering. Until that launches, this one is pretty much window-shopping only, people. 5 Crosby St
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