New York City is a magical city like no other. For design lovers and culture enthusiasts it really is where dreams are made of! There are an abundance of stores offering unique designs and one of a kind pieces. With the many neighborhoods NYC encompasses it is hard to know where to start when looking for design inspo. That’s why Style + Space has come up with a series entitled ‘Design Guide to NYC’ where we will be letting you know the best places to go in each neighborhood. I, Eliza am currently living in New York City and on one chilly November Tuesday I set off to the Upper East Side in search of some design goodness to share with you. Here is my round up of the best spots to hit when you make your way to the Upper East Side in Manhattan.
Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Start your day at the Design Museum as it is all the way up on East 91st Street. The museum is housed in one of the most gorgeous buildings along Central Park. (For all you Gossip Girl lovers, they used the buildings grounds and exterior for Lily and Bart’s Wedding). The exhibitions inside the museum showcase the history and culture of design and decorative arts. You will find collections of furniture, wall hangings, fabrics, antiques and so much more. There are interactive stations, which provide you with the history on every object in the museum. One of the highlights of mine was being able to draw your own wallpaper and project it onto the walls of the room! The museum isn’t New York’s largest so you will probably only need a morning to make your way around the exhibits. There is also a great coffee shop and plenty of seating areas for you to relax in once you’re done.
Jonathan Adler is the pioneer of modern American Glamour in furniture and homewares. If you are looking for a stand out piece for your home then look no further than his boutique on Madison Ave. There are a few other locations dotted around the city but this is by far my favourite. The showroom is bright and cheery and has a variety of large furniture pieces and small homewares. It is a great spot to pick up a souvenir for a design-loving friend back home! The staff are always friendly and happy to help. I find myself so inspired after leaving one of Jonathan Adler’s stores that I feel like I need to inject some colour and humor into every room of my home.
Anthropologie is my all time favourite store for homewares, clothes, gifts and stationary. There are many Anthropologie stores all over the world and in NYC but the Upper East Side location is by far my favourite. It is a multi level store with the top level looking down onto the furniture and homewares below. The store windows and displays in every section are ever changing and always enchanting (Their Visual Merchandising Team are the very best). Take your time to really look through all the items in Anthropologie, as they are so unique and beautiful. The throw rugs, cushions and bed linen have a ‘handmade’ feel without the price tag. Make sure to check out the amazing selection of doorknobs and handles, I could honestly spend hours searching through them!
Gracious Home is a classic American home store chain. Unlike the other stores I’ve mentioned today this one has less one-of-a-kind products but you can still find some hidden gems. My tip is to go straight for the cutlery section. They have endless amounts of cutlery in every finish and design you can imagine! From modern brass and rose gold to vintage style wooden and glass designs. They also sell some unique dinner sets, bedding and lighting options. Gracious Home is one of those classic American stores that go all out for the current season. I went in the lead up to Christmas and they had so many festive homeware options it was almost overwhelming (almost, not quite). It really is a one-stop shop for everything you need to deck out your house in a stylish and affordable way.
Kate Spade may not be everyone’s cup of tea for clothing, footwear and accessories. But I think we can all jump on board with her gorgeous homewares filled with witty puns and bright colours. As you enter the Upper East Side location head to the top floor where the homewares section lives (Make sure to check out the gorgeous fixtures and finishes the building has to offer along the way!). For a small area Kate Spade certainly packs the homewares floor to the brim with beautiful glassware, cocktail shakers, bed linen, stationary and ceramics. This store is the Kate Spade flagship so it is not to be missed when visiting New York City.
That sums up our first installment of ‘Design Guide to NYC’. The Upper East Side has plenty of shops and museums that it would take us weeks to tell you about all of them, but those were some of my faves. Be sure to let us know if you pop into any of the places mentioned on your next trip to the Big Apple and stay tuned for the next Design Guide soon!