New York is a city of contrasts. Especially in these days some are wonderful, and some not so. Having choices is one of New York’s big draws. There are a wealth of them when you’re shopping. In the last few weeks, I needed a few gifts and was also looking for some spring treats to spruce up my home life. So I headed to the streets for inspiration and found some wonderful new boutiques; and rediscovered others that had closed during the pandemic. If you, like me, are in need of a decor refresh — visit these shops. They will not disappoint.
Jenni Kayne, who has a clothing boutique on Madison Avenue, recently opened a larger shop for her home collection. The southern California-based designer has strong views about dressing your home. She likes everything natural, be it the materials involved or the colors.
From dining tables to plates, linens, utensils, bowls and kitchen decor, everything you might want is here. The minimal designs also include glasses and vases.
Chairs, sofas, ottomans and benches come in a range of soft colors. Coffee tables, end tables, chests and other pieces are available to order. The store has a collection of area rugs, too. Lots of the products are made in the states, but they also come from countries around the world. A huge skylight opens up the space.
Pillows and throws for the comfy life are for sale. So are different sizes and shapes of baskets and trays. There is a small selection of lighting for the home. And there is a branded line of candles and home scents.
Sophisticated beds are found on the lower level. Along with throws, there are piles of sheepskin rugs tucked all over the place. Wall decor and mirrors are also included in the collection.
The bathroom area is pretty spectacular, and it too has a skylight. The tub and the sink are not for sale (the tub can be ordered from the manufacturer, but the sink is vintage.) They make a pretty backdrop for the brand’s towels, baskets and beauty products. If being neutral is your thing, there’s lots to get excited about.
Jenni Kayne, 125 Greene Street
Edie Parker has reopened in a new, larger space. The brand first offered vintage-inspired acrylic evening clutches and handbags. A new line, Flower by Edie Parker, was added, selling accessories and toys that add fun to the expanding universe of cannabis. The weed wallpaper certainly sparkles.
The signature bags are made in an American factory that has been working with acrylic since the 1940s. The majority of the home accessories are also made from brightly colored acrylic. Lights and coasters come in many colors. As do trays, placemats and ashtrays.
The back of the boutique has a “living” wall. Some of the flower pieces are displayed here: Rolling papers, odor-quenching pouches and bags for carrying weed, vape pens, grinders and other smoking necessities.
Board games like tic-tac-toe and checkers are found throughput the store. The vases are vintage.
There are beautiful hand blown glass bongs and acrylic napkin rings.
The trays are imaginative, bananas, tomatoes and even bok choy are available. So are the glass pipes, disguised as cherries, bananas, oranges and other fruits. And almost everything can be customized. After all, the pieces are made one at a time. Have some fun, and add your touch to pieces in high places.
Edie Parker, 21 Bond Street
Modern Link is a specialist in Danish modern. They import pieces from the 1930s and onward, restoring them before putting them up for sale. If needed, the chairs are reupholstered in period-sensitive fabric. They also work with current Danish designers.
The space is a warehouse-cum-store. Pieces are stacked and parked so that they can fit as much as possible onto the selling floor.
The chairs and sofas are all newly designed and made. There are different fabrics available for each piece. They also make interesting outdoor pieces. Lamps and decorative Danish objects are on display.
Buffets, consoles, and bookcases are also available. This is “brown furniture” that is not out of fashion.
The pieces are bold and striking. They quietly make a statement.
Modern Link is an Aladdin’s cave of mid-century modern temptations.
Modern Link, 35 Bond Street
A world and a few blocks away, NUMI Global Curiosities offers a wealth of choices for a different aesthetic. Products are sourced from around the world. The rugs are Moroccan, and come in all sizes, and many colors. They fill a good third of the space.
Artisanal chocolates sit next to plates and salad servers. Air plants float around the boutique in different bowls and containers. Everything is carefully arranged.
On one wall, pillows make a statement. Floor cushions and poufs sit on the floor. The stuffed animals are adorable. They are piled in baskets and peek from leather Moroccan sandals. There are also printed and straw bags tucked around the boutique.
Gourmet salt sits on a small wooden chest. Interesting baskets line the shelves. There is a nice selection of vases and candlesticks, as well as colorful tumblers.
A colorful collection of shirts, skirts and dresses comes in both prints and solids. Handmade candles hang from the wall.
The wine glasses are French, and the plate and bowls are also European. The teacups hold scented candles. Napkins, tea towels and other linens are also available. All of this sits across the street from the old St. Patrick’s Church, now beautifully renovated.
NUMI Global Curiosities, 42 Prince Street
Ben’s Garden is another ode to maximalism. I would hate to count the SKUs in this store. A table full of witty and sweet scribble pads, cards and sticky notes is food for thought.
This table is covered in a variety of jugs. Unusual carving sets and taxicab and NYC building-themed ceramic boxes add a splash. You, too, can have blue butterflies line a wall.
Ben’s Garden offers a large selection of découpage trays with amusing phrases, maps, flowers, and victime de la mode images. At the table to the rear are collections of inscribed coasters.
The store will also do custom trays. Invitations, family photos, baby and pet images, and even magazine covers can all be made into a treasured keepsake.
Another table is covered in candlesticks and tiny mercury glass vases. Unusual wall hangers — whales or perhaps fists? — offer decor drama for the home.
Vintage maps are found all over the store. The model Italian Riva is a collectable. And cool glass bud vases fill one side of the table. Ben’s also has a big selection of cocktail napkins and greeting cards for every season and holiday. Whimsy and a sense of humor never go out of style.
Ben’s Garden, 42 Grand Street
Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.