One of the things I love about having my office in Greenwich is the great shopping. Greenwich has become something of a shopping mecca for designers with some fantastic storefronts. It’s so nice to have the option of shopping right here and supporting the community that supports my own business. Along the center of town and down a couple of side streets, you can find these places that aren’t always your typical, mainstream store. Here are some of my favorites:
Greenwich Tile: This is my go-to source for tile in any size. Vita, the owner, is creative and innovative. Greenwich Tile isn’t just a supply house; they love design and will mix materials to create an energizing, unique palette. You can visit them at 402 W Putnam Ave or call (203) 869-4773.
Mark Inc.: I’ve known Mark for a while now and he is such a great guy. He does custom mohair rugs in hundreds of designs. The level of capability that goes into his products in unbelievable! The classical thinking behind his rugs is evident. I love that you can even see progress photos of your rugs on the loom! Mark Inc. is located at 34 E Putnam Ave.
Exquisite Surfaces: Amazing source for flooring, including salvaged and reclaimed options. Visit them at 11 E Putnam Ave.
C. Parker Gallery: The gallery’s storefront opens at 17 E Putnam Ave with the holiday season, but this year has remained open. With an extensive collection of impressionist paintings, the gallery is a wonderful source of art close to home. I love the concept of C. Parker Gallery; they host events, are available for private consultations, and install purchased artwork.
Trovare Home: They have a great knack for mixing vintage items and reproductions with modern pieces. The accessories are great, and you can really tell the owner has a clever eye. Trovare Home, at 245 E Putnam Ave, also has good sized abstract art that’s well priced. The store consists of such charming vignettes that you want to scoop them up and install them just the way they are.
Room: With a showroom in NYC as well, Room is a great addition to Greenwich shopping. They feature custom crafted pieces by a variety of artisans and designers, but what I really like is their lighting. I was once working on a project here in Greenwich with a short lead time. Their bocce lamps were perfect — like jewelry for a room. Everything is customizable too, making their pieces suitable for almost any decor. You can find Room at 36 E. Putnam Ave.
What kind of local shopping do you like to do?
As a design resource, 1stdibs is a treasure trove of inspiration. I love being able to shop sources all over the world for everything from furniture and jewelry to fashion and lighting. When shopping for clients, I can focus on specific categories, like antiques. In addition to everything you can put in a home, 1stdibs features homes themselves. Looking for an estate in the French countryside or a luxury high rise apartment in the city? You can find it on 1stdibs! There are so many unique and beautiful things from a huge variety of dealers. I never get tired of browsing this site.
With the site’s latest updates, it has become even more interactive, making it an incredible tool. When you create an account with 1stdibs, you can save items to your virtual portfolio to make them easy to find for future reference. Even if the items in your portfolio are purchased, they stay there for you to refer to, be inspired by, or simply covet.
Shopping online isn’t always the best option. Being able to see an object in person, touch it, and get a truly accurate idea of colors and textures can be an important part of finding just the right piece. The 1stdibs New York Design Center, located at 200 Lexington Ave., is a mecca of design, filled with curated booths and the opportunity to check things out in person.
If you’re not already using 1stdibs, you won’t regret setting up an account now. You can also find them on Facebook, where they feature specific objects, hold giveaways, and highlight designers.
Not long ago, Jessica, my project manager, discovered a store in Montclair, New Jersey called Olive That and More. Specializing in olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and sea salts from around the world, Olive That and More is a foodie’s dream come true, but the store’s cleverly designed interior is the icing on the cake. With shelves and other components from the location’s previous tenant (a garden store) along with custom light fixtures created by the owner, Olive That exudes a rustic and welcoming atmosphere that encourages shoppers to taste, sample, and learn about all of the incredible products on display.
The staff at Olive That are very helpful and more than willing to answer any questions about their products or offer suggestions for cooking, serving, or buying gifts. In addition, the store hosts events such as tastings and sometimes partners with local chefs for special dinner events. Even their Facebook page is a great resource for recipes and ideas!
When you walk into Olive That, you immediately notice how many of the products are available for tasting. There are bowls of bread for sampling different oils and vinegars as well as salt shakers that allow you to taste different salts before purchasing. One of the more unique items available at Olive That is truffle salt. Jessica seems to have become addicted to the stuff, even keeping some on her desk at work to sprinkle over her lunch or add to a bowl a popcorn!
You may be thinking, “What is truffle salt?” The description from Olive That sums it up perfectly: All-natural Fusion Black Truffle Salt combines the distinct taste of black truffles with pure sea salt crystals to create an uncommonly delicious flavoring. A creative chef’s dream, black truffle salt adds a hint of earthy, mushroomy flavor to beef, eggs, potatoes and pasta.
Truffle salt is used as a finishing touch or garnish for cooked food, not an ingredient to add while cooking. It has an intense, strong flavor that truffle lovers are sure to appreciate! It’s lovely when sprinkled on vegetable soup or seafood; just keep in mind that a little goes a long way! Olive That offers two “strengths” of truffle salt: their original version as well as a stronger truffle salt. These salts are stored in large containers, and when the staff refills the smaller bottles of salt, the aroma fills the entire store!
I hope you have the opportunity to visit Olive That soon to experience their amazing products and learn from their knowledgeable staff!
Twice a year, the Javits Center and Piers 92 and 94 are home to the New York International Gift Fair. This incredible Home Show is always really exciting for me. There are so many neat products to discover from so many different designers and companies. Last August, I had a great time at the Gift Fair and wrote about my favorite finds. Once again, I loved every minute I spent browsing through the Gift Fair!
At this Fair, it seemed like every time I turned around, I saw another fantastic mirror. So many styles and sizes to fall in love with!
I also saw plenty of gorgeous pillows! These are perfect accents for a quick change and a good example of how not every aspect of design has to be custom.
One of the coolest things I saw at the Fair this year were these beautiful accents. They appear to be real plants, but if you take a closer look, you can see they are made of hand-painted shells. They look amazing in person!
NYIGF definitely has a little bit of everything. I found inspiration everywhere I looked, so much that I was able to find design ideas for an entire living room project I’ve been working on!
When the Gift Fair returns in August, it will have a new name: NY Now. I’m already looking forward to it!
A few days ago while shopping for fabric in NYC, I found myself stopped short by a window display in the D&D building. The display included a stunning arrangement of vintage glassware and I had to know more about it. I learned that the display featured items from a shop on Hudson Street called The End of History.
The End of History opened in 1997. Since then, owner Stephen Saunders has amassed an amazing international collection of mid-century glass and ceramic ware. In fact, The End of History boasts the world’s largest collection of 50′s and 60′s glass in the world. Hand blown glass and rare ceramics All this vintage glassware is beautifully categorized by color, making shopping here a real experience. The store is impressively curated and staffed by friendly people who are more than happy to welcome shoppers drawn in by those glowing window displays.
In addition to the store, the End of History maintains a blog to showcase their glassware and describe where each piece originates. The blog features writing and photography by Daniel Petix with input from store proprietor Stephen Saunders. It’s a great way to browse the store’s offerings and learn about the history and styles of various glassware. The pieces range from funky to stunning, from unusual to sophisticated.
If you’re in New York, you can stop by The End of History at 548 1/2 Hudson Street or call them at (212)647-7598 to inquire about hours.
COCOCOZY is more than an excellent daily design blog. It’s certainly worth reading in its own right for functional and stylish design material, but what really caught my eye about COCOCOZY is the Shop.
The COCOCOZY shop offers textiles, from pillows to throws to table linens, gifts, vintage accessories, and other unique items. I especially like the textiles. The patterns are fun, quirky, and fresh with a simple graphic concept. Items like the pillows and table linens make great gifts; they are quick finds without being mainstream.
COCOCOZY featured a blog post a while back about the entire process of making a pillow, from the progression of the idea to the final product. This behind the scenes look at how a product is developed is just fascinating. Starting with a sketch, the blog follows the steps involved in bringing a design into being.
The photos only tell half the story. Visit COCOCOZY to view the full progression and read all of the details about how these beautiful pillows came to be. You can also find COCOCOZY on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
New York City, overflowing with people and experiences, is also home to one of my favorite shopping and dining experiences: Eataly, located at 200 5th Ave. A collaboration between culinary icons Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, the NYC location aims to bring artisanal Italian foods to its clientele.
This is not your average grocery store. It’s a market for true food lovers, those who want to know where their food came from and how it made the journey from field to shelf. The feast begins when you enter the market and take in the sight of high ceilings and marble, displays of exotic produce and crusty breads, tempting gelato and cheeses, Italian pastas, and other delights not typically found in American supermarkets.
If the idea of cooking up these culinary delights overwhelms you, Eataly offers a variety of cooking classes. Or, you can enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants located right inside the market. From the steakhouse to the vegan cafe, Eataly is sure to have something to tempt everyone.
Before leaving, be sure to check out the wine store. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable, an invaluable combination when it comes to assisting wine shoppers.