The furniture scene in New York has been on the move recently, with top brands opening (or soon to open) within stunningly beautiful new digs. From B&B Italia, Poliform and Herman Miller to Lee Broom and Tom Dixon, here’s where to find them.
1 B&B Italia, 135 Madison Avenue
The Italian stalwart of all-things luxurious, B&BItalia first arrived to the shores of Manhattan back in 1976, when founder Piero Ambrogio Busnelli decided to internationalize his family-run business by opening a store on 5th Avenue. The new flagship at 135 Madison Avenue is massive, with 800 square metres of floorspace filling the ground level of a building originally constructed as a factory in 1910 – it famously provided steel for the construction of the Manhattan Bridge and Grand Central. Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Interiors gave the walls a coat of dark paint and left the four-metre ceilings wide open, while the floor area is masterfully configured with dreamy furniture arrangements of both B&B Italia and Maxalto collections discretely divided by hanging semi-translucent scrims.
2 Poliform, 112 Madison Ave
Like B&B Italia, Poliform is making the move to Madison Avenue (and away from the rising rents of SoHo). The new 10,000-square-foot retail environment, slated to open September 29, will be the Italian furniture, kitchen and closet system company’s first street-level store, and its extra-large windows will no doubt entice shoppers to step inside. With the interior set up like a home, visitors will immediately feel as though they’ve just wandered into some glamorous Manhattan apartment, with living rooms, family rooms, dining areas and two kitchens set up to create sense of realism. The vignettes continue downstairs with more kitchens on display along with bedrooms and closet systems.
3 Herman Miller Retail Shop, 251 Park Avenue South
Now that most offices are adopting some of the softer elements of home interiors, office-furniture manufacturers like Herman Miller are looking to recalibrate their brands to be as much about lifestyle as they are about work. The US company has spent the last five years rebuilding its brand to reflect that change, and their flagship retail shop at 251 Park Avenue South, stated to open later this year, is about to be the pinnacle of that morphosis. The first brand-dedicated store, its focus will be consumer-oriented with products skewed toward for the residential market, including graphic textiles and wooden toys by the late Alexander Girard. Shoppers may be surprised to learn Herman Miller also owns Maharam textiles and furnishings from Geiger and Design Within Reach, and products from all three subsidiaries will kit out the new shop.
4 Lee Broom, 34 Greene Street
“Broom off Broome” is how the British designer has been known to describe the location of his first North American outpost on 34 Greene Street (and just a stone’s throw from Broome Street). The SoHo showroom is cloaked in matt grey walls that make the space instantly moody and theatrical — an ideal tone for showing off an inventory of mostly lighting fixtures that range from crystal-cut pendants to sliced spheres that read as moons. Along with lighting, there are elegant champagne goblets, hanging hoop chairs upholstered in red and a magic-carpet chaise lounge. With so many of Broom’s designs viewable in one space, you begin to pick up on his background in fashion (he was an intern for Vivienne Westwood and a fashion show dresser for Kate Moss). There is the smouldering romance of another era in everything he makes.
5 Tom Dixon Shop, 19 Howard Street
Britain’s biggest name in contemporary furniture and design has pretty much tapped every type of product category, from furniture and lighting to pepper grinders and doorstops. Electic by Tom Dixon is the brand’s ever-growing accessory line that encompasses an impressive range of small items, from paper notebooks to candlestick holders and tea lights; the variety and various price-points will no doubt ensure there will be at least one Tom Dixon product in everyone’s life at some point. The four-story SoHo shop, designed by Dixon and his team, has kept many of the original features, including a tin ceiling and steel pillars that have been left raw. The shop also offers interior design consultation for residential and commercial projects.