In my last post i touched upon the more independent home stores in Brooklyn NY, but i still love the big giants which provide such affordably stylish home treats in the centre of Manhattan.
Crate and Barrel is one of my favourite stores specialising in housewares, furniture and home accessories.
In the ’60s, a young Chicago couple by the name of Gordon and Carole Segal had just returned from a honeymoon in Europe. One night, while washing their dishes after dinner, they lamented there was no place at home to buy the contemporary, affordable housewares they had admired throughout their travels.
Passionate to make these designs available to others, the Segals hired one employee and leased an abandoned elevator factory on Chicago’s Wells Street. They traveled throughout Europe buying directly from glassblowers and ceramicists, from factories making beautiful French copper pots and simple white bistro dinnerware. With no money left for displays, they stacked the shipping crates as shelves and filled the overseas barrels with fun merchandise. So out of necessity came the unique Crate and Barrel style…and name.
To this day, a majority of Crate & Barrel’s products are direct imports from Europe, though Thai, Mexican and Indian Glass and Textiles.
Pottery Barn is another such store made famous by an episode of Friends after Rachel bought furniture from Pottery Barn in the episode “The one with the Apothecary Table” Pottery Barn is similar to Crate and Barrel but where Crate and Barrel is a very upmarket version of The Pier – Pottery Barn is certainly more design led – boasting products like these stylish Monogrammed Candlepot, and Classic Hotel Napkins.
Finally ABC Homestores – this year will be my first trip there although i’m not expecting to be able to afford anything as all the products are luxurious to the max! The flagship Manhattan store has six-floors, you can flip through piles of rugs on six, browse the Ralph Lauren rooms on five, wander through European antiques and reproductions on four, fall in love with the bed-and-bath accessories and linens (400-plus thread count, for the most part) on three, and find yourself in a Mod pod of Modern Vintage on two.
I’m looking forward to walking across the street (although after all this anticipation i’ll probably be running in a completly unrestrained fashion) where there are three more floors of new carpets in search of a Madeline Weinrib bargain.