5 Top Interior Design Shops
Published: April 2010
By Ingrid Abramovitch
Five trailblazing decorators stock their shops with
one-of-a-kind treasures from around the globe. And if you need is a little advice, all you have to do is ask.
to the back of this cozy Nolita boutique and you’ll spot German designer Nina
Freudenberger creating eclectic interiors for stylish Manhattanites. The shop’s
vibe—streamlined Scandinavian chalet meets European hunting lodge—was inspired
by Freudenberger’s memories from Denmark and Bavaria. Throughout her showroom
(where almost everything costs less than $300, and most items less than $50),
there are unique curios for the home from up-and-coming artists. Plus, the
shop’s Wallpaper Bar features sample books from firms including Cole & Son
and Studio Printworks; bring along your room measurements and a staffer will
recommend patterns, calculate yardage, and even suggest an installer.
Favorite finds: Faux-aged trophies (like
the one you took home after your third-grade spelling bee) that Haus engraves
with the superlative of your choice (from $35) and illustrator
Christopher Jagmin’s graphic dinner sets featuring oversize numerals ($129
for four plates).
British transplant Peter Dunham is the go-to expert for
celebrities who gravitate toward his clubby English spin on Old Hollywood
style. At his West Hollywood showroom, one large space is set up like a boudoir: for winter, it was dressed in
Carolina Irving Textiles’ blue-and-white stripes and florals; the same space
is now redecorated in eye-catching harem prints by pattern fanatic (and fellow
British expat) Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. There’s also an extensive selection of
by-the-yard fabrics, including Dunham’s fresh takes on Indian, Turkish, and
Favorite finds: The store’s best-selling How to
Marry a Millionaire side chair ($1,650) is a reproduction of the
oak-and-rush-seated classic seen in the 1950’s film of the same name. Don’t
miss the collection of vintage books, including a first edition of Zsa Zsa
Gabor’s 1970’s advice manual, How to Catch a Man, How to Keep a Man, How to
Get Rid of a Man ($80).
Istanbul native Eugenie
Perret, the owner of this contemporary three-story gallery situated in the
heart of Old City, and her partner, Michael Schmick, have capitalized on
Philadelphia’s recent design renaissance and turned their shop into a meeting
space for the city’s creative set. Philadelphians come as much to check out
furnishings by international design stars Hella Jongerius, BarberOsgerby, and
Maarten Baas as to support homegrown talents such as furniture maker John Bolle
and sculptor Todd Noe.
Favorite finds: Minima is one of the best
sources in the country for collectibles, including pieces such as Ben van
Berkel’s sinuous Circle sofa (price available upon request). For more
portable souvenirs, check out Hiref glass vases ($465) with
crescent-shaped stoppers (Perret discovered them in Turkey) and gilded
hand-cast bone china skulls by Philadelphia-based artist Candy Depew ($1,450).
Savannah: Arcanum Antiques Interiors
century meets eighteen minutes ago” is the mantra of this gas station turned
showroom in Savannah, Georgia’s historic district. Here, Southern
standbys—silver mint-julep cups are a hot seller—stand beside oil paintings by
local artists, including Samuel J. Ward and Daniel E. Smith, a former monk who
creates color-drenched abstractions based on low-country landscapes and
Favorite finds: As befits its name,
Arcanum specializes in decorative arcana. Look for crystal balls (from $57), Neoclassical-styled urns with brass snake handles ($88), and carved-bone
lobsters and crayfish (from $290). Also popular: semiprecious gemstone
strands from local designer Alexandra Trujillo’s HRH The Duchess of State
jewelry line (from $200).
Montreal, where interior shops tend to cater to either traditionalists or
cutting-edge Modernists, Celadon Collection bridges the gap between stodgy and
avant-garde perfectly. This 5,000-square-foot home emporium, located in a
former garage on the western edge of Old Montreal, is the brainchild of one of Canada’s top decorators, Scott Yetman. He and his business partner, Roy Caro, traverse the
globe in search of antiques and well-made furnishings, so that Celadon—like Montreal itself—is a crossroads of European and North American influences.
Favorite finds: Parisian imports including Objet de Curiosité’s
egg-shaped volcanic rocks mounted on bronze bases ($630) and Hervé
Gambs’s hypoallergenic scented candles in subtle fragrances such as Waterflower
and Cashmere Wood ($66).