FOR BOTH BIG SAVERS AND BIG SPENDERS
A New York City Guide to Furnishing Your Apartment
BY VERONICA VICCORA
The art of furnishing a tiny New York City apartment is a delicate one. It's a rude awakening when you first move to New York and realize your big plans don't seem to fit your microscopic apartment. But every New Yorker who's spent 5 minutes trying to buy a couch in Manhattan can tell you that might just be a good thing. Sure, we barely have room for the one loveseat we crammed into our living room/bedroom/dining room but when that sofa was the same price as our rent, that's really all we could afford to put in the apartment anyway!
And yet, Manhattanites and Brooklynites alike are somehow managing to pack their 500 sq ft with as much character as humanly possible. How are they doing it? Where are they shopping? Here's the deal: The secret to furnishing your New York City apartment lies within 2 things:
Vintage Shops and Ramen.
Vintage shops because those are where all the charm (and often a good bargain) is found. And ramen, because, well, in order to afford that 1960s Scandinavian buffet table you fell in love with, that's really all you'll be eating for a while.
The ramen is easy to find. The best thrift and vintage shops, however, can take a little digging. But never fear! I'm here today to get you started with some of the best places to shop for homeware in New York City.
Rosecrans - Greenwich Village, Manhattan
7 Greenwich Ave 10014
I love this brand of homeware store I keep coming across lately. They're one part home shop, one part cafe. It's like... do I need a coffee and some biscuits to go with my new snake plant? Yes. Yes I absolutely do. Rosecrans sells plants, flowers, pottery, vintage oddities, coffee and cafe treats. They're doing the most, and doing it all fabulously.
Feng Sway - Greenpoint, Brooklyn
41 Norman Ave 11222
Feng Sway is where I hope to go when I die. It's a bohemian dream filled with plants, rugs and apparently a ton of stuff that used to belong to Betsey Johnson. I once bought a napkin with boobs here. That's right, boobs. If you're familiar with my hauls you'll know I have a bit of an addiction to this place. But for good reason. It's one of a kind.
The Chelsea Flea - Chelsea, Manhattan
29 W 25th St 10010
The Chelsea Flea is the kind of space that'll make any vintage lover feel right at home. It's an open air market with friendly vendors selling a myriad of vintage and second hand homewares, artwork, textiles, clothing and more. And, you didn't hear it from me, but some of them are even willing to haggle if you're looking for a good deal.
Dobbin St. Coop - Greenpoint, Brooklyn
39 Norman Ave 11222
There must be something in the water near this one specific corner of Brooklyn because the vintage is incredible over there. One store after another has some of the coolest furniture and and clothing I've found in all of New York and Dobbin St. Coop is no exception. They're definitely pricey so be careful about just "window shopping." It's never window shopping. You will leave with a 1920s armchair, 3 disco balls and a hole firmly burnt into your pocket. Every time.
Cure Thrift Shop - East Village, Manhattan
91 3rd Ave 10003
Accurately named for the way it remedies you of the thrift bug, Cure Thrift Shop is definitely more of an ~elevated~ second hand experience. They just relocated and revamped their space and it's filled with vintage goodies from furniture to clothing whose proceeds go towards type 1 diabetes research and advocacy.
Housing Works - Yorkville, Manhattan
1730 2nd Ave 10128
Not all Housing Works are created equal and this, so far, is my favorite shop for second hand artwork, dishware and other little home related odds and ends. They also have an online store where some of their higher end pieces are auctioned off. I've purchased everything from old movie posters to vintage Ferragamo scarves here, and most of it is fairly affordable by New York City standards.
John Derian - Greenwich Village, Manhattan
18 Christopher St 10014
This place is basically what I'd like my future British cottage to look like. It is hands down the coziest place to buy a $2000 pillow case I've ever seen. Obviously, this shop is unfathomably expensive for most of us Manhattanites with rent to pay but it's just. so. aesthetic. I'd recommend stopping in for some amazing interior inspiration and then heading next door to Delice & Sarrasin to spend that hard earned dollar on some vegan French food instead.
Cursive New York - West Village, Manhattan
543 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Cursive New York is a relatively new little home shop filled with a very "found objects" kind of vibe. There's a touch of whimsy in every part of this space from the embroidered pillows depicting woodland creatures iceskating, to their collection of gorgeous gemstone colored drinking glasses. It's definitely the kind of spot you go to treat yourself and not one to come home with an armload of thrifty deals, but there's certainly something unique and special to be discovered here, so you won't want to skip it.
Ad Hoc Collective - Lower East Side, Manhattan
88 Essex St 10002
Down the stairs on the bottom floor of Essex Market is Ad Hoc Collective. They sell a wide variety of plants, pots and old, unique odds and ends. Treat yourself to some dried lavender wrapped up in old-timey printed tissue paper and then hit the vendors right next to them for everything from wine, cheese and groceries. It's a one stop apartment shop. And if you're on the West side, they also have a location on Christopher St. in Greenwich Village that's more of a cafe vintage shop hybrid.
Reuse America - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
387 Bushwick Ave 11206
Walking into this place is like walking into Narnia. You will get completely lost among the maze-like aisles spilling over with stuff, and you will love every second of it. I may or may not have met an actual Minotaur here as well, but I'm not realllyyyyy at liberty to say. This place is not a junk shop, it's a treasure trove.
Yesterday's News - Carrol Gardens, Brooklyn
428 Court St 11231
This place feels like Aladdin's Cave of Wonders and the 1920s had a baby. This adorable Carrol Gardens gem is home to some excellent, well-priced antiques, collectibles, records, clothing and more. Go in for a peek, leave with a whole set of vintage luggage you totally didn't need but will cherish forever.
There you have it folks! From Brooklyn to Manhattan, these are the places I have to thank for either inspiring or furnishing my home. (And there might be some sneaky gems around the corner from some of these shops that you'll just have to discover for yourself...) In the meantime, please share some of your recommendations down below and happy shopping!