Monday, January 2, 2012

New York City inspiration store # 2

After the flower shop, I found two more stores that were inspiring and informative in areas I struggle with. They made me consider color palette, which I will be consulting you about soon, but also organization and placement of objects. Today I'm sharing Michele Varian, 27 Howard Street, Manhattan. (Remember, you can always click on a picture to enlarge it.)

A very rich palette--browns, grays, creams, gold, silver... I'm sure there were blues, greens and reds, but the only place I remember them is in a selection of hardcover classics published by Penguin, with great covers and an affordable price of $20--they were a nice touch. The above picture is what you see when you enter--some nice industrial pieces.

This side of the store is painted cream and most of the objects on display are white and gold. It is a really nice mix of objects (most, if not all, new; often handmade) and very artfully displayed. One of the things I liked about this store was it had a good range of prices--something you might not expect in a store of this quality in Manhattan. Whether you have $200 or $20, you can walk out with something special. I also like the vintage, mostly industrial pieces that are here and there.

I love these reproductions of old Dutch paintings. Warm domestic themes and palette. Affordable. Doesn't scream reproduction, because it's not Monet or Hopper (who I love, but you see them everywhere). Don't they look great displayed on that old drafting table? And I'm crazy about those lighting fixtures, especially the one with the lit bulbs.

This is the opposite wall of that same area. It's a large store--I'm showing you less than half of it here. The wall is painted charcoal. You can see the books I mentioned. I forgot about the turquoise chair and yellow cushion--they certainly do stand out. What I took away from this store is the calm palette, and the deliberateness and thoughtfulness of the placement of every item, whether the price is modest or sky-high. Also those Dutch still life reproductions.


  1. That is very interesting. Me too I love those reproductions of Dutch paintings. They look gorgeous to me. I like those industrial pieces. I always say it is shabby chic for men... I like your post a lot, thank you! xx Christa

  2. This is another great shop Jen. The Dutch paintings are a good idea because I agree with you that we do see way too many prints of certain artists and it can get a bit boring. Thanks for the photos.

  3. Looks wonderful Jen, cant wait to see what ideas you come up with for your shop!

  4. It seems a hige store, though it never seem to be snobish. The lamp like candles is so lovely.
    And, Jen, I like your point of view very much.

  5. hige-->huge( sorry for the misspelling)

  6. This shop does seem to be deliberately random. It feels a little stark and cold... but i would wager that the hipsters love this feel. Chicago has places like this also. I would gravitate toward a warmer place to shop myself...but I'm no hipster. I do love the floors of old wood and the wooden furniture that I see.

    - my two cents
    - KAT -

  7. I'm taken by the hanging light bulbs in that iron chandelier. I like the theme of simplicity too. The price range really does make a difference, knowing that you can go in and find something great -- good inspiration!