Best gift shops: Chelsea

Find out where to shop for gifts in this downtown Manhattan neighborhood.

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Nest Interiors

Nest Interiors Photograph: Krista Schlueter

Nest Interiors

  • Price band: 4/4

Husband and wife team Lana Sexton and Henry Stozek carefully pick every item for their reliably excellent home goods shop, so you’ll find everything from one-of-a-kind creations by small, local artisans—with a special focus on Chelsea photogs—to globally sourced objects and vintage treasures.

  1. 172A Ninth Ave, (between 20th and 21st Sts)
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RECOMMENDED: 100 best gift shops in New York

More shops for gifts in Chelsea

The Antiques Garage

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It's aways a scene: Lower East Side bargain hunters compete with city antiques dealers for the best prices on all things antique and vintage. Hosting more than 100 vendors spread across two floors of an old parking garage, this market is perhaps the best-known in the city, and for good reason—while the prices aren’t the cheapest you’ll find, the merchandise usually hits the mark. It has its share of curio crap, but an early-morning trip through the stalls—best to get there before the postbrunch, hand-holding hordes—can be rewarding. It's run by the folks responsible for the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market.

  1. 112 W 25th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
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Story

  • Price band: 2/4

A former marketing consultant to TOMS Shoes, Rachel Shechtman taps her shopping savvy as the purveyor behind this spacious boutique. The store houses a rotating collection of unique wares from a balance of local companies and well-known brands. Designed to mirror the editorial style of a magazine, Story will have Shechtman collaborating with guest curators and architects every four to six weeks to reinvent the merchandise and decor with a fresh theme (February’s is, aptly, love). Bestow your Valentine with this month’s picks, including JAMBOX wireless speakers ($179), Vosges gourmet chocolates ($4) and Simon Alcantara gold hoop earrings ($460). Shechtman also plans to host a series of free and paid lectures, film screenings, concerts and special events each month, turning Story into a cultural center for neighborhood locals.

  1. 144 Tenth Ave, at 19th St
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The Artisan Bazaar pop-up

  • Price band: 2/4

If you’re in search of local, handmade and one-of-a-kind products, hit up this temporary spot in Chelsea Market, where 11 New York vendors are showcasing their crafts. Stock up on home goods such as Monkey Barsoap vegan soaps in jasmine green tea ($8) and Gauge NYC decorative hanging word sculptures ($90). Hip threads include Beulah lightweight denim shirtdresses ($78) and Ellison slouchy sweaters with rhinestone embellishments ($78), both from soon-to-launch e-commerce site Humble Chic (humblechic.com). Brighten up your ensemble with Wendy Mink rainbow-jeweled necklaces ($422) and gold leaf cuffs ($245), or Judy Kaye leather leaf-charm wrap bracelets ($170).

  1. 75 Ninth Ave, between 15th and 16th Sts
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Sugar Cookies

  • Price band: 2/4

Owner Susanne Alvarado's Chelsea lingerie boutique looks as frilly and girly as the pieces she sells.

  1. 203 W 19th St, between Seventh and Eighth Aves
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New London Pharmacy

  • Price band: 2/4

This drugstore-like venue combines traditional medical services, homeopathy and natural remedies. Go for exclusive brands such as Becca, Organic Glam and Pepperface, as well as an assortment of vitamin supplements. There’s nowhere else in the city to get Batiste Dry Shampoo ($12), Becca Mascara ($24) and Inneov Anti-Aging Firming tablets ($70).

  1. 246 Eighth Ave , between 22nd and 23rd Sts
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The Thrifty HoG

  • Price band: 2/4

Deborah Koenigsberger’s vintage boutique has a heart of gold. One hundred percent of her shop’s proceeds benefit the homeless mothers and children supported by the former fashion stylist’s 15-year-old nonprofit Hearts of Gold (HoG). The 2,100-square-foot, bamboo-floored space houses clothing for men, women and children, as well as accessories and home furnishings. On a recent visit, we fell hard for a red velvet love seat ($90), a vintage Maeve red cotton dress ($35), Chan Luu beaded belts and necklaces ($20), Biella Collezioni men’s blazers ($40) and Emma Willis chevron-printed cotton shirts ($25).

  1. 11 W 25th St , between Broadway and Sixth Ave
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Artists & Fleas pop-up

  • Price band: 2/4

After two successful stints inside Chelsea Market (one in 2011 and another in early 2012), this temporary shop will be back for a third round. More than 50 local designers and retailers will be hawking a mix of eclectic apparel ($25–$500) and accessories ($48–$375) from brands such as Cynthia Rybakoff and Naturevsfuture. Vendors rotate every few weeks, but we recently spotted 1970s vintage felt fedoras ($78) from Brooklyn Blue Vintage, Naturevsfuture wool coats ($498) and Vale Jewelry triangle-stone rings ($375). Also look for quirky goods including Golly NYC lightboxes ($250) and patchwork denim vests ($75).

  1. 75 Ninth Ave, at 15th St
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Sam Flax

  • Price band: 2/4

You wish you were working in a hip loft space, but your cubicle looks like it belongs on the set of The Office. The solution? Spice up your workspace with goods from this indie answer to Staples. The giant warehouselike space is filled with racks of office gear, paper products and art supplies, plus a custom-framing station and office furniture in the back. But where the New York chainlet really excels is with its large selection of offbeat desk decor. Items like Buddha-shaped bookends ($20), graphic-print file folders (six for $9), lightbulb-shaped sticky notes ($7) and notebooks adorned with Japanese-inspired mushroom, dinosaur and panda cartoons ($7) make even paper-pushing seem like more fun.

  1. 3 W 20th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
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Apartment 48

  • Price band: 4/4

Interior designer Rayman Boozer recently relocated to a bigger “apartment” a few blocks down from his first space, at No. 48, so there’s more room to display his appealing mix of housewares arranged by room. Pick up a set of six nesting multicolored melamine bowls ($65) from the kitchen, decorative highball glasses from the dining room and a retro clock radio ($85) from the bedroom.

  1. 48 W 17th St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
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Springle pop-up

  • Price band: 2/4

Since 2006, Massachusetts jewelry designer Jill Schwartz has been hosting Jingle, a temporary multidesigner holiday shop in Chelsea Market. This is the first year that she’ll unveil a spring version of the fair in the same massive space. The ten-day bazaar will feature booths from 18 different vendors, including Beebop & Wally, Fred Flare and Motel Deluxe. Check out Schwartz’s own collection, Elements Jill Schwartz, which includes colorful beaded earrings ($77) and assorted charm and stone necklaces ($140). Peruse great gift ideas, such as Linden Hill Gardens fern-filled terrariums ($85), Hudson Valley Hatworks lace cabbie hats ($32) and Junk Lab Design lamps made from found objects ($695). We’re fans of Fred Flare’s kitschy goods, especially ice-cream lamps ($50), Baggu canvas totes ($28) and BB Dakota striped frocks ($64).

  1. 75 Ninth Ave , between 15th and 16th Sts
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Gracious Home

  • Price band: 4/4

Make sure to formulate a plan of action before stepping into any of this minichain’s locations. The sheer volume of stock—from bedding to pots and pans and even holiday decorations—can make you forget why you came here in the first place. Once you’re inside the mazelike Upper East Side flagship that spans almost an entire block, bypass the pricier furniture and lighting sections in favor of well-priced accessories for the bathroom, such as tortoiseshell-printed tissue boxes ($30–$35), discreet bamboo toilet brushes ($25) and subway-map-printed shower curtains ($36). Gracious Home is also an excellent resource for picking up luxe housewarming gifts in a pinch, like beautifully packaged Agraria soaps ($20 each) and yummy Voluspa macaron-scented home sprays ($21).

  1. 45 W 25th St, between Broadway and Sixth Aves
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Arcadia

  • Price band: 2/4

At housewares-and-beauty emporium Arcadia, eco-chic types can peruse Fair Trade Tibetan singing bowls or book Dr. Hauschka organic facials at the in-house spa—all inside a shop that runs on “earth-conscious” power sources.

  1. 228 Eighth Ave, between 21st and 22nd Sts
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The Container Store

  • Price band: 2/4

As the name suggests, this much-loved chain stocks every container and device you would ever need to organize everything, from your wardrobe to the space beneath the kitchen sink. Seek out their designers, who can whip up a customized plan on the spot (you can keep the plan, even if you don't purchase the components). If you decide to buy (and you might, because it's actually affordable and easy to reconfigure should you relocate), they can cut Elfa shelving to your specifications while you wait.

  1. 629 Sixth Ave, between 18th and 19th Sts
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Pottery Barn

  • Price band: 2/4

What started as a single store in lower Manhattan in 1949 has since become a household name. Stop in for braided rugs (starting at $79), organic sheet sets (from $129), picture frames (starting at $19) and everything else you could possibly need to make your space feel like home.

  1. 100-104 Seventh Ave, between 16th and 17th Sts
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Papyrus

  • Price band: 2/4

Stationary. A lot of it. In the custom printing section, on-site graphic designers can honor your wishes for letterhead adorned with colored inks, pearlized paper and your fave images. There’s also a letterpress printing service offering exclusive designs for your change-of-address announcements. Of course, you can also pick up personalized basket-weave notebooks ($10–$13), frames ($5–$68) and paperweights ($32) to beautify your desk. Various other locations.

  1. 641 Avenue of the Americas, between 19th and 20th Sts
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Anthropologie

  • Price band: 2/4

Chelsea Market, the go-to place for Amy’s Bread and super fresh seafood, is now also home to an especially New Yorkified version of this free-spirited chain. In addition to the artsy clothes and housewares that we’ve come to expect from Anthropologie, the outpost stocks dresses by SOR Select and jeans hand-painted by Carol Horn, plus an array of antique jewelry sourced from a Paris flea market. The shop also features topiaries of local landmarks like the Highline and the Chrysler Building.

  1. 75 Ninth Ave, between 15th and 16th Sts
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Chelsea Market Baskets

  • Price band: 2/4

Venture past the chocolates and you'll find a collection of books, toys and novelty items like stuffed animals.

  1. 75 Ninth Ave, between 15th and 16th Sts
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The Good Home Co. (CLOSED)

  • Price band: 2/4

Walk through the doors at this Chelsea fragrance shop to feel instantly relaxed by the clean scents, soft music and soothing pastel color-scheme. The peaceful space is a cross between an old American country store and a Provence boutique, outfitted with a faux orange tree, violet walls, potted flowers, white cabinets and brown wood furniture. Fifteen years ago owner Christine Dimmick started crafting her scent-and-home-goods business in her kitchen, selling her products online until she opened this NYC store. Find all-natural cleaning products in four signature fragrances: Italian Citrus, Pure Grass, Village Lavender and Beach Days. We’re fans of the recycled-plastic beads, which release aromas when used in a vacuum (one $15 container supports 12–14 uses). But the pièce de résistance is the potpourri bar, where customers can choose from 18 botanicals. Handpick a potpourri blend (starting at $15 for two cups), add an essential oil, and watch a staffer mix it right before your eyes.

  1. 132 ½ W 24th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves
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