Best independent home stores

1. John Derian
Derian is world famous for his eternally popular decoupage plates and platters depicting everything from turn-of-the-century love letters to mating donkeys (starting at about $48). His old-world feeling shop is chock-full of great gifts like papier-mâché votive holders ($30), canvas totes printed with images of whales ($16), and Moroccan poufs in gold and hot pink ($225–$285). The adjacent dry-goods shop features a slew of covetable linens, such as delicately printed pillowcases from John Robshaw and imported suzanis. 6 E 2nd St between Bowery and Second Ave (212-677-3917,

2. Matter
Some stuff doesn't matter and some, well, does. This eclectic shop includes both kinds, filling its aisles with random necessities like earphone-enhancing Phonofones ($500), interlocking sculptural stools ($12,000) and hot-pink pigeon lights ($125). And for something that really matters: If you ask nicely, they'll special-order a waterproof vibrator, for those lonely nights in the tub. 227 Fifth Ave between Carroll and President Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-1150,

3. The Future Perfect
Founder Dave Alhadeff believed that design relied too heavily on cleverness, without much lasting or intrinsic beauty. So in 2003, he opened the Future Perfect, to celebrate locally made edgy furniture (coffee tables strung with balloons), jewelry (necklaces made out of old retainers) and textiles (graffiti-inspired needlepoint pillows) that are up to his standards. 115 North 6th St at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-6278,

4. White Furniture
Buying knockoffs might normally leave you with a pesky moral dilemma, but the bargains on Cooper-Hewitt–worthy doppelgängers for iconic pieces from Eames, Herman Miller, Knoll and Fritz Hansen are too good to pass up at this burgeoning chainlet's five NYC showrooms. Various locations throughout the city; visit

5. Ugly Luggage
You never know what you're going to find at this long-standing antiques emporium, but you can always count on a massive amount of mid-19th-century furniture, as well as more recent stuff—and expert staffers to help you navigate everything. 214 Bedford Ave at North 5th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-0724)

6. home/made
The owners of this funky-fresh home-goods store also own the similarly named wine garden/grill around the corner (formerly known as Tini), where most of the stoneware, woven baskets and customized treasures are for sale. Sip some vino while you restock your style trove. 263 Van Brunt St at Pioneer St, Red Hook, Brooklyn (347-223-4135,

7. A&G Merch
Little brother to the Future Perfect, this shop has the same edgy feel but is much easier on the wallet. Some of our budget-friendly faves: lace coasters ($19), manhole doormats ($29) and an old-school wooden tape dispenser ($29). 111 North 6th St at Berry St (718-388-1779,

8. Global Table
Brimming with vases, plates, candles and glassware, this home-goods-laden shop carries any and every exotic accessory for setting a comely feast. Peruse merchandise from far-flung spots like the Philippines (light bone-china votives for $12–$22), Japan (ceramic and bamboo tea sets in AquaGlaze) and India (ginkgo-leaf-shaped spoons). 107–109 Sullivan St between Prince and Spring Sts (212-431-5839,

9. Abitare
The pieces here look expensive but aren't. Like what, you ask? Like a set of big and small Kahler vases ($80 and $40, respectively) and an old-school thermos by Erik Magnussen ($89). Also on hand: serving platters, table linens and candles that'll make your house smell way cleaner than it really is. 309 Henry St between Atlantic Ave and State St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-797-3555,

10. cardboarddesign
Sure, everything here is made out of cardboard, but we're trying to save the planet, remember? From desks, shelves and coffee tables to room dividers and vases, they've got it all. They've recently moved but their shop is still teeny-tiny so we suggest checking them out online first. 410A West Broadway between Spring and Prince Sts (212-343-9700,

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