Affordable home design stores

Your pad doesn't have to be a money pit; decorate it with wares from these budget-friendly shops.

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  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    blackandgold1

    Black Gold

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Colorful pheasant from the '50s, $100, at Black Gold

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Giant anatomical chart from 1947, $200, at Black Gold

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Stuffed porcupine, $250, at Black Gold

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Assorted Victorian photographs, $1--$10, at Black Gold

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Fishs Eddy

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Fishs Eddy

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Fishs Eddy

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Laytner's Linen & Home

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Colorful plush towels, $6--$20, at Laytner's Linen & Home

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Milan Luxury

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Smeg refrigerator, $1,430, at Milan Luxury

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Poltrona Frau leather end tables, $136 each, at Milan Luxury

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Sambuco printed teacup-and-saucer set, $43, at Milan Luxury

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Nook n' Crannie

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Stewart/Stand Design Store

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Brightly colored nesting bowls, $40, at Stewart/Stand Design Store

  • Photograph: Naomi Ellenson

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    Wooden puzzle-piece serving board, $46, at Stewart/Stand Design Store

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Screenprinted drinking glasses, $7 each, at Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Screenprinted drinking glasses, $7 each, at Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Wooden dominoes set, $15, at Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Danish gray-cushioned solid-wood sofa, $600, at Vintage Modern

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    World Modern Design

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    George Nelson--look-alike Marshmallow sofa, $750, at World Modern Design

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Eames-inspired white plastic rocking chair with wood runner, $150, at World Modern Design

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

blackandgold1

Black Gold


A coffeeshop--record store hybrid may not seem like the obvious place to find antique knickknacks, but don't let Black Gold's golden-hued walls and dark-wood trim fool you. Down a cup of Rook brewed-to-order coffee ($3) and then peruse the wealth of offbeat treasures on offer, like mourning art made of human hair ($400) and assorted Victorian photographs ($1--$10) that line the walls. The emphasis is on the eerie and quirky here, as antiques curator Daniel Santoro has a penchant for taxidermy. If you can get past the ick factor, pieces like a colorful pheasant from the '50s ($100) or a stuffed porcupine ($250) would make conversation-starting mantle decorations. Other intriguing items include a giant anatomical chart from 1947 ($200) that would make for great wall art. 461 Court St between Luquer St and 4th Pl, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (347-227-8227, blackgoldbrooklyn.com)

Fishs Eddy
Walking into this Flatiron spot feels as if you've just stumbled upon the best stall at the flea market. Worn-wood shelves support stack upon stack of assorted rainbow-colored dishes ($1--$17), mismatched vintage china ($5--$23), toile teapots ($15--$39) and other kitschy kitchenwares. The amazingly cheap price tags make it worth battling the often-pressing crowds to stock up on assorted flatware ($1--$6 each) and glassware, including oversize stemless martini glasses ($6), elegant champagne flutes ($8) and Italian-style painted wineglasses ($5). If you're in need of a serious discount, plunder the sale section in the back for never-before-used castoffs from restaurant and hotel suppliers. 889 Broadway at 19th St (212-420-9020, fishseddy.com)

Gracious Home
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). Locations throughout the city; visit gracioushome.com.

Laytner's Linen and Home
Corporate megastores aren't the only places to get the best deals on pillows, comforters and other bed-bath essentials. As an alternative, turn to this family-run version of a big-box chain that has been operating in NYC for 46 years. As the name would suggest, bedding is the star player here, with standouts like the house brand of dobby-stripe sheets ($40--$50) and quilted floral bedspreads ($40--$60). But there are plenty of steals with which to spice up the other rooms in your apartment on the cheap too, such as colorful plush towels for the bathroom ($6--$20), mismatched throw pillows for your couch ($10--$30 each) and Vance Kitira distressed candles for the kitchen ($5--$20). Locations throughout the city; visit laytners.com for more info.

Milan Luxury
This European- and locally-minded home-goods shop functions as a year-round sample sale, peddling a vast array of floor models and discontinued lines from big-name brands like Illy and Bellora at massively discounted prices. Upstairs, browse through the jumbled collection of linens, kitchenwares and decorative pieces for items like Missoni Home signature chevron-print towels leftover from the previous collection ($36 each), Umbrian ceramics company Sambuco's trade-show display models, including a printed teacup-and-saucer set ($43), and a retro pink Smeg refrigerator that was originally a floor model ($1,430). Downstairs, the recently opened furniture and lighting section holds discontinued Luceplan touch-sensitive lamps ($162) and angular Poltrona Frau leather end tables ($136). Couch potatoes can also sign up for the store's Gilt-esque newsletter on its website, where weekly sample sales are held. 482 Broome St at Wooster St (212-228-6651, milanluxury.com)

Mxyplyzyk
New York apartments are notoriously small, so finding home goods that do double duty is a necessity. At this shop (whose impossible-to-pronounce name refers to an old Superman comic-book character), almost every practical item also functions just as well decoratively. Come here for quirky housewares like a porcelain molar-shaped toothbrush holder ($22), a dish scrubber that looks like a porcupine ($13) and a mug set that stacks up to resemble a totem pole ($65). Though playfulness is certainly a theme, there are also organically influenced pieces, including reclaimed-wood nesting tables (three for $315) and grasscloth-covered lamps ($65). 125 Greenwich Ave at 13th St (212-989-4300, mxyplyzyk.com)

Nook n' Crannie
Everyone likes saving money, and it only gets sweeter when your cash goes toward a good cause. The two Queens locales of this vintage furniture shop are run by Betel of America, a nonprofit that helps get those who are homeless or have substance-abuse problems back on track. The shop keeps prices low by relying heavily on vintage and used furniture donations and by having residents from the program's living facility work in the stores as one of the steps in their recovery. There are some decorative accessories to be had here, but the best deals come in the form of solid furniture, like a knotty-pine bookcase ($150), a marbled-glass ceiling lamp ($175) or a midcentury laminated-top desk ($220). 47-42 Vernon Blvd between 47th Rd and 48th Ave, Long Island City, Queens (718-706-6477) * 29-18 Ditmars Blvd between 29th and 31st Sts, Astoria, Queens (718-204-8399) * nookcrannie.com

Stewart/Stand Design Store
Though the store is named for owner Theo Stewart-Stand's line of stainless steel wallets and bags, the stock here is actually dominated by fun and unexpected kitchen accessories and gift items. Wood counters wrap around the store and hold affordable treasures with a design bent, like wooden puzzle-piece serving boards ($46) and wine carafes with glasses that store neatly in the top ($28). But some items may be too good to give away as a housewarming present, including a set of brightly colored nesting bowls ($40) and adorable babooshka stackable measuring cups that resemble Russian matryoshka dolls ($13). TONY DEAL! Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off through November 11. 141A Front St at Pearl St, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-407-4197, stewartstand.com)

Vintage Modern
Owner Erin Hall moved her selection of midcentury furniture from her Artists & Fleas market booth to a quaint storefront with white-painted brick walls this past August. Since then, she's had a hard time keeping the store fully stocked: Well-made pieces at nice prices, like a Danish taupe-cushioned solid wood daybed ($600), continue to fly out the door. Soon, Hall will expand with gift items like throw pillows made from vintage silk scarves and handmade stationery, but for now, you can decorate your space with framed 1920s Serge Gladky Art Deco--style prints ($125 each), a wooden dominoes set ($15) or quirky screenprinted drinking glasses ($7 each). TONY DEAL! Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off all purchases through November 11. 110 Meserole Ave between Leonard St and Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (347-560-9605, vintagemodernnyc.com)

World Modern Design
Modern furniture reproduction stores aren't a new concept, but this warehouse-like space is certainly where you'll find some of the most wallet-friendly options. Owner Moses Bluzenstein stocks his roomy, no-frills space with mostly living- and dining-room furniture (leather chairs, sleek kitchen tables, retro sofas) with an eye for pieces that will easily fit into cramped New York City apartments. You'd be hard-pressed to distinguish the real deal from retro Eames-inspired white plastic rocking chairs with wood runners ($150), Saarinen look-alike fiberglass-top dining tables ($699) and Verner Panton doppelgnger heart cone chairs ($550)—though your bank account will certainly be able to tell the difference. TONY DEAL! Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off all purchases through November 11. 26 Broadway between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-302-3490, worldmodernseating.com)

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