Best gift stores

  • The Conran Shop

  • MoMA Design Store

  • Matter

  • Pearl River

  • Mxyplyzyk

  • A&G Merch

  • Auto

  • Takashimaya

The Conran Shop

The Conran Shop
Though it’s not centrally located—even if it is significantly closer and more convenient than the original British emporium—this destination’s supply of excellent modern home goods justifies a trek east. Shop for Rob Brant glasses, styled to look like crumpled plastic cups ($10), pillows embellished with images of matryoshka dolls ($85) and intricately woven Missoni hand towels ($16.50), all housed in this massive and lofty depot. 407 E 59th St at First Ave (212-755-9079)

  • MoMA Design Store
    Instead of postcards and logo paraphernalia, this modernist’s destination carries sleek jewelry, furniture, lighting, and kitchen and home accessories—all approved by the institution’s curators. Eschew big-ticket tokens for the shop’s practical, budget-friendly pieces, such as cheery hedgehog-shaped paper-clip holders ($20), smartly designed wine carafes featuring a spot to store cups ($50) and Japanese cedar briefcases ($325). Various locations.

  • Matter
    Though it displays museumworthy items like Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s space-agey stools ($9,130), don’t confuse Matter for a look-but-don’t-touch gallery. Owner Jamie Gray selects pieces that turn everyday items into high art. Opt for Loyal Loot Collective log bowls ($68--$165), hot-pink acrylic pigeon lights ($105) and safety pin earrings by Sehti Na ($285). 227 Fifth Ave between Carroll and President Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-1150)

    Moss
    Murray Moss’s sophisticated and progressive taste in home goods is expertly presented and showcased behind locked glass cases and sectioned off with white metal handrails. The assorted selection of studio pieces, furniture, lighting, watches, jewelry and tabletop items ranges from a Vinini mouth-blown Murano stained-glass window ($60,000) to a Charlotte van der Waals world-time clock ($75). 152 Greene St between W Houston and Prince Sts (212-204-7100)

    Pearl River
    Move past the bamboo and papier-mch dragon perched at the entrance ($3,500) for 30,000-square-feet of Chinatown department store. You’ll find everything from feng shui figurines to paper lanterns to custom-made Chinese dresses on the three jam-packed floors. Stock up on embroidered satin coin purses ($1.75), brocade slippers ($14.50), ceramic sake cups ($19.50) and ornate umbrella lamps ($49.50). 477 Broadway, between Broome and Grand Sts (800-878-2446)

    Mxyplyzyk
    Every inch of this 1,500-square-foot shop is lined with giftable utilitarian items packaged in hyperstylish exteriors. Jewel boxes shaped like anemones ($13), plastic anatomical models of cows ($30) and feathered songbird magnets ($18) are just a few of the reliably affordable offerings. 125 Greenwich Ave at 13th St (212-989-4300)

    A&G Merch
    If Ikea had a love child with high-concept design shop Moss, the result might be a similar mix of affordable utilitarian objects with a wry twist. Just around the corner from sibling avant-furniture gallery the Future Perfect, this brick-lined spot dishes up unusual home items, such as slick Kikkerland digital wood clocks ($219), colorful rubber trivets inspired by Moroccan floor tiles ($29) and ceramic glasses patterned after plastic cups ($9), which could elevate even the humblest keg party. 111 North 6th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-1779)

    The Shop at Cooper-Hewitt
    Sure, you can pick up a tome about the museum’s current exhibition of lighting designer Ingo Maurer’s lamps, but the design-focused arm of the Smithsonian thankfully carries much more than just souvenirs. In what was once Andrew Carnegie’s wood-lined library, you’ll now find brilliant wares such as a USB memory stick encased in a twig ($89), Lady de Lacey stainless steel cuff bracelets ($135) and graceful letterpress cards ($24) created by Maryland Institute of Art M.F.A. students. 2 E 91st St at Fifth Ave (212-849-8355)

    Auto
    Cruise this excellent design-focused boutique for a perfectly curated selection of home and fashion accessories, such as chunky merino-wool hats from Mischa Lampert ($165--$250), batiked John Robshaw napkins ($75), cashmere-covered hot-water bottles ($150) and go-with-anything patterned Missoni throws ($270). 803--805 Washington St between Gansevoort and Horatio Sts (212-229-2292)

    Takashimaya
    Arguably the most otherworldly of NYC’s department stores, this upscale Japanese retailer offers a Zen retreat for harried shoppers. Amid stunning arrangements, its floral boutique displays metal pruning shears ($27) and other rustic gardening tools for green thumbs. Its seven floors also feature avant-garde accessories with an Eastern sensibility, such as men’s clean-lined work bags and artful tabletop items like slick sake bowls, along with a small selection of high-end beauty goods from Paris. 693 Fifth Ave between 54th and 55th Sts (212-350-0100)

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