A Designers Guide to New York

A Designers Guide to New York

New York City is an incredible place full of culture, beauty, history and art. When we first moved here, we were taken by its grandeur, dazzle and speed. As we’ve settled in over the years, we’ve found ourselves equally drawn to the city’s other moods. Here are some of the sights, shops, dining experiences, and adventures that were essential in deepening our love for this city:

Eat & Drink

Assortment of food dishes in New York

Jack’s Wife Freda in Soho is our go-to brunch spot, specializing in Mediterranean-infused cuisine with classic American staples. Our favorite items from the menu include their delicious rosewater waffles, haloumi with eggs, and the breakfast bowl. The café has a very laid-back vibe with a homey feel, making you feel like you’re a guest in someone’s home.

Barrio Chino on the Lower East Side is one of the best options for Mexican food in the city. It’s a super intimate place with a couple of communal tables, and features relaxed décor blending Asian and Mexican accents. The restaurant is well known for their incredible drinks, and we’re huge fans of their spicy margaritas.

New York gets numbingly cold during the winter, and spicy food from Soho’s Lovely Day is how we survive. Warm up with some tom kha coconut milk soup or their classic green curry loaded with fresh vegetables.

Discovering new neighborhood gems is what we love about Brooklyn. Lulu & Po is one of our most-ventured spots, featuring a small menu of creative tapas and ingenious cocktails. You can’t go wrong with their mouth-watering lamb tartare or bone marrow tacos.

While New York City is seemingly full of unlimited bars and lounges, Brooklyn Social is a fantastic place to grab a couple of cocktails and delectable paninis at the end of a long day. Located in downtown Brooklyn, the former gentleman's social club turned cocktail lounge draws a mix of creative types such as artists, writers, designers, and actors. It’s old-fashioned low-key vibe, skilled bartenders, and potent drinks makes it the perfect spot to unwind with friends.


Stunning New York residential space

For a real splurge, look no further than the gorgeous The Greenwich Hotel in lower Manhattan. Designed by famed Belgian architect Axel Varvoordt and Japanese architect Tatsuro Miki, their Tribeca penthouse is a calming sanctuary. In designing the space, the architects used a mix of raw materials including stone, steel and reclaimed wood for an elegant and tranquil aura. The hotel guest rooms are dark and moody with minimal furniture, giving off a romantic vibe.  The hotel simply transcends you to another place, serving as a remarkable escape from the chaos of the city.

The Ace Hotel in Midtown Manhattan is an incredibly chic option for the traveler on a budget. Guest rooms with bunk beds are much easier on the wallet, while offering a sophisticated design sensibility. The bohemian-modern aesthetic of the space was crafted by architecture firm Roman and Williams, who achieved a moody ambiance by layering eclectic pieces from a variety of time periods and merging them with industrial and luxe materials.


Retail Interior Design in New York

New York City is home to some of the world’s best shopping, and women’s clothing and accessories shop Edith Machinist on the Lower East Side is no exception. Check out the store for hard-to-find yet reasonably priced vintage women’s clothing, bags, jewelry, footwear, scarves, belts, and more. Infuse your closet with some much needed items from the past for an eclectic modern twist on vintage style.  

For a unique mix Scandinavian-inspired home furnishings, décor, accessories and hard-to-find books, we love visiting the charming Clic Gallery located in the heart of the trendy Nolita neighborhood. Clic is a must-visit, especially to check out their carefully curated collection of photography and rare monographs. Featured artists include Duffy, Nigel Scott, Brian Hodges, and Sebastien Martinon.

Dover Street Market is one of the most unique shopping experiences we have ever encountered, and we highly recommend it to out of town visitors. Filled with diverse avant-garde clothing designers and inspired art installations, Dover Street Market offers an unpretentious, relaxed atmosphere for fashion and art enthusiasts alike. We recently completed the design of the Thom Browne store and an art installation for Simone Rocha at Dover Street Market, both of which were deeply inspired projects to work on.

In terms of store design, we’re truly taken with the beautiful Valentino flagship store on Madison Avenue. Designed by renowned British architect David Chipperfield, the magnificent space features a luxurious poured terrazzo floor, black steel and aluminum elements, a dramatic sculptural staircase, and a spacious atrium. In our own residential projects, we love taking risks by mixing unexpected raw materials and infusing an element of luxury with poured terrazzo floors.


No trip to New York is complete without visiting Dumbo’s beautiful waterfront district. During the warmer months, we love to take in the Instagram-worthy views of Manhattan’s skyline, dine on tasty treats from the outdoor food market “Smorgasburg” and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the quaint cobblestone streets.

Venturing to Red Hook, Brooklyn is usually overlooked by most travelers, but it is one of our favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. We enjoy walking around the quiet waterfront, admiring the fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty, and feasting on delicious lobster rolls from The Lobster Pound. We’re big fans of their BLT lobster roll and their lobster mac and cheese, which is out of this world. After fueling up, we will usually head over to Red Hook’s staple, Steve’s Key Lime Pie, for the best key lime pie in the country. They only make one dessert, and it’s the perfect blend of tangy and sweet.

With everything it has to offer, New York City would take decades or even lifetimes to fully explore, but we’re making our way through, one new adventure at a time!

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