Homepolish designer Marissa Bero is a self-proclaimed antique hunter, and the rooms she designs prove it. See her top 7 sources for rare finds in New York.
Great design is all about creating interesting juxtapositions. Every era offers something unique in the realm of design and yes, you can mix and match modern aesthetic with antique finds. In fact, I highly encourage it. Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Aren’t antique and vintage finds expensive??” In my experience, you can often find a quality piece at a better price when antiquing. The same goes for thrifting, as our designer Megan Hopp pointed out.
Beyond price, antique and vintage finds add soul to a space. It’s the number one reason why I incorporate them into every project. New is not necessarily better with design. When everything in a room is brand new, it can feel more like a showroom and less like a home. Antiquing also affords the opportunity to find the perfect piece to express your taste and aesthetic. However, I recognize that the “thrill of the hunt” may not be there for everyone. The “thrill” can be more like dread. Well, I’m here to help! Below are my go-to’s for vintage and antique shopping in NYC that will take your space from indifferent to intriguing.
42 West St., Greenpoint, 718-260-8032; repopny.com
Are you looking for that perfect 1950s credenza? Look no further than RePOP on West Street in Greenpoint. It’s no secret that midcentury furniture is hot right now. From this trove, you can walk away with a beautiful Danish modern desk or Eames lounge chair. The Brooklyn-based shop is self-described as “a vintage furniture and oddity show space that combines the overcrowded charm of an old-fashioned Parisian boutique with the promising clutter of a Midwestern junk shop.” AKA heaven on earth. The quality is good and their prices are very reasonable, making it one of my favorite spots.
2. Porter James
116 Franklin St, Greenpoint; porterjamesny.com
Another midcentury must is Porter James up in northern Brooklyn on Franklyn Avenue in Greenpoint. (I’m still thinking about the vintage emerald green velvet sofa I swooned over last week!) Porter James has a masculine midcentury vibe with cool leather lounge chairs, Mad Men-esque sofas, and vintage decanters. The space is beautifully styled making it very easy to imagine pieces in your own home. And you can let that imagination run WILD!
3. Holler & Squall
119 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights, 347-223-4685; www.hollerandsquall.com
Holler & Squall on Atlantic Avenue is old fashioned and distressed mixed with an edgy industrial vibe. Here you can find beautiful old tapestry paintings, art deco club chairs, glass apothecary bottles, and an amazing industrial lighting collection. The experience of walking through their carefully curated gems is inspirational. I go out of my way to get my haircut in that neighborhood, so I can peruse their latest finds.
4. City Foundry
365-369 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights, 718-923-1786; www.cityfoundry.com
Down the street from Holler and Squall is City Foundry. They opened their doors in 2000 and have thrived on Atlantic Avenue ever since, even expanding to several nearby storefronts. At one end of the spectrum, you’ll find industrial and refurbished antiques, but on the other side, a sizable collection of midcentury pieces. It is a great place to find that perfect set of Paul McCobb chairs for your dining room too!
5. John Derian
6 E 2nd St., The Bowery, 212-677-5517; johnderian.com
Across the river, one of my absolute favorites is John Derian in the East Village. He made his mark on the world with gorgeous decoupage plates, platters, paperweights, coasters, and bowls. It sounds crafty. It’s not. On them, you can find antique botanicals, etchings of Napoleon, insects, birds, and other ephemera from John’s collection of antique and vintage prints. You can also find imported antiques and curiosities, handmade bed and table linens, and original art and objects made by artists that share the whimsy and delicate intrigue that John Derian is known for.
6. Olde Good Things
multiple locations; ogtstore.com
Another Manhattan go-to is Olde Good Things. They have three locations in the city, but the Bowery location is my personal favorite. It was started by a group of young hippies in the 60s, and that same handful of people is running it today. They specialize in architectural antiques. You can find doorknobs, hardware, doors, light fixtures, mantels, decorative iron, stained glass, terra cotta… You can also find actual architectural pieces from late 19th century and pre-depression building facades that have been torn down. History feels preserved in Olde Good Things because it actually is.
7. Furnish Green
1261 Broadway #309, Midtown, 917-583-9051; furnishgreen.com
Last but not least of my Manhattan favorites is Furnish Green, located on Broadway in Midtown. I can’t say enough about Furnish Green. They have an constantly updated inventory of unique vintage and antique pieces at the best prices, hands down. It’s their philosophy “to provide unique, well-made, long-lasting and reasonably priced pieces so that you can design your space in a meaningful way.” Need I say more? I will though… just one more thing. Each item is carefully cleaned and, if necessary, repaired to like-new condition, so you can trust that you are getting a quality piece that you can love for a long time!