Beyond the Classics: The New Conran Shop at ABC Carpet & Home
You can spot the new Conran Shop's pedigree in a flash: the design icons - Mies, Starck, Saarinen- are still there. But that's not all. Sir Terence Conran, who opened his first shop in 1973 in London, scours the Milan furniture show looking for the bold and the new. Now he's expanding into eco-design and a whole new generation of treasures with his shop on the lower level of ABC Carpet & Home. Upstairs ABC is what some might call fussy, flirty, and feminine. At the new Conran Shop, the vibe is masculine, cutting-edge, showcasing furniture, lighting, household and specialty items that make you want to deposit what you live with now to the Salvation Army and start over again.
Who can resist the knock-out Oswald Squint sofa ($6,995) upholstered in a patchwork of vibrant colors and stripes. What's more, it's as comfortable as it is flamboyant. If you have ever yearned for a Foos Ball Table ($4,600) with enough star power for the living room, check out the one here. You don't expect to find anything endearing among the clocks, lighting, and housewares where for the most part everything is minimal and supremely functional. The exception is a theatrical rosewood trunk ($4,500). It looks like something Gloria Swanson would take on a world cruise, yet it is a mirrored- dressing table and bench, all tightly conceived in exquisite wood. Among the vast collection of chairs lined up against one wall, the aristocrat is the fine-boned, black-leather Carol chair ($595), so clean-lined it will work in either a traditional or contemporary room. A visit to the Conran Shop is like a stroll through the Museum of Modern Art's design floor with a major difference: everything is for sale.
The Conran Shop, lower level, 888 Broadway (East 19th Street), 866-755-9079; www.conranusa.com. Open now but the official launch is May 14.