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Back in February we reported that The Conran Shop—a Manhattan cornerstone of modern design shopping—was vacating its glass-enclosed space in the shadows of the Queensboro Bridge for the basement of ABC Carpet & Home. The new location opened this week (though the official grand opening featuring the Sir Terence Conran is May 14th) and despite the subterranean venue, the space is just as airy and bright as ever, and a whole lot bigger.
Conran 2.0 actually recycles numerous fixtures and configurations from their former space. As such, this shop is definitely Conran through-and-through rather than the ABC-via-Conran muddle we were half expecting. Furnishings are quirky and contemporary. Tableware is sleek and sturdy. Some high-end kitchen gadgets, cookware, and tiny appliances have been added to the mix. And the expected offerings are still peppered with exceptional (and, well, exceptionally pricey) antiques and seemingly random conversation pieces (a bronze crow, throw pillows featuring images of sea turtles and pigeons, a cage-like lamp decorated with a flock of little silk birds).
Lots of gifts and novelty items keep it interesting even if you're not in the market for a $6000 sofa—contemporary takes on cuckoo clocks, a designer Foosball table, miniature replicas of famous chairs, watches, model cars, sherbet-colored candles, flower pots, tote bags and the always very necessary child-sized Louis Ghost Chair. Even a table of Conran-branded bits is there for souvenir-seekers. We liked a series of delicate $9 coffee mugs.
Congratulations to the happy couple. Who knew a basement full of witty, comfortable contemporary was just what ABC needed?
· The Conran Shop No Longer Lives Underneath the 59th Street Bridge [Racked NY]
· On Sale at Conran: "Small Bag of Rocks" [Racked NY]