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Industrial Chic at Strawser & Smith: Perfect For Williamsburg

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Decorating a space in that oh-so-hip American industrial aesthetic can get frustrating. Most of what's available is either rough around the edges, too cloyingly Victorian, or mass-produced and possibly shoddy (think Restoration Hardware). Well, Fred Strawser and David Smith just couldn't take it anymore, opening Strawser & Smith just four weeks ago in Williamsburg.

Located in the off-shoot retail cluster at Driggs and N. 9th Streets, the surprisingly large space offers the perfect backdrop for the factory-chic and contemporary wares within. Floors are polished concrete and varnished plywood. Perimeter walls of exposed brick warm vast stretches of white, while the extremely high ceilings are tethered to earth with rough-hewn wooden pillars. Sun-filled yet softly-lit—the store is basically a dream loft. It's decorated as such. And—fancy that—everything's for sale!

The collection is actually quite eclectic. There's an impressive array of art deco and mid-century modern furniture. A pair of 1940s rich leather club chairs with matching loveseat ($10,000) are contemporary but warm and lovingly worn in. Mossy green velvet club chairs ($4200 for both) are French and cozy, and present a pleasant contrast to the '50s and Danish pieces. Look for, amongst other things, a nearly pristine teak dining set ($4200) accredited to Hans Wagner; a Knoll sofa ($4200) from the '60s; a vast credenza ($2600); an early Jens Risom chair ($1200) in blond wood.

But the salvaged industrial items are really the highlight. We loved a set of old metal factory lockers ($875) with cage-like drawers rather than standard hinged doors. Other pieces are created especially for the shop. Fashioned from a variety of late 18th and early 19th century industrial relics—wooden beams, massive tools and fasteners, steel tabletops, archaic lighting systems, metal piping—the side tables, lighting and lamps, benches, and chests are built by a team of skilled designers and craftspeople in Cleveland, Ohio. They range from a mounted huge wrench as tabletop sculpture ($225) to a very serious wood and steel credenza ($3200).

Curiosities and high-end industrial kitsch round out the collection. For your walls: Rusted metal lettering from a Phillips 66 gas station ($1600), a German map of central Europe ($1050), and a 1920s anatomical screen of two life-sized skeletons ($875). You'll probably need a massive overhead surgical lamp ($2500) to examine said skeletons. That said, you probably won't need a naval field operations chair in steel ($4200) or a cast iron rolling clothing rack ($1600)—but, they're pretty damn cool either way.
· Strawser & Smith Inc [Official Site]

Restoration Hardware

935 Broadway, New York, NY 10010 (212) 260-9479 Visit Website

Strawser & Smith Inc

487 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY