A design lover’s guide to New York City


It’s no secret that New York City has it all: avenues lined with glamorous shops and authentic restaurants, historic buildings full of art, and extravagant hotels for hesitant but much-needed relaxation. Between the iconic Art Deco architecture, you can stumble across an alley that leads to a treasure-filled vintage household store, or another entrance that leads to a rooftop bar with incredible views.

The five districts are home to different quarters, each with its own charm, which makes the city a center for culture and creativity – and which is constantly changing. There’s never a shortage of places worth looking for, so we’ve handpicked New York-based designers for their tips on shopping, eating, drinking, exploring, and where to stay. If you make it to even one of these places you will be more than impressed by the city that never sleeps.

Where to sleep

The Surrey

Hotel room

The Surrey

The Surrey Hotel on the Upper East Side was designed by Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio to feel like a New York townhouse passed down from generation to generation, and it’s a New York designer Alyssa Kapito favorite. Originally built as a residence hotel in 1926, it features a modern art collection, is less than a block from Central Park, and allows guests to enjoy a luxurious stay while being restrained. It feels “very authentic New York and not as touristy as some other hotels,” says Kapito.


Ink 48 Hotel

The Ink 48 Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen is a 1930s print shop that has been converted into a hotel and offers pristine views of the Hudson River. “I love all the modern details, amenities and the sophisticated atmosphere,” enthuses designer Anthony Dunning. “A big plus is the Press Lounge on the roof of the hotel, which offers a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and fantastic cocktails. I recommend the ‘Are’t You Cuke’ cocktail. ”


The Bowery Hotel

The Bowery Hotel was designed by Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode and consists of 135 sun-drenched rooms with floor-to-ceiling industrial-style windows and marble bathrooms. Not to mention the rooms have hardwood floors, velvet curtains, 400 thread count linens, and oushak rugs. Downtown is surrounded by nightlife hotspots and is just a short walk from high-end boutiques and art galleries.


The Whitby

The Whitby was furnished in her wonderfully eclectic style by the British designer Kit Kemp and will delight any guest who loves uncompromising colors and patterns. The chic bar and restaurant are also popular pubs for NYC designers and It is just a few steps away from the MoMA.


Where to eat and drink

colorful restaurant

Bergdorf Goodman


If you loved the eclectic decor that Kemp came up with for the Whitby, head to the iconic Bergdorf Goodman department store where she pioneered a new cafe concept that opened this November. The team behind the BG restaurant brings plant-based cuisine to the tables, surrounded by Kemp’s characteristic mix of patterns and bold art.

Primrose Cafe

For casual cafe warmth and plenty of seating, head to Primrose Cafe on Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill. “They have great coffee and good food, the staff is always nice and the outside terrace is a charming place to sit, read a book or meet up with friends,” says designer Delia Kenza. Among the dishes you will find a selection of fresh bagels, baked goods, sandwiches and more.

I sodi

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This Italian restaurant on Christopher Street in the West Village honors the Tuscan roots and simplicity of home-style cooking that restaurateur and chef Rita Sodi grew up with. the menu is seasonal by necessity and uncomplicated by tradition. Go there to “have the best pasta of your life in a tiny place with a wonderful ambience,” says Kapito. “Get the lasagna – they even make an amazing vegetarian one.”

Hutaoli music restaurant & bar

Not far from the Empire State Building, this Chinese restaurant “is pretty nondescript from the outside, but once you step in, it’s a completely different world,” says Dunning. “There is always live music, amazing food and the experience is exceptional.” His favorite dish on the menu? The roast chicken.

La Mercerie

Located in the Roman and Williams Guild home shop (more on that below!), La Mercerie serves simple and delicious French cuisine. The best part? All tabletop items can be bought. With Le Coucou and Veronika, Roman & Williams’ other popular NYC restaurants closed since COVID, this is your best chance to experience the magic the company brings to the dining experience.

Where can I go shopping?

rw guild

Fredrika Stjarne

Roman and Williams Guild

“It’s an incredible travel destination that is only enhanced by the lovely café-restaurant inside and the dope library on the lower floor,” says Dunning of the home store, which was run by Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, the founders of the design firm of the same name. has opened (notable clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and the Ace Hotel) which landed on our list of the best home stores in America.

Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn

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“When I’m looking for unique vintage pieces or just inspiration, I walk down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn,” says Kenza. Some of the designer’s favorite stores? Tab antiqueswhich she confirms is full of goodies and a treasure trove of vintage furniture, art, sculpture and lighting – spread over several floors. Collier West is another shop Kenza can spend hours in. “They have a fantastic selection of vintage chandeliers, carpets, affordable art and jewelry,” she says. There she often buys unique housewarming gifts.

Blue tree

This Madison Avenue store was opened in 2005 by actress who became shop owner Phoebe Cates Kline. The store stocks items from around the world, ranging from women’s clothing and accessories to housewares and fragrances. “A visit is really a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience,” she says.

Maison Gerard

The Maison Gerard is both a shop and a gallery at 43 and 53 East 10th Street and always surprises Lau with special pieces. “It’s one of my favorite galleries with a lovely grouping of designers and artists; the curation of their space is just magical,” says the designer. “The gallery has always been a wonderful source of French Art Deco furniture and lighting, and over the past few decades has expanded the pieces they showcase to include a stunning ceramic collection as well as mid-century and contemporary works.”

The end of the story

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In Manhattan’s West Village, this more than 20-year-old antique shop sells merchandise that is “not just decorative, but also collectibles from history and design,” says Lau. It is one of her first stops when she is looking for special decorative accessories for her customers. “Just looking at the window makes me happy and sublime with so much color, distinctive textures and unique shapes,” she enthuses.

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Where to explore

Merchant’s House Museum

Built in 1832, this Noho House Museum was the first Manhattan building to be designed as a landmark in the 1960s. The five-story Greek Revival building houses a collection of more than 3,000 items that were owned by the Tredwells, a wealthy merchant family who lived in the house from 1835 to 1933. Most tours are self-guided with an allotment of 60 minutes. Dunning suggests showing up in time so you can see everything the slightly hidden jewel cases show – including a pair of matching six-spherical gas chandeliers.

New York Botanical Gardens

kusama cosmic nature exhibition at the new york botanical garden

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From a winter orchid show to a seasonal stroll with a variety of perennials, the Bronx’s New York Botanical Garden is a must see for tourists and New Yorkers alike. It’s an oasis in the concrete jungle that often hosts plant-centered exhibitions and events. Not to mention, there is a shop with everything from books and planters to wall art and clothing. Oh, and there are a couple of restaurants so you can turn it into a full day.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

temple of dendur, metropolitan museum of art, new york city, new york, usa

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As one of the largest and most beautiful art museums in the world, the Met is no unknown wonder to explore. From its endless exhibitions to its presence in fashion (the Met Gala) and entertainment (Gossip aunt, along with many other TV shows and movies), it is a must-see destination in the city. But there is one area that Kaptio particularly recommends: the antique grand piano. “I think it’s the quietest room in New York City,” says the designer.

…and more

Design lovers should check out MoMA, as well as the Museum of Arts and Design and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. If you love architecture, treat yourself to a walking tour of historic neighborhoods like the West Village, Brooklyn Heights, and Harlem.

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