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The Best Vintage

Jun 11, 2023Jun 11, 2023

New York Magazine’s own Yellow pages, containing exclusively excellent places.

New York Magazine’s own Yellow pages, containing exclusively excellent places.

Remix Market, 10-39 44th Dr., Long Island City; 929-302-3954; remixmarketnyc.com

Walking into Remix Market “feels like you’re in the Harry Potter Room of Requirement,” says interior decorator Taylor Migliazzo. It has rooms filled with art, a hall of mirrors, and a lofty warehouse stacked high with furniture — all of which is sourced from the junk-removal service Junkluggers. “Because everything comes from donations, it’s really a huge mix in terms of style and not especially curated,” which is part of the appeal, says writer Sarah Leon. “There’s everything from antique to contemporary.” One is as likely to find a gently used West Elm Haven sectional as a 19th-century Windsor chair. Leon has bought “some great leather-and-chrome chairs for less than $100 each,” a metal planter, and a vintage Ikea floor lamp. “The inventory moves really quickly, so there’s always something new,” she says. “Prices drop the longer things are there,” starting at $5 and maxing out at $2,000, but everything is negotiable. “If you want something for a better price, you just have to ask,” Leon says. The planter she purchased was listed at $30, but she snagged it for $20. Remix is flexible on most things, says home-décor content creator Emily Auffrey, who found a ’70s three-piece curved sectional that was slightly too big for her space. She thought it was a loss until the store offered to sell her just two pieces of it; now, it fits perfectly as a banquette in her dining nook.

Good Behavior, 508 Humboldt St., Williamsburg; instagram.com/goodbehavior____/

Most of the inventory at the physical location of this Brooklyn shop — almost exclusively wooden furniture such as near-perfect teak credenzas, walnut dressers, and pine shelving units — has already been snatched up. That’s because the majority of Good Behavior’s sales are done through Instagram, where it posts pieces daily along with prices and dimensions. Migliazzo was searching for a teak dresser for over a year when she spotted the perfect one on Good Behavior’s Instagram for $600. “The wood was beautiful, and the handles were just so unique,” she explains. “I messaged them, and they delivered it the same day.” Carrie Senft, the founder of interior-design firm Studio August, had a similar experience with an arched rattan room divider she purchased for $395: “I saw it when I was upstate scrolling Instagram and immediately loved it.” For over a year, she was looking for a privacy screen for her open bedroom, so she jumped at it, Zelled the money, and picked it up later that week. Sales are final, but Migliazzo says the Good Behavior team sent tons of photos so there were no surprises once the piece arrived. “It’s in great shape,” she says. “They’re very upfront with any flaws.” The studio is open on weekends for those who want a closer look before they buy (and want to browse whatever hasn’t yet been snagged).

Cabin Modern, 220 Court St., Cobble Hill; 646-832-6865; cabinmodernny.com

Tucked between Staubitz Market and Six Bells is Cabin Modern, a snug little shop that focuses on mid-century-modern designs. Almost every piece is carefully refinished and reupholstered by a local upholsterer and sourced with New York City square footage in mind — the place is filled with things like a small Thonet-style table ($195), a repainted and rewired teal sconce ($285), and 28-inch velvet slipper chairs ($1,600). Interior designer Allison Tick bought two Clifford Pascoe chairs here, one of which she had reupholstered for $350 with fabric she provided. Cabin Modern excels at “refinishing without losing lovely patina” and updating seating with “great modern reupholstery, often with Maharam and Kvadrat fabrics,” according to Tick. The store, she says, is “bright, fun, consistent, and approachable in pricing,” a boon for more than one reason: “The fair prices allow them to turn over a lot, which means they get new items often.” Architecture critic Alexandra Lange says the store stocks items suited to highly specific needs — for instance, “a modern piece to hold my childhood dollhouse.” She found a cabinet with sliding doors, which the owners were able to get repainted exactly as she wanted.

Lichen NYC, 564 Woodward Ave., Ridgewood; lichennyc.com

Last year, Jared Blake and Ed Be downsized their sprawling Williamsburg showroom to a still-airy white-walled space in Ridgewood. The inventory, which landed them on our list of best homeware stores, hasn’t suffered.If anything, creative director Misel Gilbert says, “the curation over the years has become more and more elevated” — in particular, the startlingly affordable vintage pieces. On a recent visit, Gilbert spotted a Le Corbusier two-seat leather sofa in “pristine condition” for $4,200 (expensive, but elsewhere it is $8,000). On other trips, she has picked up a DWR wooden credenza for $500 and a USM desk for $400. (Also recently in-store: a Rodolfo Bonetto coffee table for $449 and a Tolomeo floor lamp for $899). Best of all may be the nice-looking pieces from unknown designers, sourced from eBay, Craigslist, and the owners’ own customers, such as a midnight-green pivot cabinet for $349 or the perfectly narrow wooden bench Passerby founder Clémence Polès recently purchased for her entryway for just $150.

Portmanteau New York, 34-01 38th Ave., Long Island City; portmanteaunewyork.com

Unlike stores that tend to just put out their latest haul, Portmanteau curates some of its finds around a theme. The latest theme was “Sage and Honey,” centered on pieces made of wicker, shell, terra-cotta, and wood and grounded by wrought iron and brass. Recently, a handsome ’50s iron tripod floor lamp (from $898) towered over a squat early-20th-century splint-weave chair ($798) and a brutalist candelabra by Bertil Vallien ($298). Writer and interior decorator Carrie Carrollo calls the selection “tightly curated yet eclectic”: “Every piece is intentional, unique, and oozes style. It’s more of what feels special and less of what’s trending.” She has picked up an unusual cluster of green Lucite grapes for $30 and an $800 lollipop floor lamp. Journalist Elaine Welteroth is also a fan — she once found an undulating ’70s checkered parquetry lamp that’s now prominently displayed in the entrance of her home.

Thank you for subscribing and supporting our journalism. If you prefer to read in print, you can also find this article in the July 31, 2023, issue of New York Magazine.

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