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Renowned home brand Crate & Barrel has a glistening repertoire of must-have items — from kitchenware to furniture. Now, it’s becoming even more accessible for NYC shoppers.
On Nov. 16, Crate & Barrel unveiled a new flagship store in the Flatiron district — located at 881 Broadway — to provide customers with that “elevated shopping experience” we all crave. Flanked by the building’s beautifully preserved columns and arched windows, you’ll surely want to peruse its quality offerings — now, with more modern flair.
“We’ve always existed to inspire our customers to build a home with purpose — this idea of purpose and building a home takes time and service, frankly,” Alicia Waters, president of Crate & Barrel and Crate & Barrel Kids, told the New York Post in an exclusive conversation. “This store is so special to use because it’s NYC — and who gets to open a flagship in NYC? It’s such a privilege to serve our customers with something so fresh.”
The expansive 23,000 square foot, two-level shopping experience is designed to inspire both Crate & Barrel and Crate & Kids customers to build their dream spaces from the ground up (after all, the brand has an endless assortment of what you’ll need for every room in your house — or, every person on your holiday shopping list).
Crate & Barrel has not only modernized the shopping experience — both online and with this new store opening — but it has also maintained some of the tradition characteristic with NYC’s Flatiron district. Notably, this historically-registered space was once home to the Palace of Trade built in 1868 and sits within NYC’s bustling hotspot for retail and high design.
Crate & Barrel provides catered-to-you shopping experiences
“We aimed to create a curated assortment and personalized experiences — including our brand classics,” Waters further explains. “In terms of services, it’s things like monogramming, fast product delivery, a botanical shop, home renovation products for our trade customers (and not in our other stores) and a lot of gift registry options.”
One of the key features of this opening? At the new Flatiron store in the heart of NYC’s home design district, customers will find engaging shoppable displays with products that were never before sold in a brick-and-mortar Crate & Barrel store.
From a monogrammed machine and personalized textiles to bathroom vanities and hardware from the brand’s new home renovation line, these newly minted pieces are for the home renovator who’s looking for unique options to adorn their homescape.
Its three design centers allow you to plan your dream vision
More, customers looking for design support can meet with one of Crate & Barrel’s 30 interior design experts at the free in-store Design Desk, of which spans two floors. Whether the home project is minor or large-scale, its in-house designers will help customers better visualize their interior plans. Oh, and the brand has decks upon decks of wall swatches, light fixtures, tableware and more.
“We have three spaces for design services where you can sit down with a designer,” Waters said. “We have over 50 feet of just inspiration — wood swatches, upholstery swatches, sit down and touch-and-feel options — in person. We also have tools where you can see them in your home that’s supplanting all of this with technology, so it’s really a multidimensional experience.”
If designing a nursery or kids’ room, Crate & Barrel is the place to be. “The Crate & Kids section is huge — it’s our largest Crate & Kids area ever,” Waters said. “We hired over 20 designers for this store. Sixty percent of people are using our design center in stores — as opposed to only 30% last year — so they prefer it more and really want that high touch. A lot of customers have kids, and they want to get that kids’ room settled, so the design services area is a wonderful experience for that audience. The monogramming services area is special, too.”
Its botanical shop is a feature we’re looking forward to
Its botanical shop is something worth visiting as well — a truly remarkable experience for lovers of their succulents and fresh and faux blooms alike.
“We have an assortment of dried botanicals, as well as some faux botanicals, and one of our experts onsite that can help you find the right vase, or have someone style a bundle with you that you can take home,” Waters shares (side note: she’s also taken some with her to dinner parties!) “It’s our most beautiful expression of botanicals. We even have a VR botanical experience online.”
Some of Crate & Barrel’s most popular offerings, per its president
As you can imagine by the brand’s influx of stunning appliances and worthy splurges, kitchenware is a huge category among Crate & Barrel shoppers. “Kitchen electrics like coffee machines and espresso machines are popular,” Waters notes. “A lot of our city customers are building a coffee nook so they can wake up and start their day in this amazing place. So, they’ve been investing in beautiful Breville and DeLonghi machines — so kitchen is huge.”
“We’re also known for our beautiful dinnerware collections, and what’s cool about this store is that we have some local collections we’ve brought in,” Waters told The Post. “Whenever we open a new store, we try to be thoughtful about curating the assortment to that customer, and so curating this Flatiron store in NYC is very fun.”
Specifically, Crate & Barrel has teamed up with a New Jersey-based ceramicist working on handmade bowls, and others using 3D printing to cast housewares and sourcing textiles from Ethiopia. “We love these locally sourced items to match with our signature items as well,” she adds.
In a few words, Waters sums up another major Crate & Barrel shopping category: Upholstery right now for us is one of the most popular.
“Customers are enjoying our design services, and we’ve spent a lot of investment and time to build and train a team of designers — and they’re ready to serve,” she said. “Our customers are finding a lot of value in building their homes and finding solutions that look like they’re custom — but they’re from Crate & Barrel. Everything from a sofa, to the coffee table to a beautiful storage piece to a bath vanity to a kitchen island.”
Our favorite Crate & Barrel holiday gifting picks
Though we encourage you to visit the new Flatiron spot, Crate & Barrel has a collection of classic offerings we *love* online (some recommended by Waters as well). Read on to browse our top holiday gifting picks.
We can’t ignore this beautifully made Christmas Santa and Children Pyramid Tealight Candle Holder from Crate & Barrel this holiday season. Not only is it a wonderful gift to present to the host or hostess you’re visiting this year but its unique, aesthetically pleasing design has us wanting one, too.
“I’m obsessed with our monochrome candles,” Waters shares. “They’re developed in-house, their scent profiles are stunning. We scoured the world for these scent-makers and scent profiles so they’re very special and selling like hot cakes.”
You can also select how many wicks you’d prefer, or if you’d like this scent as a diffuser as well.
Waters recommends the Organic Turkish Bathrobe for holiday gifting this year, namely for its decadently plush design and personalization options. Other shades are available, too, and it’s a wonderful pick for the man or woman you’re shopping for.
Waters can’t recommend monogrammed napkins enough, and the Marin European Flax-Certified Linen Buffalo Check Napkin is one of our favoirtes. Of course, there are other shades and patterns to choose from and, because of its esteemed quality, it’s the only napkin collection you’ll need.
According to Waters, Crate & Barrel’s customized aprons are rising in popularity. This one has a front pocket that we find resourceful for storing some of your utensils, and it’s a wonderful gift that won’t cost you more than $50.
The Tepi Natural Throw Blanket is a top gifting pick at Crate & Barrel — another with the option of monogram personalization. Its dreamy knit composure and detailed fringe design have us loving it, too.
Interested in visiting the store? Crate & Barrel is hosting a Flatiron Festival featuring exclusive, can’t-miss events. Click here to learn more. Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.