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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Field Trip: Furnish Green

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Sometimes finding the city's best treasures comes by way of happy accident. While my colleague, Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson, was surfing Craig's List for a stool, she came across a listing from a used-furniture store called Furnish Green, located on the 5th floor of 1261 Broadway, between 31st and 32nd Streets.

Finding it takes a little effort, but the corner suite of this building brims with light and makes a lovely stage for their ever-changing inventory. The owner Nathan prices pieces based on their usability, rather than their "antique prowess," meaning lower (if not somewhat arbitrary: "why $61 and not $60?") prices on items that actually function.

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Welcome to Furnish Green! It's a little tricky getting here, but so worth it.

1 Welcome to Furnish Green! It's a little tricky getting here, but so worth it.

This set of blue metal chairs can be raised and lowered to match heights.

2 This set of blue metal chairs can be raised and lowered to match heights.

Bins and bins of records give life to the furnishings; pieces this unique deserve vintage turntable tunes.

3 Bins and bins of records give life to the furnishings; pieces this unique deserve vintage turntable tunes.

A voluptuous wooden mirror frame; notice the antler in its reflection that I considered glittering for my Halloween centerpiece.

4 A voluptuous wooden mirror frame; notice the antler in its reflection that I considered glittering for my Halloween centerpiece.

Decorating & Home Editor Rebecca Robertson inspects the drawers of a very unique wooden piece that we both loved.

5 Decorating & Home Editor Rebecca Robertson inspects the drawers of a very unique wooden piece that we both loved.

Her vision for this piece was to hold jewelry, which would make sorting through lots of pieces far more organized!

6 Her vision for this piece was to hold jewelry, which would make sorting through lots of pieces far more organized!

Organizing in shallow drawers makes it easy to find items quickly. Plus, this unit is so artfully designed (note the little label slots!).

7 Organizing in shallow drawers makes it easy to find items quickly. Plus, this unit is so artfully designed (note the little label slots!).

From the front (those side shelving units are not attached) when the rolling door is closed. Once unlocked, the front slatted wood rolls downwards in a truly wonderful whoosh, clinking to a stop at the bottom, revealing the drawers within.

8 From the front (those side shelving units are not attached) when the rolling door is closed. Once unlocked, the front slatted wood rolls downwards in a truly wonderful whoosh, clinking to a stop at the bottom, revealing the drawers within.

We love to shop local whenever possible, but some of the most interesting finds are from overseas.

9 We love to shop local whenever possible, but some of the most interesting finds are from overseas.

Rebecca's jewelry vision aside, I thought these shallow drawers would hold my expansive linen collection quite adequately!

10 Rebecca's jewelry vision aside, I thought these shallow drawers would hold my expansive linen collection quite adequately!

So, I bought it! We've already picked out a place for it in my apartment.

11 So, I bought it! We've already picked out a place for it in my apartment.

This table matched another smaller piece. We loved the unique marbled pattern and its sheer bulk.

12 This table matched another smaller piece. We loved the unique marbled pattern and its sheer bulk.

Rebecca is thinking of hauling this table away herself.

13 Rebecca is thinking of hauling this table away herself.

Rebecca and I rooted around this lovely store, turning up one treasure after another. The inventory is constantly changing, which makes this a constantly exciting place to visit.

14 Rebecca and I rooted around this lovely store, turning up one treasure after another. The inventory is constantly changing, which makes this a constantly exciting place to visit.

I was drawn to the weight and unique grid of this chest of drawers, plus the wood grain is just so pronounced!

15 I was drawn to the weight and unique grid of this chest of drawers, plus the wood grain is just so pronounced!

This vintage wooden file cabinet was absolutely stunning.

16 This vintage wooden file cabinet was absolutely stunning.

Due to the need for some retrofitting, Rebecca resisted the urge to purchase this piece, but we sure hope it finds a worthy home!

17 Due to the need for some retrofitting, Rebecca resisted the urge to purchase this piece, but we sure hope it finds a worthy home!

One last look before moving on...

18 One last look before moving on...

Stools, gadgets and gizmos galore.

19 Stools, gadgets and gizmos galore.

This lighting fixture had Rebecca transfixed!

20 This lighting fixture had Rebecca transfixed!

Scoping out that set of rolling drawers, I'm sure.

21 Scoping out that set of rolling drawers, I'm sure.

We thought this bench would be perfect recovered for Martha's granddaughter Jude.

22 We thought this bench would be perfect recovered for Martha's granddaughter Jude.

But I could fit on it, too!

23 But I could fit on it, too!

The sinuous lines of this deep green metal chair are provocative.

24 The sinuous lines of this deep green metal chair are provocative.

I was obsessed with this adorable vintage pink scale.

25 I was obsessed with this adorable vintage pink scale.

Anything to lighten the mood when weighing yourself!

26 Anything to lighten the mood when weighing yourself!

We both thought this desk was a real find; stately and versatile, its sharp edges lightened the piece's heft.

27 We both thought this desk was a real find; stately and versatile, its sharp edges lightened the piece's heft.

Rebecca was completely enamored with this set of unfinished wooden chairs, especially the lovely color of the unstained wood.

28 Rebecca was completely enamored with this set of unfinished wooden chairs, especially the lovely color of the unstained wood.

Another incredible find we unearthed.

29 Another incredible find we unearthed.

This old screen unfolded gorgeously.

30 This old screen unfolded gorgeously.

Items like this make wonderful projects; with a few yards of new (or vintage) fabric, this uniquely sized screen could be a real statement piece.

31 Items like this make wonderful projects; with a few yards of new (or vintage) fabric, this uniquely sized screen could be a real statement piece.

Browsing the inventory at Furnish Green is a lesson in thrifting for the novice and expert picker alike. Coming up with modern uses for these vintage items was not only interesting, but also empowering as a shopper and home designer. Filling a precise need with the perfect piece is simply put, satisfying. Check out Furnish Green if you're ever near Herald Square. It's an absolute treat!

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Comments (3)

  • That store certainly does have a fabulous inventory -I'm not surprised you had a field day in there. That tiered end table in picture #1 brings back memories - it looks like the one I bought for my first apartment when I was 19. I love the wooden piece you bought and agree it would be perfect for your linens. I'm glad you showed the mirror in picture #4 which reminded me to get Martha's Precious Metal paint to paint one of mine. I've had it since my first apartment also. I like that white chest in picture #4 - old furniture is simply grand! Thanks so much for this blog.

  • Wow great finds. You and Rebecca sure picked beautiful pieces. The piece you bought for your linen collection is very useful love the design and the finishing. Very interesting vintage pieces. I would love to visit this place.

  • Loved the drawers, in Australia they are sold for jewellery or fine cutlery.

    I also loved the colour you selected for your personal stationery I hope you selected medium for the print.

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