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The Purpose-Driven Apartment

Top-drawer furniture that puts a premium on function.


  • Tables

  • Module R

    141 Atlantic Ave., nr. Clinton St., Clinton Hill; 718-360-9304

    Everything is sleek, compact, and—yes—modular at this new design boutique. Recognizable pieces (Josef Albers nesting tables for $1,950), are here, alongside finds designed by up-and-comers like easily reconfigured coffee tables from Euclid (from $398 per piece).


  • Chairs

  • CB2

    451 Broadway, nr. Grand St.; 212-219-1454

    Many city apartments don’t have the space for separate dining and lounging chairs. CB2’s pieces, like the rounded Orbit armchair ($129) or the stackable, curved-to-fit Slim chair ($100), serve both needs ably. A bonus: Many of them are made of easy-to-wipe-down molded polymers or stain-resistant acrylics.


  • Cabinets

  • Wonk

    581 Myrtle Ave., at Classon Ave., Clinton Hill; 718-218-7750

    The folks behind Brooklyn’s Wonk geek out with functional wooden cabinetry in a slew of configurations. Sets of drawers come in one-, two-, and three-row versions and a variety of heights ($945 to $1,895); others masquerade as simple coffee tables ($695 to $1,070).


  • Desks

  • Blu Dot

    140 Wooster St., nr. Houston St.; 212-780-9058

    Blu Dot makes desks that will slip into whatever nook of space is available for the taking. A wall-mounted desk system ($499) screws right in, no legs required, while others provide an ample work surface but don’t hog much wall surface.


  • Beds

  • Resource Furniture

    969 Third Ave., at 58th St., fourth fl.; 212-753-2039

    While this pricey showroom sells many multitaskers (think coffee-table-dining-table hybrids), the fold-out-of-view Murphy beds are most spectacular. The Nuovoliola 10 model is a storage-seat sofa with a shelf above that transforms into a queen-size bed (from $8,100).


  • Shelving

  • Muji

    455 Broadway, nr. Grand St.; 212-334-2002

    Higher-end- looking rivals to the omnipresent Ikea Expedit bookshelves are the stacking shelves from Japanese design giant Muji. The shelves come in oak and walnut and clock in at a reasonable $190 for two rows to $320 for five rows, with additional rows starting at $168.

From the 2012 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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