Mon-Thu, 10am-7pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 1pm-5pm
6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.; A, C, E at Canal St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Despite the lively South American music, this upscale interior design boutique more closely resembles a starchy design showroom than a source for furnishing an inviting homestead. The impeccably clean, cool, and modern lines of items like super-stretch beige leather sofas and rich, angular dining room tables are handsome, but suggest a "look, don’t touch" domestic policy. Perhaps because Format also transforms airport lobbies and office buildings into mod, upscale lounging spaces, it's easy to take its pricey sophistication for aloofness. Nonetheless, home-minded shoppers can indulge in cleanly designed cabinets and luxurious, non-patterned fabrics and sofas from Italian design luminaries like Molteni, Arper and DeSalto. The salespeople are veteran design specialists who can help clients mix and match pieces for a cool personalized kitchen, closet or wall unit. Serving highbrow Soho décor fiends since the mid-nineties, Format's sister store, Florence (also formerly Format,) reopened in early 2005 to provide the same services.