Mon-Fri, 10pm-6pm; Sat, noon-6pm; Sun, closed
6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
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If USM’s line of custom modular office furniture is good enough to be in offices and in a collection at the Museum of Modern Art, and in the gift shop at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, it’s probably good enough for you. The Swiss company’s Heller system—in continuous production since its design in the mid 1960s, when it became an instant Modern classic—provides adaptable and flexible furniture solutions. The geometric desks, shelving, drawers, tables, and cabinets are formed from tubular steel frames and colored sheet metal panels. Tabletops and desktops are made of wood veneer, plastic laminate, granite, or glass. Over the years, USM has added two more collections, each of which lives up to the form-follows-function aesthetic of the original: Kitos, a modular table system, and eleven22, a line of individual workstations. While USM’s business is largely commercial, the systems have stylish residential applications as well, and the store’s design staff shows off the furniture’s potential using computer software that creates realistic installation schemes. Systems arrive 12 weeks after orders are placed, and USM provides delivery and installation.