Lee Testa

Photo: Brad Paris

What’s the difference between Room & Board, Design Within Reach, and Pottery Barn?
We offer more of a design edge. We carry classic mid-century pieces: the Eames lounge chair, the Noguchi table. And then we create more in that spirit.

You used to work in the Chicago store. Do we shop differently?
The New Yorker is more modern. Scale is much more important; storage is a high priority. Bookcases are significant.

Is there a no-bouncing-on-the-beds policy?
We don’t have policies. We have kids, we have dogs, we give out Milk-Bones and free coffee. Our mattresses are laid out so you can roll around on them.

Do the homeless take advantage of that?
Not really here, but in Chicago. It doesn’t bother me if a homeless person comes in once in a while. One day they might be a customer.

Are you a neat freak?
I’m obsessed. I clean my apartment daily. I have things labeled. I have certain art books on certain tables. My clothes are compartmentalized by color.

Are you the same at work?
The pillows. I’m always pushing people to refluff.

Do you do the karate chop down the middle?
Do you?


Do you make house calls?
We do “space planning.” Generally we go solo but we’ll bring someone with us if we want help or support. Or if we feel like we might not want to be totally alone with the customer.No!
Yeah. Customers do reach out to us on a personal basis for dinner. Quite a bit.

Lee Testa