Helmed by husband-and-wife team Benny Aziz and Stephanie Cohen, Benjamin Rugs and Furniture supplies home decorators with modern and classic furnishings. The two-level showroom, laid out by Stephanie who is also an interior designer, encapsulates a wide range of styles, from dignified, conservative pieces of dark varnished wood to tradition-bucking designs that use translucent material and geometric shapes.
Though he doesn't wear an actual crown, Bruce Wiener has earned the title of Bed King thanks to his family's long-standing business and his in-depth knowledge of what makes a high-quality mattress. Still, he rules with a fair hand. At his store, he and his staff share the three things customers need to know when buying a mattress: how it feels, how it's built inside, and what their budget is. They advise customers to test out each mattress by lounging on it for 15 minutes, examining its comfort, support structure, and willingness to share bedtime stories. They also arm customers with know-how on the latest technologies, demystifying industry jargon by explaining, for example, that coil systems impart equal weight distribution over the surface of the bed.
With more than 100 showrooms and clearance centers across the country, Cort offers a cornucopia of repurposed furniture for living rooms, bedrooms, and offices. When merchandise arrives at Cort it is cleaned, reconditioned, and repaired if necessary before being labeled with a letter grade of A–D so prospective buyers can accurately determine each item's value and condition. Stylize sleeping quarters with an Accolade chest ($589.99) or schedule games of Jenga inside a Citrine living-room set ($439.99).
Housing Works provides advocacy, job training, healthcare and housing support for low-income and homeless people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Housing Works Thrift Shops and Buy the Bag help fund this effort by selling new and used donated goods. Shoppers can explore shelves upon shelves of donated items in search of a new designer shirt, a vintage necklace, or a set of hand-painted bowls.
Modani adds dramatic, modern flair to homes and offices with sleek, space-maximizing living room, dining room, office, and bedroom furnishings and accessories. With an emphasis on hidden storage, Modani's clean, luxurious designs draw the eye along graceful lines, making pads approachably impressive and understatedly welcoming. Give flowers a chic new hangout with the Double X metal vase ($110), or store blankets and other living-room necessities in the metallic, padded golden chest, which doubles as a safe room for Barbies ($140). Modani can also transform an abode with post-baroque flair with pillar-candle holders ($30–$35) or make a corner earn its keep with the Canelle side table ($150).