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123 West 17th Street
Canvas Home   CLOSED 1 Furniture and Home Furnishings Chelsea

Canvas Home, yet another fascinating shop on this stretch of 17th, is filled with furniture and a vast assortment of “simple, sustainable” home goods. There are linens, dishes, picture frames, cooking utensils, candles and more to admire - or purchase - and all of it is tastefully presented in their 4,000 square feet of space.

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Canvas Home   CLOSED 1 Furniture and Home Furnishings Chelsea
Canvas Home   CLOSED 2 Furniture and Home Furnishings Chelsea
Canvas Home   CLOSED 3 Furniture and Home Furnishings Chelsea

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Lost Gem
Mantiques Modern 1 Antiques Furniture and Home Furnishings undefined
Lost Gem
France & Son 1 Furniture and Home Furnishings undefined

France & Son

France and Son is a delightful maze stocked with mid-century, modern furniture pieces with a contemporary twist. A bold array of light fixtures hang from the ceiling while a mixed assortment of modern and classic couches and chairs fill the space. I spoke with Brad, one of the founders of France and Sons, who sat in his favorite item in the store, a brown leather modern wing chair. Brad has been responsible for building the company's retail brand and online presence. Brad and his partner, Kevin Wu, named their furniture store after a pre-existing Danish manufacturer from the 1950s. They settled on the name France and Son because it was recognizable among designers and others interested in furniture. Today, France and Son specializes in reproducing pieces designed in the 1950s and 1960s. Similar to the original manufacturer, their store has a mid-century feel. France and Son is in the midst of expanding their work to include more contemporary, high-end leather couches. As Brad explained, “it’s all an experiment. ” They are constantly trying out new designs to find what people want. Most of their customers are young professionals who are buying their first nice pieces of furniture, so they try to offer everyone a personal shopping experience. The two men pride themselves on their ability to allow customers the opportunity to rent anything on the floor and to purchase floor samples. As Brad said, “We don’t mind catering to the customers and doing whatever makes them happy. ”

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Lost Gem
Shareen 1 Bridal Vintage undefined


Today, Shareen Mitchell is a bicoastal business owner, a sought-after entrepreneur with fourteen employees and a celebrity following. But no one would have guessed it eleven years ago, when Shareen was, in her own words, “broke, in debt, and selling at a flea market. ” That flea market booth soon grew into a 7, 000 square foot vintage warehouse in LA, and within a few years, Shareen had expanded to New York City. In spite of her success, Shareen’s location on West 17th Street is one of the best-kept secrets in Manhattan. Hidden away on the second floor of an old walk-up, the only sign of its existence is a red dress hanging from the fire escape, and sometimes—like the day I visited—not even that. Fortunately, a friendly employee from the salon next door pointed me in the right direction, but if I had not been in the know, I would have missed Shareen entirely. This secret location may seem like a bad business decision, but it is actually one of the keys to Shareen’s success. Her stores have always fostered a sense of exclusivity, and Shareen told me that her warehouse, especially in the early days, was not only the hottest vintage store in LA, but also a gathering place for a society of hip young women. “It was a crazy, fun secret, ” she told me. “No one knew where they were getting their vintage. ”Because there are no dressing rooms at Shareen—women change out in the open—both store locations have the same “no boys allowed” policy. But the resemblance between Shareen’s two stores ends there. While the LA warehouse is constantly buzzing with youthful energy, the New York location has a quiet, sophisticated feel that caters to a slightly older crowd. The reason for the difference, Shareen explained, is that by 2009, many of her original customers at the LA warehouse were now young professionals living in New York City. “They told me there was nothing like Shareen in the city, ” she said, “so I decided to test the waters. ” She opened a shop in a train station parking lot on Long Island, above an auto shop. “People like Ivanka Trump would get off the train, ” she told me, laughing, “and walk into this auto shop with their dogs and babies and everything. ” But after a while, the trip to Long Island became exhausting, and Shareen decided to open a location in the city. “It was kind of a secret, ” she said. “I had no money for a sign, so I put the red dress out on the fire escape. ”Though she did not put much effort into the store’s exterior, Shareen transformed the inside. The former apartment is now an elegant retail space, filled with ornate mirrors and old-fashioned couches, and yet it still manages to feel warm and welcoming. One large room is devoted entirely to wedding dresses, while another two rooms are filled with vintage clothing of all kinds, from evening gowns to 1950s prom dresses. When I asked Shareen about the bridal section, she told me that the store is in the process of transitioning. “A lot of my clients are starting to get married, ” she told me, “but they don’t want to look like traditional brides. ” These young women, many of whom get married in unorthodox venues—upstate farms, Brooklyn lofts, and Manhattan rooftops—are looking for unique dresses that will express their personalities. Over the past few years, the demand for these “indie wedding dresses” has grown so much that Shareen predicts that the store may soon be entirely bridal. “A year ago, we were half bridal and half vintage, and now it’s more like seventy-thirty, ” Shareen told me. “We’re double-booked on the weekends with brides. ”The New York location may be transitioning into bridal wear, but Shareen insisted that the store will not abandon its vintage roots. Along with her bridal collection, which is all under $2, 000, many of the wedding dresses for sale in the store are reworked vintage. Shareen added that her collection is designed to flatter all kinds of body types, to celebrate women rather than inhibit them. She always tells her brides, “I want to see you looking beautiful, not you in a beautiful dress. ”