Design

The Ultimate Interior Design (and Coffee) Shop on East 60th

Friday, May 5, 2017
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Interior design lovers, coffee drinkers, Instagram enthusiasts: plan a visit soon to ALT Box, if you haven’t gone already. In the heart of the Upper East Side, the European-style showroom sells curated goods from fabrics, furniture to home accessories, by a diverse mix of designers. In front of the space, there’s a café called A Little Taste (aka ALT) where artisan roast coffee and petite treats are specialities. Croissants and scented candles, anyone? 


“I call it my baby. She’s only eight months old and not even talking yet,” says founder Analisse Taft-Gersten. Although the location was recently born, Taft-Gersten is no newbie. The Los Angeles native worked as an interior designer before opening her first showroom  called ALT for Living nine years ago in Soho. That location moved to Chelsea’s Flower District six years later with the launch of A Little Taste, created with coffee connoisseur Greg Heinz.


Taft-Gersten credits the design inspiration of ALT Box to her favorite places in Paris. “I’m semi-obsessed with Europe,” she says and travels there at least once a year. The downtown showroom is open to the trade by appointment only and carries more textural and monochromatic products. In comparison, the Upper East Side spot is filled with more patterns as well as colors all around and the doors are open to everyone. Plus, unlike many other retailers, ALT Box doesn’t require a minimum yardage when purchasing fabric. Ideal for those looking to buy in bulk or just a yard of, say, alpaca linen to make a pillow.


“Opening up a second space is the most challenging. You don’t know if you are a one-hit wonder or a true classic. It’s the test to see if we can grow,” says Taft-Gersten. “This showroom is definitely targeting the Upper East Side community. It has become a little watered-down [in that neighborhood]. People have been moving out, but now that many can’t afford Brooklyn as it has gotten more expensive, I have a feeling there is going to be a new resurgence of uptown with the younger community.” 


This summer a number of projects are in the works for ALT Box. Always on the lookout for the next showroom location or business model, Taft-Gersten doesn’t believe in relaxing. “You can never stop, you have to keep pushing and going.” With that mindset, it seems this is only just the beginning for the growth of the ALT empire.


Visit ALT Box at 234 East 60th Street, 212.431.1000, altforliving.com.





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