William-Wayne & Co.

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Type of Place: Gift Shops Housewares

As I write this, the temperature outside is in the single digits, and home seems like a good place to be and to stay—for as long as possible. But whatever the weather, the more comfortable and lovely a home can be, the more it can help to ease the stresses of every day. And indeed, when I wandered into William-Wayne, listened to the classic jazz piano CD they were playing, and began to look around, I felt tensions start to slip off my shoulders. The atmosphere is one of calm and cozy beauty, and you'll find items to warm the winter spirit as well as to enhance a patio party come July.

With space in New York at a constant premium and clutter frequently looming, the round storage boxes here will always be useful; and their "fruit" motifs are fresh and fun. Small (lemon-printed) boxes are $18.75; medium (orange) $22; and large (watermelon) $30. A domed glass box containing a candle is $37.50; the candle smells great, and the box will make a lovely catch-all container when the candle has been burned. Delicious Pré de Provence soap is available in "milk" (white) and "peony" (pink), at $10 each. I loved the oval bamboo placemats ($12 each) and the ceramic bowls from Japan which fit beautifully into the hands and are decorated on the inside with various botanic patterns ($12.50 each).

For animal lovers, there's a wonderful pink pillow in the shape of a curious-looking, politely seated pig ($37.50) and a set of four embroidered coasters bearing the faces of beautiful dogs ($37.50 as well). Elegant glass caraffes (from $27.50) help you stay hydrated when the heat's turned up, be it radiator heat or the warmth of the sun. And a selection of beautiful hand-blocked printed cotton throws (7.5 by 9 feet, $40) provided the addition to a wedding gift that I'd been seeking for months (yay!)—useful as a picnic blanket, a table cloth, a bedspread, or a soft addition to a couch.

Elements, shmelements...these beautiful accessories will help to make home a haven, whatever Mother Nature may have in mind.
  - Pamela Grossman; Jan 27, 2011

William-Wayne & Co.
40 University Pl (nr 9th St)
New York, NY 10003