It only took a few weeks of living on the Upper West Side before I came across the Amsterdam Avenue location of Global Table and it quickly became one of my window-shopping destinations. After passing countless times – always glancing in to see what new temptation would be displayed – I finally had a moment cross the threshold.
The shop is deceptive - practically everything is visible from the door, yet there are still surprises and discoveries to be made. Light and airy it’s surprising how many treasures are arranged on the long, low tables and tall shelves. Good thing my afternoon was wide open because I spent more than an hour exploring the beautiful linens, brightly colored porcelain vases, and imaginative tableware.
Nathalie Smith established the first location of Global Table in Soho in 1996, the UWS location followed in 2011. When I talked with her described it as the place where her “love of food and fashion converged.” She grew up in New York and credits her French mother’s great taste, “she always set a beautiful table,” and wonderful cooking with her enthusiasm for entertaining.
She further developed her eye by working as a fashion editor and stylist for magazines like Glamour and Elle. While traveling the world for photo shoots she noticed that her fellow editors would often stash great tableware finds in their suitcases and bring them back as souvenirs. When she was ready to leave the world of fashion the inspiration for her next venture was inspired by the experience.
Nathalie says she looks for clean lines, natural textures, and simple shapes eschewing anything too “design-y.” She tends to shy away from most patterns, although she says she’s becoming more open minded, and wants the pieces she offers to be both functional and beautiful calling herself “a very practical person.”
Whether apartment space is constrained or not that’s an M.O. I can get behind 100%. Any of the items in Global Table would look beautiful displayed as décor, but can also be pulled down off the shelf and pressed into service. No lilies of the field here!
I had a hard time walking out empty-handed and brought home a beautiful charcoal colored bowl with a periwinkle blue interior from the store’s Middle Kingdom line. I’m already plotting my next acquisitions and future wedding, house-warming, and birthday presents. After all, I’m just taking Nathalie’s lead by “buying what I would like in my home.”
Global Table | Soho: 107 Sullivan Street, NYC | UWS: 471 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC | Hours: Mon-Sat 12-7 pm, Sun 12-6 pm