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Cut from Whole Cloth: Martin Albert Interiors, Inc.
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Martin Albert Interiors has been in the decorating business 25-plus years, custom-crafting draperies, valances, window treatments, headboards, bedding ensembles, pillows, and all manner of home furnishings. The company keeps thousands and thousands of fabric samples and swatch books in the shop and offers excellent prices on designer yard goods that would cost much more elsewhere (cottons from as low as $12 a yard, to silk taffetas at about $45 per yard, up to the most opulent silk brocades at $600 a yard); its fees for its workroom labor are also affordable. 

For the design-challenged, there are talented decorators on staff who can guide you through what might be, for some, a daunting process. Recently, the shop opened up an on-premises workroom -- in addition to the smaller atelier it maintains above the store -- for actually building furniture, and now Martin Albert can custom-craft any one of a dozen chairs and a half-dozen sofas that it maintains in its proprietary line. Here's how it works: You pick the model sofa that you like -- say, a camel-back, or a Chesterfield, or a classic Lawson style -- and then the frame is built and the entire unit is covered in muslin. You come in for a "fitting" and adjust the seat height, depth of the back, the pitch, or whatever needs tinkering with. The turnaround time is quick for custom work; usually less than three weeks. Prices (without fabric) are quite reasonable for what you're getting: $1,600 to $2,400 for club chairs, $3,200 to $5,000 for sofas. 9 E. 19 St. btw. Fifth Ave. & Broadway, 212-673-8000; www.martinalbert.com (This article originally appeared in the 3/06 issue of Manhattan Living.)

Posted on November 26, 2007 - by

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About the Author: About the Author: Ruth J. Katz is a well-known shopping and service writer based in New York City. She has written about shopping for 25 years for New York magazine; covered the topic on-air at Fox-TV for several years as the Home Services expert; and had her own show on both the USA and Lifetime Cable networks. Katz wrote extensively for The New York Times as well, and contributed periodically to the New York Daily News. She is a passionate shopper, always looking for not merely a good buy, but the best buy, ferreting out a "steal" or discovering up-and-coming designers. She has written five books and is a former contributing editor to Hearst's Redbook, Classic Home, and Colonial Homes; she is currently a Contributing Editor of New York Home, Golf Connoisseur, The Modern Estate, and Promenade magazines. She is also the former Shopping Director for Davler Media's Manhattan Living.

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