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.)