Discovering Urban Rustic Design in Williamsburg

A&G Merch Is Everything Good About New York Home-Furnishing Stores

We all love Williamsburg for its cutting-edge point of view and its eclectic taste in shops, eateries, and nightlife. One of the design spots that has grown alongside the iconic neighborhood is Jill Goldhand’s home-furnishing store, A&G Merch.

Located on Sixth Street, between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue, A&G Merch boasts an urban-cabin-chic aesthetic that has been going strong since 2006. When asked about her vision for the store, Goldhand said she wanted to create a place where customers could come for affordable solutions to whatever home-design problems they might be facing.

“I feel strongly that amazing pieces do not have to be extremely expensive,” she said. “Everyone can have chic, quality pieces in their living space and should not settle for just ‘OK’ when it comes to their home.”

A&G captures the imagination of design with its varied assortment of accents and statement pieces.
A&G captures the imagination of design with its assortment of accents and statement pieces.

Her vision took off among designers. In fact, some very well-known designers—Goldhand wouldn’t name names—use A&G for everything from product sourcing to on-site consultations to model apartments to prop styling. “We work with designers from A to Z in all facets,” Goldhand said. “We are as hands-on as they want us to be.”

On top of being designer-friendly, A&G Merch has an inventory of some of the most unique, inspiring, and distinct pieces in all of Williamsburg.

In Stock and In Style

Despite being located in Williamsburg, New York City's go-to neighborhood for emerging designs, A&G Merch has managed to set itself apart by offering the one thing New Yorkers love above all else—exclusivity. Many of the smaller pieces and curiosities that fill the store, such as the bulldog-inspired Brass Mack Touch Lamp, are made by local artisans and designers, and most are sold only at A&G Merch.

To add to this sense of exclusivity, A&G also features bespoke furniture that is customizable based on a customer’s style. Most of its larger upholstered pieces, for example, are offered in a variety of colors and fabrics, from lemon-hued wool to Persian-blue velvet. A&G stocks a myriad of hues and materials to fit into its clients’ unique designs, giving the store an eclectic-style vibe. To help its clients make those crucial design decisions, A&G Merch offers design consultation, free of charge, for every customer.

Surprising pops of color peek out among the shelves at A&G Merch. Sumptuous furniture invites you to take a seat as you dream up your interior design project.
Surprising pops of color peek out from the shelves at A&G Merch. Sumptuous furniture invites you to take a seat as you dream up your interior design project.

This ability to customize each piece allows designers to, as Goldhand put it, “decorate their apartment to their own taste and not have to bend it to meet the stock offerings of the larger stores.” She went on to say, “We truly want our pieces to take on the personality of our customers. But more than that, these aren’t just ‘designer’ pieces, but rather solid ‘forever’ items.”

And some of her favorite pieces have quickly become some of our most coveted finds. Goldhand said, “Currently my favorite piece on the floor is our Safari Bar Cabinet. It is a large standing distressed-metal rhinoceros that opens on the side, revealing a large interior storage cabinet. It is a great and interesting piece that I had to have in the store.”

When it comes to the customizable furniture that A&G is known for, Goldhand was quick to point out the Innovation Sleeper Sofas, especially the Long Horn. “It is a gorgeous sofa that folds down to a bed,” she said. “Easy, simple, and chic. These sleepers are the only ones we sell because they are gorgeous and amazingly comfortable.”

Add texture and color to a Driggs sofa
Add texture and color with the Driggs Sofa in a decadent burgundy-red velvet.

Goldhand also mentioned a few of the store’s decorative pieces, from the adorable and functional White Fox and Black Dog Umbrella Stands, to the architectural and intriguing Gold Building Block Bookend, to the extra-large-patterned Kilim Pillows, to the new Brass & Leather Magazine Stand that Goldhand said looks relevant without taking up too much space. Many of A&G’s decorative accents provide unexpected design elements: unique style, pops of color, or surprising subject matter. These often bold and always interesting pieces are one of the many reasons people keep coming back to A&G.

When it comes to decorating walls, Goldhand said, “my current favorite pieces are these simple iron shelves. They come in three sizes and are just a simple piece of bended steel that attaches to the wall. It is very chic and functional.”

Ten Years and Counting

Even though chain stores have begun to muscle their way into the neighborhood, Goldhand is as committed as ever to embracing Williamsburg’s vibrancy and finding unique pieces that will please her clients.

“We are always on the quest for new, interesting things,” she said, “and we show as many options as necessary to get the right piece with the right person. This is because we believe that purchasing for your home is a process, and a process where you need help—not pressure. We help by making sure customers take home swatches to see what looks right in their apartment at all times of day. We also have designers who take things for a few days to present to clients or see how they go with existing items in the room. Basically, we’ll do what it takes to get it right.”

“We truly want our pieces to take on the personality of our customers. But more than that, these aren’t just ‘designer’ pieces, but rather solid ‘forever’ items.”

With a staff just as committed to customer service, and a treasure trove of home goods, it’s no wonder A&G is winning over new design clients while keeping its regulars happy. If you’re itching to give A&G a try, be sure to check out its December wine-and-gift nights. Special deals and specially available items are sure to make these weekly gatherings more than worth it.

Here’s to another 10 years, A&G! And to 10 more after that!