With its exposed ceilings and large windows, Clive Christian’s new showroom at 588 Broadway has an aesthetic more suited for a Tribeca artist’s loft than an Upper East Side socialite’s mansion.
That is very much intentional, according to Eva Riccardi, senior project manager at Clive Christian. “People don’t really think of this style when they think of Clive Christian,” she said. “We felt it was important to move down to this area to show that we do have this to offer. It opens us up to double the amount of clients.”
Until now, the luxury interiors company, which specializes in very high-end cabinetry for kitchens and other rooms, had its New York showroom in the heart of the design district on 58th Street. Its move from Midtown to Downtown follows a push the brand has been making over the years to modernize its cabinetry collections, offering sleeker options like its Alpha Deco and Metro Deco ranges in addition to its more traditional Ornamental and Architectural styles.
The one change the brand will never make? Producing an overlay door, a type of cabinetry in which the doors and drawer faces are slightly larger than the frames and a staple of many modern Italian and German kitchens. “No matter how contemporary you go with Clive Christian, you’re always going to have an inset door [that fits inside the frame]. It shows a little more craftsmanship and more detailing,” Riccardi said. “I think the overlay door is a cheaper option.”
“Getting Clive Christian is like getting a Birkin bag.”
Certainly, there’s nothing cheap about Clive Christian, and prices for kitchen cabinetry typically start at $200,000. The company has worked on whole-house projects that cost up to $2 million.
What you get for that money is completely customizable millwork, made from the highest-quality wood in the world. Paneling comes in 10-foot pieces and is cut onsite, meaning it will fit a space perfectly.
The brand also specializes in marquetry, the art of making extremely intricate pictures using wood of various colors. The Soho showroom features a beautiful example with a marquetry depiction of the New York City skyline.
For the client willing to pay, Clive Christian will reproduce pretty much any image in marquetry. The most common request, according to Riccardi, is for a family’s coat of arms, but the brand has also done projects like reproducing an heirloom pocket watch to hang over an owner’s fireplace.
A Middle Eastern shipping magnate ordered a panel representing his trade route, marking where he sails with dotted lines and tiny sailboats. Another client, who collects Arabian horses, commissioned a headboard with horses running up and down the sides.
At the Woolworth Building, where the top floors are being converted into condominiums, Clive Christian is offering new buyers the option to design their millwork before they move in. In the model unit, the company even shows off some of its marquetry skills with an intricately designed “W” (for Woolworth) panel on the closets.
Of course, as high-quality as Clive Christian’s work is, there’s another reason someone might choose to buy a kitchen from the firm: prestige.
“The quality of the cabinetry is the best of the best, but at the same time it’s also a lot about the name brand as well,” Riccardi said. “Getting Clive Christian is like getting a Birkin bag.”