A.MANO founder Katherine Wells and designer Sergio Mannino, who runs her eponymous interior design studio in Bushwick, connected via a cold email to design her home decor store in Prospect Heights. Wells contacted Mannino after reading the designer’s writings on retail design for Forbes as well as her own blog. On the one hand, the two coalesced around a shared penchant for a playful, slightly maximalist aesthetic, but they also had a mutual appreciation for a neat minimalism that elevates objects and furnishings. “The brief was ‘something daring’, which is a natural feature of my practice,” Mannino says. “The final aesthetic was born from a back and forth between the client and myself.”
Mannino, who studied architecture in Florence and wrote his graduation thesis under the mentorship of Ettore Sottsass, found a design solution that celebrates the absorbing aesthetic of the Memphis group while applying other principles of minimalist art. Throughout the 1,800 square foot storefront, elements such as Nathalie du Pasquier’s playful geometric decoration Daisy collection for Mutina are presented alongside Mannino’s own creations such as a birch credenza, Largo from inside to outside. In the main section of the store, traditional terrazzo tiles pave the way for offerings ranging from reupholstered vintage furniture to books by artists such as Isaac Julien or Cindy Sherman, to ceramics by artists from the nearby ceramic studio BKLYN CLAY. Teal-colored plywood shelving surrounds the main store and is inspired by minimalism maestro Donald Judd. The shelves rest on glazed ceramic bricks in a matching blue hue from Pennsylvania-based manufacturer Glen-Gery. Mannino eschewed typical binding materials and adhesives, connecting the bricks and shelves with screws so they could be easily taken apart and reassembled.