Heights residents may find themselves succumbing to impulse buys more frequently due to a new home furnishings boutique at 309 Henry Street, between Atlantic Avenue and State Street.
Called ABITARE (“inhabit” in Italian), the chic store is the brainchild of Carroll Gardens resident Elizabeth Hand and Joanne Esposito, an Upper East Sider. From pillows to vases to linens, abitare carries simply designed objects that are sophisticated and functional. Prices range from an $18 candle to $625 Italian-made bedcover. On a recent visit, a set of colorful, hand-blown Japanese shot glasses caught my eye. Though Hand grew up in the Heights, originally she and Esposito were looking mostly at locations in Manhattan for their new business. “Everything was too expensive,” said Hand.
But the ground-floor spot on Henry Street was actually the first place they considered, and as time passed they kept circling back to it. “Growing up in the Heights, there was never a good store for gifts,” Hand explained. That need coupled with the location’s airy interior, backyard garden and neighborhood feel helped convince the pair to stop looking. “We decided this is where we should be,” she said.
Future plans at abitare include a bridal registry, online shopping and opening up the backyard garden, possibly for book parties (they sell books, too). Currently the backyard is “a mosquito pit,” she joked. The pair works at the store six days a week and Hand has had two of her old St. Ann’s teachers drop by since they opened August 1.