NKOTB: OLighting

NKOTB, for those not of a certain age, stand for “New Kids on the Block”….

In contrast to the home-design shops—Design Within Reach, Intèrieurs, Paul Kohn Design, Archipelago—leaving Tribeca in recent months, OLighting just opened on Walker Street, showcasing contemporary European lighting from Moooi, Foscarini, and AXO Light. Those three brands, however, are just a taste of what’s available on olighting.com, where you’ll also find Artimede, Flos, Fontana Arte, Kartell, Luceplan, and more. Says founder Andrew Chris (above): “We’ll probably rotate everything in the store at least once a year, right before ICFF [the International Contemporary Furniture Fair].”

OLighting is officially a division of Opad, which Chris founded in Great Neck in 2005 with two partners, whom he bought out two years later. (They were the ones with lighting and design experience, which he’s had to pick up along the way.) The idea is to have several sub-brands—for lighting, furniture, etc.—under one umbrella brand. “We’ll use Opad more when we launch furniture,” says Chris.

The bulk of OLighting’s business is online—the company has nine employees in an office in Lake Success, on Long Island—and to the trade. At first, Chris had no plans to open a showroom, but he realized that architects and designers would benefit from “touching and feeling” the fixtures. In fact, OLighting will offer display-by-appointment of anything on olighting.com to the A&D community.

The room is long and narrow, with an office at the far end, and the walls are exposed brick or painted black like the ceiling and floor—the better to show off the dramatic fixtures. Some are geometric, others are surreal, and they all look like they’d be at home in cutting-edge hotel lobbies or on Lady Gaga’s head. (Add seating and you’d have a great-looking bar.)

Why Tribeca? Chris cites the neighborhood as convenient for architects and designers, as well as rich with customers who can appreciate modern lighting. “There are options in Soho, but no one is offering the designers we are,” he says. He and his wife also moved here in January—she’s pregnant, and he likes that he’s a short walk away. That’s good news for their toy Yorkie, Clyde, who now gets to spend his days at the store.

OLighting is at 40 Walker (between Church and W. Broadway); 212-485-6190, olighting.com.

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