New Kid on the Block: Baxter & Liebchen

Baxter and Liebchen front areaTwelve years ago, Andrew Kevelson was looking for something new to do, and he always loved midcentury Scandinavian design. “I wanted to sell it as a hobby,” he says, “but to do it right, I realized it needed to be full-time.” His business, Baxter & Liebchen, wasn’t around long before he determined he’d need a dedicated space, too. (There’s only so much furniture your Brooklyn loft can hold without frustrating those you live with.) After a year and a half in a DUMBO warehouse, he opened the Baxter & Liebchen store at 33 Jay Street, also in DUMBO. That was in 2005; satellite outposts followed at the New York Design Center in Midtown and ABC Carpet & Home.

And now Baxter & Liebchen has traded its DUMBO space for one in the new Laight House building at 50-52 Laight. It has the same amount of selling floor as the DUMBO store did, but Kevelson now handles storage and restoration at his Westchester warehouse. Perhaps most important, the new store has the patina-rich, industrial-turned-residential atmosphere as the old one, thanks to the developer’s decision to keep the previous building’s 100-year-old brick walls and concrete floor. “We think our pieces really work in this kind of setting,” says Kevelson. “The rich wood is highlighted in contrast to the industrial.”

You’ll find furniture, lighting, and decorative objects from the 50s and 60s, “but we especially love our early transitional pieces from the 40s,” says Kevelson. (And you wouldn’t be wrong if you wondered whether Baxter & Liebchen had ever sold to “Mad Men.”) The collection is entirely Scandinavian, except for a selection of German ceramics. “In order, we have Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish. I don’t think we have anything from Iceland.” When asked to name three designers that Baxter & Liebchen specializes in, he bristles at the limit but eventually lands on Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, and Ivar Dysthe.

About the Baxter & Liebchen name: To represent seriousness of the collection, Kevelson wanted something that was true to the sophisticated lifestyle of the 50s and 60s and also sounded like an established Upper East Side dealer. Liebchen is pronounced leeb-shin.

Baxter & Liebchen is at 50 Laight (between Hudson and Greenwich), 212-431-5050;

Baxter and Liebchen front doorBaxter and Liebchen deskBaxter and Liebchen ceramicBaxter and Liebchen black leather chairBaxter and Liebchen dining table chairBaxter and Liebchen roomBaxter and Liebchen lampBaxter and Liebchen mirrorRecent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
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