Design Inspiration: Stumptown in Manhattan

When the weather gets steamy, one of my favorite things is ice coffee. I even have a tall insulated cup that I take with me when I resource around town. When I’m in Dallas, I usually get my fix at Ascension in the Design District. Yet when I’m in New York, between hitting the frame shop and heading to the D&D Building, I love stopping into Stumptown.

Located on the first floor of the Ace Hotel on West 29th Street, Stumptown not only has delicious coffee, but the scene is completely energizing. Maybe it’s the cool baristas, the understated, thoughtfully designed modern bar, or the hip clientele, but every time I visit the shop I get excited about working in NYC.

Of course, I also like the interior of the Ace Hotel. It’s a magnet in lower Manhattan for artists, designers, filmmakers, and a variety of other creatives. It seems to be the place to see or be seen in the area. I think the design and overall feel of the place really draws people.

I took these snapshots on a recent visit:

The exterior of the hotel always seems to be bustling with interesting personalities.

There is standing room in the coffee shop, but most people go out to the lobby of the Ace Hotel to sit. It’s a great place to bring a book or laptop, or hang out with friends. The hotel interior is dark with old library tables, and plaid navy and burgundy couches. You have to pounce when a seat opens up.

You can enter the coffee shop through the lobby of the Ace; sometimes there’s a line out the door, but it moves pretty fast.

Inside the actual coffee shop, it’s much more bright. I love the clean combination of light colors, wood, brass, and marble.

All the baristas dress with different “old school” hats – making it feel like you’re in a 1920’s speakeasy.

Although Stumptown originated in Portland, Oregon, local coffee shops around Manhattan and Brooklyn have been serving their beans for several years now. However, the location in the Ace is the only official Stumptown coffee shop in New York (although, they’re apparently opening one on W 8th.).

A wall of windows lights up the entire shop.

Standing at the window bar offers a great perch for people watching on 29th Street.

Just writing this post makes me want to grab an ice coffee. If you end up visiting the Ace Hotel off-coffee hours, The Breslin restaurant, also on the first floor, is a lovely spot for drinks or a light dinner!


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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by design and the subtle impact of our surroundings. Some of my earliest influences still resonate – I think of the dark woods and textured lodens of my father’s shooting club, the smell of fresh paint on a new canvas, and the bold symmetry of the Philip Johnson Glass house just down the street. For me, it was a natural path to become an Interior Designer. I love what I do. I’ve created this Journal to share my thoughts, finds and design inspirations. I hope you enjoy it!

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