Manhattan, New York
New Yorkers light up their tiny apartments with luminous gems from Lighting New York (138 Bowery, tel: 1 866 418 9673), in the heart of the lighting district, where chandelier emporiums abound. The store's golden Tiffany floor lamp (US$522) will add instant retro glamour to a living room.
For Tiffany-style antique originals go to Moulin Bleu (176 Franklin Street, tel: 1 212 334 1130). Its range goes beyond art deco, however, and Victorian lamps are a speciality. If you prefer a modern look visit Armani Casa (97 Greene Street, tel: 1 212 334 1271), where the new season's soft cushions in rich blues, golds and silvers are mesmerising.
To get your hands on a design piece with true New-York flavour visit the shop at the Museum of Modern Art (11 West 53 Street, tel: 1 212 708 9700), where you can pick up a miniature chair designed by Ray and Charles Eames and in the shape of an elephant (US$185). Another show-stopper is the Cronotime clock (US$65), which was created in the 1960s by an Italian car designer; its stark face has been resurrected for the 21st century by Alessi.
Every design maven on a trip to New York has to check out the interior of the art deco Chrysler Building - the tallest brick structure in the world and one that has undoubtedly inspired much of the city's style.
Another New York landmark is the chunky Saks department store (right; 611 Fifth Avenue, tel: 1 212 753 4000). It sells plenty of design products but they tend to be pretty rather than innovative. Saying that, the frog and elephant place-card holders (US$135 or US$127 for a set of six) should raise a smile at a dinner party. Across the street is the Rockefeller Centre, with interior lobbies that define 1930s chic.
New York's foodies head to Williams-Sonoma (10 Columbus Circle, tel: 1 212 823 9750) for serious cooking equipment, including some sharp knife collections. The boxy-shaped bagel cutter (US$25) will slice the city's favourite snack into perfect halves.
Should you start feeling homesick, make your way to Pearl River Mart (477 Broadway, tel: 1 212 431 4770), a Chinese treasure trove whose red, paper wall fans sell for US$7.50.