Photograph by Kyle Knodell
Above: For Mele, opening his first store in Greenwich has special meaning. “I’d always wanted and planned on having a store, and the right opportunity presented itself. I’m happy I’m doing this in my hometown.”
There’s no place like home, and for PATRICK MELE, it’s where he’s chosen to set up shop. This past December in his hometown of Greenwich, the New York City-based designer opened his first eponymous store, and it’s already proven to be a destination for the interesting and the interested. Housed in a century-old, 500-square-foot former neighborhood grocer in the heart of downtown, Mele’s vision of a consistently rotating mini-department store has vibrantly come to life. An irresistible assemblage of furnishings, art, lighting, carpets, fragrances, jewelry and select items chosen for their timeless beauty and charm greets the eye. “It’s a mix of refurbished antiques and period pieces with great personality, ranging from the seventeenth century to today,” says Mele. “I like intelligent, I like colorful, I like humor, I like well-traveled, and I like a sense of history and a room that tells a story.”
The “electric and eclectic” space also showcases thoughtfully chosen lines and one-of-a-kind treasures. Noguchi Akari light sculptures, unique selections from Creel and Gow, vintage and costume jewelry, and Régime des Fleurs bespoke fragrances are just a sampling of what’s in store. Contemporary artwork by Wayne Pate, Alicia Ethridge and Ak Jansen and pottery by Nicholas Newcomb currently mingle with African masks, kilim pillows and painted furniture.
When selecting the ideal site, Mele knew right where he wanted to be. “I’m in a corner building that I really had an affection for growing up here,” he says. “I love the history in this space, that it’s imperfect and has character. With ten-foot tin ceilings and a classic store frontage, the bones of it cinched it for me. I knew I could make it great.” After tearing out the carpet and built-ins, installing classic track lighting and painting the walls and plywood floors white, “it’s like a raw gallery space you’d find in the city,” he says. “I’m opening up with the feeling of a bazaar, like in Morocco or Turkey, with jewel tones and rich, saturated color. I want this to be a fabulous retail store that people have to come back to time and time again because I plan to stylistically reimagine the space multiple times a year.”
Mele plans on being at the store several times a week, and his mother, Pat, who has worked in Greenwich retail for nearly twenty years, will run the day-to-day. “My goal is to get people excited about coming to a physical shop once again, to enjoy a one-on-one, 360-degree experience that you simply can’t capture through a screen.”
Patrick Mele, 60 William Street, Greenwich; patrickmele.com