New York vs Los Angeles: An interior designer shares her picks

Ronit Lee, interior decor junkie – Roomorama blog

City guides: Los Angeles and New York

Ronit Lee is an interior decor junkie and a mom to a delicious little girl. She lives in New York, but has been spending time in Los Angeles of late. She shares with us her favourite spots in Los Angeles and New York.

What is your favourite destination to date and why?

There are too many to name and there's one for every holiday type! But recently, LA has become a favourite stop. Its a city that has laid back creativity, yet is plastic fantastic. Gotta love it.

Can you tell us where to eat, drink, party there?

Hinoki and the Bird was one of the best meals I have ever had. Ever. Both Gjelina and Axe (not pronounced as you think!) on Abbott Kinney are good spots. Make sure to get early to Gjelina, it gets busy. Try to grab a table outside in the evening at Axe - if the weather is a bit cooler, there are blankets and a hearth to keep you warm. SugarFish in Santa Monica is an amazing well priced sushi - perfect for a quick (early!) walk-in lunch stop.

Nobu Malibu at sunset is pretty stunning for a drink. And Chateau Marmont of course, any time of the day.

Axe SugarFish

Pictured above: Axe (credit: We Are Handsome), SugarFish (credit: StudioDEX)

As an interior designer in NY, what are some of the stores that you go to find furniture, objects or simply, inspiration?

ABC Home in NY is a mecca - great for textile items and kids gifts.

The Apartment by The Line is pure perfection in their curation of items for the home to art to clothing.

Ochre and Wythe - both in Soho - are two of my favourite spots. Ochre - a London import - has the most beautiful colour palette and furniture; Wyeth is a treasure trove of design finds, be prepared to lose yourself for a little while.

ABC Home Wyeth

Pictured above: ABC Home (credit: AFAR), Wyeth (credit: 1stdibs)

What are your favourite design destinations in NY that you would recommend a visitor to go see and do?

This city has the most incredible world renowned art - You cannot miss Van Gogh's Starry Night and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon at the MOMA.

Neue Galerie is a beautiful Upper East Side building now housing Austrian and German Art. The cafe is one of the best parts.

Neue Galerie

Pictured above: Neue Galerie (credit: usapics)

You live in Tribeca. What are some of your regular spots there?

Tribeca is quiet compared to other downtown neighbourhoods but still central and easy to get to - it's not a tourist stop usually so staying here would be like living like a local. It's on the Hudson river so in the summer it's as close to being out of the city without actually leaving - and the sunsets are phenomenal.

Hang out spots

Shinola on Franklin Street is a good spot to pick up gifts and have a coffee at their in-store cafe, The Smile.

Patron of the New (also on Franklin Street) has unique pieces from both established and up and coming avant gard designers.


My number one spot for brunch or an evening glass of wine is Locanda Verde on Greenwich Street. It's quintessential Tribeca for me.


Luckily there's no sweet shops but when a sugar hit is needed, there's Billy's Bakery on Franklin, and I recently discovered Baked on Church Street. Yum.


The Smile at Shinola and Kaffe 1668 (there's 2 of them) are both good tea / coffee spots, although you can cosy up with a design / fashion magazine at the Smile.

Dining places

Locanda Verde is a staple, Odeon is a classic (the original Balthazar) - great for brunch and super late dinner, and the occasional schnitzel und bier at Blaue Gans.

Shinola entrance Interior of Shinola Billy's Bakery Locanda Verde

Pictured above: Shinola entrance (credit: Jaime Derringer), Interior of Shinola (credit: Val Vanderpool), Billy's Bakery (credit: New York Condo Loft), Locanda Verde (credit: KolorBlind Mag)

Stylish places to stay in downtown Manhattan

This designer loft apartment the perfect base to explore Tribeca, SoHo, Chinatown and more.

Short term rental apartment in downtown Manhattan, New York – Roomorama blog Vacation rental apartments in New York – Roomorama blog Holiday rental apartment in downtown Manhattan, New York – Roomorama blog Rental apartments in downtown Manhattan, New York – Roomorama blog

Visiting Manhattan? Check out more places to stay downtown on Roomorama.