Deep in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there's a design-minded housewares store stocked with innovative, gorgeous works. Since the day the shop opened in September 2003, its influence has been growing exponentially. With satisfying precision, the boutique is named the Future Perfect, and thanks to its dynamic young owner-founder, Dave Alhadeff, it's become the epicenter of what is often called the Brooklyn Boom.
Williamsburg has clearly changed from its '90s incarnation as a ghetto for tattooed hipsters into a vibrant place that's fairly bursting with creative types—including chefs—priced out of Manhattan. Alhadeff, who grew up in Washington State, where his family owns the well-respected Apex Cellars, landed in Williamsburg in 1999. "I wasn't really looking for retail space in Brooklyn," he admits. "Then I saw this location and thought it could work." Alhadeff also admits, quite cheerfully, that he was totally winging it. He had little formal design training, and his business plan consisted mainly of a desire to promote lesser-known talents. Many of the exciting young men and women Alhadeff discovered turned out to be firmly based within a few-block radius of his new store on North Sixth Street. The Future Perfect became their local hangout, and Alhadeff their ideal host.
These designers, especially the Williamsburgers among them, produce all kinds of cult objects. Sarah Cihat turns out wildly popular thrift-store plates reglazed with horses, daggers and hearts, and Jason Miller is famous for his hilarious, beautiful ceramic-antler chandeliers. These two designers, part of the Future Perfect's inner circle, recently came to a dinner party at Alhadeff's loft overlooking the Williamsburg Bridge. Their work is prominently featured in the apartment: Miller's Little Gift, a porcelain Hostess cupcake created for Alhadeff's birthday, sits on Miller's Dusty Table, a handsome wood number with a disconcerting finish that mimics, well, dirt. "Jason was one of the first designers I met in 2001," recalls Alhadeff. "He totally grilled me." Miller laughs: "I remember a pleasant conversation over a drink." "No! You were totally grilling me!" repeats Alhadeff. "I was not!" counters Miller. "I just wanted to understand what you were doing."