By Michelle Graff

Coming from California, I'm used to even the fanciest stores maintaining a laid-back feel, and now that I live in the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, I find the stores have a similar quality. But when I head to Manhattan's Upper East Side, it's another story—I feel out of my element amongst modern-day chic. But Manfredi's new New York City flagship store on Park Avenue, wedged between 57th and 58th Streets, reveals a cozy atmosphere that is easy to relax in. The store even has a guest book.

While the fine-jewelry store is very chic, fitting with the company it keeps, it's also very comfortable, exuding a ski lodge mixed with an upscale lounge feel. The lighting is soft as is the music (think Norah Jones). The store also uses a mixture of interesting materials to generate this cozy feeling; for example, the floor is made of both stone and leather.

It's not so surprising that the store employs different materials in its design since jewelry designer Giulio Manfredi is known to mix the type of gold used in his pieces. The cuts and shapes of the stones are eclectic too, as are the chains, with many pieces reflecting movement.

Luxury jewelry stores could just be the latest place to relax if they follow Manfredi's example. Watch out Starbucks.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.