Museum stores aren't top of mind when it comes to shopping for kitchenware, but don't forget about the MoMA store, the retail arm of the famous New York modern art museum. The store charges itself to help us find "design for living" and they do a pretty good job of it.
The best find for cooks in the MoMA Store doen't come from their kitchen section. Instead, look for their special department for Muji, the Japaneese "no logo" company.
Muji makeup boxes can be used to organize kitchen cabinets into sections, as the October issue of Real Simple explained.
For example, I used a small Muji makeup box stacked on top of a large one to keep my baking supplies together. Now the vanilla extract and lemon flavoring can't get lost behind the cereal boxes and the baking powder and baking soda can't get seperated anymore. The clean design, reasonable price and neutral color of the Muji collection make it fit for kitchen duty. Muji sells a true kitchen line in the UK; let's hope they bring it here.
In the kitchen and tabletop section, there are some stand out design statements. Check out the Happy Spoons. They are designed to hold an individual slurp of an amuse-bouche. Serving these tiny treats before dinner is a new trend for home cooks and these spoons seem like a fun way to get in on the game.
You wouldn't be able to stock an entire kitchen at the MoMA store. Some of their items push high design, but don't make much sense, like the olive plate/game. Still, check MoMA out for individual items to pep up your pantry.
The MoMA store has two locations: Soho and a shop across the street from the museum on West 53rd Street, but to avoid the crowds and make sure you find all the kitchen items, you might be better off to shop the website. Don't forget to dig around the sale section.
(store photo: Kramchang)