Afternoon Light is a new online destination for design discovery

Afternoon Light online shop launches with an eclectic selection of design brands big and small

Afternoon light online shop selection, featuring vases with flowers
A selection of vases from Afternoon Light. From left: Minh Singer, $315, Base Ceramics, $140, Karen G Tinney, $210, and Studio Sachi, $140
(Image credit: Courtesy Afternoon Light)

Minya Quirk and Deirdre Maloney, the co-founders of Afternoon Light, know that it's no easy feat to find good design on a budget. Which is why they created a curated e-commerce platform that makes modern classics and covetable one-of-a-kind pieces as accessible as objects from rising independent designers. Bringing together an impressive range of recognisable brands and niche makers across categories as varied as furniture and lighting to pets and gifts, Afternoon Light is a welcome destination for discovery, regardless of whether you’re a design aficionado or not.

Afternoon Light: a mix and match of great design

embroidered napkins from Afternoon light online shop

Embroidered napkins for Otakara NYC, $200 (set of 4)

(Image credit: Courtesy Afternoon Light)

‘When we imagined Afternoon Light, it was because we couldn’t find a place online to shop the best up-and-coming independent companies and big, established brands across a wide spectrum of home décor and furniture all in one place. We were tired of bouncing down the rabbit hole of social media and hitting dead ends, then ending up at the same big box retailer sites over and over,’ explains Quirk, who was previously a fashion and footwear writer. 

‘We built Afternoon Light as a place we’d like to shop, first and foremost. We’re not design experts or industry insiders, but we like cool stuff and when we shop we want the best quality, plus compelling reasons to buy things, and a range of options across both aesthetic and price point. I’m a big high-low shopper and I’m of the opinion that like clothing, home décor should be fun and used to express individual style.’

Menorah from Afternoon light online shop

Challah Menorah by Janie Korn, $475

(Image credit: Courtesy Afternoon Light)

‘We were fashion people first, and accustomed to the plethora of multi-label e-commerce sites with a solid and dependable point of view that offer everything from underwear to formalwear at a single address,’ adds Maloney, a former buyer who has worked with Quirk for almost 18 years, first launching the fashion trade show Capsule together in 2004, and then the more curated home and gift trade show, Shoppe Object in 2018.

‘When we started working in the home industry, it was kind of shocking to find that the same didn’t exist here. There are some great home and design e-commerce sites of course, but they are limited in scope and not the one-stop-shop with lots of variety that we want Afternoon Light to be. When I shop for anything, I want a bunch of options that have been vetted by someone I trust. Basically, I want the hard work done for me – what’s the best console, where are cool throw pillows that aren’t from a mega retailer, who makes the nicest flatware? – and that’s what we are trying to deliver. We want the Afternoon Light customer to know that whether it’s a $6 set of sponges or a $24,000 daybed, everything on our site is authentic, looks great, is built to last, and was probably touched or conceived by a person with an interesting story,’ she says.

Vase with three-ringed handle from Afternoon light online shop

Vase by Base Ceramics, $140

(Image credit: Courtesy Afternoon Light)

Quirk and Maloney have put their combined expertise into making Afternoon Light memorable ‘from a vibe perspective’. Maloney says, ‘We’ve always liked doing things a bit differently. In this case it’s editing, merchandising, curating, shopkeeping, but also seeing who’s doing something cool, giving them a place to do it; and championing stuff we really like has always been what moves us.’ 

In the Afternoon Light world, vases and silverware from Georg Jensen comfortably sit next to Slash Objects’ statuesque ‘Adri’ chair and hand-embroidered chambray napkins by Satoshi Suzuki, featuring iconic emblems of New York. These napkins are just one example among a slew of exclusive collaborations on the site, including a shower curtain and bathmat duo featuring a photograph of tulips by Shaniqwa Jarvis and a Black Power Kitchen bar cart by Ghetto Gastro for USM.

Afternoon light online shop selection

Bath Mat by Shaniqwa Jarvis, $49

(Image credit: Courtesy Afternoon Light)

‘Again, we bring our heavy influence from the fashion industry, where collaborations and exclusive products have reigned supreme and driven desire for products for decades now,’ Maloney explains. ‘The question we asked people repeatedly when building this site was “where would you go to buy a cool lamp (or table or plates)?” The answers were varied but basically no one had a clue. So, when we think about exclusives, we’re trying to answer that question for people: you go to Afternoon Light.’

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.