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We all know about reality TV, but now reality shopping has arrived. Last week, Astragal's New York spy sneaked in to the opening of 'BY', a new showroom and interior design service from Italian designer Piero Lissoni. Lissoni has transformed a topfloor SoHo loft into a sumptuous apartment, fully appointed with pieces from the Boffi, Living Divani and Porro collections.

The showroom is sprinkled with accoutrements like newspapers and DVDs, and engaging with the furnishings is encouraged.

As Astragal's spy kicked off her Salvatore Ferragamos and sank into the creamy leather sofa, she felt ready to snatch up the entire store. But with the Corian 'Po' bathtub running at about $25,000 (£12,700), her wallet rapidly saw sense.

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