Modern Minimalism is my safe, genuinely happy place. All those beautiful lines, nothing wasted, just gorgeous, functional design, perfectly proportioned even at proportioned play, and crafted in amazing materials.
Maybe ask Shana about my love of a clean line, of well-organized function, of well-edited and gently layered design…of, well, just about everything one sets eyes on. If you asked, I’m sure you’d get the exasperated but loving eye-roll. It goes deep, my love, I promise you.
Design Within Reach Is Having Their Semiannual Sale!!!
Yes, that is a three-explanation-point, bold-type, big font-worthy statement. These are not bargains, these are not the well-priced affordable knock-offs. These are the actual modern design pieces and investments you make if and when you can, and cherish forever. The “within reach” part is not about the price; it’s about a logistical accessibility that doesn’t require us to go to marketplaces in the largest cities, manufacturers in states that aren’t our own, to Europe or to auction houses to find, order, wait, ship, and wait some more for modern pieces. Part of that accessibility is just the webs. Part of that accessibility is the editing of the selection. This is the accessibility “within reach” referenced in DWR.
No this isn’t a sponsored post. DWR is just a favorite retailer, and the only junk mail paper catalogue I actually open and flip through, and sometimes hold on to for a while before recycling. They don’t sale often. So when they do…if there’s something you’ve had your eye and heart on, and have been saving for…now is the time. Here are 10 of my favorites and why:
1/ Esker Rug: Made by Woven, a generational family business. This rug is hand knotted. In rug world and pricing, that impacts price and quality. Hand knotted is a good thing, and of great value. This one features alternating lines (here goes my love of a line) of flat weave (which looks clean and lovely but isn’t always so cushy under foot) and cut pile (which on its own often doesn’t look quite special enough yet feels so good to walk on.) Yes, this will last. No, this is not a throw-it-away-in-5-years rug. It’s more of a rug that your kids claim as part of their specific inheritance, if they are kids who also love design, clean lines, and well-grounded spaces.
2/ Note Barstool: Take note: comes in three sizes: chair, counter stool, bar stool. And in three finishes. Every time I think I love Ash best, the Light Grey says ‘hold that thought’, and then I bounce back to basic Black. They are all beautiful. It just depends on where they are going, which is best in context. All of them were worked and reworked for comfort and durability. And they are absolutely both.
3/ Salt Chair: City Dwellers and Large Family people…this one is for you…two words: compact footprint. It’s a classic Shaker design, (we’re all together on the salt shaker fun with names here, yes?) but with more compact legs therefore less space wasted. How often have I had the ‘how many stools/chairs can I fit?” conversation? Where the explanation is, “the architect drew in stools/chairs that have a 16″-18″ footprint, and you are loving stools that have a 20″-30″ footprint…it’s just a math equation.” Typically people gravitate to more comfortable appearing and larger footprint seating. Thankfully there are solutions that balance both wishes. Comes in all the fun colors, but I think I love the Salt most in Grey.
4/ Story Bookcase: So let me tell you a story about this bookcase: It’s AJ’s favorite thing in his room (furniture-wise.) It’s where his prized comic book collection lives. We couldn’t have come up with a better solution for those, given that they neither stack nor stand well, their volume, and his love of reading them over, and over, and over and therefore needing to be able to grab them from smaller piles. It comes in two sizes; he has a tall one. And three colors; his is white. You can position the shelves to the front or to the sides; his are to the front. It’s just super-smart design, and it’s also a beautiful sculptural display piece —from which the kid can easily access and return to rest all of those comic books. Obviously shelves anything you like…we just love it for comic books best.
5/ Solapa Slim Table: So…is simple in a good way your thing too? Or do you like to complicate simple to perfection with layers of simple? This table comes in two heights as a coffee table, and two heights in its Slim Form. And in multiple finishes. So first…there’s one that will fit your space and the height of your sofa among them. But then also, if you really want to have some fun, maybe layer them? And maybe in different finishes? So simply, beautiful. In a not-even-complicated, super-fun and functional, simple in the best of ways, way.
6/ About A Stool: It’s the stool that tells the story of a stool. I’ll give you the notes: it’s comfortable. That gently curved-just-so seat…is actually comfortable. Not all stools are. This one is special.
7/ Loll Adirondack Chair: It’s no TME secret that Loll makes my favorite outdoor furniture AND that I have an outdoor furniture special affection for an Adirondack chair. There are good reasons for this: 1-No cushions needed. They are designed so well that they are perfectly comfortable, just as they are, for hours of sunny days and long summer nights on end. 2-They are made, here in The States, of entirely recycled materials. Mostly milk jugs. No joke. 3-Yes, some assembly is required, it’s minimal, I promise (pun intended) however, once assembled, the key difference between these and all of the other waterproof, fade-resistant, maintenance-free similarly styled chairs is that you don’t see any hardware/screws. The fasteners are all stainless steel, and they are hidden in the design. It’s a small detail. But a really big one too. And yes, the whole collection is on sale! Not just my favorite chair, but all its relatives too!
8/ Grasshopper Floor Lamp: Why does this cost so much you ask? It’s authentic. It’s a Grossman. If woman-in-a-man’s-world-feminism and immigration success stories of the 40s and 50s inspire you, read her’s. And then you’ll want an ‘actual’ Grossman Grasshopper too. Because she stands for something. Lots of things, really. And then when you look at your lamp, you’ll think of her and your room and your heart will both light-up.
9/ Carrie Portable LED Lantern: These are just pops of functional fun that bring me and the kids joy. Grace especially, my 6-year-old who has a relatively new-found fear of the dark. The kid just needs a little comfort and warmth in the form of a light that travels with her when it needs to. Kid Hygge at its best. And also looks lovely on an outdoor dining table or seating area for adult extra cozy too.
10/ Menu Pedal Bin: Isn’t trash bin just a better phrase than trash can? And there are better bins. My definition of which is that you don’t want to hide it, b/c it’s good looking, plus you don’t need to hide it b/c the lid closes well, and the pedal works — quietly. They are expensive. So maybe you aren’t buying these in bulk for every room of your house. But maybe, if there’s a place where the bin needs to live, and will be seen, this is a good investment.
The story of each designer/producer is included on the DWR site in the item description. There are some really fun ones if you have a minute to read about ‘where’ and ‘how’ each of these things came to be and about the people behind them. Some of those stories are included in the catalogue, if you also haven’t recycled yours yet.