Design Within Reach, the modern furniture retailer that developed a nasty habit of knocking off famous designs, has taken one more step toward reviving its ailing business and repositioning itself as a trustworthy brand with authentic products.
Ten years ago the fashionable destination for design-minded travelers was the Guggenheim at Bilbao, where Frank Gehry's titanium acrobatics famously cast their spell. When design tourists pack their black clothing this month they will more likely head to Barcelona or Stockholm. Next year it may be Belgium. That's right, Belgium may be the next the design destination. The country prides itself on maintaining a discrete, lowlands profile, but it has quietly gained influence.
Ask yourself: Would you live in a house made of sh*t? What about one made from hemp? Could you see yourself working in an office building comprised of recycled shipping containers? Architects and designers are finding strange, but ingenious ways, of rethinking where we spend our days working and living.
One of the great joys of living in Palisades, New York, is that it is teaming with wildlife. When I saw the Peanut Birdfeeder in the "Design Within Reach" catalog, it looked way too beautiful to actually work. I was skeptical, but decided to spend the $90 to give it a try.