Blu Dot

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From Minnesota with levity.... So we were walking around the ICFF with the Edge Modern gang and complaining that the general scene lacked humor. Why is everyone so Serious, we wondered? That's when they began to rave about these designers from Minneapolis. Arriving at the pavillion in question, we were met by a wall-size photograph of a simple, modernist couch and coffee table bedraped by three gloriously gaudy, jewerly-laden matrons of a certain age and distinctly Miami Beach aesthetic. Nice. Turns out the award-winning Blu Dot has been around since 1996 and is the entrepreneurial creation of "three Williams College friends trained in architecture and art." They distribute through a number of national retailers, but you can also buy direct via their swank Flash website (same prices.) Their motto? "Design you can actually afford." And you can. Their most expensive pieces are $1599, they have plenty of items below $500. Also nice. The stuff is well-made, and stylish in a kind of updated Eames-y sort of way: simple wood and clever metal, with warm but subtle colors. This is modern design, so we're not talking cosy, but the pieces are smart -- and they have that essential hint of humor -- so we expect they will age well. OHR

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