DWR: Design Within Reach

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DWR has aged gracefully with only a few bumps along the way. Founded with the mission of making modern furniture accessible, they've delivered, spread like Starbucks and experimented with what modern means. They also went public, introduced modern bedding and kids stuff, ditched them, lost money and then lost founder, Rob Forbes. Ouch, that hurt. Now they've tried to return to their roots promoting original, great design...

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Hitting hard at promoting the designs and the designers, you'll find great pieces at DWR in a limited range of colors and fabrics (that's how they keep them in stock). You'll also find them expanding again. With Airstream trailers, The Kithaus and a new Tools for Living line, look for new "Tools" stores to be popping up soon to deliver a knockout punch to MoMA's and design shops everywhere.

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Started by the San Francisco modern furniture mafia in the late nineties, DWR is great modern antidote to Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel when you need one.

Specializing in classic modern designs, the once strictly-catalog vendor now has three six SEVEN stores in New York and is the local place to go for modern furniture staples -- sofas, beds, and an impressive selection of "seating solutions."

A typical DWR sofa will run you between $2,000 to $3,000. Look also for their handsome mirrors & the famous Eames plywood chair.

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Problems? DWR has rapidly expanded to become one stop shopping for the modern design world and it has had three effects:

1. their service is excellent as they aim to please, but
2. their collection is fairly stable and not a great deal of quirkyness sneaks in, and
3. their prices are on the high side. If you dig around you can find many of their pieces elsewhere for less, but you won't get the service and the quick shipping.

NYMetro says: DWR, of mail-order fame, offers modern-design classics from newcomers like Shin and Tomoko Azumi and old masters like Marcel Breuer, Mies Van der Rohe, and Jean Prouve.

>> Go To Original DWR Post
(Updated from 2005-08-08 - MGR)
(First reviewed on 3.3.04)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.