Minimal at Work. In addition to their Nook Bed, Minneapolis-based Blu Dot is selling their new Desk 51 in October. Available in hot-hot red or a more basic grey and ivory combination, the stylish desk features an integrated keyboard tray...
The Desk 51 sells for $699 from Design Public and directly from Blu Dot.
• Blu Dot's Nook Bed• Top 10: Writing Desks• Workspace• Desks
Blu Dot continues to amaze me at their cleverness. Not only do they offer great, practical, fresh designs, they price everything just a *smidge* beyond the justifiable/affordable. Perhaps by 15-20%. Nothing seems outrageously priced, but nothing is exactly a bargain either. I think this is the only thing preventing me from turning my house into a Blu Dot showroom.
I had the same reaction. Normally, I can understand higher prices for certain designer pieces--they tend to be labor-intensive and of higher quality materials. This desk has no drawers (labor intensive) and is very simple in shape (no carvings, round or other oddly-shaped pieces). It is beautiful no doubt (that red is hot) but has an Ikea look to it. So how is this priced $700? Perhaps I am missing something?
Doesn't look like anything I recall seeing at Ikea. I think it is a great piece and reasonably priced.
I wonder how hard it'd be to make one of these using IKEA parts?
I think all there items are made in the USA. So the prices are great, being that thay dont use cheap overseas labor. And the designs I think will be classics in the future.
PERFECT!I'd love to see this done with plywood worktops.
moddog... I hope what you say is true about the Made in the USA aspect of Blu Dot. I agree that this definitely provides some (but not total) justification for the price. I have lately been on a bit of a Made in the USA kick, and I've been appalled by the sheer quantity of stuff made in China. Or even components made in China but assembled in the U.S. I am willing to pay a premium for American products, not only because it is good for the economy, but I truly believe that, with the exception of cars, they are generally higher in quality.
I concur with HejiraNYC: the pieces are breathtaking in their simplicity, but the pleasure evaporates when one learns the price. Unless the joints are meticulously welded and ground or the finishes are durable beyond belief, these pieces remain too costly. Other suggestions (about replicating the designs with IKEA components) are heading in the right direction. I wish Blu Dot's palette was a bit broader, too.
They are opening a big showroom at ABC Carpet this fall.
Every time these companies open an outlet in NYC, my gut reaction is, ugh, sales tax. I wonder if we would have to pay sales tax on their stuff ordered on the internet if they open this showroom in ABC.
Love it. I showed it around work and at least two people pointed out the Prouve esque legs as their favorite elements. Pretty tempted to replace my boring Jerker desks with these.
I guess that's what I meant--I understand the Made in USA bit, but it's such a simple shape without the kinds of detail that would normally justify a price hike. But it's made of steel (ok, that's $$) and MDF (not so $$). In a totally non-sarcastic way, what kind of labor is involved to create this type of design? Seems to me that $400-500 would be a more appropriate price range. Overall, I do agree that it's a beautiful piece.
I didn't find the price to be particularly exorbitant considering that Blu Dot is a tiny tiny company next to the likes of Ikea, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel. Most boutique furniture operations would charge 2 - 2.5 times the Blu Dot price simply because they need to in order to continue paying the bills. Small and medium sized furniture companies simply don't have the scale to load up big cargo containers of chinese made furniture and sell them in volume at cut rate prices in your local mall. On the upside, for a 10-15% premium, your desk won't look just like everyone elses.
RichardinLa--that makes a lot of sense. Thanks.
I know what D in DC means. It looks similar to the Muddus table from IKEA. The Muddus wasn't designed to be a desk but it could. Put two together, cut and lacquer a piece of wood to lay across the braces underneath and voila! Unfortunately, it seems they no longer sell the red one online but you can see it here.
Given the qaulity of their design I'm gpoing to accept RichardinLA's comment - he's right about the economies of scale and Blu Dot is a small group worth supporting. Maybe AT will start a feature on small design companies to invest in?
I think the people that are criticizing pricing aren't noticing the gap that Blu Dot is quietly filling here: It's the not-so-mythical, mile-wide gap between those two lovable acronyms, IKEA and DWR.In the current market - where money-comes-second things like 'green' and 'non-outsourcing' are becoming more and more important - they're a godsent and haggling over $100-$200 really doesn't do the situation much justice.Sure, they're after money. But they seem to be doing this with non-foreign labor (or a limited amount of foreign labor, it's not like we know much about the product), with materials like MBR and steel. They're filling a gap. They're doing subtle nods to the classics (i.e. Prouvé).All I'm saying — keep an eye on these guys. I'm sure that the space they live in — the post-IKEA environment — will be an interesting world to watch in the next few years.
Eargang, I agree completely with your post. And my post was not necessarily a knock against Blu Dot; rather, it was a compliment on their pricepoints. Low enough to be somewhat "affordable," but just a smidge beyond the reasonable. And they do this with scary consistency and precision. I also like the fact that their designs are eclectic and are not watered down for mass appeal; they have a singular vision and you are either into it or not. I suppose that helps to justify the pricepoint as well.It should also be mentioned that the owner of the company also developed the FlatPak prefab house, which is quite wonderful. And, like Blu Dot, it's not insanely expensive, but it is just a bit beyond the affordable for most people.
This product is not made in the US.
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