Grandin Road: Outdoor Furniture & Storage

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The suburbs are getting hipper. Let's face it, most of the mail order furniture catalogues that come through the door are full of tasteless junk. In addition to which, all of it is far too big for any apartment in this city. I have cancelled most of the catalogues I used to get, but skim new ones just to see if anything has changed. Grandin Road just came through my door last week (maybe yours too), and it has two things to recommend it: one, it's prices are very competitive and two, it has a few cool things like the metal glider pictured above. Owned by Frontgate, a larger, mail order company that is sprouting new offshoots monthly (including Gentleman's Domain, and Splash Pool & Spa), Grandin Road specializes in storage and outdoor furniture. A few of their cool ideas include: Brazilian Cherry wood furniture that is much cheaper than teak (2 chairs for $350), a 20-hole storage organizer identical to Martha Stewart's but for 40% less ($179), and a handy little magnetic room planner that allows you to try furniture in your room without moving it all around ($174). This catalogue is still full of silly, house filler, but it is worth referring to when you need something specific and are looking for a good price. MGR

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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.