DWR – Design Within Reach

Within reach? Ha, within reach for blue bloods possibly, but the only thing I’ve got is a loveable little blue collar honey 🙂

Cost restrictions aside, DWR, which is one of the greatest sources for finding ‘the real thing’ when it comes to modern and mid-century designs, is also one of the greatest sources of inspiration for modern design.

Yes, the likes of West Elm, Crate and Barrel, IKEA and company all provide us with wonderful, more affordable versions of these classic pieces, but at the end of the day, to purists, they’ll always be rip-offs. I’m not on my soap-box people, I’m scheduling my next IKEA visit as we speak, it’s just that I’m not pretending it’s anything other than a stylishly and affordably great little accessories place.

In fact, I’m pretty anti-soapbox, for I figure, if it weren’t for all these affordable versions that I would have grown so fond of, I would have ne’er shown the slightest interest in their origins! Think of it, but for the enthralling cheapness of this great Docksta table at IKEA ($150) I would have never thought to one day acknowledge the great minds and designs of the past century (to the tune of $2,352.00)!


DWR describes itself as “the source for fully licensed classics” which they mean as beingmanufactured by the company holding the license to the original design.”

Here’s some eye-candy from DWR, and some tid-bits of information DWR provides about their ‘original’ designs.


The Cherner Armchair:


‘Although a pioneer in prefab housing, Norman Cherner is best known for his molded plywood seating line he created for –and ultimately sued— the manufacturer, Plycraft. After telling Cherner that his design for what is now known as the Cherner® Chair (1958) had been scrapped, Plycraft’s owner continued to produce it, claiming himself as the designer. The Chair’s popularity soared when it appeared in Norman Rockwell’s 1961 painting “The Artist at Work” on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. While Plycraft agreed to pay Cherner royalties, the line was out of production by the early 1970s. Then Cherner’s sons formed the Cherner Chair Company to revive the designs and produce them as their father originally intended.


The Noguchi table:

noguchiFollowing his apprenticeship with the legendary Constantin Brancusi, sculptor Isamu Noguchi began to experiment in environmental design, theatrical sets and later, product design. Noguchi created his first furniture prototypes for Herman Miller® in 1942 and went on to work with companies such as Steuben and Zenith. The Noguchi Table (1947) conceals nothing; revealing everything about the nature of simplicity. Two simple, smoothly shaped pieces interlock to form a tripod that supports a .75″ thick slab of transparent glass.


The Barcelona Chair:

barcelonaLudwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair and Stool (1929), originally created to furnish his German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona, have come to epitomize modern design. Mies van der Rohe designed the chair to serve as seating for the king and queen of Spain, while the stool was intended to accommodate their attendants.


The LC4 Lounger (Le Corbusier):

lc4LC4 Chaise Longue (1928), dubbed the “relaxing machine,” is a lounge that mirrors the body’s natural curves while appearing to float above its supports. A tubular bow-shaped frame holds a bed of fabric atop a rectilinear steel base. The moveable frame adjusts along the base from upright to full recline with ease, anticipating later ergonomic furniture.


And lastly, remember the old $150 version at IKEA? Well here’s the ‘real deal’, the Saarinen Dining Table:


In a 1956 cover story in Time magazine, Eero Saarinen said he was designing a collection to “clear up the slum of legs in the U.S. home.” Later that year, he completed his Pedestal Table and Tulip™ Chair Collection (1956) and obliterated the “slum” by creating a cast aluminum base inspired by a drop of high-viscosity liquid.


New York – gardening addendum

So along with the beachy/shoppy/seafoody/NYC adventures that I’m sure await me on a roadtrip to New York, allow me to add the following…

A few days past I managed to catch a bit of the Martha Stewart show, which as always, is alternately nauseating (due to the impossible perfection craziness) and inspiring (due to duping me into thinking that I, too, can someday acheive such perfection craziness!).

As the final segment of her show, she brought on a lovely lady, who spoke on behalf of the Wave Hill New York Public Gardens.





It’s officially added to the list! This 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades in the Bronx, is full of gorgeous spaces, art events, concerts, cooking demonstrations, even bee-keeping classes!!!!

Be still my beating heart 🙂

Honeymoon before we Honey-do

So before shacking up, and embarking on the actual real work of my ever-growing Honey-Do list, the honey and I will probably be looking to get hitched and get away from it all for a while.

I took another blow-out European trip last summer, and decided to make the timing coincide with switching energies away from international ticket purchases, and toward finding and building a home. A girl can only do so much! So as far as a honeymoon, we’re definitely looking to do something domestic, and frugal, and fun. While I’ll definitely be adding to my world-travel-to-do list over the next few years – there’s just so much to see and do right here stateside!

Just a quick disclaimer – I may yet fight for the teeniest bit of shore-jumping, just a wee bit over the border to some Carribbean getaway – but otherwise, I think a roadtrip with my honey would be super sweet 😀

We’re pretty well decided on New York – both for a quick stop in the city, but probably more for a campy-roady trip around Long Island.

Did you know there are over 50 vineyards planted on approximately 3000 acres of Long Island??? I had no idea, here’s a list for starters.


And lots of campgrounds, and beaches, and seafood! Ok, so I’ll leave the fire building to my pyromaniac, and he can leave the seafood gorging and beach lazing to me 🙂

Cutchogue Beach in Southoldcutchogue_beach_stairs

the Hamptonshamptonsbeach

Montauk Pointmontauk-beach

Chess Table – Seating

So here’s a rough idea of what the final chess table will be (from GameCorner)

chess table

Once mine is complete, I’m going to figure out the right chair height, and then have to decide what kind of space constraints we’re working with (still house shopping eternally), and then hope to have a comfortable set of chairs to lounge in, drink in, eat in, relax in, oh, and play chess in 🙂

The Cole Chair, $749 from Room&Board


or the Quinn Chair, also from Room& Board


or the Calandria Chair, from Anthropologie, found via CreativeEnvy


or, in case I flop upon a spare few thousand bucks, how about this hugely comfy linen-covered couch from Caravane (you know, to pick up the next I’m in the Marais District in old Pari’  😉 )


Kitchen Renovation Hope

So lucky to have come across the candid commentary, and beautiful progress of the RamblingRenovators blog – makes me excited and hopeful to do great things whenever I do finally have my own place to play with.

Wanted to share their lovely montage of photos from their recent kitchen remodel


Travertine Scrap Ideas

(Honey here) I’m in the middle of doing a massive travertine coated bathroom at work, and have been collecting all of the leftover scraps to re-use. Maybe in a bathroom wall (cutting the scraps into small subway tiles), or doing a random square/rectangle kitchen backsplash?

I’m excited to be able to re-use it, especially since it would otherwise be thrown in the junk pile – hopefully it will come out nicely. While I did upload the picture, I have no idea how to insert it in this post, maybe someone else can do it, *wink* *wink*.


I got your back hon, see lovely photos below  😛

Light travertine subway tile backsplash kitchen found via RamblingRenovators

or how about how about chopping it up to make a tiny square mosaic wall


or some mini travertine bricks in the bathroom


Attics and Wine Corks

Two neat ideas:

1. A fabric alcove in the attic from photographer Paul Massey

2. A wine cask for holding wine corks (my collection is outgrowing it’s vase) from MintDesign