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On location: Where is gwendoland?

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Life takes a U-turn into Usonia.

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Reisley House, 1952, by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo: Roland Reisley

Imagine driving through a neighborhood of midcentury modern homes, admiring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Resnick, David Henken and others. You playfully say to your mate, “That’s my favorite. That’s the one I would want,” before finding out that it’s for sale. A few months later, you’re living in it. That’s how one modern-day couple – an architect and a designer – came to live in Usonia, a very special community of 47 homes in Westchester County, New York.

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Benjamin Henken House, 1949, by David Henken. Photo: Roland Reisley

“It was like discovering a midcentury Brigadoon,” says one, referring to Alan Jay Lerner’s story about a mysterious village that appears for only one day every hundred years. Fortunately, Usonia has stood on the same spot for 65 years, and the people who love it are going to make sure that it never disappears. “You can feel the sense of community,” she continues. “It’s woven into the landscape.”

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Kahn House, 1962, by Aaron Resnick. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

David Henken, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, initiated the idea for this cooperative housing community in 1943. A year later, he and his wife Priscilla had 13 families interested in being part of “the Usonian dream,” which they described as: creating a more fulfilling community life than they’d known previously, being part of a community of caring neighbors and living in harmony with one’s surroundings.

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Craving culture? Exhibitions to see now.

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Pauline Trigere, French (1909 – 2002). Cape and Dress, 1971. Gift of Bobbie Haas

From fashion in Phoenix to seeing the future in New York to time machines at MIT, there is richness to enjoy everywhere. Here are the must-see exhibitions happening around the country.

ARIZONA

Phoenix Art Museum
The Cape

MASSACHUSETTS

Peabody Essex Museum
Toshio Shibata, Constructed Landsapes

MIT Museum
Stanley Greenberg: Time Machines

ILLINOIS

Chicago History Museum
Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair - Through Jan. 5

Art Institute of Chicago
Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture, and Cuisine

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William J. McCloskey. Wrapped Oranges, 1889. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Katrine Deakins, Trustee, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1961–1985.

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Call for entries: The DWR Champagne Chair Contest™.

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Last year's winning entry.

Be the toast of the town! To enter, create a miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork from no more than two champagne bottles. A panel of DWR champagne and chair experts will judge the chairs, and three winners will receive a DWR Gift Card.

The deadline for submissions is January 14. Learn more at dwr.com/champagnechair. #dwrchampagnechair

Palm Springs Premiere: "Nobody Famous Ever Lived Here."

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Tickets are now available to the Palm Springs premiere of this film about Case Study House No. 22, aka the Stahl House, designed by Pierre Koenig. Built in 1960, this extraordinarily minimal house demonstrated how industrial materials could be used to create an affordable, inviting home (the stunning Hollywood Hills setting didn’t hurt). Today it’s one of the most famous private homes in the world. The film includes never-before-published photographs and home movies from the Stahl archives.

Palm Springs Premiere: February 15 at the Hilton Hotel. Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with the director of the film, Steven Slomkowski.

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Sweetest gingerbread house, er, museum.

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The folks at Architizer were treated to impressive examples of architectural, engineering and baking skills as they reviewed the entries for their second annual Gingerbread Competition. The winner was the Aarhus Group's interpretation of the Guggenheim Museum, complete with sugar-spun "glass" roof. Frank Lloyd Wright would be very pleased. Click here to see the top 10 entries.

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Throwback Thursday: Ladies and Gentlemen, start your Champagne Chairs!

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On the cover of our April 2004 catalog, we toasted the success of our first DWR Champagne Chair Contest. This year’s contest starts tomorrow, which means that you now have a great reason to crack open the bubbly tonight (or right now … it’s the holidays, after all). In general, designers, it works like this: Make a miniature chair using only the wire cage, foil, paper and cork from no more than two champagne bottles. Seems simple enough, but check the official rules before you rush ahead and risk wasting a perfectly good bottle, if that’s even possible.  Then uncork your creativity and raise a toast to great design!Champagnechairs

Three days only: Save an additional 20% at DWR Outlet.

WHEN:
Thursday, December 26
Friday, December 27
Saturday, December 28

Open 10am–6pm daily.

WHERE:
DWR Outlet
55 Hartz Way
Secaucus, NJ

Finish your holiday shopping at the DWR Outlet.

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Stop by the DWR Outlet in Secaucus for fantastic deals on fabulous gift items, including Louis Ghost Chairs, Flight Recliners, Line Credenzas, even Eames Lounge Chairs (topping wish lists for 57 years).  

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You can also find DWR Outlet merchandise at dwr.com/ebay.

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Be Original event: Why care about original design?

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As advocates of authentic modern design, DWR and Be Original Americas recently hosted a discussion at our Miami Design District Studio about why authenticity matters. Be Original was founded last year to promote the preservation of authentic design and its future.

The panel comprised a lineup of influential figures in the world of original design, who commented on topics ranging from what causes knockoff culture to how we can foster original design today. To read Dave Pinter’s review of the discussion and to see great photos of the panel and Studio, click here.

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Design Within Reach is proud to join the founding members of Be Original Americas – including Cassina, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and others – in helping to combat counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’ve been vetted to be a retailer of authentic goods.

How Batman test-drives a task chair.

 

Thank you Sarah Johnson for showing us how Batman finds the perfect task chair. See more Art of Sarah J on Tumblr.

 

Throwback Thursday: ’Tis the season to celebrate the chair!

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On the cover of our December 2005 catalog, we had some fun with Philippe Starck‘s Louis Ghost Chair, wrapping it with twine and stringing it with lights. It was our way of celebrating not just that chair but The Chair. Our way of saying, we know chairs, we get chairs, we love chairs! Chairs of every kind! From reclining, rocking and lounge to dining, outdoor and desk. Stop by your local DWR Studio to join us for a celebratory sit-in with dozens of authentic modern chairs waiting for a test drive.

 P.S. Save 15%–60% now on overstocked, discontinued and clearance items, including chairs.

Globus wishes for glorious Christmas.

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Our friends at Stua are having fun with the launch of the Globus Chair with new white frame. Starting January 1, you can special order it through a DWR Studio or by calling us at 1.800.944.2233.

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Of course, colouricious Globus is also available, in stock and ready to ship at DWR.

 

There's no place like home.

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Photo: Sharon Risedorph Photography, San Francisco.

The beautiful and huge new DWR San Francisco Studio on Kansas Street is now open, just a few blocks from our previous location on Alameda. Tap your heels together three times and come home to the best in authentic modern design.

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Photo: Sharon Risedorph Photography, San Francisco.

NEW | DWR SAN FRANCISCO
200 Kansas St.
Parking available in front of the building.

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Photo: Sharon Risedorph Photography, San Francisco.

 

Throwback Thursday: A bright Swan says goodbye to Free Standard Shipping.

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On the cover of our December 2007 catalog, we pictured Arne Jacobsen’s Swan Chair in bright red above the call to “Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.” If ever there were a time when a bright red chair would be needed to raise spirits, it’d be now, with all the snow this week across much of the United States. And if ever there were a time to save on such a chair, it’d also be now, before free standard shipping disappears like, well, so much melting snow.

Enjoy free standard shipping on the Swan Chair at DWR, ending today.

DWR West Hollywood now open!

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Eames Lounge Chair and Grasshopper Lamp greeting customers to our new space.

The DWR Studio at 8612 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood occupies a new building with a two-story glass façade that invites a look inside. Unique features include a large Light Cloud of pendant fixtures, the Design Library Swatch Wall and 25 full-room vignettes.

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The new Studio is right at home in the neighborhood, which lies within the West Hollywood Design District and La Cienega Design Quarter, two areas dedicated to art, fashion, dining and design. Stop by for a tour of our beautiful new space. We look forward to seeing you.

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Atlas Table named Best of Year by Interior Design magazine.

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Atlas Table shown with Malena Armchair

Best of Year! We’re proud to announce that the Atlas Table received Interior Design magazine’s top honor for 2013 in the side table category. Designed by Brad Ascalon, the Table was inspired by Atlas, the Greek mythological character condemned for eternity to carry the heavens on his shoulders. Translating this into a physical object, Ascalon was intrigued by the challenge of making an elegant frame that could carry the weight of solid stone. The Altas Table, like Atlas himself, exemplifies strength and endurance. Congratulations to Brad Ascalon and the DWR Product Development Team!

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Brad Ascalon at last night's award ceremony.
 

Throwback Thursday: Long-running lounge act headlines Herman Miller Sale.

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Take our chair — please! (Ba-dump-bump!) With apologies to Henny Youngman, we’re not joking about the Eames Lounge Chair, one of the most recognizable and comfortable pieces of modern design ever. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its release, we featured it on the cover of our May 2006 catalog. Now, seven years later, we’re still celebrating and booking the “longest-running lounge act ever” in our catalogs, on our website and in our Studios, where you can take one for a test drive.

P.S. Save 15% and enjoy free shipping on the Eames Lounge Chair during the Herman Miller Sale at DWR.

Opening this week: DWR West Hollywood!

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The DWR Studio at 8612 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood occupies a new building with a two-story glass façade that invites a look inside. Unique features include a large Light Cloud of pendant fixtures, the Design Library Swatch Wall, 25 full-room vignettes, outdoor and café solutions, and a private meeting room for clients and their designers. The new Studio is right at home in the neighborhood, which lies within the West Hollywood Design District and La Cienega Design Quarter, two areas dedicated to art, fashion, dining and design.

Our team is working around the clock to get this beautiful new space open by the end of the week. Stop by and say hello!

Portland Studio hosts Gray magazine party and wreath raffle.

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Wreath by Andi Kovel of Esque Studio

You’re invited to a special evening at the DWR Portland Studio to celebrate with Gray magazine. From now until the party, the Studio will be displaying designers’ interpretations of the concept of a "wreath." From a metallic glass loop to braided wool stuffed with birdseed, these innovative designs were created for Gray magazine’s second annual Wreath Design Competition.

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Wreath by Emerick Architects

Purchase a raffle ticket at the party for a chance to take a wreath home with you. Proceeds will go to P:ear, a local nonprofit that mentors homeless youth.

RSVP to [email protected]
Gray Magazine Anniversary Party
Thursday, December 5, 6–9pm
DWR Portland Studio
1200 NW Everett St.
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503.220.0200

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Featured Articles

02.24.14   Beadle-built and beloved in Arizona.
12.27.13   On location: Where is gwendoland?
12.27.13   Life takes a U-turn into Usonia.
11.26.13   Giving thanks for Paolo Soleri.
10.28.13   The Gift of Know-How.



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