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First Look: Design Within Reach at Galleria


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Design Within Reach's new Galleria retail showroom

Courtesy Design Within Reach Galleria

Furniture maker Joybird’s design blog Canvas recently compiled Google Trends data on the top-three most-searched interior design styles, by state, and translated it into a map that illustrate the number-one most-searched home interior style in the state. For Minnesota, it was mid-century modern--something that should come as no surprise to Twin Citians. After all, our state is full of authentic, mid-century modern architecture, a movement heralded by iconic Minnesota architects Ralph Rapson and Carl Graffunder.

With the recent opening of Design Within Reach's massive new retail showroom at Edina's Galleria shopping center, Minnesotan fans of the style now have a place to shop for authentic mid-century modern designs. The store, which is part of Galleria’s ongoing expansion, features 40 room vignettes designed in partnership with New York-based architecture firm DFA and dramatic lighting by Light Studio LA.

DWR fans may remember the store's previous location in Uptown, which closed about four years ago. That was only about 2,000 square feet, while the new one is 18,000 square feet, so it's much larger footprint. It's actually the second largest DWR location in the company.

There's a lot of product on the DWR Galleria showroom floor that hasn't been shown at other DWR locations, such as the Malm Fireplace, previously available only on the DWR website. "We're sort of an experiment store in that regard, because they didn't know necessarily what Minnesota wanted at this point, so they gave us a really good collection of everything," says Brieann Thelen, an account executive at DWR Galleria.

Product on the showroom floor is a mix of proprietary goods created by DWR's team and authentic, mid-century modern. There's nothing inspired by or knocking off mid-century modern designs—you'll only find the real deal here. We're talking Charles and Ray Eames, Norm Architects, Herman Miller, Knoll, Cassina, Vitra, Muuto, Fritz Hansen, and Duluth-based outdoor furniture line Loll Designs.

A unique service offered by DWR's Galleria store: special orders in custom materials. Many of the items on the showroom floor can be custom-made in your own upholstery fabrics and leathers. There's also a giant "Swatch Wall" of fabric options that DWR offers.

Another area of the store that's exclusive to DWR Galleria is the "Lake House," a series of rooms designed to evoke a luxury lake house, which was developed in consultation with NewStudio Architecture of White Bear Lake. The store is the only location in the company to have a set of Eames Upholstered Molded Fiberglass Armchairs in lemon yellow fabric and trimmed in white manufactured by Herman Miller. "They're the type of thing where [DWR] thought they might be a little too funky for people to actually find practical," says Thelen, "but people have just loved them so far."

You can find some mid-century modern–inspired pieces in the Twin Cities at Room & Board and Restoration Hardware, but if you want something that truly authentic and from the original proprietor, you had to shop online or you were out of luck. "People are excited that there's mid-century modern here and that it is authentic," says Thelen. "I think that a lot of people were kind of aching for that, but they didn't have an outlet for it here. You could shop online, but to find something that was actually tactile and you could sit in and experience it, nobody had been able to offer that in this market before."

The store also has a substantial outdoor section that will be on display all year round. A highlight includes the Tuuci Ocean Master Max Low-Profile Cantilever umbrella. And when the new CōV restaurant opens next door at Galleria, it will feature several Tuuci umbrellas on its patio from DWR.

Much attention was paid to lighting the space--all using DWR product that is available for sale. A series of Geometric Hex LED Pendant ceiling lights, designed by Scott Bridgens and Simon James, are arranged in a honeycomb arrangement in a nod to Edina High School's athletics team, the Hornets. There's also an enormous "Light Cloud" at the store's entryway featuring a mix of pendant lights.The store also offers extensive interior and lighting design services, including in-home visits, renderings, "pretty much anything to make your home, your home," says Thelen. The store's sales assistants even have design backgrounds, including an industrial designer and an interior designer.

It's like a modern design museum that you can shop. "We've had architects come through that have said, 'I've never seen a Noguchi table outside of the Noguchi Museum, and now it's all here,'" says Thelen. "It's cool to see people get that excited about it."

Now through September 30, the store is offering a special introductory offer of 10 percent storewide, and the Knoll sale is running now through September 26, featuring 15 percent off all Knoll products and free shipping. Now open @ 69th St. and France Ave., Edina, 952-920-0225, dwr.com and galleriaedina.com

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