First Look: Design Within Reach at 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.”

Photo courtesy of marco verch/flickrWhen we picture Minnesotan heritage, many of us tend to think of the European influences, such as Scandinavian and German immigrants, lutefisk, and Lutheranism. Go just a little further back, though, and you’ll find our original traditions: those of the indigenous people who came before.This is the heritage that chef Sean Sherman is reviving through a language we all understand—food. With a nonprofit, a cookbook, and two upcoming restaurants, Sherman is challenging our definition of “local” food by bringing indigenous cooking back to Minnesota.Born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota tribe, Sherman started cooking as young as 13. When it came to learning about his own culinary heritage, though, it became clear to him that he’d have to teach himself. “I couldn’t just go online and order The Joy of Native American Cooking,” he jokes, imagining an indigenous spin on the classic Joy of Cooking, considered a staple on chefs’ bookshelves. This gap inspired him, and, after moving to Minneapolis at 23, he co-founded The Sioux Chef, a local catering business, with business partner Dana Thompson in 2014, preparing indigenous cuisine for events as well as educating people about American Indian cooking through demonstrations. (Sherman recently sold his food truck—the Tatanka Truck, tatanka meaning “bison” in the Lakota and Dakota languages—to focus on education through a new nonprofit.)What’s on the menu? Nothing that Europeans brought to the area. You won’t find beef, chicken, or pork. There’s no wheat flour. No dairy or soy, either. Sherman says the food is typically plant-based (corn, squash, beans, wild rice), with fish, venison, bison, and other indigenous sources of protein. Sherman refers to these native foods as “ironically foreign,” the type of thing you might find, quite literally, in your backyard. They also happen to overlap with today’s trendy gluten-free, dairy-free, high-protein diets. Turns out Native American cuisine predated the modern Paleo craze.Sherman’s new cookbook, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, is another part of his effort to revitalize this culinary history. “You can’t really get more Minnesotan than these foods,” he says. “They’ve been here since before Minnesota was a thing.”Don’t want to do the cooking yourself? Sherman and the Sioux Chef team have two restaurants in the works. One is in collaboration with the Minneapolis Water Works pavilion project, intended to "bring significant new historic, cultural, and recreational amenities" to the area, and will open in 2019 at the earliest. Sherman sees this location, near St. Anthony Falls and sacred to the Dakota people, as providing an opportunity to revive the indigenous culinary culture rooted there. The other restaurant has raised nearly $150,000 in a crowdfunding campaign and is currently seeking a location.Two restaurants might sound like a lot for a first-time restaurant owner, but Sherman is no stranger to the business. He has worked as a chef consultant, helping to design new restaurants, and has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, including as an executive chef.And the restaurants are only part of his larger vision. Sherman recently co-founded local nonprofit NÄTIFs (Native American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems), which aims to educate people about indigenous cuisine nationwide. “When people think about American food, they should be thinking about the indigenous historical background of the food that has always been here, instead of just labeling Coca-Cola and hamburgers as ‘American,’” Sherman says. He hopes to work with tribal communities so they can develop their own restaurants specific to their regions, especially in areas that struggle with food access. “We’re not just trying to be a restaurateur,” he says. “We’re trying to right a lot of wrongs.” 

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 CÅV 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, and

When Northern Grade was founded in in 2010, the roving, made-in-the-U.S. market showcased menswear and men’s accessories by brands such as Red Wing, Duluth Pack, and Leatherworks Minnesota. With this spring’s iteration in St. Paul, the pop-up has evolved to showcase goods by a handful of home goods makers.Originally conceived by the husband-and-wife team of Katherine and Mark “Mac” McMillan in Northeast Minneapolis, the event has since traveled around the world, popping up everywhere from L.A. to Moscow. Last year, the couple, who now live in New York City, opened a permanent Northern Grade storefront filled with American-made goods from some of their favorite brands.Here are some of the home goods featured at this spring’s market, which takes place this Saturday, May 6 (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday, May 7 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Red River Kitchen at the historic City Place building in St. Paul (258 Mill St).Concrete PigWho: Established in 2013 by Minneapolis maker Keith Wyman, Concrete Pig’s statement-making pieces are right at home in either a North Loop loft or a Minnetonka bungalow.What: Concrete Pig has a unique approach to furniture design—combining the clean lines of molded concrete with steel and wood to form modern, functional, and one-of-a-kind furniture designs that are industrial and rugged in material yet stoic and elegant in form. Its designs are also flexible in design, such as its Harlan modular side tables, which can be flipped on their sides or pushed together to form a coffee table.For more: concretepig.comModest ClockWho: Last year, Mark Lassonde, who works as a sales rep for a sheet metal fabricator in Savage, Minnesota, was searching for a large wall clock for his home office. When he couldn’t find anything that matched his taste, he decided to design his own and founded Modest Clock.What: The line of eye-catching clocks are designed with a less-is-more principle. The aluminum surface of the clocks, available in nine styles, features numbers cut out from the face, with the back ply painted in a contrasting color for a bold, modern look.For more: modestclocks.comPillbox Bat Co.Who: Zak Fellman and Dan Watson founded Pillbox Bat Co. in 2016 in Winona, Minnesota. The line of hand-painted, hand-turned wood bats was named for the old Downtown Park in St. Paul, which was so small that it was nicknamed “the Pillbox” and was briefly used as a ballpark by the St. Paul Saints in the early 1900s.What: Available in 18 different styles, the collection of artisanal bats are painted in homage to various baseball teams, state and country flags, and Americana themes, and are intended to be used as decor, rather than sport.For more:

Facebook Comments