Yesterday, our local paper, The Miami Herald featured a "Low End / High End" contribution to the Home & Design section. It discussed how 'a new generation of lifestyle stores caters to youthful buyers who want high style at low prices'. They were boasting about the affordability of design for today's furniture shoppers.

Today's furniture shoppers have caused a new trend for furniture retailers. The new need is to create 'lifestyle stores', which have more to offer than just a furniture store of the past (like Levitz). Today's lifestyle stores are called this because not only do they offer furniture, but they also offer rugs, pillows, wall art, and decorative accessories to compliment the modern style. Although they offer style, something is still missing...

I suppose the new crop of first time home buyers wanting a modern space and designers on a tight budget are inspired by the stylish knock-offs found at CB2, IKEA, and West Elm. I too, from time to time, admire those stores merchandise HOWEVER.... it doesn't compare to the quality, design, and craftsmanship true CLASSIC 20th Century Modern design offers.

A store offering Mid-Century Modern Classics, with licensing of designs like Eames, Herman Miller and Mies van der Rhoe is DESIGN WITHIN REACH. Also known as DWR,  their price point may seem steep to someone just starting to design their first place, but to those who appreciate quality, will value the designs historical integrity.

Famed architect and designer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, created the Barcelona Chair for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition.  The chair features the pure compositional structure that now epitomizes Modern architecture.

Designed in 1930 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A companion-sized Barcelona chair and ottoman was developed to accompany the tried-and-true classic. Signature Knoll-Studio design, produced this to Mies' original specifications. Exclusive manufacturing and sales rights accorded to Knoll by the designer in 1953. Knoll-Studio logo and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's signature are stamped into the frame of each piece.

Designed in 1930, the Barcelona couch features the hand-buffed frame and hand-pieced leather work of traditional craftsmanship. It was added to the Barcelona Collection in the year following the introduction of the Chair and Stool. Still produced to his original specifications, the couch gained widespread popularity in 1953, when architect Philp Johnson selected it for his New York apartment

Another value added of purchasing at a store such as Design Within Reach, is the attention to detail from their friendly customer service specialists. Have you ever had ANY customer service in IKEA?

Classic artichoke lamp set off against
an historic Fountain Blue B&W photo in DWR Miami Beach

One of DWR's studios is located in Coral Gables' on its historic Miracle Mile. The studio is housed in a circa 1925 building of signature Mediterranean Revival design. The 2,300 square foot space features a dramatic 32 foot ceiling and 20 foot mural dedicated to the area's celebrated pink flamingos. The interior architecture has been left bare to create an industrial feel. This industrial vibe compliments the clean lines of the mid-century pieces.

Along with classic furniture, DWR also sells rugs and lamps.

The store also holds special events for artists, designers, and students. Again another value added service available, in appreciation of its customers. An upcoming design event is

The Knoll Classics Sale and is valid February 1–7, 2010. Save 15% on specially marked classics from Knoll. The discount is valid on select products by Knoll and applies to merchandise only.

For more information or reserve your special piece, contact REBECA SUAREZ at 786.236.2182 or go see her at  DWR 77 Miracle Mile CORAL GABLES, FL 33134

Rebeca would be more than happy to be your source for smart design solutions. Also CONTACT Rebeca by email at or join her on facebook at RECA SUAREZ. Let her know you joined her there from here (FOCAL POINT).

Although "design is becoming more critical across the board to consumers of all ages" (according to Allegrezza, editor at Furniture Today) , I believe it's imperative we don't lose our FOCUS on 'true' CLASSIC design. Even if you can't set an entire room with these pieces, invest in one and build upon it. GOOD design can be within your reach.


  1. I adore all the beautiful furniture choices they carry. We rarely have such choices in the northeast.

    I would post more often but I'm having lots of trouble with my pc in viewing your blog. When I can get through I do enjoy it. Keep up the great blog.

  2. ThX NAZ!!! I needed that!! It can be a little discouraging at times... but like Val (from VisualVamp) told me: KEEP ON POSTING!



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