August 11, 2005

DWR Childrens Furniture: DT Readers Report

I've had two emails the last couple of weeks from readers who have been in focus groups for Design Within Reach (DWR) testing an upcoming line of children's furniture and gear. As one mole put it, it includes "a full line of children's furniture and designer toys and gear, most of which they seem to have commissioned themselves."

This info is so top secret, it turns out, I can't reveal anything more here--except what Wayne L. Badovinus, the company's CEO, let slip to a little publication called BusinessWeek in June:

Q: How big do you see DWR growing?
A: We have no idea what it'll max out at. We'll be opening studios aggressively for the next three years. We'll have 50 total this year. We're introducing new lines, like children's products, in the fourth quarter.

Q: Don't kids want kid-friendly products made of plastic in bright primary colors?
A: Let's not confuse who's doing the buying. For a modernist to go in and see [traditional kids' furniture, it] makes his hair stand on end. Kids don't care, but the parents do. Modern kids' furniture is designed by designers who have children. We'll have items such as a play dome in orange and green, and a white playhouse. It's not about glass tables.

One crib we'll have has clean lines, no painting on it, no finials on the corners. There'll be blond tables with modernist chairs. Nothing that's too cold or scary. No black.

No black? Still, it sounds better than letting Business Week do the decorating.


Awesome news. A few months ago all DWR subscribers got an "email from the founder" mentioning new products and soliciting feedback.

I wrote him back a long, personal account of my adventures trying to find a nice looking crib and glider chair that didn't look like they came out of a La-z-boy factory in Omaha. I'm sure I was one of many voices asking for interesting looking kid stuff, but it's good to hear they're making some progress on it.

My wife and I love DWR. But alas, it is only within reach of those who drive Bugaboos. We have taken to calling it Design Within Someoneís Reach.

We call it design out of reach, and love just about everything in there, and only own a couple of pieces(that we bought from Retro modern for a lot less) It will be exciting to see what they offer for children, but I bet it will be like the modern seed catalogue, a wish book. I love modern design, but $1300 for a crib that you use for maybe 2 years is nuts. Whoops, didn't mean to vent.

They're calling it: Kids from DWR.

Check out:

Tried to sign up for updates on the new line DWR line, but alas only for US residents... sigh. [why not tell them your zip code is 90210? -ed.]

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