The much-anticipated new Design Within Reach at the Westside Provisions District opens this weekend, and we got a quick behind-the-scenes tour today. Located on the corner of Huff and Howell Mill roads on the site formerly occupied by Figo Pasta, the new showroom is three times larger than the old location near Peachtree Battle Shopping Center. Since 2012, the Connecticut-based firm has been building new studios around the country. Kim Phillips, who heads up public relations, told us last January that Atlanta was targeted for an upgrade because of its strong market. Also, DWR has partnered with Jamestown, which runs the center, in other areas of the country. The opportunity to partner on a brand new building was too tempting to pass up.
The new space is fun to explore even if you aren’t looking for furniture. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer the same skyline view of Downtown enjoyed by the popular open-air bar at JCT Kitchen nearby. The vantage point is especially cool from the outdoor patio upstairs, where the view will eventually be framed by a small rooftop garden. A mass of colorful poufs, a wall of upholstered fabric samples stuck to the wall with Velcro, a sea of Nelson Saucer lamps that float overhead like jellyfish, a glossy red elevator, and “clouds” of clustered pendant lights make the store feel like a playground for grown ups.
New York-based DFA is the lead design architect for almost every Design Within Reach studio and was responsible for visual pops like the swatch wall and light cloud. “The Atlanta studio was especially exciting for us because it was basically a ground up project that fully encapsulates DWR’s branding on both the exterior and the interior,” says spokesperson Leah Kenealy. “This is also the first time we’ve implemented a green roof on top of the building.”
But, of course, DWR is first and foremost a fantastic place to shop. There are 26 “rooms” arranged in seven “houses” reflecting different aesthetics. For example, there is the elegant Como Collection—exuding a cosmopolitan, European vibe with its marble-topped Saarinen dining table, Knoll desk, uber cool Nelson Thin Edge Bed with caned headboard, a sleek leather sectional by Giorgio Soressi, and a gold-plated Platner chair. Another grouping is more youthful and colorful, with a bit of Midcentury Modern flavor, anchored on a bright plaid Danskina by Maharam rug. Each “dining room” is flanked by two rows of chairs that would be at home around that style of table—the next step in the evolution of DWR’s famous wall of chairs.
DWR is known for icons such as Eames, Nelson, or Le Corbusier. But they also stock exclusives by today’s artists, such as the new “Magnify” chandelier by Brooklyn designer Elish Warlop and Atlanta’s own Chris Hardy, who created the asymmetrical “Helix” tables.
“People don’t always realize we have so many exclusives because these pieces are meant to work with the classics,” says Phillips. “They aren’t always the centerpiece, but they pull everything together.”
The new showroom also offers complimentary design services. Bring your floor plan, and consultants can load it into the computer and produce 3-D renderings. There’s also a conference room if you’d like to bring your own designer.
Photographs by Betsy Riley