Opening today in Manhattan and 2 October 2008 in Santa Monica, Design Within Reach's new Tools for Living stores not only feature awesome products (nearly 800) that you can buy in the store and take with you. These smaller items are also available on the Design Within Reach site, but the experience of seeing them all in the store and leaving with them is much more satisfying. And so are the pricesâwith items starting at just a few dollars there is a practical item or simple gift for most household, office and gift needs. We took a tour of the new SoHo location (formerly the first DWR store in Manhattan) the other day and have a few favorites.
The Picnic Trunk with Table features everything you need to enjoy a civilized meal outdoorsâplates, cutlery, glasses, napkinsâand a table to put them on. $200.
The Cuboro Standard Building Block Set set is still one of the best toys around. The set comes with 54 beech wood blocks that allow you to create Rube Goldberg-esque constructions that marbles can travel through, and is as great on the desk as it is in a kid's room. $275.
Shunji Kurimori's Cedar Sake Cups and Cedar Sake Bottle (below, left) are made in the Japanese wood craft style called Magewappa. They are a beautiful example of traditional technique (Kurimori is a sixth generation artisan), modern style, sustainable design and practicality. Their unique construction and natural material maintain sake at your preferred cold or warm temperature. The bottle is $140, and a set of two cups is $80.
Another Japanese design, the Water Pitcher (below, right) uses mountain stones and charcoal to filter and enhance the water naturally. $85.
The Rainwater Hog (below, left) provides a simple and practical means of capturing 47 gallons of rainwater from the roof of your house which can be repurposed for multiple uses. Designed by Sydney-based architect Sally Dominguez because she couldn't find a similar product, the versatile Hog can be installed in many ways and joined with other Hogs if a large volume of water is collectible. True to its nature, the product is shipped without any packaging. More information available at the Rainwater Hog site. $450.
The Dave Ellis designed Tepee (below, right), one of the 150 or so products sold in the stores that are not available to take with you, provides a viable outdoor sleeping solution with a bit of character. $2,200.
These nesting Rubber Tubs (below) provide a useful product imagined from the vast quantities of used tires thrown away every year. Hand sewn as if made of leather, these unique tubs are great for storage and lugging stuff around the house. Set of three for $350.