Making modern design accessible: that’s the mission of San Francisco-based company Design Within Reach. The company, which specializes in midcentury modern and contemporary furniture and home décor, first opened a store in the Pearl District in 2002. “We were one of the very first pioneers to move into the Pearl,” says regional vice president Eric Hildebrandt, reflecting on when the ever-growing arts district was a stretch of studio spaces and abandoned warehouses.
And now, 15 years on, DWR has relocated to a more expansive spot in the Pearl—making its Portland outpost, at 28,000 square feet, the largest of DWR's 45 nationwide locations.
The studio now resides in Portland's oldest remaining warehouse along the NW 13th Avenue rail line. While the steady drone of cranes and power tools outside signal a city under construction, the building's architectural integrity remains intact down to the original brickwork. Leaving the exoskeleton alone, the real changes are in the studio's design. Updated features include a swatch wall and a “lighting cloud” (a luminescent sky of fixtures leading up to the second floor). Forty-four simulated rooms provide visual inspiration for living rooms, studies, bedrooms, and dining rooms—what Hildebrandt calls the heart of every home.
In the dining test tab, shoppers find an interactive design experience. The ground-level lab is furnished with DWR's three most popular tables and top 50 chairs, encouraging clients to mix and match until they find the look. Every piece is authentic, representing designs—courtesy of a plethora of international designers—from the past 150 years. “We have a modern point of view," Hildebrandt says. "We showcase 21st-century design. That is what our dream and execution is for this new space.”
Design Within Reach
825 NW 13th Ave