So there's this store called Design Within Reach. The way I understand it, the goal of DWR is to bring design to the masses. To take well-designed furniture off its pedestal and make it more accessible to you and me.
This is a great philosophy. But where DWR goes wrong is that its products are far from "within reach." People call it "Design That's Totally Out Of My Reach." I can't afford a $1000 coffee table on wheels, can you? (Oh, and act now because that's the sale price).
But I'd like to call attention to a design store that is actually within my reach. It's called CB2, and it's a part of Crate & Barrel. There are only two stores, and they are both in Chicago. They are fantastic.
CB2 does eight trillion things right, but what I feel they do best is truly embody "design within reach." Each item is displayed in a way that makes it seem unique (even though it's most likely a knockoff of something from DWR). Walking through the store is like moving through twelve different really cool people's living rooms. Each setup is a collection of products, some more expensive, like a big shag rug, and some really cheap, like tealights. CB2 makes you feel like a great interior designer, and that even if you just bought that orange watering can, you would be bringing home a piece of the hip store environment.
CB2 sells a $149 coffee table on wheels. It's remarkably similar to the one from DWR. Is $149 within your reach? It's certainly within mine.