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Entries in ala moana (8)


dwr grand opening

egg birdfeeder * eames molded plywood chair

my apologies for the tardiness of this post but i wanted to let island design fans know that design within reach will be toasting their grand opening with a party at the new ala moana studio tomorrow evening.

the celebration also kicks off a weeklong effort to raise money for the academy of arts with 10% of all sales at the honolulu shop to be donated to museum programs.

  • when: thu, apr 10th - 6p to 8p
  • rsvp: honolulu [at] dwr [dot] com
  • sale dates: thu, apr 10th - wed, apr 16th

dwr 101

all the buzz may be about the new nordstrom opening up at ala moana this weekend, however for those of us whose hearts beat for modern design, the big news is that design within reach (aka dwr) is also making its island debut in the nordy's wing today.

since dwr deals more in the mid-century classics of eames and saarinen mixed with fresh designs from around the world (i.e. pieces not typically found in the islands), and as one who is guilty of owning more than her fair share of goods scored from dwr, i feel compelled to clue you in on all i have learned over the years. a primer for the uninitiated, if you will.

first off, the ala moana dwr is a showroom so do not expect to walk out with anything you buy. not a luau lamp, not a chilewich mat. nada. let's just call the studio eye candy and leave it at that. square footage wise, the honolulu location comes in at a cozy 2000 sq ft which means you will find an edited selection of design objects from the catalog & website available for your viewing pleasure.

upholstery swatches, however, are yours for the taking so stop by the studio for instant gratification (phone requests take forever to arrive by mail). and, if you have your heart set on peeking at a specific piece, call first to confirm it is in the showroom to save yourself both the disappointment when it's nowhere to be found and the trip to town.

next, do not be intimidated by the wall of chairs. i tend to shy away from messing up store displays, but my fella, who has never met a modern chair he didn't like (or at least, unlike me, he doesn't automatically dismiss a chair for being too big, too small, too colorful, not colorful enough, or just not right, lol), has no trouble pulling down chair after chair insisting i sit on every. single. one. warning enough to never accompany us on a design scouting trip.

finally, for the price conscious, just know that dwr is often cheekily referred to as design out of reach so set aside notions of ikea-like prices before you go. that being said, it can be pricey so keep an eye out for the two paths to savings - the semi-annual sale (10% off and currently going on until mar 18th) or the occasional free shipping deal (although it remains to be seen if that will be offered to hawaii). sweeter deals are saved for those who exhibit a willingness to go on a continuous dwr spending spree.

even better bargains can be found in the sale section. case in point: my fella and i were on the lookout for extra seating that wouldn't overwhelm our little living space and eventually scored three cubes that we could both agree on for the price of one. lesson: be vigilant and your bank account will thank you. oh, and occasionally floor samples are posted on craigslist.

the official grand opening takes place next month so stay tuned for more details.

happy shopping!

[mahalo to kimberly at dwr for sending along these sneak peeks!]


honolulu design center

hello fat boy!

if you have been anywhere near kapiolani boulevard in the last year you could not help but notice the huge construction site for the future home of the honolulu design center. lucky me, the 80,000 square foot showroom opened its doors a few weeks before we arrived home and, since my aunty is just starting the hunt for a new sofa, we stopped by to see if anything would catch her fancy.

my fella and i had a lot of fun on the first floor which is touted as the hdc's high end showroom filled with furniture from cattelan arredamenti, de sede of switzerland, molteni & c & natuzzi on one side and bo concept on the other (indeed we had so much fun that i forgot to snap any photos). many of the minimal designs found on the natuzzi side have luxe prices to match and would be at home in the million dollar condos that keep popping up in the honolulu skyline.

ever one to find the most expensive piece of furniture whenever we go shopping, my fella's radar plopped him down on the leather fendi casa sofa until i pulled him off and fiercely whispered the price in his ear ($42k!). we then hit the escalator up to the second floor where my aunty recognized many pieces from inspiration, but the best thing was lounging in the fat boy section (which is more in line with our budget) since i had spent many months lobbying for them in vain as extra seating in our cozy apartment.

the honolulu design center also has a few things planned for island foodies with the a*muse wine bar scheduled to open in march. it's a 21st century take on the traditional enoteca where customers will use a smart card to purchase tastes at an automated wine dispensing machine. how very jetsons.

you'll also be able to nosh at stage, the on site restaurant opening in april manned by chef jon matsubara, and enjoy everything from film screenings to fashion shows at cupola which is the hdc's performance space (potential wedding site for island design junkies, perhaps?). and, if you go now, the crema cafe is already open in the lobby which is a nice sunlit space to take a break and sip on pop from waialua soda works.

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