Every year we go to Dwell I come back loaded up with brochures. I stash them on my desk until the next year or until the pile is so high I just throw EVERYTHING out. This year I had an epiphany! I have a home design blog! So instead of keeping all this stuff physically on file, in a mess in the house, I can file it here virtually for me to easily find and for you to see.
So, these were the vendors I found most interesting this year and pertained to future project on our house. It's also vendors I found in our price range, or relatively close. There were many amazing products but we don't have a million dollar house over looking the beach and a comparable budget...someday though, someday.
They're based in Phoenix, Az and makers of pretty cool outdoor fire pits.
Modern planters made out of natural products, not plastic. Manufactured in Switzerland.
Pure natural paints, plasters and wood finishes. 100% VOC free made with fully disclosed natural ingredients.
They make "pebble seats" for indoor and outdoor use. They are super cool and I'd love to have a set in our front yard. Based in Venice Beach.
LED light fixtures. Beautiful and functional light fixtures. They have a sconce i loved and could possibly work in our bedroom. Based out of Laguna Beach.
An entire line of non-toxic, biodegradable phosphate and petroleum free cleaning and household products. I find it interesting they are carried by Vons, Safeway, Tom Thumb but not Whole Foods or Target. And it states what they are free of but not what they're made of. Not a good sign to me but I do want to check them out, although I'm rarely in the stores they're carried in.
A couple retail stores I liked:
Located on Beverly Blvd in LA and on Park Place in El Segundo they have outdoor furniture, bathroom vanities, Eco-fireplaces, home decor and tile. We almost bought a hanging egg chair right off their display. Then we decided we needed to get through our essential purchases first...although the need for that chair is starting to feel essential now. The owner was really kind which is always a bonus.
Located in North Hollywood. I remember shopping here when I was in the film industry. We did lots of rentals from them. What drew me in to their area was a children's chair they had which was beautiful and I thought really reasonably priced: $200. Then I saw their beds, tables, etc. Always beautiful things there.
Located in West Hollywood. Man! I love their furniture. I saw a bed, bookcases and lamps I loved. All pricey but not crazy expensive either so a few key pieces would be do-able.
Dwell felt a lot smaller than it had in previous years. I hate to say this, but except for the first year, Ive always been rather disappointed with the show. I give any event leeway for the first year. I'd like to see the big standard vendors like DWR, Room & Board, CB2. But more important, I want to see small independent manufacturers and designers. In fact the whole showroom should be divided by these two categories: large vs small mass produce.
Ive always found the show to be hit or miss with what we're looking for. We went with friends who needed outdoor shade screens and there was not one vendor in that category. We were looking for modern kids bunk beds and we found not one vendor either. So in a way it felt like a wasted trip...except for the above finds but they are all for future projects.
This show should be THE place to see, compare and purchase all your modern furniture, materials, services etc. Instead it feels like being in Home Depot where your left with only a few selections. Except it's not by ugly default but by financial default. Meaning, in Home Depot I can skim through the isles and "say no, no, no, yes" because so many options are ugly. But at Dwell it's "no, no, no, yes" because so many options are ridiculously expensive.
You'd think by this day and age everyone knows there is something for everyone at every price point. It's not how much you've spent on your home that makes it beautiful it's whether or not you have taste and style. And that is something money can't buy. Well, I guess it can buy you a designer if you've got none.
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