midcentury furniture accessories

Next stop on my summer midcentury ‘shopping’ spree, Design Within Reach. We all know that this is a good source for new reproductions of classic furniture designs like Eames Lounge chairs, Saarinen Tulip tables, Womb chairs and more, but I thought I’d take a closer look at some of the lesser known new and classic products available. To my surprise, I found several affordable designer pieces to add panache to any pad.

drop chair

1. Drop Chair

Until recently, this hard-to-find vintage chair style created by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for his masterpiece — the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen — was out of production. Now, 50 years later DWR has brought the chair back in both a plastic and upholstered seat. While the new models are pricey, the odds of you finding a vintage original from the very limited production run are slim — so being able to buy a new version of this chair is exciting to those who love the style and shape.

paint swatch wall clock

2. Watch Me Wall Clock

Available in four fun color combinations, this wall clock, designed to mimic a fan deck of paint swatches, will add a punch to any room. At $50, it’s among the less expensive items you will find at DWR.

alexander girard dollsalexander girard

3. Girard Wooden Dolls

These simple, colorful and delightful wooden dolls — designed by Alexander Girard — can add a little humor and delight into your everyday decor. Friends and family don’t know what you to get you for gifts? Put these on the list, and you’ll have a whole ‘nother set of friends and family soon enough.

zoo timer clocks Nelson

4. Animal Clocks • Fernando the FishOmar the OwlElihu the Elephant

The perfect whimsical touch for a child’s room, playroom or heck — anywhere in the house — these three animal clocks are sure to delight. These are part of the Zoo Timer collection of children’s clocks designed by George Nelson Associates for Howard Miller.

midcentury fire pit

5. Cast Iron Fire Bowl

Perfect for a midcentury patio, the cast iron fire bowl has a sleek, streamlined shape and would become the hot spot for warm fires on chilly nights.

Nelson bubble lamps

6. Nelson Bubble Lamps

The Nelson Bubble Lamp is an icon of midcentury design that, in fact, can blend well with nearly any decor style. Its sleek, simple shapes and subtle texture make it an ideal choice to hang by itself or in a group. This design is available in several sizes and shapes including pendant, sconce and table lamp.

eames hang it all

7. Eames Hang-It-All

Pam has already professed her love of the Eames Hang-It-All, a design classic created by Charles and Ray Eames — and why not? Available in five different color combinations, this handy hanger is easy on the eyes and adds a fun piece of functional sculpture to any wall.

vintage clock

8. Nelson Sunflower Clock

Pam insisted we add this George Nelson Sunflower Clock to the list because she’s seen it — and other DWR clocks — in person at her local DWR store in Cambridge, Mass., and she says they are just fabulous. Pam’s opinion: If you are going to spend some serious cash on a few items in your house, one of these licensed clocks could be on the list.

eye clock

9. Nelson Eye Clock

Design Within Reach has several reproductions of clocks designed by George Nelson Associates for the Howard Miller Clock Company — and one of the most eye catching is the Eye Clock. This particular design classic is difficult to find vintage, so it is nice to be able to get a reproduction through DWR.

squared circle bowls

10. Squared Circle Bowls

This set of three colorful, uniquely shaped bowls is sure to be a conversation starter. Designed by Ettore Sottsass — one of the founders of Memphis design style — in 1958, these bowls were inspired by streetlights the designer saw during his first visit to New York.

  1. Joe Felice says:

    Ah, yes, the Nelson UFO bubble lamp. I came within hours of having one. But by the time I returned to pick it up, my friend had given it to someone else. Talk about heart break!

  2. Gerry Stairet says:

    August 3rd story on Curbly is how to make your own Asterick clock for $10.00. Also a link to buy their ebook, Make It! Mid-Century Modern for $5.00. There are directions for making an Atomic Ball Wall clock and Eames type Hang-It-All among other things. Do-it-yourself MCM.

  3. Melinda says:

    DWR is where I’ll be shopping when I win the lottery. So many beautiful things that are sadly out of my reach.

  4. Brooke says:

    This is my favourite round up so far 🙂 lol generally I can’t afford anything on the site but there are some nice pieces (like the ones on this list) that are more affordable.

    If anyone is looking for a Nelson bubble lamp Modernica is currently clearing out their stock before the Herman Miller takes over manufacturing. You can get some great deals.


    1. Brooke says:

      Sorry I should say it’s only on open box items (can be shipped) but there are still some nice bubble lamps available on discount

      1. Carolyn G says:

        I ordered the medium cigar lamp to hang in our living room where we currently have a mostly used spotlight aimed above the fireplace. A great deal!

    2. pam kueber says:

      Thanks for the tip on the bubble lamps, Brooke. I might run this as a story next week. Thanks!

  5. lynda says:

    My friend has always said that she wonders — Design within Whose Reach?–since it is not inexpensive! Very nice store.

    1. Allen says:

      When DWR came around you could generally only order Knoll or Herman Miller pieces through a commercial contract or an interior designer. DWR was started to give direct access of these wonderful designs to the general public (ala “within reach”). Of course they aren’t the only ones in the game now but they were revolutionary when they started

  6. Carolyn says:

    HA-ha-ha! That “eye clock”! Maynard G. Krebs! Snapping fingers instead of hands clapping! “Cool, man…can you dig it?” Fits right in with the beatnik vibe.

    1. Karin says:

      I can dig it, man. I’ve got my peepers pealed on the eye clock. Beatniks were yesterday’s hipsters. Just like nowadays, everyone made fun of them, but sneakily copied their style.

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