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Shopping & Objects

T+L’s Definitive Guide to San Francisco

A culinary scene to rival New York City’s, eye-popping design, and a laid-back, outdoorsy ethos are just three reasons to visit San Francisco right now. (Read More…)

Open Estate

In this Brussels mansion, nothing has a price tag, but almost everything is for sale. Here, two design experts curate their fantasy house.

In 2010, Ike Udechuku and Kathryn Smith moved into a neoclassical house in the Saint-Gilles district and set out to create what Udechuku calls “a gallery of the living experience.” Several times a year, they partner with European galleries in presenting rare and choice furniture, objects, and art in their home. They live with the items they borrow­—eating breakfast at a one-of-a-kind Danish dining table, sipping wine on an iconic sofa—and welcome collectors and visitors into their home to experience (and purchase) design icons in situ. “These pieces are intended (Read More…)

The Real Cost of Rip-Offs

Knockoff furnishings may be cheap, but for the design industry, they come with a heavy price.

Here’s how a designer makes money: One day she dreams up a chair. She spends months developing the concept, selecting materials, devising the exact curve of the arm, the dip of the back. Satisfied with the piece, she works with a manufacturer to produce it. The manufacturer refines the design, invests in tooling to build it, promotes it, and gets it (Read More…)

Process: Ruché Sofa

On a walk through Ligne Roset’s factory near Lyon, France, we track the multitude of steps, hands, and hours required to craft this very refined couch.

From the exterior, Ligne Roset’s complex in Briord, France, is little to look at, just workaday cement- and-metal factories near the base of the Alps. But once you step inside, the operation bursts into colorful life, with dozens of workers hefting gigantic bolts of fabric, manning robotic sewing machines, and operating (Read More…)

Exploring San Francisco’s Mission District

Known for its vibrant Latino culture, colorful murals, and hip, artistic spirit, the Mission is now experiencing a second coming with a new crop of restaurants, boutiques (Read More…)

Bless This Desk

The right workspace can transform your creative life. Dwell puts six desks to the test.

Now that you’re expected to work from almost anywhere—your sofa, an airplane, a rickshaw in Kathmandu—and your “desktop” fits in the palm of your hand, are actual desks still necessary? We thought it over, called in six of our favorites, and came away answering, emphatically (Read More…)

Hecho en Oaxaca

An experimental shop in Oaxaca, Mexico, is resuscitating the region’s ancient crafts traditions and bringing indigenous artisans’ designs into the 21st century.

In 2006, inspired by Oaxaca’s plethora of indigenous communities, who, says industrial designer Gustavo Fricke, “inherit craft traditions that are older than Columbus,” Fricke opened blackbox. To stock the shop, located in a colonial house in downtown Oaxaca city, Fricke and other designers collaborate with local artisans to create stylish, contemporary objects in time-honored ways. By spotlighting native talent—from city and village alike—Fricke and shop managers Roberto Vega and Rosario Martinez Llaguno hope to provide a sustainable livelihood for Oaxaca’s underemployed artists and craftspeople and, as Fricke says (Read More…)

The Cheap Seats

There are lots of handsome chairs out there, but sitting beauties that cost $250 or less are a rarer breed. Our picks run the gamut from traditional (the wooden, Shaker-inspired Salt or the Thonet-designed Era, the quintessential cafe chair) to the downright futuristic (we’re looking at you, oddly anthropomorphic Dr. Yes). We sat, swayed, shook, stacked (Read More…)

Consumer Retorts

Chris Houston, the charmingly curmudgeonly owner of Modern Artifacts in San Francisco, is not your typical retailer. Though his shop is packed to the rafters with an eclectic and highly covetable range of vintage furniture, lighting, art, and craft, Houston takes a slow and thoughtful approach to retail and commerce.

At his workshop in the East Bay, he works with a fleet of California artisans—platers, refinishers, caners, upholsterers, framers, lacquerers—to impeccably restore the pieces he sells both online and in his shop. Dedicated to the credo of “less is more,” he recently got rid of his cell phone (Read More…)

Style Map: San Francisco: Riding A Wave

Outer Sunset, just south of Golden Gate Park, is a quiet, atmospheric neighborhood where thick fog frequently obscures the trim pastel houses, Asian groceries and surfers cycling down to Ocean Beach. Until recently, you’d never call it cool. But a hip and quirky micro-neighborhood has emerged, its epicenter at Judah Street and 45th Avenue, with a clutch of locally owned businesses bolstering a sense of community and drawing style seekers citywide. (Read More…)