Showroom Crush: Blu DotAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Tell us Blu Dot’s origin story.
As friends in college we shared a passion for art, architecture and design. After school, we went looking for modern design to furnish our first homes, but the things we could afford we didn’t like, and the things we liked we couldn’t afford. We figured we weren’t alone. So, along with our friend Charlie Lazor, the three of us – two architects and a sculptor – started Blu Dot in 1997. We’ve been designing things we love in our Minneapolis studio every day since.
2. What makes Blu Dot stand apart in the modern furniture industry?
Modern design can come off as very serious and intimidating. We have always sought to be an antidote to that perceived elitism. While we are serious about our work (we design everything, we make), we try to not to take ourselves too seriously and inject humor and humanity into our brand. Everyone is invited to our party. In this world of overnight start-ups and “disruptors” we are proud to have earned our way and taken the time to build our business.
3. What makes the California locations (Valencia Street in San Francisco and Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles) special and unique?
We have been lucky to collaborate with talented local architects (and win some awards along the way) to capture the vibe of our respective neighborhoods and creatively, simply approach the physical spaces. Our LA location features a sweeping wooden bow truss ceiling and a unique channel glass façade that illuminates at night. It is literally lit. The glass and steel perforated exterior of our SF store on Valencia provides a crisp visual respite on the lively Mission District street. If you stop by, you will probably see our Manager Jim’s sweet vintage Honda CL350 parked inside. Compelling shopping spaces is our goal, but we know it is our staff who really make our stores worth visiting again and again.
4. Blu Dot’s website describes a “design process founded on collaboration” – what does that mean to you?
In the early days we would sketch together on a long roll of butcher paper, we’ve always worked collaboratively. And now, with a larger design team, we still work this way. Someone might initiate a design, but the group will discuss, distort, suggest, refine and inspire that original idea as the collaborative design process unfolds. That’s why you will never see a designer’s name on any of our designs – they’re always a team effort.
5. What are some new and exciting offerings?
6. What are some of Blu Dot’s bestsellers and what makes them so popular?
Sunday Sofa Collection (coma inducing comfort with generous proportions that have a broad appeal). Field Lounge Chair (it visually holds a room like a boss but will also hold you in its cradling embrace) Hot Mesh (personality and pragmatism are one in this indoor/outdoor chair – and it stacks!) Turn Table Collection (warm wood interpreted in clean sculptural forms)
7. How do you define “California style”?
Anything that goes well with tacos and sunshine.
8. Describe your ideal Sunday.
Deep. Cushy. Utterly inviting and quietly stylish. Enabling naps and Netflix. Check it out here:
9. Gelato or fro yo?
10. Sunrise or sunset?
11. Sandy beach or snowy mountain?
12. Outdoor hike or indoor bike?
Couch surfing only.
13. Real news or Real Housewives?
Real Housewives (don’t tell.)
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