Design Icon – Product

Design Within Reach

The idea for Design Within Reach came to founder Rob Forbes in 1998, when he tried to furnish his apartment with the clean, simple classics he’d come to appreciate while living in London. He discovered that works by designers such as the Eameses, Le Corbusier and Saarinen were “out of reach” for anyone who didn’t know the secret handshake or have the patience to wait months for delivery. Realizing there had to be a better way, Rob and a small team bought 20 containers of inventory, mailed a catalog and waited for the phone to ring. (It didn’t for 24 hours, until we realized that we’d accidentally left the answering service on.) Architects, interior designers, and the general public responded immediately, and to our surprise, so did the brands that Rob had struggled to get his hands on just months earlier. One of the first brands to appreciate our approach was the Michigan-based company Herman Miller. Within a year of launching, we were bringing the Eames Lounge Chair, Aeron Chair, and many other Herman Miller favorites directly to retail customers across the country via catalog – for the first time ever. So it was kismet when Design Within Reach became part of the Herman Miller family in 2015.