Design Within Reach, San Francisco

San Francisco, California


Design Within Reach


Design Architect, Interior Designer


Lighting: Light Studio LA




Commercial Retail


Completed 2012


25,580 Sq. ft.

About the Project

The San Francisco studio marked Design Within Reach’s decision to expand their brand language to include landscaping and exterior materiality.  DFA used the entrance of the store to create an entry sequence much like you might find at a Bay Area home.  DFA wanted to channel San Franciscan’s love of  efficient, curated and comfortable outdoor spaces.

San Francisco has a large number of Victorian Homes and many are split into multi unit apartments.  Each unit commonly has a small outdoor area.  Laith lived in San Francisco for many years and was keenly aware of the area’s “deck culture”.  While the homes of the Bay Area do not typically boast giant backyards or  pools, these homes do tend to have impressive rooftops with views of the hills or beautiful gardens.   DFA tapped into this outdoor culture by creating an entry spot with a planter area and small receding roof.  To create the sense of a larger deck, we shortened the perspective by including the receding roof that on one end is deeper and the other end is narrower.  This features DFA’s first planter installation which similarly to our Light Cloud is a cluster of several planter boxes thoughtfully placed at the front of the store. The design of the entire corner unit imitates the entrance to a contemporary home.

DFA tested several materials to use in creating a successful branded facade.  This research led us to the choice of using zinc with its clean, neutral matte finish.  Zinc also does not corrode, is a super stable material and is low maintenance, which pleased the client.  In previous projects for Design Within Reach, the exterior decisions were largely based on the landlord’s preferences, whereas with San Francisco we built an outdoor home environment that related to the interior design of the studio.  The Zinc panels used for this facade became part of DFA’s branding language for all future Design Within Reach studios.