Blu Dot Furniture was founded almost two decades ago by three young friends who wanted access to interesting furniture that wouldn’t cost them a bundle. Putting that passion into top-notch construction and lighthearted design sensibility, the company is thriving today, with dozens of designs as prices that are much more accessible than other major designer furniture. Better yet, Blu Dot’s 20/20 sale is happening right now, so you can save 20 percent on some of the brand’s most popular products thru November 8th.
The team behind Blu Dot—still led by two of the co-founders, Maurice Blanks and John Christakos—doesn’t believe in taking design too seriously. They weren’t impressed by the stuffy furniture industry when they graduated from college, so they set out to create a brand that wasn’t afraid to have fun.
In 2009, the company made headlines with a unique experiment in human behavior. Blu Dot scattered GPS-enabled Real Good Chairs across New York City and then kept track of the people who used them on the street, as well as those who picked them up and brought them home. Another viral ad campaign featured videos of a man in a giant squirrel costume (known as Mr. Squirrel, naturally) assembling Blu Dot furniture. Humor doesn’t just dictate the manufacturer’s marketing techniques, however; it also contributes to the design aesthetic in general, with a sort of cheeky irreverence inspiring more creative pieces.
Straight from the Midwest
Most people don’t think of Minneapolis as a major design center, but Blu Dot’s founders have said that their location helps contribute to the brand’s philosophy. The Midwest is known for its pragmatism, and keeping pieces affordable has always been one of Blu Dot’s major goals. Having company headquarters removed from New York and L.A. also allows the creative types to spend their time innovating rather than worrying about what competitors are up to. This mentality comes through in the fact that Blu Dot doesn’t credit the creation of pieces to individual designers–the company focuses instead on collaborative efforts that combine the strengths of multiple contributors.
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The Real Good Chair that was part of the street marketing campaign a few years ago is humble, dynamic, and comfortable. Shipped flat, the chair features laser-cut lines along a powder-coated steel frame.
For the Hot Mesh Chair—one of the brand’s first indoor/outdoor pieces—designers looked at the bent wood café chairs that have been around for more than a century and then created a modern interpretation in bright colors.
The quirky Rook Table Lamp can be oriented in a number of different positions—inspired by a game of chess.
Another classic innovation is the Toro Lounge Chair with a saddle leather sling and comfortable wood frame.
There’s a lot to love about Blu Dot—whether you’re a design aficionado or not, they are simply a fun company to watch. But Blu Dot products exude personality in every piece, and it manages to keep all of its designs fresh and on trend without ever going out of style.