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The Best Things We Saw Last Month

A streamlined standing desk features utilitarian details, Eames Hang-It-All honors Pride, and a new open-air eatery in Portland brings the ‘90s back with a twist.

Photograph courtesy HBF

Studio Gorm and HBF Furniture Collaboration  Studio Gorm, the Eugene, Oregon-based design studio founded by John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong-Arndt, has teamed up with North Carolina furniture manufacturer HBF to refine the standing desk concept, and I think we need this piece in our office ASAP. The Studio Table, which holds strong with a simple and streamlined silhouette, has the traditional rectangular top of an office desk, but the curved shelf below offers a visual juxtaposition and a nod to the piece’s Shaker inspiration. It’s also an ideal place to stash your purse and work bag that’s NOT the floor. The split top is another unique detail that has a utilitarian purpose: it allows users an easy place to drop power cords while they work. I love a good, simple desk designed by people who understand the needs-—no matter how small— of those who will use it.  Rachel Gallaher, Deputy Editor

Photograph courtesy Design Within Reach

DWR Honors Pride Month with a Classic: The Eames Pride Hang-It-All It has been an inspiring experience to witness the design community gather in support of each other during these past few months. In celebration of Pride Month, modern furniture retailer Design Within Reach put a colorful spin on one of its most classic designs: the Eames Hang-It-All. Consisting of a sturdy steel frame and solid wooden balls, the updated piece proudly demonstrates the power and purity of the rainbow spectrum while maintaining originality in form and function. In the mid-1940s, Charles and Ray Eames began designing children’s toys and furniture, including colorful wooden building blocks and whimsical masks. In 1953, the Eames Hang-It-All was born. Seeing this classic piece stand for human rights only further demonstrates the influence and fortitude behind lasting design. What’s more, for every aptly named Eames Pride Hang-it-All sold, DWR’s parent company Herman Miller is donating $25 to OutRight Action International, a global nonprofit organization with a mission to support human rights and fundamental freedoms for LGBTQ+ people everywhere.  Meghan Burger, Events Director

Photographed by Carly Diaz

Kachka Alfresca Russian eatery Kachka, one of my favorite Portland restaurants, just launched a new open-air, social-distancing-friendly concept late last month. Located on the upper-level parking lot behind the restaurant, Kachka Alfresca features Soviet-inspired ‘90s comfort food—culled from Chef Bonnie Morales’s memories of American foods she craved while growing up in Chicago. On the menu: very Kachka versions of potato skins (these come covered with Russian dressing, sauteed sauerkraut, and pickled jalapeños), deep-fried pizza rolls, a classic Cobb salad, and a molten chocolate cake with sunflower seed halva. There’s even—be still my past not-quite-the-drinking-age heart—a housemade “Smirnoff” Ice. As for social distancing measures, diners pre-order online or over the phone and are seated in properly spaced, private cabanas. The aim of this new concept was to provide a little lighthearted escape in a time when everyone is stressed to the max. I’d attempt a “thank you” in Russian, but the only words I recall my Russian great-grandmother and first-generation grandmother using were…not so printable.  Lauren Mang, Digital Editor

Photograph on homepage: Carly Diaz


The Best Things We Saw is a monthly roundup of places, spaces, and things that stopped GRAY staffers in their tracks. Herewith, our picks for the best of the best in June.


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