For Brett Conroy, a glimpse of a watermelon side table in the pages of Dwell magazine proved that you only need to see something once to know you need it in your life. “I saw this table and thought ‘I need that’. There was something about its architectural qualities, its scale. I knew I had to have it.” The side table may have represented a blissful union of form and function, but it was when Conroy encountered its makers – celebrated Minneapolis furniture designers Blu Dot – that he realised that aesthetic connection was just a sign of bigger things to come.
“When I first came across Blu Dot, I knew that we needed their aesthetic in Australia,” he recalls. “I’d visited their Soho showroom a couple of times and they told me how many Australians visited. We dated, we fell in love and that was it.” So Conroy, whose background is a lucky blend of design and logistics, set about bringing Blu Dot down under (to Alexandria in Sydney), the third location for the design firm after New York and Los Angeles.
You can hardly blame him. Blu Dot’s pieces combine the elegance of mid-century modernist design with a level of functionality that suits small-scale living – whether in a Manhattan loft or a terrace in Sydney or Melbourne. Best of all, the pieces are accompanied by a price tag that’s accessible, not aspirational.
“Blu Dot really pioneered modern, affordable, original design,” offers Conroy of the brand, which he hopes to bring Blu Dot to Melbourne and strengthen the brand’s following across the country in the next year. At present, the company ships to Darlinghurst, Darwin and everywhere in between.