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Crib brand review: DwellStudio

BB Rating
What's This?

B-

A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.

Fashionable home designer DwellStudio made a splash with their licensed bedding line in Target a few years ago. Now, the company is debuting a nursery furniture collection—but don’t look for it in discount stores.

FYI: All DwellStudio cribs are made by Westwood, which we review here.

The first effort is the Mid Century crib, available in three finishes (French White, Natural and Espresso) for $600. 

This basic crib features an unusual “x-base structure” and tapered cone-shaped legs. The effect is a minimalist, 1950′s aesthetic (Dwell dubs it “vintage classic”)–but we wonder if it will be darn difficult to vacuum under the thing. Made in Canada, the crib has exposed bolts—which is disappointing at this price level.

To compliment the crib, Dwell sells a matching three-drawer dresser for $750, which has ball-bearing drawer glides, dove-tail joints and a “soft-close” drawer mechanism. The dresser is also made in Canada and features both solid birch and birch veneer, as well as something Dwell dubs “recovered wood.” 

Dwell followed up with the Vanderbilt crib, described as being “a nod to the Hollywood Regency” style—this features a two-tone finish (white and grey), brass hardware and an under crib drawer. The stepped side panels give the Vanderbilt an art-deco touch. Babies R Us is selling this crib for $950; the three-drawer dresser for $850.

Finally, Dwell’s third crib option is the Norfolk, their cheapest crib at $500. Again, mid-century design is the esthetic here, although it’s even more plain than the Mid Century crib described above. It comes in white with dark wood legs. The three-drawer dresser is $550.

So for those keeping score at home, a Dwell crib and dresser will run $1100 to $1800. The toddler rails are another $100 to $120. And, no, the crib doesn’t convert to a full-size bed.

DwellStudio’s nursery furniture joins a crowded modern nursery furniture market, where a sagging economy has seen competitors such as Oeuf roll out less expensive versions of their $1000+ cribs. On the other hand, Dwell has a well-known brand name and good reputation . . . so  perhaps it will find success at a price point that is hard to sell in today’s economy. 

Quality wise, we like the cribs—manufacturer Westwood is one of our favorite furniture brands. On the other hand, we’ve seen several reports from readers of shipping damage and poor packaging with Dwell. Making matters worse, customers said they were disappointed with Dwell’s customer service in fixing glitches. If you’re going to sell folks nearly $1000 nursery furniture, you’ve got to do better than that. Rating: B-

 


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