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With almost 30 years in design under his belt, Daniel Friedlander has seen the business evolve over the years. But as the economy has hit hard times, Friedlander - founder of modern furniture retailer Limn - has decided, like many in business, to take a fresh look at his company and make some changes.
"For a lot of reasons, we're back to our roots, and we're looking at furniture and art and how they work together," says Friedlander, who recently moved his Townsend Street showroom upstairs to a scaled-back and newly remodeled second-floor space. "We went from about 50,000 to around 12,000 square feet. In many cases, clients were overwhelmed by what was there, and we've seen a shrinkage in the audience of people who can pay for the top-quality pieces. It makes sense now to buy less but buy more carefully. People used to be excited when they found a great piece, and we're trying to get back to that - and nothing is more eco-friendly than buying well-made pieces."
While Friedlander shrank his San Francisco showroom, he has no plans to become more commercial. Limn has always been a favorite of designers and those in the know, and he plans to continue offering a well-edited and evolving collection of furniture, accessories and lighting products he finds while traveling the globe.
"Everything we've sold for the almost last 30 years is original," he says. "Bad and unfair copies have confused things, and we've never participated in it. We try to enliven where interior design is and where it's going."
Select pieces include a little side table in aluminum by de Sede of Switzerland (about $1,470), an inviting statement chair called the Lazy Bastard from the Netherlands (around $1,700) and for those with the budget, an elegant home bar by William Sawaya for Sawaya & Moroni (around $36,000). Friedlander, who also has a Limn showroom in Sacramento, says the smaller San Francisco space will give him and his staff a chance to focus more on design services and customers. The new showroom has been fused with the Limn Gallery, which offers a collection of art.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 290 Townsend St., Second Floor, San Francisco; (415) 543-5466. www.limn.com.