Holiday Shopping 2023: The Glass House Design Store


L-R: Christa Carr and Dominica Baharian at The Glass House Design Store. Credit: Michael Dinan

For this new installment of our local holiday shopping series, we visited  The Glass House Design Store at 199 Elm St. There, we spoke to Dominica Baharian, manager of the Design Store and the Visitor Center, and Christa Carr, communications director for The Glass House.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation.


A silver-plated straw set ($125 for two straws) at The Glass House Design Store, 199 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaanite: Could you please give us an overview of the Design Store? What can people find here and how does it fit into The Glass House program?

Dominica Baharian: You can find beautifully designed objects that are useful, that one can use in all aspects of their daily life—kitchen, bathroom, office, et cetera. Items are sourced here that would remind people of the aesthetic that they experienced up at The Glass House. We want people to take home a piece of their experience—more than, let’s say, a T-shirt or something in that general museum design store fashion. 

The Glass House keychain, designed exclusively for The Design Store by Carl Aubock IV of Vienna ($185) at The Glass House Design Store, 199 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

It seems like a lot of what I’m looking at are gifts, items to take home as a memento from a visit. I’m seeing books, shakers, candlesticks. 

Dominica Baharian:We tend to carry books that are out-of-print. Philip Johnson, his contemporaries, the Bauhaus. I like to keep out-of-print things here, so you can’t get them anywhere else. We also have exclusively designed objects that are made just for us, like the Glass House Keychain by Carl Aubock IV in Vienna. The Modernist Paperweight Glasses by Carl Aubock. And this year we have a beautiful, handsome and heavy stairs made in brass by Carl Auerbach called the ‘P.J. Stairs Tribute,’ and he was really informed by the stairs at the Sculpture Gallery up at the property. 

Gravity Centerpiece, designed by Gunner Lohmann-Rönsh and Stephen K. Molloy, inspired by bending the space-time continuum, made in Italy and assembled by hand in Berlin by social workshops for the disabled ($290), at The Glass House Design Store, 199 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

This shop is a little bit off the beaten path. What would you tell people who don’t know about it or haven’t had a chance to stop in, but who have been to The Glass House or know of The Glass House? 

Dominica Baharian: We have an online presence, so people can shop all year. There are more items, actually, on the online store, because I don’t have the space to display everything. You can shop by appointment, by calling in off-season. However, we’re open for shopping during tours five days a week, Thursday through Monday. 

The Constella Candelabra, brass, designed by Eva Schildt of Sweden (5-hole $148, 10-hole $285, glass rose inserts $48, taper inserts $29, both sets of five $45) at The Glass House Design Store, 199 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

Parking is limited, too, so how do you suggest people come up here?  

Dominica Baharian: Well, if it’s off-season, they can jump into a Glass House spot.

Christa Carr: Or they can just walk up Elm. I would recommend that they walk up Elm. They’re on their way to Walter Stewart’s or back. It’s not even a block away from the main Elm strip. What I love about this is that you can really find a gift for any occasion and especially, say, if you want to jazz up a tabletop for a dinner party, you’ll find something amazing here. Or if you want to bring a gift if you’re invited to someone’s home and you want to think of something really special that they haven’t seen before—like a really beautiful candlestick or you have these trays that are gorgeous for presenting food. So you have gifts for the host/hostess, but also you have interesting things for students—unique books or pencils or something kind of quirky and interesting to do with architecture. It’s just a little bit more special. 

The Cylinda Line, designed by Arne Jacobson for Stelton—small ice bucket ($338), martini mixer with spoon ($139), water jug with ice lip ($221), serving tray ($199), ice tongs ($53), coasters ($92) at The Glass House Design Store, 199 Elm St. Credit: Michael Dinan

Dominica Baharian: The things you find here you will not find anywhere else. I import things from all over the world, featuring artists and architects that really speak to the aesthetic of Philip Johnson, the modernist movement, the Bauhaus. It’s all functional, beautiful design. I’m tactile, so mostly everything feels good. It looks good.

The Design Store can be shopped online or at The Glass House Visitor Center, 199 Elm St., open for holiday shopping 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 18 to 22.

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