We spent the long weekend in Iowa City visiting friends, and then heading north to a Usonian-style Frank Lloyd Wright house, Cedar Rock, on a bluff overlooking the Wapsipinicon River. The Walters, a wealthy couple, had the house built for them in 1950 with the intention of leaving it to the state as a tourist attraction. The result is a time capsule from the 1950s: everything has been left as is. It is considered one of FLW’s most complete designs—he designed and dictated everything in the house, from the furniture to the dishes and flatware and accessories.

My friend Bob, a city planner, also took me to a great new design store in Iowa City run by architects, Akar, a cross between the Museum of Contemporary Art store and I.D. I bought  some Marimekko potholders. Chilewich, Eva Solo, Blomus, Built NY, Iitala, and other iconic brands are represented here. Also in Iowa City is Design Ranch, a source for Artemide, Knoll, and other design greats.

Iowa City is four hours west of Chicago; the FLW house is another hour and a half north.