Before stores like Design Within Reach, IKEA, Crate & Barrel, and Habitat brought design to the masses, there was the Design Research store in Cambridge. In it you could buy anything from design objects by Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen to eclectic folk materials and textiles from around the world (including Marimekko).
The founder of the store, Ben Thompson, wanted people/consumers to think about how to use and experience the spaces they lived in. His goal was to create a store that would help customers get ideas about how to put things together in their home and develop a modern style. Mission accomplished.