Design At Any Price

Bauhaus for your house

The Chemex coffee maker is just a single, solid piece of glass cinched at the waist with a wooden collar and a thin leather tie. There are no timers, no milk-foaming function. But this classic of modern design (in the permanent collections at MOMA and the Smithsonian), invented by chemist Peter Schlumbohm in 1942 and inspired by a laboratory flask and funnel, still makes the best cup of coffee we've ever brewed—clean, strong, and never bitter. It has something to do with the patented paper filter and the scientifically devised methods of extraction and filtration. But what really impresses us is that it remains, some 62 years later, as chic as ever. Six-cup maker, $33; 13-cup handblown pot, $80; 800-243-6399;