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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Design Public Guide: Great Desk Chairs for Homework Time

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Well, we’ve covered desks and lamps in our Back to School Design Public Guides. Now it’s time for comfy and attractive chairs for homework time. Here are some of our top picks from around the site. 13-0005343.jpg

Steelcase Think Chair. This ultimate desk chair is smart enough to adjust to you and the rest of your family members’ weights and postures. There’s built-in lumbar allows for additional dialed in back support. The 4-way adjustable arms provide support for your arms, wrists, and shoulders in a variety of postures. The 4-way adjustable arms provide support for your arms, wrists, and shoulders in a variety of postures.



Steelcase Move Multi-Use Chair with Upholstered Seat. There’s more to this stylish and stackable chair that meets the eye. Under the seat cushion there is a support system that conforms to your body — flexors inside the seat curve with your curves and move as you move. What I like most about it is it’s versatility; it can serve as a comfy desk chair or dining chair. So working at the kitchen table is comfortable, or if it’s in your kiddo’s room, you can reclaim it when she goes off to college.

rollersideappleModernica Side Shell with Rolling Base Chair. This molded fiberglass classic is a modern icon, made from the original molds that the Eameses designed. The seat height adjusts approximately from 18 inches to 22 inches. I chose the version that rolls, because rolling is fun and can tempt your child right into the homework seat. Let him have some fun cruising the floor before he has to get down to business. blue_graphite


Steelcase Turnstone Buoy Chair. Sometimes ya gotta shake up homework time a bit. The buoy chair looks like it’s meant for something more fun than homework, so let it work its deceptive magic and tempt your child right over to those sentences she needs to diagram. The buoy wobbles and engages the core, and the height can be adjusted in a five-inch range.


Blu Dot Real Good Chair. We picked this powder-coated beauty in red because it enlivens the senses and ignites passion. While available in other lovely colors, grab a red one for homework time.

visu_sledbase_black_field_142.jpgMuuto Visu Chair — Sled Base, Upholstered Seat. The cozy upholstered seat on this version of the Visu chair is inviting and ergonomic. The sled base on this version adds an irresistibly modern touch.



Blu Dot Roy Chair. This chair made the list for four great reasons. It’s padded, attractive, stackable and available at a great price point.

We wish we had the room to share more details about our desk chair selection. But you can check them out for yourself:

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Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Our Top Five Favorite Mad Men Design Moments


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Now that Don Draper finally nailed the ultimate account and Mad Men has disappeared into 1970 forever, I’ve been binge watching the whole thing all over again on Netflix. There were so many fantastic moments of graphic design, fashion design, even hair design (and some not-so-good ones, those ’70s staches and sideburns were not doing the characters any favors). But most of all, I loved to watch Mad Men for the spot-on 1960s set design.

There are too many to count; with all that Eames, Saarinen and other mid-century icons lurking everywhere. Here are some of the highlights:

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What does this guy need an office for? No actual business ever happened here, except for a fake phone call to Lee Gardner over at Lucky Strike weeks after Roger had lost the account.

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1) The best moment to me was when Jane Sterling hired a decorator to redecorate Roger’s office, the spot where he dictated that not-so-bestselling Sterling’s Gold. A tulip table, a CJ Corona chair, op art and more iconic items in a black and white palette. I mean, check out that phone!


“A modern Chinoiserie breakfront, a Dunbar Japanese-influenced sofa, silk Dupioni drapes, Murano vases, and a classic Drexel end table.” — Betty Draper’s decorator


2) Betty redecorates the living room. Betty hires a decorator that gives her sharp Hollywood Regency style for her living room. Don walks in and moves a lamp around to make it perfect. Then Betty buys a very symbolic fainting couch that messes the whole look up. It’s so appropriate because the poor woman is trapped in an era that squeezes her like a Victorian corset.


3) Betty goes to get analyzed. Has there ever been a sadder woman on a Barcelona daybed? And did analysts really call husbands to give them the rundown after the wife’s appointment? That was crazy. Anyway, this image is fun to compare and contrast with the fainting couch one above it.


4) Don flies to sunny L.A. and winds up hanging out with a bunch of European tax evaders in “The Jet Set” episode. According to Curbed, this house is The Fox House, an abode Sinatra rented for 10 years. If that’s not a ringing endorsement that it’s classic California modern, I don’t know what is. The set designers and art director captured that clean white, glass and that unique California cool.


Bert Cooper’s Japanese-inspired office. No shoes allowed in here. The arrival of new art was always exciting and gave us insight into Bert’s character and tastes. A new Rothko had everyone in the office a tizzy, a Pollack was behind his head during the moon landing, but the best was the sex octopus:

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But the best sex octopus moment was this vision of Peggy Olson, completely transformed, strolling into McCann-Erickson unrecognizable from the young secretary we’d met a decade earlier.


What was your favorite Mad Men design moment? Please share it with us!


Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Five Must-Have Dining Chairs


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I’m a chair nut. When I moved, my moving men kept putting every single side chair I owned into my dining room, their permanent locations, T.B.D. By the time the dining room table arrived, there wasn’t any room to put it in the sea of chairs. Remarkably, they all found a spot, as I love an occasional chair here or there and don’t really tend toward matchy-matchy sets.

Anyway, from one chair nut to others or potential others, here are chairs to be on the lookout for at yard sales and chairs to invest in for your permanent (museum-ish yet functional) collection. I’m going to stick to five dining chairs as otherwise we’d be here all day and I have other stuff to do, but it’s a solid start.

1. Anything by Thonet, particularly with bent wood. These date back to the mid-century. Of the 19th century, that is, somewhere ’round ever-stylin’ Vienna. They still look fly today. Love. Scour second-hand websites and yard sales. A Thonet is a great score.

2. The Emeco Navy Chair (1006 Chair). These chairs were built to stand up to violent seas and dudes in the Navy. We’re talking torpedo blasts on the side of a destroyer. Not only are these suckers strong, they have classic mid-century industrial style that will never fade.

3. The Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair (1949). This versatile chair adds warmth and style to many different kinds of dining rooms. Though first impulse is to go all Danish modern around it, it works very well in more traditional spaces, spaces with Asian style, eclectic rooms as well as very minimalist rooms.

4. Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair (1955). Re-released, this classic is often imitated by chain stores and catalogs – don’t fall for the imitations; having a licensed chair is worth the investment. This versatile and curvy little number looks great for formal dining, casual eat-in kitchen dining and at a desk or dressing table.

5. The Kartell Masters Chair (2010-ish?). Philippe Starck mashed up the silhouettes of three chairs here – Jacobsen’s Series 7, and two others we didn’t have room to include – Eero Saarinen’s Tulip armchair, and the Eames’ Eiffel Chair to get this meaningful back.


Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Get To Know Vitra


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People, we’re having a sale on all things Vitra for the next week (through Oct. 18, 2012). In honor of that, let’s take a look at some of Vitra’s iconic products.

Vitra produces George Nelson’s mid-century modern clock designs. This is the Sunburst Clock, but there is a slew of diverse designs to choose from.

These are Panton Chairs, also known as “S Chairs” – designed by Vernor Panton back in the sixties. They come in lots of yummy colors. If you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on some of these, do it this week while you can save 15%.

In addition to the cutest product shot ever, we have the Eames Elephant. The prototype was designed by Charles and Ray Eames back in 1945, and was rendered in plywood. Vitra actually put it into production over 60 years later, this time in polypropylene.

This is Jasper Morrison’s Cork Stool. There are three different shapes to choose from. I like them because they are so versatile – you can tuck them underneath a console table as extra seating in a tight space, use them to hold a table lamp and cocktails as a side table, or just enjoy them as sculpture.

Sori Yanagi’s designed this Butterfly Stool in 1954. I feel calmer just looking at it.

This is a thick composition of Vitra’s Algue. These are plastic pieces that snap together to form anything from small sculptural wall hangings to thick, vine-like screens.

Finally, take a virtual visit to Vitra’s campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany. My favorite building is Vitrahaus and Lounge Chair Atelier by Herzog & de Meuron, which received a ton of buzz when it first went up back in 2010.


Monday, January 2nd, 2012

2012: Resolve to Stay Inspired


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Ugh. I’m old enough to know I’m never going to stick to any hard and fast resolutions, like losing weight or giving up vices, so I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to clean your closet or reorganize your shoes. However, one thing that keeps me inspired to complete some projects around the house is an ant infestation.

Another thing is looking at beautiful pictures of other peoples’ much more clean and organized homes. So here are a few from Flickr. Thanks to everyone who continues to add their pictures to our Fresh New Spaces Group. Whenever I want a nice little escape from whatever I’m working on, I head over there to get my creative juices flowing.

Love this clean white kitchen from Flickr member aindizain. My kitchen island has NEVER looked so good, but maybe after admiring this picture I will make it look like this.

As for the bedroom, it is NOT that hard to make up your bed everyday. If you find that it is, consider sleeping European-style, with only a bottom sheet and duvet with cover. Rooms like this make me want to get out that weird vacuum cleaner attachment and get those bunnies underneath the bed. Image from Flickr member Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc.

Of course, an entryway is the spot where your interior will make it’s first impression, so I like to look at this one with the cool map for inspiration. Posted by Flickr member photo.OP.

Finally, thank you to Danielle over at The Style Files for continuing to collect some of the most beautiful images out there! This living room will help you resolve to have more fun with your décor this year.

If you make one rezzie this year, resolve to stay inspired. When you feel that inspiration waning, seek some out.